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Shutdown Corner

NFL MVP odds from Bovada offer some surprising numbers ... and some duds

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stretches during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stretches during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

As we've said before in this space, we're not in the business of dishing out gambling advice. 

For one, we're just not good at it. And two, it's a bit taboo. 

But either way, Las Vegas lines and odds can be fascinating looks at the NFL, or any sport for that matter. They're set based on the house hedging and protecting themselves as much as possible from a betting standpoint, but that in turn is based on public perception and how the betting public views the NFL.

So with that in mind, let's mow through some of Bovada's NFL MVP numbers for the 2014 season, and we'll break them down into small groups and go from there ...

Peyton Manning                        3/1
Drew Brees                               11/2
Aaron Rodgers                          15/2
Tom Brady                                9/1
Andrew Luck                             16/1

The big dogs. And if you asked me to pick an MVP today, it would come from this quintet. I likely would pick Rodgers. He's 30 years old, was on pace for about 5,000 yards (and about nine turnovers) last season when he got hurt, has terrific weapons and could be in the best shape of his life this season. Manning will get all the love, but Rodgers seems like a heady choice to me. (But you've got me, right? This is not betting advice. It's not even real-world advice. Just one football guy talkin' ball ...)

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Jay Cutler                                 20/1
Matthew Stafford                      20/1
Colin Kaepernick                       25/1
Cam Newton                             25/1
Russell Wilson                          25/1
Robert Griffin III                         25/1

This is where there's a fairly interesting dropoff. Kind of stunned that Cutler and Stafford, two talented but somewhat maligned guys (generally speaking) in the public eye, are ahead of new-schoolers such as Kaep, Cam, Russ and RG3. You can make a case for any of them to win MVP in the right circumstances, but boy, doesn't Wilson make the most sense of these six given the environment he has around him? That's just me riffing though ... 

LeSean McCoy                          25/1
Adrian Peterson                        25/1
Calvin Johnson                         25/1

OK, the fantasy football elite here, and the first wave of non-quarterbacks. McCoy is dreaming of 2,000 yards this season, and his quarterback Nick Foles would have to do something pretty dramatic (and improve on his statistically eye-popping season from a year ago) to be a real candidate. So Shady makes some sense. Peterson beat out Manning two years ago, and he's a cyborg, so that too is eminently possible. Calvin Johnson is Megatron. He also knows a little something about the 2K yardage mark. All shockingly legit choices, and maybe even higher (in non-betting reality) than some of the QBs listed right above them.

Matt Ryan                                 33/1
Nick Foles                                40/1
Ben Roethlisberger                    50/1
Eli Manning                               50/1
Philip Rivers                              50/1
Tony Romo                               50/1

These bets, to me, strike me as the drunk Falcons/Eagles/Steelers/Giants/Chargers/Cowboys options for the fan who wagers with their heart (or their liver?) and not their head. No offense to these talented quarterbacks, all of whom have blown up a few scoreboards the past few seasons. But they're just not strong bets, I'd venture to guess. But yeah, if Romo can overcome everything he's dealing with down in Dallas, give him the MVP, elect him to the Texas state senate and give him his choice of second wives. I'm down with it.

Marshawn Lynch                        50/1
Demaryius Thomas                    66/1
Matt Forte                                 66/1
Jamaal Charles                          66/1
Dez Bryant                                66/1
Brandon Marshall                      66/1
Julio Jones                               66/1

A few off-the-wall options. Lynch is a tough call — as good as he is, he's capable, but will he win the sentimental vote with the media without actually speaking to them during a season? A good dark horse here might be Charles, who might have to do some serious lifting for the Chiefs this season and largely has shown he's capable of such things.

Jimmy Graham                          66/1

The first tight end on the list. Wait, we're emailing Stephen Burbank on this first.

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Browns rookie Johnny Manziel at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Browns rookie Johnny Manziel at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Johnny Manziel                         100/1
Joe Flacco                                100/1
Andy Dalton                              100/1
Eddie Lacy                               100/1
Arian Foster                              100/1
Rob Gronkowski                       100/1

Look at this amazing cast of characters. Seriously, someone put these six men in a room and lock them in — with cameras rolling and oxygen and house music flowing freely — for days on end. Tell me Dalton and Manziel would not want to strangle each other after spending an hour together. It would be amazing. I have no idea if any of these guys are real candidates for this award, but this little crew can come to my summer BBQ any darned time they want. There should be a rule for this sub-section: If you bet in Vegas on any of these guys to win and you later party with them in Vegas — regardless of whether they win MVP or not — you automatically triple your money. 

Alex Smith                                150/1
Alfred Morris                             150/1
C.J. Spiller                                150/1
Antonio Brown                          150/1

... aaaaaaaand, I just fell asleep.

DeMarco Murray                        200/1
Frank Gore                                200/1

Wait a sec. Neither guy is winning it, let's be honest, but you're telling me I can bet a dollar and potentially come away with two hondo if one of these cats does win it?! In Vegas terms, that's money pretty well spent ...

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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