NFL Schedule Release Says: ‘Bet on Tom Brady for MVP’

Two things have been consistently true about recent NFL MVP winners: 1) they are a QB; 2) they are a QB whose team earned a No. 1 seed in the conference. That has happened in five of the last six years.

In other words, when betting on the MVP award before the season, the play is to determine which two QBs are most likely to clinch top seeds, then pick between them.

This week’s schedule order release simplified the process. Let’s first look at FanDuel’s odds for the 2021 NFL MVP award:

Two thoughts quickly stand out:

First, there has not been a repeat MVP winner since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009. It rarely happens. At +900, the second-highest, I’d stay away from last year’s winner, Aaron Rodgers. Plus, who knows which team Rodgers will play for in 2021. For all we know, it might be Jeopardy!.

Second, Tom Brady is at, wait a minute, +1700?

Take the schedule out of it for a second. The Bucs have the best roster in the NFL. There’s no debate. An offseason reminder: the Super Bowl-winning Bucs — that knocked off Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes — are the first team in the salary cap era (since 1994) to bring back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl victory.

Tampa didn’t just win the Super Bowl, they dismantled the Chiefs in the process. Oh, and that was in a learning year. We assumed Brady’s first year with the Bucs would be successful, and then they’d compete for a title in Year 2. Brady and the Bucs were one year ahead of schedule.

Except for Tampa, every team in the NFC is incredibly flawed. The second-best, Green Bay, might have to start Jordan Love. That alone should make Brady, at +1700, appealing.

Now, to the Bucs’ schedule:

It’s the easiest in the NFL. One might as well hop on Tampa Bay at Over 11.5 wins this season as well.

The counter to betting on Brady is that the QB of the AFC’s top-seeded team will be younger, flashier, and have more wow Twitter highlights. Fine, but it’s difficult to determine which player that will be. 

The AFC was loaded last year with more playoff-caliber teams than playoff spots. This season, the Chargers should join that list, the Browns are better, the Ravens fixed their issues, the Patriots nearly won the offseason, and the Dolphins are coming.

Unlike Brady, Mahomes — the MVP favorite —  gets no scheduling breaks. MVP winners oftentimes jump out to an early lead. Mahomes’s first five weeks are daunting: Browns, Ravens, Chargers, Eagles and Bills. Damn.

Brady, with his odds (+1700 vs. +500), schedule, and surrounding talent, is a far safer play than Mahomes.

It’s boring, I get it. Yet if you see the Bucs winning the first seed in the NFC, dominating teams along the way, as I do, where else do you place your money? 

Bet now at the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

2 Comments

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  1. Hail Tom Brady. He’s a phenom and ageless wonder who has really taken care of himself. Fair take, but I’ll bet the opposite … that he can’t keep Tampa Bay individuals disciplined and focused all year and gets frustrated as he works hard to hold onto his skill sets while other screw off.

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