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At this point, it would be an upset if Patrick Mahomes didn’t come out of the 2022 NFL season with his second career MVP award.
The Kansas City Chiefs superstar is the heavy betting favorite for the honor with -500 odds (bet $500 to win $100) in the latest update from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Joe Burrow is the No. 2 betting favorite at +700, followed by Josh Allen (+800) and Jalen Hurts (+1000). No one else besides Justin Herbert and Justin Jefferson has odds better than +15000.
Peter King of NBC Sports has Mahomes atop his MVP list in his weekly Football Morning in America column, but he sees the race as being closer than the odds suggest, with Hurts as his No. 2 candidate.
“Mahomes and Hurts are still jockeying for position in my eyes,” King wrote. “It’s really close. The last two weeks will matter.”
King’s top five also includes Allen, Burrow and Justin Jefferson.
Hurts seemed like the only player who was going to challenge Mahomes as MVP, but there’s an argument that the Philadelphia Eagles’ performance on Saturday without him may have hurt his case.
The Eagles played well in the game despite losing 40-34 to the Dallas Cowboys. No one will argue the offense reached the same heights with Gardner Minshew under center as they did with Hurts, but it speaks to how much talent there is on the roster that they had a chance to win at the end against a playoff team.
Philadelphia did match its season high with four turnovers in the loss, including two interceptions and a fumble lost by Minshew.
Even though we don’t know what the Chiefs would look like without Mahomes because he hasn’t missed time, it’s pretty safe to say there would be a steep drop in how the team plays. They had to go to overtime with the Houston Texans eight days ago in a game that Mahomes finished 36-of-41 with 336 yards and two touchdowns.
Among teams currently in the playoff field, the Chiefs have the third-worst defense by Football Outsiders’ DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Only the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants are worse on that side of the ball. The Eagles rank seventh overall in that category.
Mahomes leads the NFL in several traditional stats, including passing yards (4,720) and passing touchdowns (37). Using more advanced metrics, he dwarfed the field in terms of expected points added going into Week 16:
Tej Seth @tejfbanalytics
jalen hurts had a great season but patrick mahomes is the league MVP pic.twitter.com/e8YgQ2SP9Z
Hurts and Burrow have been fantastic for their respective teams this season. Hurts has made huge strides as a passer, completing 67.3 percent of his attempts with 22 touchdowns. He also brings tremendous value as a runner with 747 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Eagles also have the best record in the NFL (13-2), which could boost Hurts’ case. Head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters his quarterback will play in Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints as long as he’s ready to go.
Hurts missed the Cowboys game with a sprained shoulder he suffered in a Week 15 win over the Chicago Bears. The Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs with a win over the Saints.
Burrow is coming off an erratic performance in a 22-18 win over the New England Patriots. He completed a season-high 40 passes for 375 yards and had three touchdowns, but he he had two interceptions and one that was returned for a touchdown to help the Patriots get back into the game.
During the Bengals’ current seven-game winning streak, Burrow has thrown for 1,931 yards with 17 touchdowns and a 69.0 completion percentage. The 26-year-old ranks second to Mahomes in total passing yards (4,260) and passing touchdowns (34) this season.
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