Is there value in fading the quarterbacks?

Is there value in fading the quarterbacks?

I have suffered some brutal bad beats in my betting career. You don’t know the pain until you see Takeru Kobayashi sucking a leash off two hot dogs in the final seconds of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest. Two hundred and fifty dollars, missing, just because a guy doesn’t have enough dog in him.

Have you ever bet on a college football team that goes into halftime with a 28-7 lead, you and your buddies have the whole bar chanting “lock him up”, they end up losing 35-31, then two weeks later a report comes out stating that the team is under investigation for point shaving? The State of Hawaii owes me and my crew a two-week, all-inclusive vacation, as far as I’m concerned.

A year later I’m at a poker game and we all bet on Iona to cover +2 against BYU in the 2012 NCAA tournament. ‘they don’t have to worry about their bets anymore because I magnanimously lock them in. Iona still holds the record for the biggest blown lead in the NCAA Tournament and I’m still stuck with the nickname “Iona Greg”.

If you bet for a while, you’re going to experience some bad beats and eventually you’ll learn to stop saying “lock him up.” One of the things you can control is whether you place bets that are mathematically illogical and cause you to lose weight before the event even begins. This brings us to the question of who you should put your money on when betting on the Super Bowl MVP at BetMGM.

QB or no QB?

BetMGM offers several futures and props for the Super Bowl MVP. You can choose from a list of players you think will win, you can bet on the specific position that will win the Pete Rozelle Trophy, or you can just bet on it being a quarterback or of a non-quarterback.

Let’s look at the latter first. The prize is -650 for a QB to be named Super Bowl MVP and +400 for any other position to win the prize. To be a profitable bet, the QB side must win 86.7% of the time, and the non-QB side must win at a rate anywhere north of 20%.

The story continues

Will Patrick Mahomes be named Super Bowl LVII MVP? (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Out of 56 Super Bowls, a QB has been named MVP 31 times (55.4%). Even as we enter an era in the NFL where quarterbacks are virtual locks in winning the regular season MVP, only six of the last 10 Super Bowl MVPs have been callers. That’s well below the 86.7% we’re looking for.

But it’s a different case with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, isn’t it? Few teams rely on their quarterbacks more than the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.

I went back and recorded MVPs for each of the Chiefs and Eagles wins this season (only one player has won Super Bowl MVP in a losing effort). Both quarterbacks have won 16 games, including the playoffs. You could argue for Hurts to win MVP honors in 11 or 12 of them. For Mahomes, it’s 10-11. This is a range of 62.5% to 75%. The value of this prop is clearly in a non-QB winning the prize.

Bet on specific players

If you don’t have a futures bet on Hurts (+110) or Mahomes (+125) to win the Super Bowl MVP yet, it’s too late. Their implied odds of getting the MVP trophy are 47.6% for Hurts and 44.4% for Mahomes. If we factor in implied odds for each team’s money line, as well as quarterback MVP performance percentage in games this season, we get 41.7% for Hurts and 35.2% for Mahomes. You’re much better off just betting on the money line of the team you think will win the Super Bowl.

I go with the Eagles moneyline, lock it up.

Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference.

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