Aaron Rodgers' MVP odds soar after win over Baltimore on Sunday; what about Tom Brady and Jonathan Taylor?
Is Aaron Rodgers officially your frontrunner for the 2021 NFL MVP? The reigning winner of the award has led the Packers to an 11-3 record, and with Tom Brady's Buccaneers suffering a shutout loss to New Orleans on Sunday night, Green Bay now has a full-game lead over anyone else in the conference for the top seed.
According to DraftKings, Rodgers' odds of +125 for the MVP award now rank at the top of the list, just ahead of Brady's +175. To this point in the season, Brady had been the steady frontrunner for the plaudit, according to oddsmakers.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Colts running back Jonathan Taylor have +1000 odds. Taylor, a University of Wisconsin alumnus, has been on fire for the Colts all season and just helped Indy knock off Brady's old team, New England, with another virtuoso performance. It remains an uphill battle for a non-quarterback. Adrian Peterson (2012) is the only non-QB to win the award since 2006.
Taylor does, however, have an inside track on the Offensive Player of the Year honor according to oddsmakers.
Rodgers and Brady have identical +160 odds according to FanDuel, and Brady has the edge over Rodgers according to BetMGM (+135 to +165) and PointsBet (+120 to +160).
Should Brady or Rodgers win the 2021 award, either would join Peyton Manning as the only NFL player to win four MVP honors.
Matt LaFleur for Coach of the Year?
New England's Bill Belichick still has the best odds to win NFL Coach of the Year (+100) according to DraftKings, though Green Bay's Matt LaFleur (+300) is not far off the pace. Arizona's Kliff Kingsbury (+1400) is a distant third. OddsChecker gives Belichick a healthier edge over LaFleur, +125 to +400.
LaFleur received three votes last year (out of 50) and in 2019, with Cleveland's Kevin Stefanski picking up 25 to win the award easily in 2020 and Baltimore's John Harbaugh (27.5) even more easily the year before. No coach in NFL history has coached as many games as LaFleur with a better winning percentage, with a 37-9 ledger good for a mark of .804.
T.J. Watt for Defensive Player of the Year?
Speaking of Wisconsin alumni, T.J. Watt finds himself right in the thick of Defensive Player of the Year after finishing second to Aaron Donald in last year's voting.
Watt, whose 17½ sacks this year are the most for a single season in the illustrious history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, still has an outside chance at the NFL record of 22½ set by Michael Strahan — you know, the one famously abetted by Packers quarterback Brett Favre at the end of the 2001 season.
That's pretty remarkable for Watt considering he missed two games this season with injury and had dramatically limited snap counts in two others.
Watt's odds were +325 according to PointsBet, just behind Cleveland's Myles Garrett (+300) and just ahead of Dallas's Micah Parsons (+350).
FanDuel put Garrett at +250, Watt at +300 and Parsons at +350.
Garrett and Watt will go head-to-head for the second time this season on Jan. 3. The Steelers won the first meeting, 15-10. Garrett has 15 sacks of his own, with a forced fumble and touchdown. Watt also has four forced fumbles and three recoveries this season.