Hopefully you realized last week that C.J. Stroud was already in the NFL MVP conversation.
That's when Stroud's odds were still really long, even though there was a good case to be made that he was one big game away from everyone else noticing that he was a candidate. Then Stroud threw for 356 yards and led a game-winning drive in an upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Stroud did so on the road without No. 1 receiver Nico Collins and also running back Dameon Pierce.
That game led to more pundits declaring Stroud was in the MVP conversation, and that's never good for the odds.
Stroud's MVP odds saw a massive drop after his last impressive performance, and they'll probably continue to trend that way.
C.J. Stroud's MVP odds drop again
Last week, Stroud's odds went from 250-to-1 to 125-to-1 at BetMGM. On Monday, those odds were chopped to 30-to-1.
Stroud's odds probably should be even shorter. There are six players at shorter than 30-to-1 odds to win MVP:
Patrick Mahomes +275
Jalen Hurts +300
Tua Tagovailoa +600
Lamar Jackson +600
Josh Allen +1400
Joe Burrow +1800
No offense to anyone on that list, but they all have their flaws. Burrow, for example, had a bad first month of the season and was just outplayed by Stroud at home on Sunday in a loss. An argument can be made Stroud ranks ahead of all of them after 10 weeks of the season.
There are some understandable hangups over giving Stroud his due as an MVP candidate. He's not a familiar, comfortable name in that race, which is why so many have been slow to even acknowledge he's in the conversation for the award.
But he has a great argument, and the odds are catching up to that.
Stroud will have a tough time winning
The argument against Stroud is twofold: He's a rookie and the Texans are no lock to make the playoffs. The only rookie to win NFL MVP was Jim Brown in 1957. The last MVP from a non-playoff team was O.J. Simpson in 1973. He's battling a lot of history. It would be easier to vote for someone like Mahomes than a historical outlier like Stroud.
But at some point Stroud's play and the lack of a runaway favorite is hard to deny. Stroud is second in the NFL with 2,626 passing yards and his 15-2 TD-to-INT ratio is by far the best in the NFL. Stroud has dragged a Texans team that was expected to be among the worst in the NFL to a 5-4 record. He has led two last-minute, game-winning drives in the last two weeks.
Hopefully voters keep an open mind if Stroud plays at this level the rest of the season. Forget the history, Stroud has a great case as MVP. It has been a long, long time since that could be said about a rookie.