It’s good to be Dak Prescott right about now. The 28-year-old is back to full strength after suffering a gnarly leg injury last year, and he’s in the first year of a massive new contract that will pay him about $160 million over the course of the next four seasons. Prescott has also led the resurgent Dallas Cowboys to a 5-1 record through the first six games of the new campaign, including a thrilling come-from-behind, overtime win in New England on Sunday afternoon.
Frankly, it’s impossible to imagine the Cowboys blowing the NFC East this point. Dallas is the only team in the division with a record of .500 or better. Each of the other three teams – New York, Washington, and Philadelphia – are 2-4 or worse heading into Week 7. The Cowboys have now won five straight games following their close Week 1 loss in Tampa, and they’re suddenly a -1000 favorite to win the division at season’s end. The Bills, who are atop the comparably woeful AFC East, are the only team with more favorable division odds as of now.
NFL betting sites have updated their MVP odds heading into the seventh week of the regular season, and we suddenly have a new co-favorite. Prescott and Arizona’s Kyler Murray are both now listed at +450 to win the award, while a few others are still very much in the hunt. This is shaping up to be a fascinating race that could legitimately come down to the wire. Below are the up-to-date NFL MVP odds as we prepare for Week 7.
Dak Prescott (+450)
Kyler Murray (+450)
Josh Allen (+500)
Tom Brady (+800)
Lamar Jackson (+1200)
Matthew Stafford (+1200)
Aaron Rodgers (+1200)
Justin Herbert (+1400)
Patrick Mahomes (+1800)
Derrick Henry (+2500)
Kirk Cousins (+5000)
Teddy Bridgewater (+5000)
Davante Adams (+6500)
Derek Carr (+6500)
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the NFL’s marquee franchises. If they’re good, the quarterback is almost always going to generate some MVP buzz. At this point, it’s fair to say that the Cowboys are for real. The lone loss on Dallas’ ledger to this point was a two-point setback in Week 1 against the reigning Super Bowl champs. Since then, Dallas has reeled off five consecutive wins over the Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, Giants, and Patriots. That isn’t the most daunting set of opponents, but you can only play the teams on your schedule. So far, Dallas has taken care of business.
Prescott certainly has the numbers to make an MVP case, too. On Sunday, the former fourth-round pick completed 36 of his 51 pass attempts for a season-high 445 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
In all, Dak has completed a career-best 73.1 percent of his throws for 1,813 yards with 16 touchdowns to four INTs. His QB rating of 115 is easily the best mark of his career, as well.
Prescott’s 445 passing yards on Sunday in Foxborough were the most any quarterback has ever thrown for against a team coached by Bill Belichick. That’s a 383-game sample we’re talking about, so it’s no fluke. For all of the team’s faults, the Patriots do still have a very talented and stout defense. You won’t find many QBs out there capable of dominating that unit the way Prescott did in Week 6.
Given the fact that they play in the NFC East, the Cowboys have plenty of winnable games left on the schedule. Dallas has a bye this week before three consecutive games against Minnesota, Denver, and Atlanta. There are really only two games left on the schedule that look remotely daunting. Dak and the ‘Boys will head to Arrowhead for what should be a fun one against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 11. In Week 17, the Cowboys will welcome Kyler Murray’s Cardinals to the Death Star. Whichever QB winds up winning that game may well go on to take home MVP honors.
Kyler’s Cardinals Still Unbeaten
Another week, another win for Arizona. The Cardinals didn’t have much trouble at all on Sunday against the shorthanded Browns. The Cardinals were playing without head coach Kliff Kingsbury but still managed to breeze their way to a 37-14 win on the road. Kyler Murray had yet another big day, finishing with 229 yards passing and four touchdowns to no interceptions.
Murray’s overall numbers are comparable to Prescott’s. The former No. 1 overall pick is also averaging a career-best completion rate (73.8 percent) with 1,741 passing yards and 14 touchdowns and four INTs. Murray has been a massive threat with his legs through his first two NFL campaigns, but the Cardinals haven’t needed him to do much damage in that regard so far this season. Murray has only rushed for 116 yards on 37 attempts this year, though he has found the end zone three more times in the ground. He’s averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, which is exactly half of what he averaged on 133 attempts a season ago.
Kyler Murray might not be even 5'10 but he's 6-0 right now, folks.
Unlike the Cowboys, however, the Cardinals can’t afford to take their foot off the gas. The NFC West race is going to be a barn burner. Despite their 6-0 start, Arizona is still just a game in front of the 5-1 Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers and Seahawks have gotten off to surprisingly ragged starts, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see either team get it together as the year progresses.
Murray should be in for another big game this week when the Cardinals welcome the lowly Houston Texans to town, but the schedule gets considerably more daunting after that. Arizona will host the Green Bay Packers next Thursday night before contests against San Francisco, Carolina, and Seattle. How the team fares during that stretch could determine Murray’s long-term viability as an MVP frontrunner this season.
