2024 NFL Regular Season MVP Odds: Will Stroud Go From OROY to MVP?

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Top NFL Pick: NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – C.J. Stroud (+1100) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – C.J. Stroud (+1100)
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It is never too early to think about the NFL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award race for the 2024 regular season. Top-rated sportsbooks already have released their odds for the season with Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the way (+650) at BetOnline.

Last year’s race was volatile and undecided for most of the year before Baltimore quarterback, Lamar Jackson, emerged very late in the process to win his 2nd MVP award.

Was there some voter remorse about that after the way the playoffs shook out? Maybe, but it is a regular-season award and we have some thoughts on where the value lies right now. We still have to see what free agency, the draft and the schedule release will do to this year’s MVP chase.

Reminder of Usual MVP Criteria

Before we get into the odds for the players, we wanted to remind you of the usual MVP criteria that will shape our picks since only a select few players can win this award.

  • Expect a quarterback, as 16 of the last 17 MVP winners since 2007 were quarterbacks.
  • Pick a quarterback on a team that will win a lot of games, as 31 of the last 36 quarterbacks to win MVP (86.1%) played for a team with at least 12 wins.
  • The only quarterback to win MVP since 1978 on a team with fewer than 11 wins was John Elway in 1987, when the Broncos finished 10-4-1 in a strike-shortened season.
  • Likewise, 75% of the quarterbacks to win MVP since 1978 were on a team that earned the No. 1 seed that year.
  • A whopping 34-of-36 MVP-winning quarterbacks (94.4%) were a top 3 seed, so only 2 wild card quarterbacks have won it (2003 Steve McNair and 2008 Peyton Manning), and McNair was only co-MVP in 2003.
  • Ten of the last 15 quarterbacks (66.7%) to win MVP had already won the award before that season, so voters have been fond of voting again for proven winners.

We’ll surely have an update on this after the NFL schedule is released in May, but that is becoming a big factor too with people giving significant weight to games played in prime time in December and January.

If Brock Purdy didn’t throw 4 interceptions on Christmas night in a loss to the Ravens, it’s likely that Purdy would have won MVP instead of Lamar Jackson for 2023. That game weighed heavily on the outcome of this race.

Yet, we’ll have to wait to see what the schedule brings for 2024.

The Favorite: Patrick Mahomes (+650)

In a weird way, the 2023 season was the weakest statistical year yet for Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.

However, it also firmly established that he has no true rival at the quarterback position in today’s NFL.

Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yards this year, but he made throwing for 200 yards look hard against the Chiefs, who swept the Dolphins. Mahomes played very well in the 4th-coldest game in NFL history in the wild-card round.

Josh Allen won another game in Arrowhead this year against Mahomes. However, Mahomes and the Chiefs got the last laugh, as they improved to 3-0 against the Bills in the postseason.

Lamar Jackson won MVP, but it was Mahomes who took control early against Baltimore’s top-ranked defense in the AFC Championship Game. He protected the ball while Jackson turned it over multiple times in a 17-10 final.

Purdy led the NFL in so many passing categories, but it was Mahomes who stole his thunder in Super Bowl LVIII, finishing off the 49ers again with a walk-off touchdown drive in overtime.

At the end of the season, Mahomes was still clearly the best quarterback in the league.

Wake-Up Call

Statistically, Mahomes may have been only the 8th-best quarterback in the 2023 regular season.

He was 8th in touchdown passes, 8th in passing success rate and 8th in QBR. In some metrics, he looked worse, such as 14th in passer rating (92.6) and 19th in yards per attempt (7.0).

However, just as Christmas day largely decided the MVP with Lamar overtaking Purdy, that day also was a wake-up call for Mahomes and the Chiefs after an embarrassing 20-14 loss to the Raiders. Mahomes had a pair of turnovers returned for touchdowns in a span of 7 seconds.

The Chiefs never lost again after that.

Mahomes found his deep ball against Cincinnati a week later, the offense rested key starters in Week 18 and they looked sharp in the playoffs. Mahomes finished with an 86.6 QBR in the postseason, the 3rd highest for a Super Bowl-winning season since 2006.

