NFL MVP Gap Will Shrink In Week 8

The odds-on favorite to win the 2020 NFL MVP, according to PointsBet, is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. And frankly, there isn’t much argument that can be made at this point.

However, there’s still a lot of season left, and Wilson was practically neck-and-neck with eventual 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson at this point a season ago, so things can change. We should expect things to change after this upcoming slate of games for a number of reasons, any number of which may have nothing to do with Wilson himself.

Can Russ Cook vs. San Francisco?

After an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins at home, the San Francisco 49ers bounced back with two consecutive impressive victories over the likes of the Rams and the Patriots, allowing a combined 22 points in the process. The Niners have been decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball but have found something over the past two weeks.

Their familiarity with Wilson should breed more consistency, and keep in mind, the 49ers sacked Wilson six times in their two meetings last year as he threw just three touchdowns and one interception.

Marquee Matchup In AFC South

The biggest game of the weekend is a divisional rivalry between the Steelers and the Ravens, who kick off at 1 pm ET in Baltimore. Pittsburgh is undefeated, while Baltimore’s lone blemish was to Kansas City on a Monday night in Week 3.

The winner of this game not only gets a leg up in the division, but the winning quarterback will likely get a bump in their MVP odds as well. Last year’s recipient, Jackson, has the fifth shortest odds at 20-1, while Ben Roethlisberger is 33-1.

If the Steelers are still undefeated after Week 8 with back-to-back wins over Tennessee and Baltimore, it’s time to consider Roethlisberger for more than just the Comeback Player of the Year.

Blowout Boosts

While Wilson, Roethlisberger and Jackson will have their hands full this weekend, other MVP candidates should have an easy time of it in Week 8. Aaron Rodgers (4-1) faces the Vikings, Patrick Mahomes (4-1) and the Chiefs are nearly a three-touchdown favorite over the Jets, and Tom Brady (12-1) is licking his chops thinking about the Giants defense.

Rodgers opened up his 13th NFL season by throwing for four touchdowns in a 43-34 win over Minnesota, and Brady will be on a national stage when the Bucs visit the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Kyler Murray (20-1) went toe-to-toe with Wilson in an overtime thriller last Sunday night (a Cardinals win where a Wilson interception in overtime cost his team the game), but his odds may take a hit simply because the Cardinals are on a bye this week.

Wilson has never earned a single first-place MVP vote in his career, which, although egregious, should likely change this year, barring injury. He’ll have to maintain his torrid pace, though, because he’ll have plenty of quarterbacks nipping at his heels (at least in the sportsbooks) at weekend’s end.