Bovada is not only one of the top online sportsbooks for betting on NFL games, but oftentimes it goes above and beyond with some additional betting action by releasing odds for a few special player and team props to go along with that week's games. Most times these props center around some of the top trending topics in the league.
Heading into Week 13 of the regular season, this week's special NFL player props turn their attention to a couple of MVP candidates as well as the future of a couple of head coaches. The following is my "best bet" pick for each one.
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NFL Regular Season MVP Odds to Win
With 12 weeks of the NFL season completed, Bovada's list of betting odds for MVP has been narrowed down to just three quarterbacks for this week's special prop. New England's Tom Brady is the clear favorite at -125 betting odds, followed by Carolina's Cam Newton at +110 and Arizona's Carson Palmer at +1200.
A few weeks ago I would have automatically penciled in Brady as the winner based on his form and the fact that he has already won this award twice in his storied career. Since then, the Patriots have struggled to get past the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills before losing to Denver this past Sunday night. During this three-game stretch the injuries have continued to pile up, especially when it comes to New England's receiving corps. This is bound to plague this offense down the stretch in tough road games against Houston, New York (Jets) and Miami.
Carolina, on the other hand, continues to roll with an 11-0 start. And given its strength of schedule over the next five weeks, the Panthers have a legitimate shot at running the table. Newton may not have the gaudiest statistics in the league throwing the ball, but you can't deny the fact that he is the ultimate playmaker when it comes to getting this offense into the end zone. It will be hard for voters to ignore this fact if the Panthers continue to win.
Palmer is an interesting play as a sentimental long shot, and there is no way that Arizona gets to 9-2 without him under center. However, I am not sure he can surpass the first two players on this list unless something crazy happens between now and the end of the season. I am sticking with Newton at +110 in this player prop.
Chip Kelly's Coaching Future
Ever since Chip Kelly left the college ranks at Oregon to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles three years ago, he has been a polarizing figure in this league given his unique and unconventional approach in running his team. For the first two seasons this approach worked pretty well with back-to-back 10-win seasons. However, after blowing up the roster this past offseason with the added responsibility of player personnel, things have blown up in his face with the Eagles' 4-7 record heading into this Sunday's road game against New England as double-digit underdogs.
Bovada's prop bet odds for his coaching future are set at +150 that he is still with Philly next season. The odds he goes back to college football as a head coach are +200, and he has the same +200 odds that he is coaching somewhere else in the NFL in 2016.
Unfortunately, I have been a huge Eagles' fan my entire life, so I have been suffering through this year's collapse up close and personal. My gut tells me that team owner Jeff Lurie will stick with Kelly for at least one more season, and the beleaguered head coach has already gone on record as saying "As long as they have me here, I'm here" according to running back Kenjon Barner in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week.
In my opinion, Kelly is too stubborn to leave this job on a losing note, and I do not think he will be fired or traded. So I will take the +150 odds that he is back in Philly next year.
Jeff Fisher's Coaching Future
Fisher is in his fourth season as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, and at 4-7 on the year following three losing seasons, he is reportedly on the hot seat for his job. Bovada tends to agree with +110 odds that he will still keep that job against -150 betting odds that he is not the Rams' head coach for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season.
The trade with Philadelphia for quarterback Nick Foles does not help Fisher's chances to stick around, although it is doubtful that Sam Bradford would have done much better given how he has played this season for the Eagles as Foles' replacement.
The two things that Fisher does have going for him is a 21-year tenure in the league as a head coach and the strong support he has received from team owner Stan Kroenke and general manager Les Snead in the past. Given the added value in the +110 odds, I think Fisher gets a chance to try and turn things around with at least one more year at the helm.
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