For four straight years, a quarterback has captured the Super Bowl MVP. On Sunday, Denver Broncos star Peyton Manning is favored to make it five straight.
According to betting site Bovada.lv, the 37-year-old Manning leads the wide-ranging field for the esteemed honor of MVP at 11/10 odds. As the focal point and leader of Denver’s offense, Manning lit up opponents for a record 609 points, 5,477 yards, and 55 touchdowns in the regular season. Manning also won the award with the Indianapolis Colts back in 2006.
After Manning, there are multiple members of the Seattle Seahawks who could be in line for the honor. The MVP has been won by a quarterback 26 out of 48 times.
Joining Manning at the top of the list are Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch (15/4), along with quarterback Russell Wilson (15/4), and receiver Percy Harvin (14/1).
Manning’s teammate and running back Knowshon Moreno is up next at 20/1, and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is also at 20/1 odds. Based off previous years, neither has a strong chance unless they post a phenomenal performance. Defensive players have won the MVP eight times and running backs seven over the years, with Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson the last in 2003 and Denver running back Terrell Davis in 1998.
The full list of odds for every player to win is here, and a quick breakdown and prediction is below.
Peyton Manning (11/10)
If the NFL’s most explosive offense in history can light up the league’s best defense of 2013, most of the credit will be given to Manning. However, a costly late pick could cost him the award.
Russell Wilson (15/4)
Reliable, accurate, and cagey, Wilson could have a breakout performance against Denver’s 27th ranked pass defense. Wilson’s rushing abilities could also key several big plays throughout the game.
Marshawn Lynch (15/4)
Lynch could win the award simply by keeping Manning off the field. The NFL’s top scoring running back with 12 touchdowns this season, Lynch faces a venerable Broncos rushing defense that hasn’t let up more than 65 rushing yards in its last three games.
Percy Harvin (14/1)
Harvin appeared in one game in the regular season, and suffered a concussion in the Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints. Injuries have obviously limited the talented receiver, but there’s no denying his explosiveness and playmaking ability. If the game comes down to the final possession and Harvin makes a huge catch, he could be the first receiver in five years, and sixth overall, to win the award.
Several underdog picks that could have a huge impact include top Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas (25/1) and Wes Welker (25/1), along with Seattle defensive backs Earl Thomas (40/1) and Kam Chancellor (66/1).
Prediction: While Manning will have a big game, Demaryius Thomas should make lots of plays after the catch for big yardage and touchdowns.