Gurley Surges into Contention on NFL MVP Odds

After quietly racking up four performances of 100-plus rushing yards early in the season, Todd Gurley stole the headlines in Week 15. The star running back ran for a trio of first-half touchdowns, powering the resurgent Los Angeles Rams to a stunning 42-7 victory over rival Seattle as 1-point road underdogs, and lifting the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year to a short +500 wager on the NFL MVP odds.
Gurley’s breakthrough performance comes at a critical time for the 10-4 Rams, who now sit two games up on the second-place Seahawks and can clinch their first NFC West division title since 2003 with a win when they visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday as 6.5-point chalk.
The 23-year-old added a second-half scoring reception in last week’s rout of the Seahawks to improve his NFL-best touchdown tally to 17. However, Gurley faces tough competition on the NFL MVP odds from a quarterback quartet, led by Tom Brady, who remains perched as a heavy -500 favorite to claim MVP honors for the third time in his career.
Brady has made steady gains on those MVP odds since opening the campaign at +500. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer proved to be a calming influence during New England’s shaky 2-2 start before leading the Patriots to nine straight victories and a ninth straight AFC East title. Brady also enters New England’s Week 16 matchup with the Buffalo Bills with a league-best 4,163 passing yards, and is set as a heavy -500 favorite to lead all NFL pivots in passing yards for the third time in his career.
Further down the MVP futures, New Orleans Saints passer Drew Brees joins Seahawks pivot Russell Wilson at +1200, while Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz rounds out the odds as a +1600 bet.
Brees has racked up a respectable 3,850 passing yards and 21 touchdowns while completing an impressive 71.8 percent of his pass attempts this season. More importantly, the 17-year veteran has been the catalyst driving the Saints’ return to respectability. With a 10-4 record, New Orleans is poised to claim its first NFC South title since 2011, and joins the Rams and Eagles as a +1000 Super Bowl bet.
Wentz emerged as an elite NFL quarterback this season, and quickly rocketed to the top of the MVP odds during a seven-game stretch in which he tossed 22 touchdown passes. However, the 24-year-old rising star saw his odds tumble after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a 43-35 win over the Rams two weeks ago.