The start of the 2022 NFL regular season is a long way away, but the new year officially started last week and it did so with a big splash. The Seattle Seahawk’s trade with the Denver Broncos, sending Russell Wilson to Mile High in exchange for Drew Lock and a bucketful of picks kicked off a stunning week of trades, big moves, and shakeups.
Wilson’s move set the tone for a week that was already rocked the day before by Tom Brady’s stunning unretirement, which was announced 24 hours before the start of the new year.
The Indianapolis Colts sent Carson Wentz packing to the rebranded Washington Commanders, Mitch Trubisky signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers while Davante Adams jilted his BFF Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for the greener pastures of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Oh, and Deshaun Watson is heading to the Dawg Pound after agreeing to terms with the Cleveland Browns! And that’s just scratching the surface of the first week of free agency. The opening wave of free agency hit the NFL landscape like a tsunami, prompting bookmakers to adjust a raft of NFL betting markets.
The early Super Bowl 57 odds have been updated, along with other Team Futures that include Conference Winner and Division Winner, and MVP odds have been spruced up where appropriate. In this space, we highlight some of the key movements and their impact on the NFL odds board across sports betting platforms.
MVP Favorites: Allen and Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes opened as the favorite to win the MVP, but in recent weeks Josh Allen has muscled in on Mahomes’ territory. Allen opened as the +800 bet or thereabouts depending on the choice book, but he’s now priced as the +700 favorite along with Mahomes with FanDuel.
The Bills have been busy restructuring their roster, moving several key pieces around Allen and elsewhere. Some of the most noteworthy moves are the release of WR Cole Beasley and the signing of two-time Super Bowl champion pass-rusher Von Miller.
Tom Brady Back in the Mix
After the top tandem of Mahomes and Allen on the MVP odds board, Tom Brady enters the markets as the third-best bet. Brady’s unretirement boosted Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl 57 odds too. The Buccaneers opened at +2500 to lift the Lombardi Trophy when they were staring at a bleak future without the seven-time Super Bowl champion signal-caller.
Today, they are trading as low as +800 with DraftKings. This sportsbook also offers the Bills as the top favorite at +750 and the Kansas City Chiefs as the third favorite at +850.
Wilson Trade Boosts Denver’s Odds
Ever since Peyton Manning retired in 2015, the Denver Broncos have been looking for an heir apparent worthy to fill his big shoes. Seven years later, a quarterback carousel that has seen at least a dozen different starters (or so it seems), the Broncos might have landed a worthy successor in Russell Wilson.
Indeed, Wilson’s move has revitalized Denver’s odds in Super Bowl 57 markets as well as lifting the 33-year-old quarterback inside the Top 10 favorites to win the MVP title.
Rodgers Favored Despite Adams Departure
Four-time MVP champion Aaron Rodgers entered the MVP market as the second-best bet alongside Josh Allen (both opening on +800). Rodgers, who is the reigning MVP after winning his second-straight honor, has seen his odds drift up to +950 in recent days. As a result, he is the fourth-best bet in the market to win a third MVP in a row.
As far as negative moves go, this isn’t one to be worried about. With or without his biggest weapon in Davante Adams, Rodgers is still regarded highly. The thinking here is that Rodgers makes players around him better rather than it being the other way around.
That said, wideout Davante Adams is a star in the game. Where his trade to the Raiders has had the most impact is on Derek Carr’s MVP odds. Before this mega-trade, Carr wasn’t even a consideration amongst the top bets. Today, he’s priced at +2500.
Watson Going To the Dawg Pound
Even before Deshaun Watson’s trade to the Cleveland Browns was announced, Baker Mayfield impulsively tweeted a farewell message to Browns fans and requested a trade out of the Dawg Pound – his feelings hurt evidently by the organization’s decision to look elsewhere for quarterbacking.
Where Mayfield lands in 2022 are up in the air. However, Watson is headed to Cleveland and he brings with him – aside from a whole lot of controversy – excitement and a skill set that makes him widely considered as an upgrade on Mayfield.
Watson is currently priced at +2500 because the league might pursue some disciplinary action in his case. Thus, his status is up in the air. Watson could still face several weeks of suspension, which would impact his availability at the start of the season.
Should Watson be cleared entirely or face minimal discipline, these odds are likely to shorten further, though. In the broad spectrum, Cleveland’s odds have seen the biggest benefit from this trade, rocketing up the board everywhere.
The Browns opened at +3000 or higher but they’ve seen their odds slashed substantially. For example, Pointsbet Sportsbook offers Cleveland at +1400 while DraftKings tips the Browns at +1500 to win SBLVII. Caesars Sportsbook prices Cleveland at +1600.
Top 40 MVP Favorites
*Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
- Josh Allen +700
- Patrick Mahomes +700
- Tom Brady +750
- Aaron Rodgers +950
- Justin Herbert +1000
- Dak Prescott +1200
- Joe Burrow +1200
- Russell Wilson +1400
- Matthew Stafford +1400
- Kyler Murray +1600
- Lamar Jackson +2000
- Derek Carr +2500
- Deshaun Watson +2500
- Trey Lance +4000
- Mac Jones +4000
- Kirk Cousins +4000
- Justin Fields +5000
- Derrick Henry +5000
- Jalen Hurts +5000
- Baker Mayfield +6000
- Mitch Trubisky +6000
- Ryan Tannehill +7500
- Carson Wentz +7500
- Tua Tagovailoa +7500
- Daniel Jones +7500
- Jonathan Taylor +7500
- Jimmy Garoppolo +7500
- Jameis Winston +7500
- Cooper Kupp +7500
- Trevor Lawrence +7500
- Matt Ryan +7500
- Sam Darnold +10000
- Davis Mills +10000
- Jared Goff +10000
- Zach Wilson +10000
- Christian McCaffrey +10000
- Davante Adams +10000
- Teddy Bridgewater +10000
- Deebo Samuel +10000