NFL betting, odds: A midseason look at the end-of-season awards

Week 9 of the NFL season is in the books, which means we have officially reached the midway point of the regular season. It has been a truly bizarre first half. Scoring is way down and underdogs are cashing for bettors at a high rate. Teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all below .500. Teams like the New York Jets, New York Giants and the Seattle Seahawks all have six wins already.

Half a season is plenty of time for things to change, but it's also a good time to pause and take a look at the landscape around the league. Most awards still seem pretty wide open. What does the betting market say about the end of season awards with the league at its halfway point?

MVP

Josh Allen was the preseason favorite to win NFL MVP, and as recently as last week, it looked like he was on a path to pull away from the field. However, after a subpar performance in a loss to the Jets this past weekend, he's been pulled back to the pack. Allen was +110 to win NFL MVP a week ago. As of Tuesday, he's no longer the betting favorite. Here are the current MVP odds for the top five favorites at BetMGM:

Mahomes takes over as the betting favorite after he willed the Kansas City Chiefs to an overtime win against the Tennessee Titans. Hurts' Eagles are undefeated. Those two along with Allen seem to have separated themselves from the field and are all viewed as relative equals in terms of probability of winning MVP.

Lamar Jackson had another impressive performance in a road victory on Monday night. The biggest mover of the week is Tua Tagovailoa, who was 80-to-1 to win the award last week.

A look back at preseason betting will show that Russell Wilson was the second-most popular MVP bet at 14-to-1. Wilson is now 500-to-1. Tom Brady (then +800, now 125-to-1) and Kyler Murray (then 22-to-1, now 150-to-1) were also popular bets.

Offensive Player of the Year

Jalen Hurts remains the betting favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year, but he's hanging on by a string. The field is pretty wide open, with 12 players having odds of 25-to-1 or better:

Hurts and Tyreek Hill have pulled slightly ahead of the competition. Hill was +800 to win the award entering this past weekend. I'm not sure if it was his 7-143-1 performance on Sunday or my article from last week that moved the odds in his favor so much over the last week. He's on a record-setting pace.

Defensive Player of the Year

While most awards are still pretty wide open according to the oddsmakers, Defensive Player of the Year isn't viewed as one of them. Micah Parsons is a prohibitive -250 favorite to win the award at BetMGM.

Parsons has the exposure in Dallas and he's delivered with 20 pressures, 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles so far. He's a disturbance in every game he plays. He finished second in voting last year and he looks like a good bet to win it this year, though the price isn't very appealing.

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys stretches against the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Micah Parsons is a massive favorite to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Offensive Rookie of the Year

The market for offensive rookie of the year has been all over the place since the preseason. Names like Romeo Doubs, George Pickens and Skyy Moore had preseason hype. Jahan Dotson was the favorite after Week 1, but he hasn't done much since. Breece Hall looked like he was going to run away with the award before he tore his ACL. Doubs is out long-term now. Other popular bets like Treylon Burks and Jameson Williams have barely played (not at all in Williams' case) due to injury. Put that all in the wash, and these are the current top five favorites at BetMGM:

  • Kenneth Walker (+100)

  • Dameon Pierce (+175)

  • Chris Olave (+700)

  • Garrett Wilson (20-to-1)

  • Brian Robinson (28-to-1)

It's basically a two-horse race according to the oddsmakers, and to me, it feels like a last chance to bet Kenneth Walker at plus-money. Walker finally took over the backfield when Rashaad Penny went down and he's been tremendous. Pierce has been solid, but he plays on a bad team and won't get the attention down the stretch that Walker will get as the Seahawks play meaningful games.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Last season, Micah Parsons won Defensive Rookie of the Year and came in second place in Defensive Player of the Year. It was a rare accomplishment as it's not often a rookie comes in and is already one of the best players in the league. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is an even-money favorite to win defensive rookie of the year, and it's not too early to say he's one of the best cornerbacks in football.

  • Ahmad Gardner (+100)

  • Tariq Woolen (+250)

  • Aidan Hutchinson (11-to-1)

  • Devin Lloyd (16-to-1)

  • Jalen Pitre (18-to-1)

  • Jack Jones (18-to-1)

Woolen is having a tremendous season for the Seahawks and has four interceptions compared to just two for Gardner. However, Gardner has been better at limiting yards per target and reception. Gardner has not allowed a touchdown in coverage yet this season. I don't think Woolen is a terrible bet, but it feels like Gardner has the momentum here.

Comeback Player of the Year

Saquon Barkley had a massive performance in Week 1 and immediately became a sizable favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. He held that position for most of the year until just last week, when he was passed by Geno Smith. There are only six players with better than 100-to-1 odds:

  • Geno Smith (-135)

  • Saquon Barkley (+140)

  • Christian McCaffrey (11-to-1)

  • Derrick Henry (14-to-1)

  • Nick Gates (18-to-1)

  • Travis Etienne (25-to-1)

At this point, it's hard to deny Smith this award. He hasn't been a starting quarterback in this league for nearly a decade, when he was ruled a bust after struggling for the Jets. Now after years of sitting behind Russell Wilson, he becomes the starting quarterback and completes 73% of his passes while looking infinitely better than Wilson looks in Denver.

Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year is a narrative-driven award in every sport. Oftentimes, it's given to the coach of a team that people expected to be bad but actually isn't bad. Sometimes, it's given to a first year coach who oversees a significant turnaround. Nick Sirianni doesn't fit in those buckets, but he's still a significant betting favorite to win the award. Perhaps that leaves some value with some other names on this list:

  • Nick Sirianni (-130)

  • Kevin O'Connell (+700)

  • Pete Carroll (+700)

  • Brian Daboll (+800)

  • Robert Saleh (+900)

  • Mike McDaniel (12-to-1)

O'Connell and McDaniel are both in their first years and their teams are thriving. Carroll, Daboll and Saleh oversee the three most surprising teams in football. Of course, Sirianni is a big favorite for a reason. However, if the Eagles lose a couple games, does that open the door for someone else?