The excitement builds heading into the National Football League playoff season. Each game grows in intensity for the fans of those teams, priming themselves for a Super Bowl run. As the regular season rolls on towards the end, there are also players looking to earn individual honors.

One of the most coveted awards in the NFL is the one that signifies the Most Valuable Player. The MVP signifies the player whose season-long performance was so outstanding that his team’s success depended upon it.

Here’s what we think of the MVP race with three weeks left in the regular season. We’ll touch on some strong candidates and a couple dark horses who might steal the show with heroic final week performances.  You can find live NFL MVP Odds on Lineups.com. With sports betting legal in a number of US states, you can legally bet on the NFL MVP from your phone or computer. One of my favorite sites that focuses on NFL props is Monkey Knife Fight. It’s like a hybrid between daily fantasy and sports betting. If you sign up, you can get a free $10 bet + up to a $500 first deposit bonus. Use the Lineups.com Monkey Knife Fight Promo Code “LINEUPS” for the highest offer. Now back to who will win MVP.

The Leading Candidates

Like any other type of sports wager, good advice is the same. While it’s nice to show an affinity for your favorite team or player to win more than you lose, you need to bet with your head not your heart. That said, here are a couple players whose performance places them as the leading candidates to haul home the post season hardware for MVP.

Lamar Jackson This one is pretty simple. When you take a team not even projected to win your division prior to the first kickoff, and load them up on your back to the best record in your conference, you’re MVP worthy. Lamar Jackson is so much a contender, he holds the only favorable odds in the entire field.

At -5000, Jackson should at the very least be a cover up bet if you’re looking to score big on any dark horse contender. But, stats can be a final determining factor. Jackson ranks only 20th in the NFL in passing offense, but first in one huge category; TDs with 33.

Now, 20th in passing might not appear to be MVP worthy. But Jackson dominates with his legs as well. He is 8th in the NFL in rushing yards, plus tacks another 7 scores on to his 28 passing TDs. Only Deshaun Watson has as many rushing TDs as a quarterback.

Russell Wilson Wilson has led the Seahawks to what appeared to be a locomotive-type steamrolling of the NFC. Well, the Rams had other ideas for the Seahawk express and derailed them in week #14.

Wilson is eighth in the NFL in passing and tied for second in that all-important football category; touchdowns. However, a modest performance against the Rams in a huge game, one with no touchdowns either, may have dropped Wilson’s +1500 MVP appeal. He has only five picks on the year as well, but one of them was in this same 16 point loss.

 

The Dark Horses

Well, it would be wrong not to mention our dark horse candidates are a pair of quarterbacks who invariably get mentioned when we discuss the GOAT. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have each produced career numbers worthy of being labeled the greatest of all time at the QB position.

However, both have looked anything like world-beaters at times this year. However, both have their teams prime for playoff runs. Both teams are looking at first-round bye weeks. With some help from other teams, Green Bay and New England could be the paths their respective conference finals must pass.

Brady is 6th in passing offense and Rodgers is 11th. Each has thrown for over 3,000 yards with Brady +12,000 looking at a chance of surpassing the 4,000 yard mark. Brady has a good TD to interception ratio. Rodger’s is spectacular.

Aaron Rodgers’s 23 to two, touchdown to picked-off numbers, are tremendous. Green Bay still has an outside chance to host the NFC round, but one big knock against Rodgers is the one game he fell flat in.

The Packers will lose the home field tiebreaker to San Francisco after the 49ers manhandled them 37 to 8. Rodgers at +6,000 has the stat line to be considered an MVP, but some untimely performances leave both him and Brady as definite dark horse MVP candidates.

Even though the Baltimore defense has been devastating, the MVP is an individual player award. Accounting for 40 scores from the quarterback position is an outstanding season. Jackson still has three important games remaining to help these blackbirds secure home field advantage and cement his spot for the Most Valuable Player.

If he continues to play at his ultimate level, and the AFC playoffs end up running through Baltimore, Maryland, you can bet on someone else to win the MVP. However, there are also excellent charitable causes this holiday season that would be deemed equally worthy of your financial donations.