Heading into last weekend’s NFL playoff games, Joe Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP odds were fifth best. Before kickoff against the Buffalo Bills, his odds were listed at +800 and +850 on FanDuel and DraftKings.
After leading the Bengals to a surprisingly dominant victory on the road in Buffalo, his odds increased to +330 and +350 on FanDuel and DraftKings, now only behind Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. At Caesars, he’s even moved to the betting favorite at +330.
The Road Already Traveled
Burrow’s performance against the Bills was arguably his best big game performance of his career – second only to his NCAA Championship Game performance where he led the LSU Tigers over the Clemson Tigers. The Bills were one of the most complete teams left in the playoffs and had homefield advantage, both of which didn’t mean much to Burrow and company.
In just three years as a professional, Burrow has already won the most playoff games of any Bengals QB, going 5-1 in his first six outings. That one loss came in the Super Bowl in just his second year. With experience now on his side, Burrow has seen it all and is in a prime position to overcome the odds going forward. Just last week, Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP checklist was:
- Defeat the Bills on the road in the snow.
- Defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road at Arrowhead Stadium.
- Win the Super Bowl and have a really good to great performance.
Next Threat to Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP Odds
Seeing the Chiefs on Burrow’s checklist after the Bills on the road made his odds seem monumental last weekend. With the Bills now crossed off, his list feels less daunting, especially considering the health of Mahomes. In the Chiefs’ 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend, Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain that could potentially force him to miss the game.
However, whether Mahomes plays or not, the Bengals and Burrow have had success against Mahomes. They have defeated the Chiefs in three consecutive matchups, including the AFC Championship game last year, and in the regular season this year. Given the circumstances, Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP odds are beginning to feel increasingly favorable.
Remaining NFC Teams
The last step in winning Super Bowl MVP is to win the Super Bowl. If the Bengals get back this year, they’ll have to get through the San Francisco 49ers or the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams have lights out defenses. However, their offenses don’t measure up to that of the Bengals.
San Francisco 49ers
If it’s the 49ers who make it to the Super Bowl, they’ll be led by a rookie QB in Brock Purdy, who has performed well to this point. However, against the most competitive defensive team he has played to date in the Dallas Cowboys, he looked more like a rookie, despite not turning the ball over. Against the Bengals, he would have to protect the ball and keep pace.
That would open him up to more difficult in-game decisions. Additionally, no rookie has ever made it to the Super Bowl. If Purdy becomes the first, you have to expect the moment may just be a little too big for him at this point of his career.
The Eagles present the biggest threat to Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP aspirations in the NFC. They are complete on both sides of the ball and have the more experienced QB. However, their offense is predicated on the success of the team’s run game. The Bengals have one of the best rushing defenses in the league and would present problems to the Eagles’ ground game.
The Bengals held the Bills and their top 10 rushing offense to less than 70 yards on the ground, which significantly impacted their offense and Josh Allen’s output. Defeating the Eagles will require a similar game plan, and the Bengals have already shown they can execute it.
If you missed on wagering on Burrow’s Super Bowl MVP odds last week, you may not want to wait any longer. The chips seem to be stacking in his favor going forward.
AP Photo/Emilee Chinn