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The MVP award is typically given to a stand-out performer on the winning team (only once in history has it been given to a player on a losing team), and out of the 55 players to have received this award (there were two winners at Super Bowl XII) 46 of them have played on offense. 10 have been defensive players, while Desmond Howard of the 1996 Green Bay Packers remains the only special teams player in history to have been named Most Valuable Player in the NFL’s biggest games.
Quarterback has been the most dominant position, providing 30 MVP wins with Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Eli Manning all winning the award more than once. Running backs and wide receivers are next up with seven wins apiece, while linebacker remains the most successful position defensively thanks to four successes, with two of those wins coming in the previous six Super Bowls.
So who will add their name to this long list of Most Valuable Players on February 7? Here is a rundown of the 10 players that the bookmakers believe have the best chance of being named Super Bowl LIV MVP…
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Patrick Mahomes - 5/6
Surprise, surprise. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the odds-on favourite to walk away from the Super Bowl with this award for the second season running. QBs have dominated this award over the years and the Chiefs’ are the bookmakers’ pick for February 7, so it makes all the sense in the world that Mahomes will be the clear frontrunner to be named MVP if they are victorious. It would take a truly special performance from one of his team-mates to deny him, but the likes of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will be relying massively on Mahomes to do his job so they can do theirs, and that means the better they perform the better he does and in turn that will keep him ahead of them in the race for Super Bowl MVP.
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Tom Brady - 19/10
Tom Brady is a multiple-time winner of the Super Bowl MVP award thanks to his nine previous appearances in the big game with New England, but could he add another accolade to cap off an incredible first season with Tampa. The Bucs are going to need all of Brady’s postseason experience in this one and if he can mastermind a famous win for them on their home turf then plenty of votes will go flying his way. Brady winning the MVP award if Tampa Bay are victorious is not as cut and dried as it would be for Mahomes if KC run out winners, but unless the Buccaneers win in spite of a stinker of a performance from Brady he will be a frontrunner for the MVP honours should they be successful.
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Travis Kelce - 13/1
Travis Kelce has once again been one of the stars of the show for Kansas City in their run to the postseason. He found the endzone twice as Kansas City eased to victory against Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game and he has now scored a touchdown in each of his last six games. He remains Patrick Mahomes’ favourite and most reliable target and if Kelce does have a big night at the office in Tampa then the bookmakers believe he will be a frontrunner to pip his QB to MVP honours.
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Tyreek Hill - 13/1
Of course Tyreek Hill has to be considered a top-five contender for Super Bowl MVP. The Kansas City receiver is a huge threat every time he is on the field because of his ability to connect with Mahomes for big plays out of nowhere. He has already tortured the Tampa Bay secondary once this season, scoring three touchdowns while racking up 269 yards during their regular-season meeting, and if he can repeat those exploits then voters may have no other choice but to name Hill the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 55.
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Best Of The Rest
With all due respect to the rest of the players on the field, this is where we start running out of major options and that is reflected clearly in the odds with no other player priced shorter than 25/1. If KC win it is almost a given that the MVP will go to one of their elite offensive stars, while in Tampa’s case Brady remains the only clear an logical option should they get the ‘W’. But if they win in spite of Brady struggling then there could be an interesting option on the defensive side of the football. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett had himself a game against that strong Green Bay offensive line in the NFC Championship Game – he harassed Aaron Rodgers throughout, hit him four times and racked up three sacks as well as a couple of tackles for loss. If he can produce a similar performance here, shackle Mahomes and Tampa Bay win the game, then this 40/1 outsider could grab himself plenty of headlines and the Super Bowl honours in the process.