How quickly things can change. A huge week by Patrick Mahomes in the Chiefs’ blowout win over the Raiders, and struggles by Tom Brady in Tampa Bay’s shocking loss to Washington have shaken up both the NFL’s MVP race and the Super Bowl odds.
Here’s an updated look at how things stand heading into Week 11.
Is Patrick Mahomes setting us up for a dramatic MVP run? With a vintage performance of 406 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception on Sunday night, Mahomes lifted the Chiefs into first place in the AFC West. However, as for a wager, let’s pump the brakes a bit.
Mahomes was spectacular, but the Raiders defense deserves some blame. Plus, he needs to demonstrate much more consistency, and Kansas City has to string together several more wins in order for me to get serious about backing him at the counter to outshine other quarterbacks.
It is certainly worth noting, however, that his odds dropped from 60-1 to 25-1. The Chiefs host the Cowboys this Sunday, and we will learn a lot about both Mahomes and Dak Prescott (+700).
However, other quarterbacks continue to struggle. Just days after becoming the new betting favorite, Tom Brady (+450) threw two interceptions and the Bucs were upset at Washington. Josh Allen (+250) became the betting favorite on Monday after he bounced back from Buffalo’s upset loss to Jacksonville with a resounding win over the Jets. While I think he is in line to win this award, I cannot back him at such low odds.
Aaron Rodgers (+1000) seems like the best play this week. He’s basically as dynamic as he’s ever been. Additionally, Green Bay looked feeble in the one game he missed. I do think his handling of his vaccination status will cost him votes, but if the Packers land the NFC’s one-seed, the reigning MVP is going to have a strong case.
Josh Allen +250
Tom Brady +450
Dak Prescott +700
Matthew Stafford +700
Kyler Murray +1000
Aaron Rodgers +1000
Lamar Jackson +1100
Justin Herbert +2000
Patrick Mahomes +2500
Ryan Tannehill +5000
Joe Burrow +6000
Super Bowl options
At some point, we must remember the Titans. Tennessee owns the AFC’s best record, and they do expect star running back Derrick Henry back for the playoffs. Tennessee is only 5-1 to win the conference and 11-1 to win the Super Bowl. I am not ready to pull the trigger, but I certainly feel silly for continuing to dismiss them.
The Packers (+900) still appear undervalued. While Rodgers commands so much attention, and deservedly so, the defense feels like the difference-maker. It ranks in the top three in points allowed, yards allowed, yards per play allowed, yards per attempt allowed and opponent passer rating. Perhaps we are all conditioned to overlook the Pack because Rodgers has only reached one Super Bowl. However, I blame Mike McCarthy for those failures, and this year’s defense is legitimate.
Do we believe in the Patriots (+2500)? ESPN’s FPI ranks them as the AFC’s second-best team, with AFC East foe Buffalo as the top team. New England has won and covered four straight games, while rookie Mac Jones continues to look more comfortable and effective with each passing week. The defense speaks for itself. Bill Belichick is a mastermind, and Prescott is the only quarterback that has truly played well in New England’s 10 games.
They are firing on all cylinders, but I wonder about their ceiling. I believe in Belichick to scheme well against limited quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, but what happens when they face an elite team? It may not matter because the AFC is inferior to the NFC right now. We will learn a lot in December when they face the Bills twice, but I couldn’t blame anyone for a Pats future right now.
The Colts (+6000) are actually pretty intriguing. They lost the big showdowns against Tennessee, and we know Carson Wentz‘s shortcomings all too well, but the upside is there for a wild-card run. Indy’s defense is as good as anyone’s, and the offense has potential, thanks to Jonathan Taylor. I have made worse bets than Indy at 30-1 to win the AFC.
Super Bowl futures
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +600
Buffalo Bills +600
Los Angeles Rams +750
Green Bay Packers +900
Dallas Cowboys +1000
Arizona Cardinals +1000
Tennessee Titans +1100
Kansas City Chiefs +1100
Baltimore Ravens +1300
New England Patriots +2500
Los Angeles Chargers +2800
Cleveland Browns +4000
Other awards to watch
Mike Vrabel (+400) is understandably the new favorite for Coach of the Year. Tennessee’s run has been incredible, and he will get credit for doing it without Derrick Henry. The Titans have the league’s easiest remaining schedule, according to FPI, and that also bodes well for Vrabel’s chances. However, I still maintain Belichick (+1200) is right there with him, and his odds are much more favorable. Narratives play such a huge role in voting. Belichick will get all the recognition if the Pats continue to succeed, but Vrabel will be tough to beat.
The Chiefs are -110 favorites to win the AFC West. It’s hard to avoid being a prisoner of the moment, but Kansas City sure instilled a lot of confidence on Sunday night in Las Vegas. K.C. hosts Dallas this Sunday before the bye and then hosts the Raiders and Broncos. Next up is a visit to the Chargers in a virtual must-win, given they already lost the home meeting. I think the Chiefs are worth a play right now.