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Super Bowl MVP Prop Bets

By Jim Quinn
Feb 2, 2011, 11:36

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In 44 Super Bowls, there have been 45 players named Most Valuable Player (Randy White and Harvey Martin of the Dallas Cowboys shared that honor in SB XII for containing the Denver Broncos offense.) The majority of Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks (23), followed by defensive players (8), running backs (7), wide receivers (6) and one special teams player – Desmond Howard in SB XXXI.

With 51% of Super Bowl MVPs being the quarterback position - that seems like a pretty decent and safe prop bet, right? That’s exactly what the oddsmakers would like you to think!

Well, let’s look at Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner were the odds-on favorites at +200 or under, while Arizona running back JJ Arrington was over +6000. Roethlisberger went 21 for 30, 256 passing yards, one touchdown and one pick. Warner was even more impressive, at 31 for 43, with 377 passing yards, three touchdowns and one pick.

Who ended up with the Pete Rozelle trophy? Santonio Holmes, who had nine catches for 131 yards and that tippy-toe game winning touchdown. Wondering how much money you could have made if you had bet on Holmes? Some books had his line as high as +1500.

This year’s Super Bowl will pit two of the more impressive young quarterbacks in the league against one another - the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and the Steelers Big Ben, who will make his third Super Bowl appearance in the last five years. Are they the best selections for a Super Bowl MVP prop bet? Let’s take a look at some common Super Bowl MVP lines for 2011.

Aaron Rodgers is the current favorite at around +150*, with Roethlisberger just behind him at +350. On the other end of the scale, Packers’ linebacker A.J. Hawk is around +3000. But who’s to say that Hawk won’t dominate the Steelers’ decimated offensive line and collect a Rozelle trophy for himself? Maybe Tremon Williams will be the Larry Brown of SB XLV (Williams’ line is hovering around +2500).

Ray Lewis, Dexter Jackson, Richard Dent, Randy White, Harvey Martin, Jake Scott, Chuck Howley and Larry Brown have all been named SB MVP playing defense, so it may be worth taking a chance on a long shot.

If you don’t like the safe route of picking a quarter back, but aren’t feeling “defensive,” try a wide out. Three of the Steelers’ SB MVPs have been wide outs – Lynn Swann in SB X, Hines Ward in SB XL and of course, Santonio Holmes in SB XLIII. In 2011, you can get some decent odds on receivers from both teams – Greg Jennings at +1400 or Mike Wallace at +1600.

Running backs have won Super Bowl MVP seven times, but typically get slightly better odds than wide outs. In SB XLV, you can bet on Rashard Mendenhall at about +750 or James Starks around +700.

Super Bowl MVP prop bets can add a nice extra dimension to your typical Super Bowl betting. And while statistics may not as useful in gauging the actual winner as with some other prop bets, studying the past can help you narrow down the choices, bettering your odds at winning!

*Odds provided by our friends at

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