Balancing Act

A big reason the stats weren’t quite there for Mahomes in the regular season was a receiving corps that led the NFL in dropped passes. That included some huge ones that lost the team games against Detroit and Philadelphia and, of course, the offensive offsides penalty on Kadarius Toney cost them dearly against Buffalo, wiping another long touchdown off the board and Mahomes’ stat sheet.

Toney alone turned multiple catches into interceptions for Mahomes’ stats this year. It was probably no coincidence that the offense improved after Toney was inactive for the final 7 games.

However, we did just see a Super Bowl where Mahomes threw for the longest play of the game to Mecole Hardman, who caught the game-winning touchdown too. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had the other touchdown pass from Mahomes and MVS was the one who put the Ravens away with a 32-yard catch. Mahomes never lost all confidence in his receivers this year. Also, Travis Kelce getting healthy for the playoffs was huge.

You have to think the Chiefs are going to make an upgrade at receiver if they want a serious shot at this 3-peat.

They’re probably not going to end up with a superstar, as they have to pay a defender like Chris Jones to make sure that defense is still elite. Still, it would not be hard to get an upgrade over the likes of MVS, Hardman and Justin Watson. There is also real potential for Rashee Rice to develop into a better player in Year 2.

Mahomes would gladly take a 3rd ring in a row over a 3rd MVP in his career, but why not both? He is the only player since Kurt Warner in 1999 to win MVP and a Super Bowl in the same season.

Let’s see him make more history and he will have the shot to do it if they keep Toney far away from the field.

The 2023 season was just proof you should never bet against Mahomes.

NFL Pick: NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – Patrick Mahomes (+650) at BetOnline

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New Blood Rules Older Blood

After Mahomes, we have 4 quarterbacks rounding out the top 5 in odds:

  • Joe Burrow (+900)
  • Josh Allen (+900)
  • Jordan Love (+1000)
  • C.J. Stroud (+1100)

Unless their teams make a huge move in free agency, you probably should fade Joe Burrow and Josh Allen again for MVP, an award they have yet to win.

Burrow could end up losing Tee Higgins as one of his top receivers, and he has to show he can stay healthy and productive for a full season again. He’s had slow starts and has finished half of his 4 seasons on injured reserve.

Allen has scored 40 total touchdowns in 4 straight seasons and barely gets a Pro Bowl nod, let alone MVP love. However, his problem is consistently keeping it up for a full season. He did it in 2020, but he’s been more of a half-season MVP in the years since, and yes, the turnovers can be problematic at times. We’ll see what the team does at receiver with Stefon Diggs.

The Young Guns Are the Ones to Back

Jordan Love and C.J. Stroud both caught fire last year and won a playoff game for the Packers and Texans in a season few expected those teams to even be in the tournament.

Love might have an easier path to a high seed in the NFC, which is another strong argument in his favor. If he plays like he did down the stretch when he threw 23 touchdowns to 3 interceptions, the Packers should win a lot of games.

However, Stroud might be the best singular pick for MVP this year, as that Houston offense left some meat on the bone despite a stellar rookie year from Stroud. Here are some of the offensive ranks for the Texans in 2023:

  • 13th in points
  • 12th in yards
  • 15th in 1st downs
  • 15th in QBR (Stroud: 57.5)
  • 29th in rushing yards per attempt
  • 19th in 3rd down conversion rate
  • 16th in red zone touchdown rate

There is still a lot of room for improvement in this offense, which is bringing coordinator Bobby Slowik back, so Stroud will have that consistency.

He should also have better health at receiver. The 2023 Texans were the 1st team ever to have 3 different wideouts post multiple games with 140 receiving yards in a season. However, 2 of those players (Tank Dell and Noah Brown) were not healthy for the playoffs, so Nico Collins was on an island in January.

The Texans are a young team with real potential for growth.

If Stroud takes the next step, then look out for this team as a contender for everything this year, including MVP for its quarterback.

Again, we’ll see what the NFL schedule produces in May. Yet, if Stroud gets a shot to go to Arrowhead late in the year and outduel Mahomes, that could be the difference maker now in the way these MVP awards are decided. However, if that game is in Week 3, then maybe Love is the right call here.

We’ll see what the schedule makers cook up.

