Patriots defensive end #9 Matthew Judon tries to run down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson in the 1st quarter.

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2022 NFL MVP futures lean Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts

Lamar Jackson leads the NFL in touchdown passes, passer rating and is fourth in rushing, the type of stuff MVP seasons are built upon.

Betting on himself in contract negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens, Jackson has plenty of others betting on him, too.

Jackson closed the gap in MVP futures betting to +700 (FanDuel), behind only Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs (+600, FanDuel) and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+300).

There’s another QB in the picture: Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts is also +700 (FanDuel) for the undefeated Eagles.

Jackson pushed the Ravens past the New England Patriots in a 37-26 shootout on the heels of a 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. Credit Jackson for keeping the Ravens rolling while the defense hasn’t been up to typical standards.

He had a double-triple — more than 100 yards rushing and passing — for the 14th game in his career.

In three games, Jackson has 10 TD passes and a rating of 119.0. After rushing for 119 yards and a score against Miami, he added 107 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Patriots. Jackson, who won the 2019 MVP award, is averaging 9.3 yards per carry this season.

DraftKings bumped Hurts (+600) ahead of Jackson (+700), who is even with Mahomes. Allen is the DK favorite for MVP at +300. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is No. 5 on their list at +1400.

Hurts and Jackson are tied at +700 at Caesars Sportsbook behind Mahomes +550 and Allen +300. Tagovailoa is +1400 at Caesars followed by Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (+1600) and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+1800).

Week 1 darling Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings has settled at +6000 at Caesars and +7500 at FanDuel, the same odds available for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston and Colts quarterback Matt Ryan.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scores on a 26-yard touchdown run against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) and safety Camryn Bynum (24) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

QB3? Eagles’ Jalen Hurts pushing Allen, Mahomes in MVP odds

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles are creating waves in NFL futures betting markets.

Hurts scored a pair of rushing TDs and tossed one in a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings Monday night that has the Eagles at 2-0 to start the season.

Hurts continues to see his MVP odds hiked and he’s third behind favorite Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills quarterback, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes at multiple sportsbooks.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Hurts at +800, Mahomes +450 and Allen +300. FanDuel has Hurts +1000, Mahomes +460 and Allen +340. DraftKings goes Hurts (+800), Mahomes (+500) and Allen (+350).

Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers is fourth at all three books and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens No. 5.

A different QB is listed No. 6 at all three books: Aaron Rodgers (+1700, FanDuel), Tua Tagovailoa (+1800, Caesars) and Russell Wilson (+2000, DraftKings).

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the first non-QB listed in MVP futures at FanDuel (+7500) and DraftKings (+6500), but Caesars has Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor even at +6000.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers host Chiefs in Week 4 for Brady-Mahomes VI

Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are scheduled to square off for the sixth time when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Kansas City Chiefs in October.

The Week 4 game was released by the NFL on Thursday morning before the complete schedule announcement later in the day.

The same teams — and quarterbacks — last met in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in February 2021 when Brady and the Buccaneers prevailed 31-9.

Brady is 3-2 in the all-time series with Mahomes.

The next matchup is scheduled for Oct. 2 and will air in prime time on NBC as the “Sunday Night Football” Week 4 nightcap.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Adding WR Josh Gordon gets Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes giddy

Beyond admitted baggage and possible rust, here is what quarterback Patrick Mahomes knows about his newest wide receiver: Josh Gordon brings All-Pro credentials to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Everywhere he’s been, he’s kind of dominated,” Mahomes said Wednesday, prior to his first practice with the former Browns, Patriots and Seahawks wide receiver. “He can make plays in one-on-one coverage. He’s a big receiver. Even if he’s covered, he’s not covered. You can kind of throw it up there and he can make plays.”

And, in Mahomes’ words from a few weeks ago talking about Tyreek Hill, “sometimes it be like that.” Gordon was an All-Pro in 2013, leading the NFL in receiving yards with the Cleveland Browns.

Years removed from his most dominant and productive seasons, Gordon could eventually help Mahomes and Co. He’s joining the practice squad, not the 53-man roster, and will be given extra time to re-acclimate to an NFL locker room, system and lifestyle. Head coach Andy Reid plans to be intentionally patient with Gordon, 30, who is back in the NFL for the first time since 2019.

“It’s going to take awhile,” said Reid, adding he doubted Gordon would be on the roster this week. “We’ll just see how it goes over the next week or two.”

Gordon has the size and speed to make an impact if all other variables fall into place.

The Chiefs are in need of a wide receiver to draw attention from the All-Pro Hill, who has 70 yards on eight receptions in the past two games.

