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Super Bowl MVP Bets: Seeking Value Beyond Mahomes

Betting on the Super Bowl MVP is a fun sweat. While quarterbacks have dominated the award of late winning five of the last seven, a game-changing play or handful of plays by any player on the field puts them in the conversation. Its an award based on performance in “simply” this one game. Players including Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Drew Brees have shined brightest on the biggest stage but so also have the likes of Larry Brown (Dallas CB / Super Bowl XXX) and Dexter Jackson (Tampa Bay safety / Super Bowl XXXVII). Its about who can step up in the big moments to make momentum-shifting plays.

Sports bettors looking at this year’s odds board at DraftKings for Super Bowl MVP will see the following names at the top:

Patrick Mahomes (+125)

Brock Purdy (+225)

Christian McCaffrey (+475)

Travis Kelce (+1200)

Deebo Samuel (+2000)

Isiah Pacheco (+2800)

It is certainly not surprising to see Mahomes and Purdy atop the odds board for the award. It is extremely rare in today’s NFL for the quarterbacks to be anything other than the shortest shots on the board because the ball is simply in their hands far more than anyone else. That said, is there value in either signal caller? If not, where is the value on the board?

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick will be in Las Vegas all week leading up to the Super Bowl. Catch their insights on everything Chiefs/49ers weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Here are three plays to consider courtesy of the NBC Sports Betting Analysts:

Jay Croucher (@croucherJD): Isiah Pacheco (+3500)

The San Francisco 49ers’ run defense has struggled all season with particularly poor showings in both playoff games. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs have shown a commitment to the run especially of late with Pacheco averaging 21 carries per game in the playoffs.

**Smart to look at Pacheco because if the Chiefs win, the most likely path other than yet another Hall of Fame performance by Mahomes, is via the ground game. Mahomes is intimately tied to a big game for Kelce and so barring a Cooper Kuppesque final drive from Taylor Swift’s guy, it is unlikely Kelce does enough to outshine his quarterback. Pacheco’s style also adds to his appeal. He runs hard. He breaks tackles. He can break off the long run. He does not need Mahomes to do any of that.

Vaughn Dalzell (@VmoneySports): Christian McCaffrey (+475)

The third favorite on the board right behind the quarterbacks is the all-everything McCaffrey. In the last 10 years, a QB has won six times (60%) and 12 of the past 17 Super Bowls (70.5%), including Mahomes twice (LIV, LVII). During those 17 years, no running back has won. Terrell Davis was the last RB to win Super Bowl MVP (1999). He enjoyed a monster day accounting for 157 rushing yards and three touchdowns that year.

McCaffrey has recorded 128, 132, 106, 57, and 136 combined rushing and receiving yards (7 touchdowns) in his five career postseason games with the 49ers with back-to-back games of 100-plus total yards and two touchdowns. MVP for CMC is well within reach if Purdy turns the ball over once or twice and the 49ers win, as they did in the NFC Championship against the Detroit Lions.

**For similar reasons to a bet on Pacheco, backing McCaffrey in this market makes sense. CMC makes this team’s offense go and his ability to get to the endzone is uniquely consistent.

NBC Sports has you covered for Super Bowl LVIII with PFT Live, Simms Unbuttoned, Fantasy Football Happy Hour, Rotoworld Football Show, Bet the EDGE and Brother from Another breaking down the latest news and top storylines from all angles. Tune in to Peacock, the NFL on NBC Sports YouTube channel, or wherever you get your podcasts for all the coverage through Super Bowl LVIII and beyond.

Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper): Brock Purdy (+225)

As fun as it is to hit some exotics on the big game, this year presents the rare opportunity to back the QB on the favored team at a relatively high price. The market has settled with the Niners owning approximately a 55% chance to lift the Lombardi Trophy. A ticket on Brock Purdy to be named MVP, however, can be had for +225. Those odds represent less than 60% of San Francisco’s equity, among the lowest ever for a QB favored in the Super Bowl in the modern era. Considering the higher total and the reality that such a game script of a Niners’ win would more than play out as Purdy out-dueling Mahomes, the more reasonable price would be in the 75% equity range with CMC making up 15% and the skill position group holding the rest. I agree that the Niners can and should win this game and will pad my SF bets with Purdy MVP as a higher payout proxy for this outcome.

**Dinsick’s rationale is outstanding. He educated us why Purdy is undervalued by the books. Considering the high game total and because of that high total, the quarterback will be integral to the team’s victory. Thus, while he is playing the Niners on the ML (-125), Drew sees added value in playing Purdy (+225) to claim MVP honors.

Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers): Nick Bosa (+7500)

The quarterbacks and superstar skill talent are the obvious choices, but let’s have some fun and go big with Nick Bosa here. Brock Purdy rarely seems to get the credit for anything the 49ers do well. If they win the Super Bowl, that means they took down Patrick Mahomes. They are going to need Nick Bosa to have the game of his life to accomplish that. A defender hasn’t won this award since 2016 (Von Miller / Denver Broncos), but Bosa is coming off a huge performance against a stout Lions’ offensive line. He’ll be ready to roll against Kansas City.

**Sound reasoning by Rogers. Know that betting on a defender means you are counting on a low-scoring game or in this case at least a low-scoring game from Kansas City. In support of the argument for Bosa, know that the Chiefs have eclipsed 30 points just twice this whole season (regular and postseason combined) and so the path is there for last year’s Defensive Player of the Year.

History has shown us that the MVP is not always the biggest name or brightest star. It is about playmakers deciding the outcome of in this case Super Bowl LVIII.

Enjoy the game and enjoy a sweat or two.

*odds courtesy of DraftKings