Bill Williamson for Bookies.com

By Bill Williamson | | 3 mins

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Is Christian McCaffrey A Good Value Bet In The NFL MVP Race?

Is Christian McCaffrey A Good Value Bet In The NFL MVP Race?
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With Patrick Mahomes dealing with an ankle injury and his Kansas City Chiefs hitting the skids in Weeks 5 and 6, the NFL MVP race has heated up.

In fact, at some sportsbooks, Mahomes – who won the NFL MVP award last season and who was the betting favorite prior to and during the early 2019 season – has been bypassed as the favorite to win the award this week by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson .

At 888Sport, Wilson, who has thrown 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in leading his team to a 5-1 record, is now the betting favorite at +225. Mahomes is +250.

However, the race is far from over and the MVP odds could change week to week. And it’s more than a two-player race.

In fact, one player to consider backing is Carolina Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey. He is putting up crazy yardage totals as both a rusher and as a receiver out of the backfield.

McCaffrey is an intriguing 11-1 bet at FanDuel.


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A Good Time To Back McCaffrey

Now might be the time to jump on the McCaffrey because he fell off his incredible yards-from-scrimmage pace some in a Week 6 Carolina victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London.

McCaffrey – who has been a highlight machine all season --- had just a total of 57 yards on offense Sunday against the Tampa Bay. But he did have two touchdowns. In six games, McCaffrey has 618 rushing yards and 305 receiving yards. Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is second in the NFL with 796 yards. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Marshall Faulk had more yards from scrimmage than McCaffrey’s 923 after six games.

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson owns the NFL yards from scrimmage record at 2,509 yards, which he set 10 years ago. McCaffrey is on pace for 2,461 yards from scrimmage. So, the record is very much in sight, especially if the low-yardage game of Week 6 is a fluke.

McCaffrey, who is leading the league with seven rushing touchdowns, has a total of nine touchdowns this season. That leads the NFL.

Despite his monster season, McCaffrey is fighting NFL history. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson was the last running back to win the MVP award in 2012. The Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson (2006), Seattle’s Shaun Alexander (2005) and Faulk (2000) are the only running backs to win the MVP award this century.

McCaffrey Is Carrying The Panthers

Quarterback Kyle Allen has filled in nicely for the injured Cam Newton, but the Panthers offense starts with Christian McCaffrey.
Quarterback Kyle Allen has filled in nicely for the injured Cam Newton, but the Panthers offense starts with Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey’s MVP candidacy isn’t just based on his wild stats. He’s making a huge impact on his team and keeping the Panthers, who have a bye this week, in the playoff chase without injured quarterback Cam Newton. Carolina is 4-2 and trails the 5-1 New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. The NFC is wide-open and the Panthers are squarely in the playoff mix.

That’s a trick with an injured quarterback. Sure, Carolina backup quarterback Kyle Allen has done a nice job in Newton’s absence, but the Panthers offense revolves around McCaffrey and he is carrying his team. That’s what NFL MVPs do.

Again, there are other candidates such as Wilson, Mahomes, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, New England quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But if you want to back a darkhorse candidate, McCaffrey is worth betting at 11-1.

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