“I’m sure they’ll incorporate him with a couple roles in the offense as the season goes on, as we get him up to speed, and we’ll see where that takes us,” Mahomes said. “He’ll have his role. He’s a great football player, but in this offense everybody gets a chance to make plays.”

In December 2019, Gordon was given an indefinite suspension for substance abuse and performance-enhancing substance violations.

It marked Gordon’s sixth suspension since the 2013 season. A subsequent reinstatement in December 2020 lasted only a month — with no on-field appearances — and was rescinded in January 2021.

ESPN’s report said Gordon had a setback in his recovery.

Gordon entered the league in the 2012 supplemental draft, selected in the second round by the Browns. He played in Cleveland until 2018 — he missed 2015-16 due to suspension — then played parts of 2018-19 with the New England Patriots before moving on to Seattle.

Gordon has 247 career receptions for 4,252 yards with 20 touchdowns in 63 games (56 starts).

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is tackled by Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Justin Jones (93) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes’ MVP odds take hit; Josh Allen rises

Patrick Mahomes’ NFL MVP odds took a hit following his two-interception performance in Kansas City’s loss on Sunday that dropped the Chiefs to 1-2.

Mahomes was the +500 favorite entering Week 3 but saw those odds lengthen to +600 at PointsBet on Monday. They slipped even further later in the day, with the Chiefs’ quarterback now the co-favorite at +700 with Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady.

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray is now the +750 betting favorite at DraftKings, followed by Mahomes and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford at +800.

Stafford also saw his MVP odds shorten from +1000 to +800 at PointsBet after guiding the Rams past the Bucs on Sunday and to a 3-0 record to start the season. He is the co-third favorite at the book along with Murray.

The biggest move of Week 3 belongs to Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, who is now being offered at +900 by PointsBet after entering the weekend at +1400. The Bills are 2-1 following a rout of the Washington Football Team, and Allen has now pulled event at DraftKings at +1000 along with Brady and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Mahomes entered the season as the MVP favorite and he remained in that role while throwing six touchdowns against one interception through Kansas City’s 1-1 start. However, he threw a pair of picks in Sunday’s 34-24 loss to the Chargers.

The Chiefs are still the AFC West favorites at PointsBet despite being 1-2, although their odds have moved from -225 before Sunday’s game to -125. The undefeated Denver Broncos are being offered at +350, followed by the Chargers (+500) and the Las Vegas Raiders (+525).

The AFC West has begun the season a combined 9-3, with the Chiefs owning two of those losses and the Chargers one.

The Chiefs entered Sunday at +525 to win the Super Bowl and also saw those odds lengthen a bit to +600 on Monday.

“We are who we are right now because of the turnovers,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said Monday. “We’re a 1-2 team, and so we have to correct everything, make sure we get back on track and getting this thing going in the right direction moving forward.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady throws way toward top of MVP race

It only took one monster week for Tom Brady to insert his name back into the thick of the NFL MVP race.

Brady saw the gap between himself and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes lengthen after the three-time MVP threw four touchdowns against a pair of interceptions in Tampa Bay’s Week 1 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

After following that up with five touchdowns without a pick in Sunday’s win over Atlanta, Brady now has 655 passing yards and nine touchdowns through two games.

The Buccaneers’ quarterback is now being offered at +550 at PointsBet, just behind Mahomes at +500. Brady was being offered at +1200 after Week 1 while Mahomes’ odds have lengthened a bit from +400.

The next-shortest odds at PointsBet belong to Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray (+750 from +1000). However, Murray is the current +550 favorite at BetMGM, followed by Mahomes (+600) and Brady (+700).

Matthew Stafford has the fourth-shortest odds at both sportsbooks: +1000 along with Seattle’s Russell Wilson at PointsBet and +1100 at BetMGM. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers saw his odds improve to +1200 and +1300, respectively, following Monday night’s convincing win over Detroit.

Las Vegas’ 2-0 start has also resulted in Derek Carr’s MVP odds being slashed to +2000 at both sportsbooks.

Going the opposite direction after a lopsided loss to Carolina is New Orleans’ Jameis Winston, whose odds doubled from +2000 to +4000 at PointsBet while lengthening further to +5000 at BetMGM.

The top non-quarterback remains Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who is being offered at +5000 at BetMGM and +10000 at PointsBet.

