The NFL's Most Valuable Player race is intensifying as we approach the final few games of the regular season, and although Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson should be leading the MVP power rankings that's not how oddsmakers see the 2019 unanimous winner.
The upcoming Christmas night game between the Ravens and the 49ers might decide who wins the award depending on the result, but for now San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy leads the race having overtaken Dak Prescott in the latest odds released earlier this week.
Prescott (+900) has fallen to fourth place in the race, getting trumped by Purdy (leading everyone at -225), Lamar Jackson (+600), and 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (+700). The final member of the Top 5 candidates to hoist the award is QB Josh Allen of the resurging Buffalo Bills.
Jackson's performance in the recent game against the Jacksonville Jaguars solidified his status as one of the leading MVP candidates for the 2023 season. He's coming off an outing against a fellow AFC division leader in which he completed 14-of-24 passes for 171 yards including one touchdown, and to which he added 97 yards on 12 carries. Simply put, an MVP-level performance.
Jackson and Purdy will face each other (albeit in the distance) next Monday and they will be fighting to keep their teams atop the NFL standings and also for personal bragging rights and most probably an MVP award when all is said and done. All Lamar needs to do is play the Christmas Grinch role to perfection on Monday, at the Niners home, to steal the MVP from Mr. Irrelevant.
Perhaps a slightly positive bonus and boost for Lamar's chances at getting his second MVP award is the fact that San Francisco has two players instead of just one in the race. That doesn't mean McCaffrey will win the award (it'd be shocking for a non-QB player to get it), but it could affect the final voting numbers and favor Lamar Jackson's tally.
As explained by FOX Sports, "the MVP vote is a ranked system with the first-placer from each voter getting 10 points, second getting 5, and then 3-2-1 for the remaining three." That means that the Niners players will inevitably lose votes to each other.
If voters are split (if only on, say, a 70-30 way) into voting Purdy and CMC, then the two will eat from each other's pie and lose votes in the final race for the award. The winner? None of them, but rather Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. Get that dub, play the Grinch, win the MVP!