NFL Pick: NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – C.J. Stroud (+1100) at BetOnline

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NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – C.J. Stroud (+1100)
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2023 Déjà Vu: Rounding Out the Top 10

There are 11 players in total with +2000 odds or better to win MVP. Here are the last 6 quarterbacks with odds in this range:

  • Justin Herbert (+1400)
  • Lamar Jackson (+1400)
  • Brock Purdy (+1600)
  • Dak Prescott (+1800)
  • Jalen Hurts (+2000)
  • Aaron Rodgers (+2000)

This looks a lot like last year’s MVP race, both before and during the season.

A lot of déjà vu here.

Aaron Rodgers’ MVP case lasted 4 snaps before he tore his Achilles with the Jets. He is coming back, and a lot of the same narratives would apply to him ending the long playoff drought for this team. However, can we trust him to do that as he turns 41 and is coming off a major injury? Doesn’t feel like a smart bet this year.

Remember when Jalen Hurts had his 2nd-worst game of the season against the Chiefs and he became the MVP front-runner because Marquez Valdes-Scantling dropped a go-ahead touchdown? That sums up how silly the MVP race was in 2023.

Yet, with the way the Eagles imploded down the stretch, Hurts doesn’t look like a good pick right now. That team has major issues on both sides of the ball and coach Nick Sirianni is on the hot seat.

Dak Prescott just had the best season of his career, he stayed healthy and yet, it still wasn’t enough to win a playoff game, as the Packers upset Dallas in the wild-card round. Prescott also blew his MVP chances late in the year when he did nothing in a big loss in Buffalo, then came up short against the Dolphins on the road. It’s hard to see things getting better for him in 2024.

Brock Purdy led the NFL in so many different passing metrics that if he was a 1st-round pick instead of Mr. Irrelevant, he might have won MVP.

The stigma certainly wouldn’t be there for being such a system quarterback. However, the Super Bowl loss is going to make it hard for people to accept him as an elite player in Kyle Shanahan’s system. It will also be hard to top last year’s numbers for a full season again. The 2023 49ers averaged the highest yards per pass since the 2004 Colts.

Lamar to Repeat?

Speaking of repeats, Lamar Jackson had another poor showing in the playoffs with a 17-10 loss to the Chiefs where he turned it over multiple times.

Frankly, people need to wake up to the idea that he won MVP by default. Also, it wasn’t a true MVP-caliber season. He was just the last man standing after everyone played themselves out of the award and Jackson had the fewest warts on his resume.

Yet, in theory, the MVP should never go to a quarterback on a team with the No. 1 defense and who never led a single game-winning drive for his team.

Jackson could very well have stronger numbers in 2024 than in 2023. There is a lot of room for improvement here. However, if the Ravens take a step back on defense, can the team still win a No. 1 seed and boost his chances to win this award? Not seeing it again.

The Ravens had everything set up for them this year and still didn’t finish the job.

Backing the Bolts Again?

That leaves an interesting choice in Justin Herbert with the Chargers, who have a new coach in Jim Harbaugh.

Betting on Harbaugh to win Coach of the Year is likely the smartest move here. However, for a coach who has won everywhere he’s gone and maximized his quarterback play, it would not be surprising to see Herbert have career highs in efficiency metrics (passer rating, QBR, yards per attempt, touchdown pass rate, etc.).

There is concern the Chargers won’t throw as much with Greg Roman now brought in to run the offense. However, if those efficiency numbers soar, Herbert will still have MVP-caliber numbers if this works out. You can also argue Roman has never coached a quarterback who can handle such a big workload as a passer like Herbert, so this will be a fun one to watch.

If the Chargers can unseat those 3-peat-seeking Chiefs for the AFC West, that would give Herbert a big edge in winning his first MVP.

We’ll buy into his potential here one more time now that Harbaugh’s in town.

NFL Pick: NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – Justin Herbert (+1400) at BetOnline

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Christian McCaffrey Leads Non-Quarterback List

The current odds features 20 quarterbacks followed by the first non-quarterback in running back Christian McCaffrey, who is +8000.

This is a pretty good argument for not picking anything but a quarterback again in 2024. McCaffrey was outstanding and consistent in 2023, leading the NFL with 339 touches, 2,023 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns.

