Move over, Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts. There’s a new leader in the race for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award: the increasingly relevant Brock Purdy.
Purdy is now the betting favorite at many gambling sites. Caesars Sportsbook has him leading the field with 3-to-1 odds after the 49ers demolished the Eagles Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
The Niners are the consensus Super Bowl favorites, too. Caesars lists them at +300, with the Chiefs (+575), Eagles (+600) and Ravens (+700) next in line. Every sportsbook tracked by VegasInsider.com has the 49ers at the top of its pile, reflecting what oddsmakers expect the public to be thinking after their NFC Championship revenge game. Of course, losses by Kansas City and Philadelphia, as well as Baltimore’s bye week gave the 49ers extra room to climb.
Christian McCaffrey’s MVP odds are among the shortest for non-quarterbacks: He’s listed at 15-to-1 by Caesars and 16-to-1 by DraftKings, where he is tied with Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill.
As football has become more pass-heavy, the MVP award has become slanted toward quarterbacks — the last non-quarterback to win was Adrian Peterson in 2012, when he ran for 2,097 yards for Minnesota. Only Peterson, LaDanian Tomlinson (2006 Chargers), Shaun Alexander (2005 Seahawks) and Marshall Faulk (2000 Rams) have won this millennium from outside the position.
Few observers would argue Purdy is the best quarterback in the NFL, or the best player on his own offense.
The versatile McCaffrey leads the league in rushing and has scored in 23 of 24 games as a 49er. Deebo Samuel just hammered the Eagles’ defense with three touchdowns and he’s behind Brandon Aiyuk in the receivers’ room. Trent Williams is an athletic freak at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. George Kittle is the best two-way tight end in football, laughing as he pancakes linebackers.
None of those players has operational control of the 49ers’ wrecking-ball offense like Purdy does, though, and that’s why quarterbacks have dominated MVP voting over the last decade. Purdy, outside of a slump when Williams was injured, has done a masterful job of distributing the ball to those all-world skill players.
He did it with a perfect passer rating against the Bucs, then he did it in a hostile environment on Thanksgiving in Seattle, and Sunday in Philly at the scene of his elbow injury last January, he threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns. Never mind how much of that yardage was gained after the catch.
As for the odds themselves, just wait til next week.
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