With the halfway point mark of the NFL regular season well in the rearview mirror now, the race to the postseason is now hotter than it has been all season long. As teams begin to distance themselves from the pack throughout November, so do a particular group of individuals as the 2019 MVP race is beginning to tighten. Let’s take a look at the top five contenders and where they sit with updated season NFL MVP betting odds via the online sportsbook BetOnline.
Russell Wilson Takes Lead in 2019 MVP Race
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson continued his winning ways with a clutch, overtime victory over Tampa Bay last Sunday, going 29 for 43 with 378 yards passing and 5 touchdowns on the day. With a porous defense and a receiving corps that lacks household names, the eight-year veteran continues to put the Seahawks on his shoulders with a current record of 7-2 and a standing of second place in the NFC West.
Using his world-class mobility, deep ball accuracy, and mental control of the offense, Wilson has the Seahawks in a much better spot than football enthusiasts and bettors initially projected at the beginning of the fall.
Seattle’s upcoming game against NFC West leading and still undefeated San Francisco on Monday Night will prove to be the one of 2019 biggest contests yet. A win over the league’s last unbeaten team will lock Wilson in as the favorite for the following week as well.
Texans and MVP Odds Trending Upward with Deshaun Watson
The Houston signal caller continues to be a human highlight reel. Racking up 22 completions on 28 attempts with 201 yards and two passing touchdowns against Jacksonville in London last week, the 24-year old has spearheaded the Texans to a record of 6-3 and a division lead, dropping jaws in the process.
Watson’s performance in 2019 seems to continuously trend up, as the Texans have now won back to back games behind his play and taken the division lead from the Colts, who handed Watson his last loss two weeks ago.
With 18 touchdowns to only five interceptions on the year, the former Clemson standout is doing much of this without a stellar defense to fall back on, as Houston has established itself as an offensive-based team (3rd best
total offense in the NFL) under Watson who can go blow for blow with anybody on the scoreboard.
Their bye taking place this Sunday, Houston’s next opponent comes in two weeks in the form of the red-hot Baltimore Ravens, so it will be on Watson to once again produce as he’ll be going toe-to-toe with the man who currently holds his exact same odds….
Ravens Stock Rising Under Explosive Play of Jackson
The multi-talented year two experiment is proving to be far more than a side project, as Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has electrified the league by storm with his legs and arm. Pairing Jackson’s dual threat talent with the efficiency of running back Mark Ingram out of the backfield has made Baltimore one of the toughest clubs in the league to prepare for, as even Bill Belichick and the elite New England defense had difficulty figuring Jackson out last Sunday, resulting in the 37-20 home victory for the Ravens.
Combining for 17 touchdowns this season (12 through the air, 5 on the ground), Jackson is showing not only why the Baltimore offense goes through him, but why he is skyrocketing up the NFL MVP future field.
Taking on fellow AFC North rival Cincinnati this coming week as 10-point favorites through, the Ravens are poised to continue this run under Jackson, who could see his price raise even more depending on how the rest of the field looks during the week 10 slate of action.
Rodgers’ Trajectory Stalled with Loss to Chargers, Remains in Race
The Packers fell back down to Earth this past Sunday as Green Bay ran into a stone wall in the form of the Los Angeles Chargers. After garnering attention with impressive winning performances over Oakland and Kansas City in back to back weeks, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was under heavy fire all afternoon from Chargers pass rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and could not find a consistent rhythm in the 26-11 loss.
The defeat comes in the wake of the Packers picking up steam the last month, and before the loss to LA Rodgers was the current favorite in NFL MVP odds. The foil of Lamar Jackson this week, Rodgers saw the biggest drop in odds for the most valuable player contenders.
Yet, his season totals remain impressive (2, 485 yards, 17 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 65.4 CMP %) and Green Bay should get back on track this week against Carolina at home. The Panthers, however, boast an MVP candidate in their own right who is sure to make his presence known…
McCaffrey Shines as Carolina’s Focal Point, Only Running Back in the Hunt
There is no debate that Christian McCaffrey has been the life source for the Panthers offense in 2019. The only player at his position to be in the conversation up to this point, McCaffrey’s MVP odds have reflected his dominance all year, especially as of late with the absence of quarterback Cam Newton.
With the news breaking Tuesday that Newton will be out for the remainder of the year with his foot injury, expect the heavy workload and high production of McCaffrey to continue as the 5-3 Panthers will be led by Kyle Allen at quarterback the rest of the way in 2019.
Fresh off a win over Tennessee, the Panthers hit the road to Lambeau field to take on a Packers squad looking for a bounce back this Sunday. The Chargers exposed Green Bay’s run defense at times last week, so don’t be surprised to once again find a heavy dose of #22 this week to keep Rodgers off the field and take time off the clock for the Carolina offense and defense.