Why isn't Jalen Hurts favored to win 2022 NFL MVP?

Why isn't Hurts favored to win 2022 NFL MVP? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Week 9 of the NFL season is in the books, and the contenders are separating themselves from the pretenders. The Eagles are the lone unbeaten team, and just one team – the Vikings, who they have already beaten – is within two games of them in the standings.

Jalen Hurts has led the Eagles’ offense, and they are firing on all cylinders. They rank second in the league in points per game (28.1), and fourth in total yards (391.0). In spite of that, Hurts ranks a distant third when looking at odds for NFL MVP.

Let’s take a look at the odds, and what each candidate has done this season.

(All odds courtesy PointsBet)

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB (+155 to win MVP)

The 2018 MVP is turning it on again, leading the NFL in passing yards per game – by 25 yards! – on the heels of two straight 400-yard games.  But a closer look at Sunday’s OT win over the Titans shows Mahomes threw 68 passes. That’s two games’ worth of throws. Meanwhile, he’s outside the top ten in the league in completion percentage, and has a loss to the lowly Colts on his resume.

Josh Allen, Bills QB (+225)

Another top candidate with some big numbers, as well as some warts on his resume. Allen ranks second to Mahomes in passing yards per game (300.4) and passing TD (19), but he’s also tied for second in interceptions (8) and ranks 20th in the league in completion % (64.1), behind Andy Dalton, Daniel Jones, and Trevor Lawrence.

Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB (+275)

He runs the offense for the league’s lone unbeaten team, ranks in the top-6 in the league in yards per passing attempt (8.5), completion % (68.2), passer rating (107.8), and interception % (0.8). So why isn’t he the odds-on favorite? Good question. The counting stats aren’t quite there, even if you factor in what he’s able to do when he tucks and runs with the ball. If you factor in rushing stats for all QBs, he still ranks behind Allen and Mahomes in total TD (18) and total yards per game (296.0).

All that said, if the season heads into December and the Eagles still have a zero in their loss column, expect these odds to shorten significantly. If you think that might be the case, you can get great value betting on Hurts now.

Lamar Jackson, Ravens QB (+1400)

Jackson and everyone else in the league is, as they say in horse racing, up the track. Jackson’s passing numbers are seriously lacking, and, regardless of how much he’s to blame, his team should probably be 8-0. They’ve led by at least ten points in every game this season. They’re 5-3, and their last three wins were by a total of ten points.

Joe Burrow, Bengals QB (+1800)

Burrow is having a solid season, ranking second in the league in total TD (22) and completion % (70.0). the next three weeks will go a long way toward writing the story arc for Burrow and his team. A revenge game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers, on the road to face the Titans, then back home to host Mahomes and the Chiefs. A 3-0 run there could put him in the hunt.