Week 12 NFL MVP Odds: Tom Brady Favored to Take Home the Hardware

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The 2021 NFL season has been rather unpredictable. They say the NFL has more parity than most of the other major American pro sports leagues, and what we’ve seen over the past few weeks in particular makes that look like an understatement. The Tennessee Titans had their six-game winning streak snapped at home by a Houston Texans that entered the game with one win on the year. The Titans have lost three games all year. Two of those defeats have come at the hands of the Texans and the Jets.

Cowboys-Chiefs was billed as the biggest game of Week 11. A potential shootout between Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott? What more could you ask for?

In the end, neither QB wound up throwing a touchdown pass in Kansas City’s rather boring 22-9 win over Dallas. The Colts beat the Bills by 26 points in Buffalo. The Vikings knocked off the mighty Packers thanks to some late heroics from Kirk Cousins. The Cardinals stormed into Seattle and knocked off the Seahawks with Colt McCoy under center. Nothing makes sense!

Of course, that’s part of what makes the NFL so fun. Nobody knows what to expect week-in and week-out. Week 12 should be a compelling one, as we’ve got Thursday’s three-game Thanksgiving slate before a standard full Sunday docket a few days later. The developments in Week 11 have shaken up the race for the MVP award, as well. Buffalo’s aforementioned setback means Josh Allen is no longer favored. For the first time, Tom Brady is alone as the favorite to win the award for the first time all year entering Week 12.

  • Tom Brady (+300)
  • Josh Allen (+600)
  • Matthew Stafford (+1000)
  • Aaron Rodgers (+1000)
  • Dak Prescott (+1000)
  • Kyler Murray (+1200)
  • Justin Herbert (+1200)
  • Patrick Mahomes (+1200)
  • Lamar Jackson (+1400)
  • Jonathan Taylor (+2000)
  • Cooper Kupp (+2500)
  • Kirk Cousins (+4000)

Brady on Top

While Week 11 included some strange results, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to avoid a letdown on Monday night. Tampa Bay snapped a two-game losing skid with an easy 30-10 win over an overmatched Giants squad at home. Brady was excellent, completing 30 of his 46 attempts for 307 yards with a couple of touchdown passes in the victory.

On the season, the ageless wonder is completing better than 67 percent of his throws for 3,177 yards with 29 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Brady leads all QBs in TDs, while he’s a close second to Mahomes in passing yards. Mahomes has played one more game, as well. The fact that Brady has been so efficient on this kind of high volume is nothing short of spectacular. I feel like we have to reiterate the fact that he’s putting up these incredible numbers at the age of 44.

Tampa Bay has thrown the ball on 67.02 percent of their snaps this season. Only the Jets, who are playing from behind literally every week, have been more pass-heavy. Brady got Rob Gronkowski back after a gnarly rib/lung injury in Week 11, while Antonio Brown is still sidelined with an ankle issue. Brady still has top-tier weapons at his disposal between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and there’s no reason to believe the Bucs can’t repeat as Super Bowl champions this year assuming they stay relatively healthy down the stretch.

The Bucs can’t afford to take their foot off the gas, which is likely good for Brady’s MVP chances. Tampa Bay is still only two games ahead of the Saints in the NFC South, though that injury-riddled New Orleans squad is teetering. The Buccaneers still have a little bit of ground to make up if they want to get into the race for the top overall playoff seed in the NFC, a race the Cardinals and Packers are currently leading by slim margin.

I’ve liked Brady’s MVP chances all year. I still think there is plenty of upside in the updated +300 odds.

Allen Falters

Josh Allen has been the betting favorite for the past few weeks, but I never fully bought that status. The Bills were expected by most to run away with the lackluster AFC East. However, entering Week 12, they’re suddenly looking up at the red-hot Patriots in that division. Buffalo is now just 6-4 with losses in two of their last three games.

They likely won’t be able to top the abysmal effort they put forth in that 9-6 loss in Jacksonville a few weeks ago, but the more recent game against Indianapolis was certainly close. Buffalo was never competitive in that 41-15 defeat. They trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 24-7 at halftime while conceding at least 10 points in each of the first three quarters. The defense was a big issue, as the Bills could do nothing to keep Jonathan Taylor under wraps.

However, the offense wasn’t able to do much of anything, either. Allen was picked off twice while completing 21 of his 35 throws for 209 yards. His QB rating of 72.2 was his second-worst in any game all year. On the season, Allen has completed 65.7 percent of his attempts for 2,811 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also has a rushing component to his game that Brady doesn’t. The Bills’ signal-caller has carried the ball another 61 times for 340 yards with three scores.

