Josh Allen entered the NFL season as the betting favorite to win NFL MVP. Through eight weeks, he was playing at that level. The Bills were 6-1 and Allen was the driving force behind that start. Last week, Allen was down to +110 at BetMGM to win NFL MVP. It seemed like he was on his way to becoming an odds-on favorite in the coming weeks.
Instead, the MVP race tightened up significantly after Week 9. If you trust the oddsmakers, it's now a three-horse race with not much separating Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts. How did we get here?
Allen struggles against Jets
The Buffalo Bills were a 10.5-point favorite against the New York Jets on Sunday. It was a game that Buffalo was expected to win handily. Instead, they lost outright.
Josh Allen had his worst statistical passing game of the season. He threw for just 205 yards, a season low. For the first time this season, he did not throw a touchdown pass. Allen also threw two interceptions. To Allen's credit, he did have a nice game on the ground, rushing for a season high 86 yards and two touchdowns. However, it wasn't enough.
Allen remains a slight betting favorite to win NFL MVP at +225. However, he's been pulled closer to the pack. There's also some slight concern about a potential elbow injury he suffered late in the game, though he described it as just "slight pain." It looked like Allen might run away with this award, but instead, things have tightened up.
Mahomes, Hurts gain ground
On paper, the Kansas City Chiefs needing overtime to score 20 points and squeak past the Tennessee Titans as a 14-point favorite isn't impressive. However, anyone who watched that game couldn't help but leave it impressed by Patrick Mahomes' performance.
Mahomes had 68 pass attempts as the Chiefs' running backs got nothing going on the ground. He ended up throwing for 446 yards. He also rushed for 68 yards. No other Chiefs' player had more than five rushing yards. With the Chiefs down late, Mahomes took things into his own hands and scrambled for a touchdown to bring Kansas City within two. On the ensuing two point conversion, Mahomes found the end zone with his legs as well. He literally dragged Kansas City to the victory.
As a result, Mahomes' odds went from +450 to +250 to win MVP this season. He's just behind Allen according to the betting odds.
Elsewhere, Jalen Hurts had another solid performance for the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. He completed 78% of his passes for 243 yards and two scores against the Houston Texans on Thursday night. On the season, Hurts has 12 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns while turning the ball over just twice. Hurts is also +250 to win NFL MVP. He's just behind Allen and tied with Mahomes for the second best odds amongst all players.
The rest of the field
There's a clear distinction between the top three MVP contenders and the rest of the field according to the betting odds. However, there's still half a season left to play and a lot can change. Here are the top-10 favorites to win the MVP at BetMGM:
Josh Allen (+225)
Patrick Mahomes (+250)
Jalen Hurts (+250)
Lamar Jackson (10-to-1)
Joe Burrow (25-to-1)
Geno Smith (25-to-1)
Kirk Cousins (30-to-1)
Justin Herbert (40-to-1)
Tua Tagovailoa (40-to-1)
Christian McCaffrey (66-to-1)