NFL MVP odds, best bets: Don't sleep on Josh Allen
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The best bet in the NFL in recent years has easily been MVP, which has rewarded those who took chances further down the oddsboard. In 2018, Patrick Mahomes entered the offseason as a 100-1 long shot and easily cashed in a historic season. In 2019, Lamar Jackson followed a nearly identical script.

We can't expect the same thing to happen in 2020, but that history does highlight the importance of finding value in the MVP race. Voters like a narrative, and defenses aren't always prepared for the "next big thing." Here are this year's MVP odds (50-1 or shorter), followed by three of the best bets in the field.

PLAYER ODDS
Patrick Mahomes +300
Lamar Jackson +1000
Kyler Murray +1200
Russell Wilson +1200
Dak Prescott +1600
Carson Wentz +2000
Deshaun Watson +2000
Drew Brees +2000
Tom Brady +2000
Aaron Rodgers +2500
Christian McCaffrey +3000
Ezekiel Elliott +3000
Baker Mayfield +4000
Ben Roethlisberger +4000
Josh Allen (QB) +4000
Matt Ryan +4000
Cam Newton +5000
Jimmy Garoppolo +5000
Kirk Cousins +5000
Matthew Stafford +5000
Saquon Barkley +5000

Russell Wilson (+1200)

There are few players that it feels like the NFL intelligentsia wants to win more than Wilson, who's coming off an analytically stellar campaign that probably would have won in a "normal" season. He won't reproduce his ridiculous TD-INT ratio, but something in the ballpark could push him over the edge.

He's got the weapons to do it, too, with the one-two punch of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf and a new target over the middle in Greg Olsen. If Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer can loosen the reins a bit on his star QB, Wilson could gun for some passing marks to bolster his case.

Baker Mayfield (+4000)

If you bet on Mayfield last year at short odds, this is sure to make you sick, and understandably so. But all of the reasons for optimism then - the arm talent, the Browns' stacked receiving corps, the progressive coaching staff - exist this year, too ... except this coaching staff might actually help his case, not hinder it.

New coach Kevin Stefanski put Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in a strong position to succeed when he was a coordinator in Minnesota, and he could do the same for his new quarterback behind a rebuilt offensive line. Love Mayfield or hate him, he screams "post-hype sleeper" at a reasonable price.

Josh Allen (+4000)

This is the best bet on the board, without question. Allen fits the archetype of recent winners: a cannon-armed QB with improvisational ability and a knack for tremendous growth from year to year. In 2018, he was among the worst in the NFL on intermediate throws. In 2019, he was among the best. How's that for upside?

If he can improve upon his woeful deep accuracy, he's an immediate contender, especially with speedsters Stefon Diggs and John Brown catching passes in Buffalo. The Bills return nearly their entire roster from last year's playoff team and are in a strong spot to snap the Patriots' historic AFC East streak behind double-digit wins, which would all but make Allen's case as long as the stats can follow.

C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.

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NFL MVP odds, best bets: Don't sleep on Josh Allen
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