Notable adjustments in other award winner futures at PointsBet include:

Defensive Player of the Year
–Nick Bosa (49ers) +1200 to +800
–Aaron Donald (Rams)/Myles Garrett (Browns) +600 to +700

Offensive Rookie of the Year
–Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) +375 to +500
–Zach Wilson (Jets) +800 to +2000
–Mac Jones (Patriots) +250 to +190
–Kyle Pitts (Falcons) +1200 to +650

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) walks to the field prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NFL futures entering Week 1: Josh Allen for MVP?

Bettors are getting behind Bills quarterback Josh Allen for 2021 NFL MVP but almost all markets show Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the overwhelming favorite.

At BetMGM, Allen entered Week 1 at +1400 and is the book’s greatest liability among all futures bets with 13.7 percent of the total handle in the MVP betting market. A staggering 18.5 percent of futures tickets include Allen for MVP at the book.

PointsBet bumped Allen to +800 and set Mahomes at +450, and the Bills’ QB has 33.8 percent of the total handle on MVP bets.

Nearly 26.7 percent of the handle at BetMGM was on Tom Brady, who opened at +1400 and remained steady as the Buccaneers edged the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.

Allen is the biggest liability for PointsBet and FanDuel at +1300 odds and nearly 20 percent of the total handle. The Bills’ QB is also third in FanDuel’s market for the NFL’s leader in passing TDs behind Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.

Mahomes leads the MVP odds race across the board. BetMGM offers +600 odds on Mahomes winning MVP.

Their second-largest liability behind Allen is Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has 8.5 percent of tickets at +2000.

In terms of line movement, 49ers rookie Trey Lance has moved more than any player since MVP markets were released.

The opening-day backup for San Francisco is +10000 after opening at +30000 with BetMGM.

–Mahomes’ Chiefs are also the favorite to win Super Bowl LVI at +500 (PointsBet) and +600 (DraftKings). The next-closest AFC team on the board is the Buffalo Bills at +1200 (PointsBet, DraftKings). The Buccaneers are at +600.

More than 17 percent of the Super Bowl market handle rests on the Chiefs.

The biggest mover since the market opened in February is the Green Bay Packers, who went from +1700 at PointsBet to +1000.

–Browns defensive end Myles Garrett heads Defensive Player of the Year odds at +450 at PointsBet with Aaron Donald on his heels but the most tickets are on Washington Football Team pass rusher Chase Young. At +1000, more than half of DPOY tickets are on Young.

–Patriots quarterback Mac Jones climbed to the top of the Offensive Rookie of the Year market at +450, ahead of Lance (+750) and Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields (+750).

–Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (+600) is splitting most of the Defensive Rookie of the Year handle with longshots: Gregory Rousseau (+2000), Joe Tryon (+2500) and Patrick Surtain II (+1100) all have at least 10 percent of the handle at PointsBet and DraftKings.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) returns to the locker room following warmups before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Wilson: 5 bold predictions for 2021

Be bold, be bullish, be all-in when it comes to ultra-big, ultra-athletic and ultra-skilled Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf.

Metcalf is an extremely reliable breakout candidate and my prediction for huge NFL numbers in his third NFL season.

Here’s why:

At a sculpted 6-foot-4, 235 pounds with 4.33 speed in the 40-yard dash, Metcalf has freakish size and speed and knows how to use his superior traits to full advantage.

He had at least 100 yards or one touchdown in 10 of 16 games last season, finishing with 83 receptions for 1,303 yards (seventh in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns. He was targeted at least four times every game.

In two NFL seasons, he has 141 career catches for 2,203 yards and 17 touchdowns.

In his third NFL season, look for even greater production from Metcalf. He could emerge as the top wide receiver in the game.

Russell Wilson has built a strong chemistry with Metcalf and will make it a point to throw him the football frequently. That conclusion doesn’t require sources. It’s just a matter of fact and practicality.

The game is slowing down for Metcalf and he’s gained greater knowledge of the Seahawks’ offense and excellent timing with how Wilson likes to play.

As they say, “Let Russ cook.” How about, “Let Russ and Metcalf collaborate as co-chefs to cook a delicious meal of touchdowns.”

The Seahawks hired Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator, which could help Metcalf maximize his talents. Look at how much production the Los Angeles Rams, Waldron’s old team, have had at wide receiver and the diversity of their schemes under Sean McVay.

There could be extra pockets for Metcalf to operate.

Metcalf should also benefit from the presence of rookie D’Wayne Eskridge, who’s capable of being an effective weapon in the slot and as an outside receiver.

Metcalf lined up in the slot 16.6 percent of the time last season. That number could increase under Waldron’s direction. Plus, Metcalf has upgraded his route-running skills.

Under Waldron, the Seahawks are expected to increase their tempo with quick passing game strategies.

