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Aaron Rodgers opens with second-best odds to win 2019 NFL MVP award

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Only last year’s MVP, Patrick Mahomes, has shorter odds from the biggest sportsbook in Vegas.

NFL: NFL Honors-Red Carpet Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas sportsbooks — and those who place bets with them — appear to be pretty high on the Aaron Rodgers-Matt LaFleur partnership working out for the Green Bay Packers.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Westgate SuperBook — which maintains the books at many major Vegas casinos — has released their odds for the winner of the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2019 season. Rodgers, who has won MVPs in 2011 and 2014, sits in a tie for the second-best odds at 8:1. Rodgers is tied at that value with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, and both of them trail favorite Patrick Mahomes at 4:1.

Interestingly, Packers receiver Davante Adams also shows up on the list at 200:1 odds.

Now, the Packers are always one of the more popular bets in Vegas. That typically drives their odds down on futures bets, such as winning the Super Bowl or making the playoffs. Likewise, Rodgers’ odds here are probably helped by popularity somewhat.

Still, it is striking to see him so close to the top of the leaderboard, given his struggles (comparatively speaking, at least) in the last few years. The last season that Rodgers was a legitimate MVP candidates was back in 2016, however, when he eventually lost out to Matt Ryan. So perhaps it is a happy coincidence that the man who was Ryan’s position coach that year — LaFleur — is now Rodgers’ head coach.

Making the postseason is practically essential to winning an MVP award; in fact, the last AP MVP award winner from a team that missed the playoffs was O.J. Simpson in 1973. The Packers currently have an over/under of 9 for total wins, however, suggesting that books and bettors believe that they will be very much in the playoff hunt at the end of the season.