With current odds of 5-1, Mahomes is first overall which should really surprise no one given that he won the award after the 2018 season and has been among the top two or three contenders in each of the last two seasons. A career year from Lamar Jackson kept Mahomes from winning consecutive awards and a stellar effort from Aaron Rodgers kept Mahomes from earning his second trophy in 2020, who actually suffered from injuries and poor protection down the stretch.
Heading into a new year, it will be interesting to see how things change for Mahomes statistically within the offensive with the complete overhaul along the offensive line. At this point, both long-term tackles are gone with the release of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. One or both players could conceivably return before the season begins if they prove healthy (and are interested in playing again), but at this point the Chiefs will have two new starters outside.
However, the offensive interior has been vastly improved with the signing of Joe Thuney in free agency along with Kyle Long and Austin Blythe. The Chiefs will also see Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang return after opting out last season.
Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are the favorites to win NFL MVP in 2021.
The Chiefs will also try to replace Sammy Watkins on offense, and Mahomes’ ability to take this offense to the next level is fairly dependent on the team’s ability to put someone productive in that X receiver role. Will a holdover like Demarcus Robinson be able to step up as hoped? Will the team draft a replacement? It remains to be seen.
As for others on the list, quarterbacks make up the top 18 spots in terms of MVP odds, beginning with Mahomes, Rodgers and Josh Allen. Christian McCaffrey, running back for the Carolina Panthers, is the first non-QB listed among the players with best odds to make NFL MVP. Other notable faces include Matthew Stafford, who is now at No. 4 overall with 14-1 odds now that he’s with the L.A. Rams. Deshaun Watson is now at 25-1 odds given the legal issues he’s facing this offseason.