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Betting the Bears: Odds for MVP

How much value is there in betting on Bears players to be the league MVP? A lot, it turns out.

Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Talking about sports betting, especially prop bets, in the middle of summer, isn’t really super popular chatter right now.

It’s the NFL’s dead season and we’re still months out from spreads, over/unders and win totals, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to shop bets.

There is value to be had because so few people are talking about bets. Will you be accused of being a degenerate if you start talking MVP odds for QBs before the Fourth of July? Well, that depends who you’re talking to.

There’s obviously a lot of expectations around the Bears heading into this season. They are coming off winning the division title in the NFC North and there’s expectations that with a killer defense returning and an offense that should be better, it’s no surprise there are real Super Bowl aspirations for the Bears.

With that comes more betting odds. Just a couple of years ago it would have been unthinkable that the Bears would have a legitimate MVP on their roster, but that’s no longer the case.

The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas posted their opening odds for the NFL MVP Tuesday and there’s some Bears players on the list with value to be had.

Of course, the lowest odds come with the players you expect: Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes is the current favorite at 4/1. They believe he’ll be a better favorite and is the odds-on favorite for back-to-back MVPs.

The next lowest odds go to Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck at 8/1 each, followed by Drew Brees and Carson Wentz at 10/1 each. Tom Brady actually seems like a decent bet at 12/1, even if he is entering his age 42 season.

Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson come in next at 14/1. Russell seems like a really good value bet there.

But we care about the Bears here and the first Bears player on their list is Khalil Mack. Remember, these odds are NOT for the Defensive Player of the Year, this is for the NFL MVP. No defensive player has won the MVP award since Lawrence Taylor way back in 1986. He was also the last non-QB, non-RB to win the award.

Mack is 100/1 for the MVP, tied with a bunch of other defensive studs including Aaron Donald, the two-time reigning DPOY, JJ Watt, Von Miller, Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa. That’s decent value if you want to throw $10 on the (very) off chance that a defensive player would win the award. It would pay off $1,000 if he did.

The next Bears player on the list is QB Mitchell Trubisky. Mitch is 200/1, which again, is very good value. If the Bears are as good as they are expected to be, he should be in the conversation. His 2018 season flew under the radar due to a variety of reasons; his best games weren’t on a national stage, he had up and down moments, Patrick Mahomes made everyone else look bad and perhaps an established national narrative on Mitch that many Bears fans will say is unfair.

So that is to say that a $100 bet on Trubisky would stand to pay out $20,000 if he were to win the MVP. If that is too much to risk, a mere $10 bet would stand to pay out $2,000 and $5 would pay out $1,000. That is a very low risk for a potentially big payout.

In fact, at least one betting sharp thinks it’s a good value:

Now if you really want to swing on a Bears player for MVP, look at Tarik Cohen. He’s 300/1, meaning a $100 bet would pay out $30,000 were he to win the award. That is a huge payout, but Cohen, I think, would have to have an insane season, something that rivals Gale Sayers’ 22 TD rookie season back in 1965.

It’s definitely fun to look at, but before you start running to the betting window, consider your budget and remember to bet responsibly. Consider what you’re comfortable losing before you think about what you stand to win.

That said, I think Trubisky is the best value bet for the Bears, followed by Mack. For Mack, you have to consider the history of his position and side of the football in the voting and realize the payoff isn’t really there. If he were 200-1 or 250-1, it’d make more sense.