Even with the rushing advantage, I don’t really think Allen’s numbers compare all that favorably to Brady’s. I don’t think Allen has a prayer of winning MVP if the Bills wind up settling for a Wild Card spot, either. The Bills are clearly more talented on paper than the Patriots are, yet they haven’t shown much consistency at all in recent weeks. Allen’s MVP case isn’t dead, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning the funeral. I’ll pass on Allen at +600.

Could Taylor Actually Win MVP?

We don’t often see non-quarterbacks win MVP in the NFL. The last non-QB to win the award was Adrian Peterson back in 2012. All Peterson had to do that year was come close to breaking the all-time single-season rushing record. Non-QBs need to reach great statistical heights in order to even receive consideration for the award.

Perhaps Jonathan Taylor Is Making a Case for Himself

The second-year pro was unstoppable last week against Buffalo, as he carried the ball 32 times for 185 yards with five total touchdowns in the Colts’ aforementioned thrashing of the Bills. On the season, Taylor has already crossed the 1,100-yard threshold with a healthy average of 5.8 yards per carry. He leads all running backs in rushing yards, big plays (20-plus rushing yard plays), touchdowns, and rushing first downs. Derrick Henry, who won’t play another game this season, is the only other back in the league averaging at least 100 rushing yards per game. Taylor has now found the end zone in every game since Week 4, as well.

Taylor has an outside chance at breaking Eric Dickerson’s long-standing single-season rushing record, but the new schedule means Taylor will have one extra game under his belt. Voters won’t be fooled by that. The Colts are now 6-5 on the year, which is no small feat following an 0-3 start to the year. Taylor has been the crux of Indy’s midseason surge, though they’re still a couple of games adrift of Tennessee in the AFC South standings. Indianapolis was also swept in the season series by Tennessee, which would make winning the division an even more momentous accomplishment for the Colts.

Taylor may well be the best healthy running back in football, but running backs rarely garner serious MVP consideration. Taylor has played his way into the race, and I suppose the current +2000 odds are worth a flier if you’re feeling frisky. It’s still incredibly hard for a running back to win this award, though. Taylor may receive some votes, but he’s going to have to close the season in a truly insane fashion if he is to have any real chance of actually winning MVP.

Struggling Contenders

As of now, it’s hard to say whether Brady has much legitimate competition for MVP. Matthew Stafford (+1000) still has the third-best odds, but the Rams entered their Week 11 bye on a two-game losing streak. LA will have road games at Green Bay and Arizona in two of the next three weeks, so perhaps Stafford can play his way back into the MVP conversation if he bounces back. For now, he looks like a fringe contender at his current odds.

Kyler Murray has missed the past couple of games with an injury. Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott both lost in Week 11, though Rodgers played fairly well in his second game off the Covid list. I’ve always been skeptical of Rodgers’ chances this season after winning the award last year, however. I still think Prescott looks like the better option at the same +1000 odds, but the Cowboys have lost two of their last three games, too.

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have won four straight games to get back on top in the AFC West, but Mahomes didn’t exactly light the scoreboard on fire in KC’s win over Prescott’s Cowboys. Mahomes was held without a touchdown pass for the second time all year. While his odds have improved considerably from where they were just a handful of weeks ago, I still think he’s going to have to finish the season with a series of huge performances if he wants to truly have a shot at winning MVP for a second time. It’s not impossible, but this still doesn’t look like the same dominant offense we’ve seen over the past few years.

Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a dramatic win over the Steelers on Sunday night, but only after LA blew a pretty sizable fourth-quarter lead. Herbert likely has at least one MVP trophy in his future, but I’m not at all convinced he’ll win it this year.

Best NFL MVP Bets Entering Week 12

At this point, the MVP is Tom Brady’s to lose. The future Hall-of-Famer has won three regular-season MVPs over the course of his illustrious career, along with five more Super Bowl MVP trophies. We’re still only a little past the halfway point of the season, but I think Brady is very clearly the deserving frontrunner at this point.

The best MVP bets entering the 12th week of the regular season are listed below:

  1. Tom Brady (+300)
  2. Dak Prescott (+1000)
  3. Matthew Stafford (+1000)
  4. Patrick Mahomes (+1200)
  5. Josh Allen (+600)
  6. Kyler Murray (+1200)
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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