MIAMI — For years, Nevada sportsbooks lobbied to be able to post odds on prop bets like Super Bowl MVP.
There was a ban on taking bets on any action decided by a vote, so MVP was out. Then in 2015, the Nevada Gaming Control Board decided to allow it. Super Bowl 50 was the first time sportsbooks could take bets on Super Bowl MVP.
And the books took a bath on it. Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller opened at 60-to-1 odds and took a lot of action, according to Sportsline. MGM ended up moving the line all the way down to 15-to-1.
The Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers and Miller took home the MVP award. Bettors took home a lot of money on those Miller MVP bets.
“We joked, watch what you ask for,” MGM Resorts International director of trading operations Jeff Stoneback said.
Betting on MVP has turned into one of the most popular prop bets for the Super Bowl. It doesn’t do as much action as the first player to score a touchdown prop, but it’s still a bet people flock to.
“You have first touchdown, boom, that bet is over,” Stoneback said. “MVP is a way to bet on a player for the whole game.”
History says QBs are most likely to win MVP
Like the regular-season MVP award, quarterbacks dominate the Super Bowl MVP award.
Nine of the last 13 Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks. Receivers Santonio Holmes and Julian Edelman and linebackers Miller and Malcolm Smith are the only non-quarterbacks to win MVP over the last 13 Super Bowls.
It’s no big surprise that the two quarterbacks in Super Bowl LIV have the lowest odds. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs is the favorite to win MVP at just plus-120. Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers is second, at plus-250.
The most MVP bets will likely be on the two quarterbacks as usual, Stoneback said. But there’s another angle bettors like when it comes to Super Bowl MVP.
Bettors look to other side of the ball
While offensive players usually win the award, it’s dominated by quarterbacks when it goes to the offense. It makes sense that if bettors want a longshot, they look to the defense.
“If there’s a dominant defensive lineman or linebacker, they will bet them getting good odds,” Stoneback said.
Nick Bosa of the 49ers is the favorite among defensive players and he comes in at 20-to-1. MGM will be rooting against any defensive player repeating Miller’s feat from five years ago.
Here are the odds for Super Bowl MVP from BetMGM:
Patrick Mahomes +120
Travis Kelce 14-to-1
Tyreek Hill 16-to-1
Damien Williams 16-to-1
Sammy Watkins 33-to-1
Frank Clark 80-to-1
Mecole Hardman 80-to-1
Chris Jones 80-to-1
Tyrann Mathieu 100-to-1
LeSean McCoy 150-to-1
Darwin Thompson 200-to-1
Demarcus Robinson 200-to-1
Anthony Sherman 200-to-1
Harrison Butker 200-to-1
Any other Chief 40-to-1
Jimmy Garoppolo +250
Raheem Mostert +750
George Kittle 14-to-1
Nick Bosa 20-to-1
Deebo Samuel 25-to-1
Emmanuel Sanders 33-to-1
Tevin Coleman 50-to-1
Richard Sherman 60-to-1
Dante Pettis 100-to-1
Kendrick Bourne 100-to-1
Matt Breida 100-to-1
Dee Ford 150-to-1
Kwon Alexander 200-to-1
Robbie Gould 200-to-1
Any other 49er 40-to-1