Even with “Deflategate” still over his head, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is favored to claim the third Super Bowl MVP of his career. Las Vegas book Bovada.lv puts Brady at 7/4 odds to win the award for Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is right behind Brady at 7/2, followed by running back Marshawn Lynch at 4/1 and New England tight end Rob Gronkowski at 12/1.
The MVP’s history overwhelming favors Brady or Wilson to win. Twenty-six quarterbacks have won the award, including four of the last five times.
In 2014, Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith became the first defensive player win MVP in 11 years after he recorded 10 total tackles and returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown that broke the Denver Broncos.
Seattle, with a defense called the “Legion of Boom,” has several defensive stars like cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor capable of making a huge play to swing the game. Sherman and Chancellor are both at 33/1 odds to win MVP, and Thomas is at 40/1, likely lower due to the separated shoulder he sustained in the NFC Championship.
The Patriots have their own dynamic and dangerous cornerback in Darrelle Revis, who will play in his first Super Bowl and stands at 33/1 to claim the MVP.
Lynch, who has already rushed for 216 yards and a touchdown in two postseason games this year, technically has a better shot than Gronkowski with running backs snatching up MVP seven times. But the last to do was Denver’s Terrell Davis in 1997.
A tight end has never won MVP in the league’s biggest game, but Gronkowski is no average tight end. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski recorded his second 1,000-yard season with 82 receptions for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. If anything, Gronkowski’s just one of the biggest receivers in the league.
And receivers have picked up the MVP hardware quite often in the last 10 years. Former Steelers star Santonio Holmes last won in 2008 thanks to an incredible tip-toe catch to win Super Bowl XLIII. And Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward and New England’s Deion Branch won the the award in consecutive years, 2006 and 2005, respectively.