He finished 3rd in MVP voting with 147 points with quarterback Brock Purdy behind him at 97 points.

McCaffrey will only be 28 this season, yet I’m fading him on this award.

He is unlikely to produce better numbers than he just did and injury does concern you with this position after he’s had back-to-back seasons with over 325 touches, which doesn’t include a couple of deep playoff runs too.

I’d sooner throw something on Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson pursuing a 2,000-yard receiving season with +10000 odds than trust a running back for MVP in 2024.

Longshot Dreams: 2nd-Year Quarterbacks

We mentioned in the top section that 10 of the last 15 quarterbacks to win MVP had already won it before that season. Two of the new winners in that time were Patrick Mahomes (2018) and Lamar Jackson (2019), who were both only in their 2nd season in the NFL.

It is rare, but sometimes that 2nd year is a special one for quarterbacks, including Kurt Warner (1999 Rams) and Dan Marino (1984 Dolphins), who both won MVP and led their teams to the Super Bowl.

That is why we like the longshot value for a pair of 2nd-year quarterbacks in Anthony Richardson (Colts) and Bryce Young (Panthers).

Anthony Richardson (+4000)

Consider this the 1st of many mentions this offseason that durability is going to be everything for Anthony Richardson and the Colts.

Richardson only appeared in 4 games as a rookie and he played 100% of the snaps in just 1-of-4 games. He left the other games injured, including only playing a third of the snaps in 2 of those games.

The injuries were all of different varieties and his season ended with shoulder surgery. It’s a scary sign for his future, yet Richardson’s style of play wasn’t necessarily reckless.

He just has to stay upright.

The Colts did an impressive job of scoring the 10th-most points in the league with so many injuries on offense under rookie coach Shane Steichen. He has a real playmaker in Richardson, who should be an upgrade over Gardner Minshew for this offense. He also gets to play with Jonathan Taylor after not getting to share any snaps with him in 2023.

However, beyond durability, playing in the same division as C.J. Stroud in Houston could be the other huge hurdle for Richardson. Voters aren’t very moved by wild card seasons, so Richardson would likely have to have a monster year as a dual-threat weapon with at least 35 total touchdowns and a 12-win season for the Colts.

Can he stay healthy long enough to pull that off? We didn’t get a good sense of that in 2023. Still, he should hold a lot better MVP value in 2024 than quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson (who doesn’t grasp Kevin Stefanski’s offense), Geno Smith (team should take a step back without Pete Carroll this year) and any 2024 rookie.

Bryce Young (+10000)

Yes, Bryce Young’s rookie season was very rough and uninspiring in Carolina.

However, crazier 2nd-year breakouts have happened before.

Even a No. 1 overall pick like Jared Goff, who had a horrible rookie season in 2016, got new receivers and Sean McVay as his head coach in 2017. He then led the Rams to the most points in the league that year. Goff wasn’t in that MVP race but the point is a quick turnaround is always possible in the NFL.

The Panthers hired Dave Canales as their head coach. This is the coach who helped Geno Smith (2022 Seahawks) and Baker Mayfield (2023 Buccaneers) to career seasons the last 2 years. Maybe he can do the same for Young if they upgrade the receivers because Carolina’s group last year outside of Adam Thielen were not good at all.

The offensive line also was a huge problem, so you can expect the team to address these issues in the draft and free agency.

For Young, at least there were a few glimmers of hope as a rookie. He stepped up in the Houston game and led a game-winning drive. He put up 30 points and threw for 312 yards against Green Bay late in the year.

Not saying I’d throw more than a few bucks on Young right now, yet people have burned MVP tickets before over Mitch Trubisky, Trey Lance and Justin Fields. His number will likely only go up if the Panthers happen to land any top receiver in the free agent or draft classes.

Take your shot now.

Young likely has more value than Richardson just because of the durability concerns and by playing in the NFC South, which should be a much easier division to win a lot of games in than playing in the loaded AFC, where Richardson has to contend with Mahomes, Jackson, Allen, Herbert, Burrow, Tua, Rodgers, Stroud, etc.

NFL Pick: NFL 2024 Regular Season MVP – Bryce Young (+10000) at BetOnline

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.