Lamar Trending Up
Lamar Jackson hasn’t garnered much MVP buzz since he won the award back in 2019, but don’t count him out just yet. Jackson and the Ravens matched up with another MVP hopeful in Justin Herbert and the Chargers on Sunday afternoon. The game was expected to be one of the best of the week between a pair of 4-1 teams, but, in the end, it was no contest whatsoever.
Baltimore cruised to a 34-6 win in a game that was pretty much over by halftime. Jackson completed 19 of his 27 throws for 167 yards and a touchdown, but the Ravens’ running game did most of the work. Baltimore rushed for 187 yards and three scores, with Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and Le’Veon Bell all finding the end zone.
Jackson didn’t have much to do with that victory, but his Ravens are still off to a 5-1 start. Through six weeks, Jackson is completing a career-high 67.5 percent of his throws for 1,686 yards with nine touchdowns to five interceptions. His passing numbers aren’t likely to compare to those of guys like Prescott, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers over the course of the season, but he makes up for it with his work on the ground. Lamar has already rushed for nearly 400 yards with a couple of touchdowns on the ground, and he’s averaging north of six yards per carry for the third straight year.
Baltimore is now favored to win the AFC North, but it won’t be easy. Joe Burrow has the Bengals off to a 4-2 start, while the Steelers have won two straight following a rough 1-3 beginning of their own. Cleveland has been up-and-down early on, but they can’t be counted out just yet. This division is quietly shaping up to be one of the most interesting in football as the season moves forward. Baltimore looks like the best team as of now, but a lot can change between now and January.
I’d still much rather bet on the likes of Prescott, Murray, or Brady to win the award this season, but Jackson shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
Herbert’s Odds Plummet
About a week ago at this time, Justin Herbert was among the betting favorites to capture league MVP. The second-year signal-caller had the Chargers off to an impressive 4-1 start and looking like the team to beat in the AFC West. Now, just a few days later, things look quite different. Herbert struggled tremendously as the Chargers mustered just six points in their blowout loss in Baltimore. LA’s lead over the Chiefs in the division has already shrunk to just one game, and NFL betting sites have since reinstalled Kansas City as a slight favorite. The Chiefs are now at +110 to win the West, while the Chargers dipped to +130.
Herbert Had No Answers for the Ravens on Sunday
The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year completed 22 of his 39 throws for just 195 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was the first time all year that Herbert was held under 200 yards passing, and his 67.8 QB rating was easily his worst of the year.
There was just nothing going on for this offense. The running game did him no favors, either, as he, Austin Ekeler, and Josh Kelley combined for just 26 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Herbert’s odds have fallen all the way to +1400, which looks like a pretty good buy-low opportunity. Sunday’s game was a clunker, but teams have clunkers every now and then. West coast teams traveling all the way across the country are particularly prone to enduring stinkers. On the season, the 23-year-old has still thrown for nearly 1,800 yards with 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions. The Bolts should be able to bounce back from their lackluster showing with a winnable home game against New England in Week 7 before contests against the Eagles, Vikings, Steelers, and Broncos. None of the teams they’ll face before traveling to Cincinnati on December 5 is currently above .500.
Herbert now has the eighth-best MVP odds of any player, which is quite a dip considering he was tied for the third-best odds just a week ago.
Brady Doing Brady Things
The Buccaneers predictably had no issue last Thursday night in a 28-22 win over the Eagles. Tom Brady didn’t have his best game, but he’s still on pace to enjoy arguably his best statistical season ever at the age of 44. That alone will keep him relevant in the MVP race all year long, assuming he can stay healthy.
Through six weeks, Tom Terrific has already racked up over 2,000 passing yards with 17 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Two of those picks came back in Week 1 against Dallas. One was a tipped pass that fell into the hands of a defender, and the other was a Hail Mary attempt at the end of the first half. So, the INT he threw to Philly’s Anthony Harris was Brady’s first *real* interception all year.
Much like Dallas, Tampa Bay is a team that will see very little divisional resistance. The Bucs are off to a 5-1 start, with the lone loss coming a couple of weeks ago against a 5-1 Rams team. The schedule also shapes up very nicely, with no games against teams with winning records until a highly-anticipated showdown with Josh Allen’s Bills on December 12.
Brady still only has the fourth-best MVP odds of any player at +800, which seems a little ridiculous considering his age. Now is as good a time as any to take a shot on the future Hall-of-Famer’s MVP odds.
Best MVP Bets Entering Week 7
The MVP odds have been steadily fluctuating all season long. Just last week, Josh Allen had established himself as the new favorite. Now, on the heels of a close loss in Nashville, Allen has fallen to No. 3 behind the co-favorites, Prescott and Murray.
The new 17-game schedule means we’ll surely see no shortage of new passing records set before the season comes to a close. As a result, the MVP race is shaping up to be a doozy. I don’t think you can necessarily go wrong with betting on any of the current favorites, while Herbert and Patrick Mahomes are still intriguing buy-low fliers.
Here’s how I’ll rank the best MVP bets entering the seventh week of the 2021 season:
Dak Prescott (+450)
Tom Brady (+800)
Kyler Murray (+450)
Josh Allen (+500)
Justin Herbert (+1400)
Patrick Mahomes (+1800)
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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