The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals are set to square off for Super Bowl 56 in SoFi Stadium on Sunday, February 9. While the biggest question for fans, spectators, and bettors alike is which team will emerge victorious, there is another question to consider and ponder for prediction: which player will be named Super Bowl MVP?
Quarterbacks have a huge edge in the race for Super Bowl MVP, making Matthew Stafford (+120) and Joe Burrow (+200) the favorites to take home the award this year. With the Rams being favored to win, Stafford and his teammates have better odds than Burrow and other members of the Bengals. As the orchestrators of their respective offenses, quarterbacks have won 31 of 55 Super Bowl MVP awards. That’s only a little over half of the time, but the trend towards picking the winning quarterback as the Super Bowl MVP has only heated up over time.
Through Super Bowl XII (12,) non-quarterbacks actually outpaced quarterbacks seven-to-five in early Super Bowl MVP awards. But in the last 12 seasons, the winning quarterback has taken the award home nine times.
Recent non-quarterback winners include:
- Super Bowl 53: Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (10 catches, 141 receiving yards)
- Super Bowl 50: Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass defended)
- Super Bowl 48: Malcolm Smith, LB (10 tackles, fumble recovery, INT returned for touchdown)
Game-breaking wide receivers, as well as elite defensive performances, can earn non-quarterbacks Super Bowl MVP awards. Cooper Kupp (+600) has a great chance to earn the honor by just playing his normal game: with 10+ catch, 100+ yard, touchdown-scoring games becoming the norm for the NFL’s leading receiver from the 2021-22 season. Of course, for every yard and touchdown Kupp gains, so will Stafford, but Kupp can still earn the honor with an outstanding performance.
Aaron Donald (+1000) comes up next, and could certainly be the next defensive player to win Super Bowl MVP if he can get after Burrow early and often. A couple sacks would pave the way for Donald’s consideration, but a forced fumble, interception, or an otherwise game-changing play could nudge the needle further in Donald’s direction. Donald would also benefit from a low-scoring game, where his defensive efforts bail out a poor performance from the Rams offense.
If the Bengals win, Burrow would be favored to win Super Bowl MVP, but Ja’Marr Chase could definitely make a case from the wide receiver position. Just take a look at Chase’s stats from the Bengals Week 17 win over the Chiefs: 11 catches, 266 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Again, while these numbers would also inflate Burrow’s passing statistics, a receiving line like that would absolutely warrant a Super Bowl MVP award for the astoundingly great rookie wide receiver.
While Kupp and Chase are the leading receiving options for their respective teams in Super Bowl 56, I also wouldn’t count out former New York Giants and Cleveland Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. (+2500.) In the NFC Championship, Beckham Jr. caught nine passes for 113 yards. While it was the former All-Pro’s first 100-yard receiving game of the season, Beckham Jr. can still break the game with his big play ability. If the Bengals focus defensively on Kupp, Beckham Jr. is absolutely capable of a historic game of his own.
Running backs Cam Akers (+3500) and Joe Mixon (+3500) are next up with identical odds. On one hand, this makes sense: predicting which wide receiver or defensive player will stand out amongst their peers is anyone’s guess, while starting running backs are guaranteed to get some touches and therefore opportunities to make meaningful plays. On the other hand, only seven running backs have ever won Super Bowl MVP. While that’s the same number of wide receivers that have taken home the award over the Super Bowl’s 55-year history so far, no running back has won Super Bowl MVP since Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 32. Four wide receivers and four defensive players have won Super Bowl MVP since then, with quarterbacks taking home the other 15 awards.
No kicker has ever won Super Bowl MVP, but odds makers seem to think rookie Evan McPherson (+4500) has a chance after nailing some big kicks throughout the playoffs. While a successful game-winning field goal would literally influence the outcome of the game in the most direct way possible, it’s hard to see McPherson winning Super Bowl MVP on that alone. He would likely need a slew of successful attempts, some long or otherwise unlikely, not miss any attempts, and get a poor day from Burrow and the offense. If the Bengals win 9-6 with three McPherson field goals including a game-winner, by all means, give him the historic honor. But otherwise, these odds seem pretty high for a kicker on the underdog team, so perhaps Vegas is just riding off the rookie’s hype.
Von Miller (+3500) is the only player on this list vying for his second Super Bowl MVP, after earning the award in a Super Bowl 50 win with the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers. Miller is a key contributor to the Rams defense, but not quite the force and heart and soul of the defense that he was at that time. Miller is probably a longer shot than odds makers are making him out to be, again riding name and pedigree. If Miller does have a standout defensive performance and win Super Bowl MVP, he would become the first non-quarterback to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (+5000,) Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (+5000,) Rams second-string running back Sony Michel (+7500,) and Rams tight ends Kendall Blanton (+7000) and Tyler Higbee (+8000) are the next five-likeliest players to win Super Bowl MVP after the top ten contenders.
Rams rookie wide receiver Ben Skowronek (+40000,) who has yet to score a touchdown in his young NFL career, and Bengals punter Kevin Huber (+50000) have the longest listed odds. I can’t imagine a single scenario where a punter wins the award on his punting alone, no matter how low-scoring the game is. Huber would have to throw, run, or pass for a touchdown, and even that doesn’t sound like enough, unless it’s the game’s only touchdown.
Who do you think will win Super Bowl MVP? With my Super Bowl 56 prediction in mind, I would agree with odds makers that Matthew Stafford is the most likely player to take home the award. Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., and Aaron Donald definitely have a chance, but even a slightly above average passing day from Stafford should be enough to secure the honor, assuming the Rams win. If the Bengals win, it’s either Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, or a jaw-dropping breakout performance from an offensive or defensive player.
Super Bowl 56 MVP Odds
- Matthew Stafford +120
- Joe Burrow +230
- Cooper Kupp +600
- Aaron Donald +1000
- Ja’Marr Chase +2000
- Odell Beckham Jr. +2500
- Cam Akers +3500
- Joe Mixon +3500
- Von Miller +3500
- Evan McPherson +4500
- Tee Higgins +5000
- Jalen Ramsey +5000
- Sony Michel +7500
- Kendall Blanton +7000
- Tyler Higbee +8000
- Van Jefferson +10000
- Tyler Boyd +10000
- Trey Hendrickson +10000
- Samaje Perine +15000
- Sam Hubbard +15000
- Leonard Floyd +15000
- Eli Apple +20000
- Drew Sample +25000
- Vonn Bell +25000
- Eric Weddle +25000
- Trent Taylor +30000
- Troy Reeder +30000
- Chidobe Awuzie +30000
- Jessie Bates III +30000
- BJ Hill +30000
- DJ Reader +30000
- Chris Evans +35000
- Ben Skowronek +40000
- Kevin Huber +50000
Super Bowl 56 MVP Odds provided by Bovada via Sportsbetting.legal as of February 9, 2022. I am not affiliated with either, and do not have any open bets for Super Bowl 56 MVP. This article is not intended to be betting advice.
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