Metcalf is also an imposing red-zone target, where he scored five times last season.

And Metcalf has the requisite attitude for the job.

“Hungry,” he said. “Still hungry. Be better than last year, that’s always the goal.”

Here are four more bold predictions for the 2021 season:

Chiefs win it all

Yes, Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the talent to repeat. And they looked good in a dramatic season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Here’s saying they won’t repeat. And it’s not because of any obvious deficiencies with the Buccaneers.

The Kansas City Chiefs are just that good.

Between a fully healthy Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and an upgraded offensive line led by Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown, the Chiefs are primed to win a Super Bowl rematch over the Buccaneers.

Bills are in the mix

The Buffalo Bills are a sleeper Super Bowl candidate around the league.

The emergence of strong-armed mobile quarterback Josh Allen makes them a legitimate contender.

The addition of Stefon Diggs last season and general manager Brandon Beane’s steady roster moves to improve a loaded defense makes the Bills Mafia extremely happy.

This team is on the cusp of accomplishing big things.

Browns take over AFC North

The way the Baltimore Ravens’ running back situation has been decimated by injuries — including the losses of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill for the season — could prevent them from remaining ahead of the pack in the division.

Lamar Jackson is a dynamic presence, but can only do so much given the injury situation in the backfield.

The Cleveland Browns are poised to ascend.

A two-running back system with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, a playmaking quarterback in Baker Mayfield, the return of Odell Beckham Jr. from an ACL injury and a defense that has Myles Garrett makes the Browns the heavy favorite in this division.

Colts take a step back

It’s hard to believe in Carson Wentz resurrecting his career with the Indianapolis Colts.

Wentz’s confidence and mechanics were shot in Philadelphia. Even having Frank Reich around to coach him up again won’t be enough to get Wentz back to where he began his career.

Look for the Tennessee Titans to rule the AFC South because of powerhouse running back Derrick Henry, the addition of Julio Jones and the play-action skills of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The defense, led by Jeffery Simmons, is improving.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden ’22 cover

After fighting it out in the Super Bowl, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are sharing the cover for Madden ’22.

The video game released in August is one of the most popular sports titles with a segment of fans who admittedly take a day off for the on-sale date.

“Whenever you first get on the cover, that’s a special moment,” Mahomes told ESPN. “So to be on it again, twice, with an all-time great like Tom Brady, it’s a special moment that I’m glad that I’m able to do so soon after I had done it the first time.

“I’ll be able to have it for the rest of my life and be able to show my kids and my kids’ kids that I was on it two times.”

Brady and Mahomes are each on the cover for the second time, with Brady (then with the New England Patriots) gracing Madden ’18 and Mahomes on Madden ’20.

Brady was MVP of Super Bowl LV as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in February. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a win in the NFL title game the previous season and won MVP honors.

The last time two players shared the cover was Madden ’10 with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

Brady debuted in Madden ’01 with a player rating of 57, but not by name. He was listed as QB No. 12 and fourth-string with the Patriots.

Mahomes was a member of the “99 Club” last year, a nod to the near-perfect rating given to only a select class of NFL players. He has been the top-rated quarterback in Madden the past two years.

–Field Level Media

Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chiefs hope to restructure Patrick Mahomes’ contract

The Kansas City Chiefs apparently hope to become the latest NFL team to restructure the contract of a high-priced quarterback to save salary-cap space.

ESPN reported Friday that the Chiefs hope to change Mahomes’ $21.7 million roster bonus to a signing bonus, a maneuver that would result in $17 million of cap savings for the 2021 season.

The accounting shift would allow the team to spread out the cap cost of the bonus money over multiple years.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady similarly agreed to a contract extension Friday that provides the club with additional salary-cap flexibility.

The Chiefs’ tight salary-cap situation was highlighted earlier this week when the team parted ways with starting tackles Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher on the same day.

Mahomes is under contract with the Chiefs through 2031 on a 10-year, $450 million contract he agreed to last summer. He reportedly was guaranteed $103.5 million through this month, including a $63 million bonus paid when he signed. His total injury guarantee was $141 million.

Mahomes, 25, was the 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player, and he led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl championship after the 2019 season. Kansas City got back to the Super Bowl following the 2020 season but fell to Brady and the Buccaneers in the title game last month.

In 2020, Mahomes completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,740 yards with 38 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. A three-time Pro Bowl honoree, Mahomes has a 38-8 career regular-season record as a starter, and he has completed 66 percent of his passes for 14,152 yards with 114 TD tosses and 24 interceptions.

–Field Level Media