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NFL MVP race: Allen drops, Mahomes leads, Burrow and Hurts climb

Three of the four favorites for the MVP are still alive heading into Championship weekend, and all can make their case even stronger with a win on Sunday.

NFL MVP race: Allen drops, Mahomes, leads Burrow, and Hurts
Ed ZurgaAP

It’s setting up for a spectacular Championship Weekend. Two dream matchups in the AFC and NFC feature three of the favorites for the MVP award, and this weeks games could go on to decide who wins the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Patrick Mahomes has held serve as the frontrunner for the award, while Joe Burrow made a late season push towards the top of the odds makers list, and Jalen Hurts has exploded onto the scene in a stunning season that has brought Philly back to where they want to be.

Going into the penultimate weekend of the NFL season, this is how the NFL MVP race is playing out according to MGM sports books.

Patrick Mahomes, -1400

The Kansas City quarterback gave Chiefs nation quite the scare on Saturday night, when he was wrapped up on a scramble and suffered a severely sprained ankle in the first quarter of the Divisional Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He stayed out for one drive, and came back under center but was noticeably hobbled by the ankle injury. KC punted on their first two possessions of the third quarter, but when it mattered Mahomes was there to led his team to victory in the fourth quarter, bad ankle and all. Up 20-17, Mahomes orchestrated a game winning drive in which he went 5/6 and found Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 6 yard TD to make it a two score game. Mahomes showed tougheness, grit, and that hunger to win in a night where he went 22/30 for 195 yards and two TDs.

Joe Burrow +900

Cincy knew they were going to have a balanced attack in Buffalo in their Divisional Round matchup with the Bills. A snowy day in Orchard Park meant each team was going to have to implement a heavy dose of the run game, but that didn’t stop Burrow from throwing two first quarter TD passes to set the tone for the Bengals.

He hit Ja’maar Chase for the games first TD on the opening drive of the day, and then foun Hunter Hurst for to make it 14-0 before Bills had their second possession of the game. He finished the game 23/36 with 242 yards and 2 TDs as he let the run game do the heavy lifting to finish off the Bills. The Bengals are in the AFC Championship for the second time in as many years, and in the last two games against the Chiefs, Burrow has had Mahomes’ number.

Jalen Hurts +1200

How would Jalen Hurts look in the Eagles first playoff game after playing just one game over the last month? That was the biggest doubt going into Philly’s game against the New York Giants last week. He silenced those doubters while comforting Eagles fans to the tune of a 28-0 first half lead as Philadelphia eased past their division rival.

Hurts’ stats weren’t better because they didn’t need to be. He threw two of the four first half TDs for Philly, and what may be even more comforting than that was his willingness to take on defenders in scrambling situations and proved that the bummed shoulder was ready for contact. The third year QB went 16/24 with 154 yards and two TDs to bring the Eagles back to the NFC Championship.

Josh Allen +1500

Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes were tabbed as the MVP favorites all season, and they were neck and neck throughout the campaign. If there would have been a Bengals-Chiefs matchup in the playoffs, it very well may have determined who would win the MVP award this season. Joe Burrow and the Bengals made sure that didn’t happen on Sunday afternoon.

Allen and the Bills high powered offense struggled to score the ball against the Cincy defense. Buffalo’s QB1 didn’t have a terrible game, but he didn’t have a great game, going 25/42 for 265 yards, but threw no TDs and had a late interception. Allen has shown he’s a fantastic quarterback capable of stuffing the stat sheets, and leading his team to the playoffs, but if he can’t win the big games the MVP and the Lombardi Trophy will always elude him.


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