This morning, I saw where one bettor plunked down $7,500 to win $120,000 on Aaron Donald being named Super Bowl LVI Most Valuable Player.
You like his bet? His 12 to 1 odds?
With two weeks to hype a single National Football League game the books will find all sorts of wagering propositions to serve their driving force; separating bettors from their money. Only once in Super Bowl history did the books stub their own toe in this process, that was in 1986 when the Chicago Bears met the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The books laid out the proposition focussed on William “Refrigerator” Perry scoring a touchdown and set the proposition with too long of odds that turned into a popular proposition play for the public.
Perry did score a touchdown, and the books took a financial hit. Now, in that same game, won by the Bears, 46-10, their star runningback, Walter Payton, didn’t score a touchdown. Now that would have been an interesting parlay with real long odds if one was to wager Perry would score a TD and Payton wouldn’t.
Now, the guy that wagered on defensive lineman Donald winning the MVP this year might take solace from that game given it was the second in which a defensive lineman was named MVP. Richard Dent won it when the Bears beat the Patriots. In 1978, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, two defensive lineman shared the Award, Randy White and Harvey Martin.
On my radio apperance last week, broadcast partner Larry Krueger, who I have great respect for, said he took the 16 to 1 odds on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to pick up the MVP Award. While I counter with my leanings to always bank on the winning quarterback picking up the MVP honor, I do recall that when I was with the Oakland Raiders in Pasadena in 1977, the MVP of our win over the Minnesota Vikings was wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff.
But, in balance, if you’re looking to take shorter odds with a greater chance of winning a proposition wager on the MVP, I suggest you take the quarterback of the team you think is going to win. In the prior 55 Super Bowls, the winning quarterback has picked up the MVP Trophy 31 times while defensive players have won it only 10 times.
Picking a player from the winning team is essential. Only once has a player from the losing team gained the MVP Award. That was in Super Bowl V when the Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys on a game ending fourth quarter field goal by Jim O’Brien. The Cowboys led most of the game, and linebacker Chuck Howley was playing great for Tom Landay’s squad.
In those days, the media in attendance was handed a sheet to pick the Super Bowl MVP late in the third quarter and had to submit their choice midway through the final period. Before the game was decided. If that was how they did it in more recent times, we may have had an Atlanta Falcons player winning the Award in Super Bowl LI before Tom Brady staged the dramatic comeback and overtime victory … and of course, Brady both was and got the MVP Award five years ago.
It was little consolation for Howley that he was named MVP after his team lost to the Colts in 1971.
One kick returner captured the MVP Award with Desmond Howard gaining that distinction for his outstanding play against the New England Patriots to complete the 1996 season. By position, the other winners break down this way; Quarterback (31), Running Back (7), Wide Receiver (7), Linebacker (4), Defensive End (2), Safety (2), Cornerback (1) and Defensive Tackle (1).
We do have one former Super Bowl MVP in action this week, Von Miller who is now on the Rams won the Award six years ago while leading the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Oh yeah, the books will find all sorts of ways for you to risk your cash this week.