Super Bowl Betting: Early Action on Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch For MVP
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Jan. 24, 2014
Recent history says a skill position player is going to win Super Bowl XLVIII MVP honors on February 2 at MetLife Stadium. It’s also probably going to be either a quarterback or wide receiver. A player from one of those positions has won the MVP Award 10 straight years, with a QB accounting for seven of those, including four in a row.
Thus it’s not surprising that heavy early betting action is on Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, the MVP of XLI when his Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears in Miami. Manning is looking to tie brother Eli with a second Super Bowl ring and second SB MVP. Peyton opened as the 8/5 Bovada favorite but has been bet down to nearly 6/5 and could be less than even money by kickoff with his Broncos, who are current 3-point favorites.
Manning of course had a record-setting regular season and was brilliant in the AFC Championship Game against New England with 400 yards passing and two touchdowns. He is looking to accomplish two firsts: becoming the first starting QB to win a Super Bowl with different teams and the first to lead the NFL in TDs and passing yards during the season and win a championship.
Kurt Warner was the only previous starting quarterback with a chance to win rings on two teams. He won one with the Rams but his Arizona Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Warner, Miami’s Dan Marino and New England’s Tom Brady are the only other three QBs to make a Super Bowl after topping the NFL in TDs and yards. They all lost those respective games. Seattle has the NFL’s No. 1 passing and overall defense.
Bettors can get long 40/1 odds on Manning to score the first TD of the Super Bowl. That naturally wouldn’t include a passing score but a running one (or in extreme long shot cases recovering a fumble or catching a score on a trick play). Manning is pretty immobile these days and has rushed for one TD since the 2008 season: a bootleg in Week 5 against Dallas.
Money also is pouring in on Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch to win MVP. He opened at 6/1 and has dropped to 9/2. Lynch is clearly the team’s best offensive player. He carried 22 times for 109 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, and 28 times for 140 yards and two scores in the Divisional Round win over New Orleans. The Broncos ranked seventh in the NFL in rushing defense during the season, allowing 101.6 yards per game. No running back has won Super Bowl MVP since Denver’s Terrell Davis 14 years ago. Lynch is the 5/1 favorite to score the first TD of the Super Bowl. He scored Seattle’s first in both playoff games.
The only other player under 18/1 to win MVP is Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who has risen from an opening of 13/4 to 15/4. He is 14/1 to score the first touchdown of the game and also had just one rushing score this season, although he runs much, much more than Manning.
Could we have the first defensive Super Bowl MVP since Tampa Bay’s Dexter Jackson 11 years ago? Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman led the NFL in interceptions during the season and opened as the highest defensive option at 16/1 but isn’t drawing much action, rising to 25/1. No individual defensive players are part of the first TD of the Super Bowl prop so Sherman would be part of the field at 6/1 along with both teams’ return men.
There has never been a Super Bowl where no touchdowns have been scored – never been a shutout, either – so that no TD is scored on February 2 is a 66/1 long shot.