Super Bowl LV is upon us! Our team at BetQL is going to have you covered from all the angles over the next two weeks for the big game.
Before we dive into the weeds of first play call, commercial props, and more, let’s start with a simple one, Super Bowl MVP.
Here are the odds posted at DraftKings Sportsbook to take home the award:
Every Super Bowl is unique, but there is no denying the importance of quarterbacks and the correlation to the award. Of course, Patrick Mahomes (+100) and Tom Brady (+200) are the two with the shortest odds.
In the past 10 years, seven QB’s, two defensive players, and a wide receiver have taken home Most Valuable Player honors in the Super Bowl.
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Here are some players on both sides of the ball that show value early in the process:
Patrick Mahomes (+100)
The odds on Mahomes may be a little short. As of this morning, DraftKings has the Chiefs lined at -175 to win the Super Bowl. If Kansas City wins, it will likely be due to the reigning MVP’s fantastic play. Last year was a good litmus test to see how the award is shaped around the KC quarterback.
Mahomes went 26-of-42 for 286 yards, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. It wasn’t his best game but Mahomes was at his best in the fourth quarter and won the award.
Some thought running back Damien Williams should have taken home MVP honors with his 17 carries for 104 yards, four receptions for 29 yards and two all purpose touchdowns. However, it’s a quarterback driven league and this is Mahomes’ team. When in doubt, it goes to him.
I don’t really see a path for a Chiefs offensive player to win it outside of the 2018 league MVP, as he is too involved in the offense. This can be a cheaper way to play Kansas City as the drop off from -175 to +100 seems too steep to the expected outcome of the bets.
Leonard Fournette (+2500)
While the Super Bowl MVP is typically awarded to quarterbacks, and Mahomes is the likely winner if Kansas City wins, the Bucs are constructed differently.
For Tampa Bay to win, Brady does not have to dominate like Mahomes does. TB12 threw three interceptions in the NFC championship win and the Bucs were still able to pull it out. I see value going against him.
Brady has won Super Bowl MVP in four of six wins, but wide receivers Deion Branch and Julian Edelman won the other two. Brady is still great, but at 43, the Bucs don't depend on him to win quite as much as the Chiefs depend on Mahomes.
With that in mind, Fournette sticks out at this number. There does seem to be a timeshare between him and Ronald Jones -- Fournette had 12 carries against the Packers while Jones had 10 -- but the former Jaguar has been the more effective runner of the two and continues to see work in passing situations.
“Playoff Lenny” is averaging more than 70 yards and has at least four catches through three postseason games. Matched up with a Kansas City defense that was 28th in defensive rushing success, per SharpFootballStats, there will be plenty of opportunities for Fournette to make an impact in the big game.
Tampa Bay may look to establish the run early in order to limit Kansas City’s possessions. In four losses with Mahomes under center in the past two seasons, the Chiefs have lost the time of possession battle by an average of more than 14 minutes.
If Fournette can bust a few runs and get to 100 yards with a score, he will enter the conversation should the Bucs pull the upset. I see value in this down to 20/1.
Shaquil Barrett (+5000) and Jason Pierre-Paul (+7000)
I group these two together because the reasoning is the same. The Tampa Bay defensive line is the X-factor in Super Bowl LV.
If the Buccaneers front seven can get into the backfield and make plays, they are in great shape to pull the upset.
Just look at the NFC title game as an example. The defensive line sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and they should be able to find success against a banged up Chiefs offensive line. KC has dealt with injuries all season, but it looks even more challenging now after left tackle Eric Fisher tore his achilles late in the AFC championship game.
Barrett had three sacks on Sunday versus the Packers and JPP had two of his own. Both of these defensive linemen are worth some loose change with the high upside payout to win MVP.
Shutting down the Kansas City offense isn’t easy, so if Tampa Bay is able to pressure and sack Mahomes on its way to an upset win, that would be the story of the game. Barrett and JPP will warrant MVP consideration if that situation plays out. Each has good value at this price.
Reed is a native of New Jersey and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan and always believes the spread has a chance of covering. You can follow Reed on twitter @ReedWallach for more commentary