An award that has primarily been an offensive minded award, as only two of the last 18 awards have been given to defensive players, this is one of the first years recently that I think we have a legitimate chance to see a defensive winner this year, which could create a huge payday for you if you were to actually hit on a defensive winner.
Super Bowl MVP Pick #1: Matthew Stafford (+115)
This one seems obvious. We’re talking about a primarily offensive award, and with that comes the premise that the winning quarterback has to be a prohibitive favorite, since they touch the ball on every play. I’ve been a huge believer in the idea that this Los Angeles Rams team goes as Stafford goes, and that doesn’t change in the Super Bowl. My rule of thumb for this postseason has been “one or fewer INTs” from Stafford, and the Rams win.
Time to put some respect on Matthew Stafford pic.twitter.com/NfyfZWZuZy
— PFF (@PFF) February 10, 2022
That’s yet to let me down, and I think the same rule of thumb exists for this one. If the Rams come out on top, and if he goes for 250+ yards passing, I think this is a virtual lock, so this is where we start. If all of that happens, the only thing I could see keeping the Rams QB from walking out with Super Bowl MVP is if one of the stars on this Los Angeles defense were to come out and have massive games, but we’ll get to that a little later.
Super Bowl MVP Pick #2: Joe Burrow (+230)
The same argument goes for Bengals QB Joe Burrow. Being the quarterback, all eyes are on you, and with Cincinnati’s unexpected success this year, largely led by unique personality Burrow, if they come out on top, he’s certain to be the favorite to win the award.
The concern surrounding Burrow, for me at least, is what do voters do if Ja’Marr Chase has a huge game, being virtually the only primary target that Burrow looks to. This could lead to Chase (+2200) getting the nod, especially if voters decide to reward a non-QB, given the popularity of QBs to win the award. Nonetheless, with a Cincy win, Burrow aka The Tiger King, has to be the favorite to win the award.
Super Bowl MVP Pick #3: Cooper Kupp (+650)
As we get away from the quarterbacks, we start getting to better odds, in terms of value, for the award. And I think Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has to be the non-QB with the best chance to walk away with the hardware.
He’s having arguably the best year in NFL history for a receiver, with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards, and 16 TDs (and that was just the regular season), with only Jerry Rice’s 1995 campaign even coming close to what Kupp has done this year. As you can see, he’s Matthew Stafford’s favorite target, and for good reason.
Cooper Kupp takes home Offensive Player of the Year after a record-setting season 😤 pic.twitter.com/TVrzEeP7Rl
— ESPN (@espn) February 11, 2022
Going up against a Cincinnati secondary that has struggled at times this season, I think Kupp is guaranteed for 100+ yards, and quite possibly for north of 150, as well as a TD or two. If that happens, he has to be looked at as a candidate, but a major concern I have is that I think ends up splitting yards with Odell Beckham Jr. Even with that though, I think there’s good value here, given the year that Kupp has had.
Super Bowl MVP Pick #4: Aaron Donald (+1700)
In terms of value, this is my personal favorite with the Super Bowl MVP pick. Donald is the best defensive player in football, and in my opinion it’s not even close. He’s the closest thing to unstoppable we’ve seen from a defensive lineman in quite a while, especially when he’s motivated.
Now we get to see him go up against a Cincinnati offensive line that is porous to say the least, as they gave up nine sacks in their playoff win over the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round. An offense that gives up nine sacks to a Titan D-line that is good, not great, is going to have their hands full with Aaron Donald, who’s absolutely going to be motivated given the stage.
A Rams win, especially if the defense plays the way I think they have the potential to, with Donald picking up multiple sacks and a few more tackles for loss, has the chance for us to see only the third player on that side of the ball win the award in the last 19 years. As you can see with the odds, it’s not the most likely scenario, but given the value, it is my personal favorite.
Super Bowl MVP Pick #5: Jalen Ramsey (+8500)
I throw this one in at last on my list of top-5 Super Bowl MVP picks, as a longshot, but a bit of a dark horse to actually win the award. Despite some struggles in recent past years (partially due to playing on bad teams, I’m looking at you Jacksonville) I still view Ramsey as the best cornerback in the NFL.
He now gets the chance to prove that, as he’s going to have his hands full, going up against Ja’Marr Chase, the offensive Rookie of the Year, and a guy who has already shown that he may be in the conversation as being one of the best receivers in football.
TRUE VALUE 🖐🏾
ALL LOVE 🤟🏾
GOD BLESS 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/PBXXUr3Mo1
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) February 11, 2022
If Ramsey were to have a big game, slowing down Chase (since I don’t think there’s a way to actually completely shut him down), and potentially ending with an interception or two, which could actually be possible, and I think Ramsey’s name could end up on the short list for candidates to win the award. It’s certainly arguably unlikely, but given the odds, I think there is some value in sprinkling a small amount down, especially if you’re looking for a massive payday on this one.
That wraps up the list of top-5 players I have as being legitimate contenders to win this year’s Super Bowl MVP award. I know that for many of you, you may look at the list and say, “Well there’s only one Bengal on the list.”
My answer is that there’s a reason for that, and I think that’s also why I have Los Angeles getting the win. The star studded roster that the Rams put on the field gives them the chance for multiple players to have a chance to come away with the award.
With Cincinnati, I don’t think that’s the case. The only way I see the Bengals getting the win is with a massive game from Burrow, so he’s the only name on the list for Cincy. Yes, you can argue that Ja’Marr Chase has the chance, but in that case, with him being a rookie, I think they would throw more credit Burrow’s way in the first place, with him still getting the edge.
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*Odds correct at time of writing.