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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Favored on 2018 NFL MVP Odds

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Aaron Rodgers will have to overcome a daunting schedule to make good on being the favorite to be chosen the NFL’s most valuable player this upcoming season.

As NFL training camps open, the Green Bay Packers quarterback is a +550 favorite on the 2018 NFL MVP odds, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The reigning MVP, Tom Brady (+800) of the New England Patriots, is the second favorite, followed by Carson Wentz (+850) of the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

The honor has become a quarterback award, having gone to a passer in 14 of the last 17 seasons.

Rodgers, a two-time NFL MVP, has a good pre-written narrative since the Packers are seeking a bounce-back season after missing the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade in 2017. There is a chance of voter fatigue with Brady, who has won the MVP award three times, but never back-to-back (something only Peyton Manning has pulled off in this century).

The fact that the Eagles won it all last season after Wentz was sidelined might work against him removing any doubts of how important he is in Philly.

Beyond that big three, the top of the board also offers the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees (+1500), the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo (+1500), the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (+2000), the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (+2000) and the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson (+2000).

As anyone angling to land Alvin Kamara in a fantasy draft knows, the Saints are no longer a pass-happy team these days and that might work against Brees compiling MVP numbers. Newton and Wilson’s respective teams also appear to be in down cycles.

Garoppolo and Watson, who are both looking to complete their first full seasons as starters (the former due to a trade, the latter due to an injury) are much more intriguing longer shots. Of the two, Watson might have more upside due to both his current price and the relatively softer competition in the AFC South.

Only one quarterback – Earl Morrall in 1968 – has ever had a MVP season immediately after changing teams, so that might give bettors cold feet about the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins (+2200). Or maybe it shouldn’t, seeing how so few MVP-calibre passers change teams during their peak years.

Brady (+400) and Brees (+400) are also co-favorites to lead the league in passing yards, although no player over the age of 40 has ever led the NFL in that stat. Interestingly enough, no quarterback under age 30 has racked up the most yards in a season since 2010. The assumption that will continue could mean that bookmakers and bettors alike are overlooking younger talents, such as the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (+3300) and the Texans’ Watson (+4000), who are each second-year pros.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Why Bill Belichick isn’t retiring anytime soon

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Bill Belichick turned 67 the other day, which is about the time most normal human beings are seriously pondering retirement. There’s no indication Belichick is. With 56 more coaching victories (regular season and postseason), Belichick would become the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. Top three in wins now: Don Shula 347, George Halas 324, Belichick 292. Shula coached 33 seasons and Halas 40; Belichick has coached 24, and in fairness to the leaders, Shula coached half of his career in 14-game seasons, and the majority of Halas’ years were 12-game regular seasons.

What’s interesting to me is how few of the best coaches ever coached this late in their lives. In fact, 12 of the 15 winningest coaches have not coached, or did not coach, at age 67 or older. Belichick will make that 11 of 15 this fall.

Looking at the top 15, and how many seasons they coached after turning 67:

1. Don Shula: 0. Coached last game at 65.
2. George Halas: 6. Went 47-33-5 and won one NFL title after turning 67.
3. Belichick.
4. Tom Landry: 0. Coached last game at 64.
5. Curly Lambeau: 0. Coached last game at 55.
6. Chuck Noll: 0. Coached last game at 59.
7. Andy Reid: 0. He is 61.
8. Marty Schottenheimer: 0. Coached last game at 63.
9. Dan Reeves: 0. Coached last game at 59.
10. Chuck Knox: 0. Coached last game at 62.
11. Bill Parcells: 0. Coached last game at 65.
12. Tom Coughlin: 3. Went 19-29 after turning 67.
13. Mike Shanahan: 0. Coached last game at 61.
14. Jeff Fisher: 0. Coached last game at 58.
15. Paul Brown: 1. Went 11-4 after turning 67.

Belichick doesn’t talk about how long he’ll coach—surprise!—but those who know him say they think he’s not close to walking away from football. My take: Halas coached his last game at 72. I would not be shocked if Belichick matches that; nor would I be shocked if he coaches two or three more years and ends it. I never sensed the record mattered to him … but if it does, that means he’ll coach six more years. Seems like a stretch, but those who have been around him say he never shows the signs of stress even during big moments of big games that have made some great coaches walk away. Does he look or sound like a 67-year-old man? Not to me. 

Read more from Football Morning in America here

Why these NFL teams should take a chance on Josh Rosen

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So I believe the Cardinals, should they—as I suspect—choose Kyler Murray number one overall, will be inclined to make the best deal they can for the quarterback they picked last year 10th overall, Josh Rosen. It’s easy to say Rosen’s a big boy and he’s going to have to get over the biggest snub job in recent NFL history. But he heard Kliff Kingsbury take the job and say on several occasions, Josh is our quarterback, or words to that effect. Now you draft a guy number one overall and asked Rosen to be a good soldier and carry the clipboard and help Kyler Murray win games for the team that misled him about being the quarterback under the new coach? Awkward.

I don’t know how the draft is going to fall, but if Miami or Washington or the Giants do not draft a quarterback high in the draft, what seems fair to me is offering a third-rounder (78th overall by Miami, 95th overall by the Giants, 96th overall by Washington) to Arizona for Rosen. And Arizona, I’m assuming, would strongly consider doing the best deal it could at that point.

I’d be really interested if I were Miami. Imagine trading the 78th pick and having a year to see if Rosen has a chance to be the long-term guy. If the Dolphins are unconvinced at the end of 2019, they could use a first-round pick (plus other draft capital if need be) to draft the quarterback of the long-term future in a year when the quarterback crop is better than this year.

There’s also this matter: In the last four-and-a-half years, Rosen has been coached by six offensive architects. At UCLA beginning in the fall of 2015, Rosen had Noel Mazzone, Kennedy Polamalu and Jedd Fisch, followed in Arizona by Mike McCoy and Byron Leftwich last year and Kingsbury this year. Imagine Rosen having the same system and coach for two or three years in a row. It hasn’t happened to him since high school. Seems worth a shot to me.

This is going to be a very interesting week in the history of the Arizona Cardinals, but also in the personal history of Josh Rosen.

Read more from Football Morning in America here