Do Sportsbooks see Drew Brees as an NFL MVP Dark Horse?

Drew Brees to Lead NFL Passing Yards 2017 Odds
  • by Andrew Scofield
  • October 2nd, 2017
  • Category:

New Orleans Saints starting QB Drew Brees is, as far as sportsbooks are concerned, far behind in the National Football League Most Valuable Player Award odds-boards. That means he’s an underdog, but is he also a dark horse? That is, is there, as oddsmakers like to say, “value” in betting on Brees, when it comes to this specific proposition? The first thing Breesus has going for him is that fact that he is a quarterback; signal-callers have won the last four MVP awards straight. And not just QBs, either, but, with the exception of Cam Newton, pocket passers like Brees himself: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan.

The last two averaged 4,662.5 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and six picks in their respective MVP seasons. if Brees keeps up his current pace, which has him ranking fourth in the league in passing yards (867), fifth in rating for qualifying players, and with a 6/0 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he would, barring any unforeseen event, finish with 4,595 passing yards and 32 touchdowns – which would be his 12th straight 4000-plus-yard season. A couple of factors could, furthermore, help Brees increase his output, as seen below:

  • Willie Snead, third on the Saints in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season, is now able to return to the receiving unit after serving his three-game suspension. Snead was, so it’s clear Brees likes the third-year man.
  • The quality of the defenses that the Saints have faced so far this season has ranged from good (Vikings) to not so good (Patriots), to bad (Panthers), and Brees and the New Orleans offense has performed accordingly. Breesus could and should, in good theory, post even bigger numbers as the Saints face even weaker defenses.

Unfortunately for Brees’s sportsbooks’ odds of winning league MVP, the Saints should perhaps change their names to the Martyrs because they’re suckers for punishment. The last time that New Orleans had a winning record was in 2013, and teams with losing records, or who fail to make the playoffs, are not known for producing MVPs. Curiously, such an award is conspicuously missing in Brees’s long list of accolades (NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, NFL passing yards leader, NFL passing touchdowns leader, etc.). Not even, in fact, in the Saints’ Super Bowl-winning 2009 season did Brees receive the honour (he was Super Bowl XLIV MVP but not league MVP).

Something else that bodes ill for Brees sportsbooks’ chances is his age; the oldest QB to win the MVP award was then-37-year-old Rich Gannon in 2002 – Brees is 38. However, Brees is, according to, making some adjustments to his regime, such as taking Wednesday off. Sort of. “That’s my normal Wednesday routine,” the QB said. “I do certain elements of practice and then I don’t do other elements.” I do certain elements of practice and then I don’t do other elements. Clearly, the Saints will accommodate Brees so as to prolong as much as possible an already Hall of Fame career.