Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are the overwhelming favorites to win the Super Bowl MVP award, given how common it is for the winning team’s quarterback to take home the hardware, but are they the best bets? On the latest Bill Simmons Podcast, Bill Simmons, Cousin Sal, and Mike Lombardi looked at the MVP odds and a host of other Super Bowl prop bets.
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
How Badly Does Roger Goodell Want Someone Other Than Brady to Win MVP?
Cousin Sal: What would have to happen for the Patriots to win and Brady not to win MVP?
Bill Simmons: Oh. I mean. [LeGarrette] Blount could absolutely win it. [Julian] Edelman could win it. Deion Branch won [in the game against] the Eagles.
Mike Lombardi: I mean, if Dion Lewis does a three-peat again where he does a kickoff [return] touchdown, catches a [touchdown pass], [and gets a rushing touchdown], I could see that.
Sal: I don’t know if [Goodell] has any influence, but he doesn’t want to [give it to Brady]. That’s an extra FU. If the AFC championship game was the Super Bowl, does [Chris] Hogan get the MVP? I still think Brady gets it.
Simmons: That was the best game Brady’s ever played in the playoffs from a stats standpoint.
Is It a Battle Between Ryan and Brady?
Lombardi: Look, this game is coming down to whether Ryan plays better or Brady plays better.
Sal: So you think it’s one of those two for sure?
Lombardi: One of the two.
Simmons: Could you parlay it with Brady breaking the trophy over Goodell’s head?
Sal: I like that.
Simmons: That’s 100–1.
Sal: I could see Julio Jones getting it before Matt Ryan, but I can’t see any receiver getting it before Brady, I just can’t.
Simmons: Dion Lewis, I think, is a good wild card. Kick return possibilities. One big wheel route, 50 yards, and then if he got to 70 yards running.
Sal: Brady minus-120 [for MVP]. So, to win the game [the Patriots are] minus-150. [Oddsmakers aren’t] giving a lot of margin to anybody else.
Don’t Get Too Tempted by QBs
Simmons: I feel like we’ve had this conversation for 10 straight years on this podcast, whether you should just bet the QB, if you’re betting on a team. But over and over again the QB hasn’t won. It’s like, what is it, like 55, 60 percent of the time?
Sal: Forgot to look, yeah, it’s not as much as you would think.
Simmons: Who won [last year]? Von Miller won, right?
Sal: That was an ugly game for [Peyton] Manning. They couldn’t give that to Manning.
Lombardi: But going into that game either Cam [Newton] was going to get it or somebody on the Denver defense was going to get it.
Sal: Edelman 15–1. Not bad.
Simmons: That’s good.
Lombardi: The problem with any receiver on the Patriots, the ball has to get delivered to them. And it’s going to be the guy who delivers the ball, not the guy who catches it.
Sal: Well, that’s what I’m saying. Hogan had two touchdowns, 180 yards or something two weeks ago.
Lombardi: Well, Brady would have won the MVP at that game.
Simmons: So what is Dion Lewis?
Sal: Dion Lewis is 20–1.
Simmons: See I think that’s the best [bet], you either go Brady or you go long shot. And you just hope there’s a 1-in-20 chance that Dion Lewis has [the] game of his life.