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NFL predictions: Super Bowl MVP picks

By Action Network,


It takes some real prognostication chops to accurately predict the Super Bowl MVP, which has gone to a player on the winning side all but one time in the 56-year history of the Super Bowl. It takes a little luck, too.

What was once a quarterbacks’ award has shifted in recent years, with wide receivers and even two linebackers taking home the honors over the last decade. With so much talent on the field between the Eagles and Chiefs, who can we expect to emerge as this year’s Super Bowl MVP?

Brief history of Super Bowl MVP

To get a better sense of who might win this year, it helps to know who has won in the past and how those games led them to that point.

Historically, the award mostly has been won by quarterbacks, as is the case with just about any top individual honor in the NFL. Signal-callers have won Super Bowl MVP in 31 of 56 title games, including nine times in the last 13 years and four out of the last six.

Some of the recent outliers loom large, though. Cooper Kupp was one of the most-bet players to win the award last year and made good on that with eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including a goal-line grab in the final minutes to win it for the Rams. It was the same story with Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who rewarded bettors’ faith with a game-high 10 catches and 141 yards in 2019.
Cooper Kupp
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The common link between those two? Shoddy quarterback play. Edelman became just the second Patriot to beat out Tom Brady for the award, as Brady’s final stat line (262 yards, one interception) hadn’t earned it. The same went last year for Matthew Stafford (283 yards, three touchdowns,, two interceptions), who was simply too inefficient with the ball to win the coveted award.

Ditto for the two defensive players — Denver’s Von Miller and Seattle’s Malcolm Smith — to win the award in the last decade, the only non-QBs outside of Kupp and Edelman. Miller led a dominant Broncos defense that helped offset subpar play from Peyton Manning (141 yards, one interception), while Smith finished with a pick-six and a fumble recovery in a game in which Russell Wilson (206 yards, two touchdowns) simply wasn’t needed.

Get the lowdown on the Best USA Sports Betting Sites and Apps Who will win Super Bowl 57 MVP?

It should come as no surprise to see Patrick Mahomes (+130) and Jalen Hurts (+130) dealing as co-favorites to win Super Bowl MVP at FanDuel, as it’ll almost certainly come down to one of those two at the end.

There are some other intriguing options on the board that are at least worth mentioning. Travis Kelce (16/1) is a one-man wrecking crew for the Chiefs and has been virtually unstoppable this postseason, while Eagles wideout A.J. Brown (18/1) has been a security blanket for Hurts all season and will be a mismatch for Kansas City’s secondary all game long.

There’s defensive upside in the matchup, too. Pass-rusher Haason Reddick (34/1) was arguably the most important player for the Eagles in their win last week; you could say the same about Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (50/1), who has made his presence felt in Super Bowls before.
Haason Reddick
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Ultimately, though, the award boils down to two simple questions: Will the winning quarterback avoid throwing a critical interception or two? And if he does, will the game be competitive enough to prevent a defensive player from getting credit for a one-sided win?

If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then the award will go to a quarterback. My money’s on Hurts, as I just don’t see how the Chiefs will contend with this indefensible Eagles run game, anchored by one of the most dominant offensive lines we’ve seen in years. But if he can’t keep his powder dry for four quarters, then history tells us the market is truly wide open.

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