Sean Pendergast

Facing Possible Suspension, Deshaun Watson Falling in Latest 2022 NFL MVP Odds

A decision on Deshaun Watson's punishment, if any, may be coming soon.
A decision on Deshaun Watson's punishment, if any, may be coming soon. Screen grab from YouTube
We are now, finally, in the phase of the NFL offseason where the dust settles a little bit. After a spring where we saw no fewer than a half dozen franchise altering trades, trades of franchise quarterbacks and marquee wide receivers, we can finally sit back and assess things, as teams head into OTA's. There are a number of ways to measure just what impact experts expect the big maneuvers to have, and one of those methods is to take a good look at the latest odds for NFL Most Valuable Player in 2022.

These latest odds are one just one way to decipher what all just happened, and what we expect the fallout to be from trades, free agency signings, and, yes, even looming suspensions (what up, Deshaun!). In fact, let's start there, with Deshaun Watson. First, though, here are the latest NFL MVP odds, courtesy of BetOnlineag:
Justin Herbert 11/2
Josh Allen 6/1
Patrick Mahomes 9/1
Joe Burrow 11/1
Aaron Rodgers 14/1
Tom Brady 14/1
Russell Wilson 16/1
Deshaun Watson 18/1
Jalen Hurts 18/1
Derek Carr 20/1
Matthew Stafford 20/1
Dak Prescott 25/1
Lamar Jackson 25/1
Kyler Murray 33/1
Matt Ryan 33/1
Trey Lance 33/1
Tua Tagovailoa 33/1
Kirk Cousins 40/1
Derrick Henry 50/1
Mac Jones 50/1
Cooper Kupp 66/1
Jonathan Taylor 66/1
Justin Fields 66/1
Trevor Lawrence 66/1
Baker Mayfield 100/1
Carson Wentz 100/1
Christian McCaffrey 100/1
Davante Adams 100/1
Deebo Samuel 100/1
Zach Wilson 100/1
Alvin Kamara 150/1
Ja'Marr Chase 150/1
Jameis Winston 150/1
Jimmy Garoppolo 150/1
Ryan Tannehill 150/1
T.J. Watt 150/1
Dalvin Cook 200/1
Austin Ekeler 250/1
Myles Garrett 250/1
Nick Chubb 250/1
OK, let's get to the storylines, starting with Watson:

Watson's MVP odds have tumbled to 18/1 since March 14
On March 14, with a grand jury having recently ruled they would not be prosecuting Watson criminally on the various accusations of sexual misconduct from numerous massage therapists, Watson's odds rose from 40/1 to 10/1, without even knowing what team he would be traded to. Since then, the smoke seems to indicate that there will be some sort of suspension coming down imminently for Watson, as the league wraps up its investigation. The oddsmakers seem to think the suspension will be enough to affect his MVP odds, but remove him from the board entirely. I think anything more than a two or three game suspension, and Watson would pretty much mathematically be eliminated from MVP consideration, as if the accusations alone against him already don't factor in to writers staying off voting for Watson for MVP for at least the upcoming season.

Justin Herbert is the favorite, and that plays into a trend
I've made this point many times — the lest value on NFL MVP odds boards are usually with an ascending second or third year quarterback. In recent years, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have won the award in their second season in the league, and Carson Wentz and Josh Allen both made good runs at the award in recent seasons. This season, it seems like Herbert is the chic choice, but he is anything BUT good value as the overall favorite on the board. I like Joe Burrow more at 11/1 than I do Herbert at 11/2. If we are taking a flyer, Trey Lance in his first year as a starter in San Francisco at 33/1 might be worth looking at.

No 2022 rookies made this odds board
Unlike the rookie class of 2021, where all five quarterbacks taken in the first round are somewhere to be found on the odds board in 2022, and most of them were at least long shots on the board in 2021, this season's rookie class is shut out, as of middle of May, on MVP odds. The only quarterback who might have gotten a sniff as a long shot would have been Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, the only quarterback drafted in the first round, but this board is a staunch depiction of this year's rookie class' reputation —- meat and potatoes, with the strength along the offensive line and on defense, not exactly positions ticketed for the league's highest honor.

Other noteworthy odds moves
Here are a few other odds swings that clearly define storyline directions, with odds on March 14 and odds as of the chart listed above:

* AARON RODGERS, from 12/1 to 14/1
When your team trades your leading receiver and there is no Plan B, then your MVP odds take a hit, even when you've won the last two MVP awards

* DEREK CARR, from 33/1 to 20/1
Conversely, when you are the recipient of said receiver, that's a good thing for a QB

* MATT RYAN, from 100/1 to 33/1
When you get traded from one of the worst teams in the league to a Super Bowl dark horse, good things happen

* TUA TAGOVAILOA. from 200/1 to 33/1
A combination of a new head coach and acquiring Tyreek Hill have people optimistic about Tua

* ZACH WILSON, from Off The Board to 100/1
The Jets had one of the best drafts in football, acquiring a future starting wide receiver, running back, and tight end. Now, they need their starting quarterback to get it in gear

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast