I was pretty adamant when Tom Brady's four-game suspension was reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals that Brady would have no shot of winning a third career NFL MVP Award this season. You can't possibly win an MVP when you play just 75 percent of a season, right?
Bovada has released updated MVP odds and Brady is your +250 favorite. I guess I can't argue considering he has been out-of-this-world in his two starts, but to me that's like giving a pitcher the MVP in baseball even though he plays in less than 20 percent of his team's regular-season games. I previewed New England's game this Sunday in Pittsburgh here at Doc's, and history says you can expect another big day from the Golden Boy. Brady has won his past five vs. the Steelers with 17 touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a 127.9 passer rating. At +7, the Steelers are the biggest home dogs on the Week 7 board.
Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger had been co-favorites for the MVP heading into Week 6, but now Ryan is the +750 second-favorite at Bovada and Roethlisberger isn't even an option since he will be out 4-6 weeks. Seattle's Russell Wilson and Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott round out the favorites at +800.
On the Rookie of the Year honors, Elliott was the heavy preseason favorite, lost that role briefly to Philadelphia's Carson Wentz and is now back as the favorite at -160. His teammate, Dak Prescott, is +120 for ROY and +1600 for MVP. Not sure how one guy deserves one of those awards over the other. The Cowboys are off this week. Wentz is now +700 for ROY.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 7.
Bills at Dolphins (+3, 43.5): This line has grown a half-point since I looked at this game Monday in my Opening Line Report. The Bills are taking heavy action, but things got interesting on Thursday when running back LeSean McCoy, who has been a monster in Buffalo's four-game winning streak, was ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered on Wednesday. That truly came out of nowhere. And it's sounding like McCoy could miss multiple weeks. That's a huge blow as McCoy ranks second in the league in rushing yards (587) and tied for second in rushing touchdowns (6). Mike Gillislee will be a popular fantasy football pickup this week.
Ravens at Jets (-2.5, 40): New York was a 1-point favorite on Monday and the Jets will go with Geno Smith in place of the terrible Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Immediately after Monday's blowout loss in Arizona, Coach Todd Bowles said Fitz would be his starter but then quickly backtracked, so you knew the writing was on the wall. Smith has been a turnover-machine as well in his NFL career, but he's young and will be a free agent so you might as well see what he has. In Smith's last regular-season start, he was 20-for-25 for 358 yards, three TDs and a perfect rating of 158.3 in an upset of the Dolphins in Miami in Week 17 of the 2014 season. Remember, he was going to be the Jets' starter last year before getting sucker punched in August and breaking his jaw. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco hadn't practiced through Thursday and is in question. His shoulder injury also came out of nowhere. Flacco says it's nothing, but he rarely misses practice. So we might be looking at Ryan Mallett. To no surprise, this total is dropping. Might be under 40 by kickoff if Flacco sits. Baltimore also likely without top receiver Steve Smith again.
Vikings at Eagles (+3, 38.5): This is the smallest total of the season I believe. And it's also Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia. He will not be warmly welcomed. Remember, after the Eagles gave up all those picks to draft Wentz at No. 2 overall, Bradford had the audacity to demand a trade. Things calmed down and Bradford was set to be the team's Week 1 starter until traded on the eve of the season to Minnesota, opening the door for Wentz to start. Bradford, by the way, is +1600 to win the MVP. You can also bet a prop on who passes for more yards: Bradford (-150) or Wentz (+110). The Eagles defense ranks fourth against the pass (207.4 ypg) and the Vikings are sixth (209.8). I'd actually take Wentz here because I don't think Philly will be able to run at all as Minnesota allows 77.8 ypg on the ground.
Buccaneers at 49ers (+1, 46.5): You know how some guys perform great in a contract year then seem to become injury-prone as soon as they get all that guaranteed money. I'm not saying that Bucs running back Doug Martin isn't really hurt, but he was always expected to return from a Week 2 hamstring issue this Sunday after Tampa's bye, but he apparently had a setback and won't. It continues a trend for the Muscle Hamster as he has had two stellar seasons in the NFL but hasn't had good or healthy ones right after them. Former waiver-wire pickup Jacquizz Rodgers will again be the featured back. He might have a big day considering the 49ers are allowing a whopping 173.4 rushing yards per game this season. San Francisco will be without its top running back, Carlos Hyde. Mike Davis likely starts in his place.
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