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October 31, 2022

Jalen Hurts has the best odds to be Offensive Player of the Year

Hurts has the second-best odds to win the NFL's MVP award too.

For the first time in his NFL career, Jalen Hurts has thrown for four touchdowns in a single game, as the Eagles dominated the Steelers 35-13 on Sunday. Three of those TDs went to A.J. Brown alone, as the QB-WR duo looked perfectly in sync.

Oddsmakers are taking notice too.

Over on DraftKings Sportsbook, Hurts has the best odds of any NFL player to win the Offensive Player of the Year Award at +300:

 Player TeamOdds 
Jalen Hurts Eagles +300
Tyreek Hill Dolphins +700 
Lamar Jackson Ravens +800 
Justin Jefferson Vikings +900 
Stefon Diggs Bills +900 

I've always thought that MVP should be a QB award and that Offensive Player of the Year should go to the best non-QB offensive player. If Josh Allen (more on that below) captures the MVP award this year, OPOY is a pretty nice consolation award for Hurts (not that he'd care at all about any of this). 

Brown, by the way, is tied for 15th in OPOY odds at +5000. DeVonta Smith is tied for 28th at +10000. 

Hurts is still certainly in the race for the NFL MVP Award too. 

When I last checked in on Hurts' MVP odds in September, he was +600 to bring home the award behind Allen (+300). His odds have jumped this week following that four-TD outing, as he's now +350 on DraftKings to be the first Eagle to win the AP MVP award since Norm Van Brocklin in 1960. 

Here's how the odds look:

 PlayerTeam Odds 
Josh Allen  Bills+120 
Jalen Hurts Eagles +350 
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs +400 
 Lamar JacksonRavens +1000 
Joe Burrow Bengals +1200 

Allen is the better quarterback in a vacuum, but, as I wrote last month, the narrative plays heavily into MVP voting and that works in Hurts' favor:

Hurts is a figure who's easy to rally around given his collegiate and pro climb. He was a freshman star for the Crimson Tide in 2016. He was then benched at halftime of the 2017 College Football Championship in favor of current Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to a comeback overtime win over Georgia. Hurts was then relegated to QB2 duty behind Tagovailoa in 2018 before transferring to Oklahoma for the 2019 season. He responded to that rocky 'Bama exit with 5,149 yards of total offense and 52 total touchdowns en route to finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting.

Hurts built himself into a Day 2 prospect, as the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, enraging both Eagles fans and Carson Wentz alike. Eight months later, he had usurped Wentz as the team's starter. Rumors swirled that the Eagles wanted to replace Hurts for the 2021 season, but they didn't. He struggled as a passer in his first full year as QB1, but he ran for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns and led the Birds to a surprise playoff berth. Yet again, there was chatter that the Eagles were going to upgrade at QB. 

The rise, fall and rise of Jalen Hurts has been six years in the making and Eagles fans are now reaping the rewards.

If the seemingly impossible happens and the Eagles can somehow, some way, run the table this season against this weak schedule, the MVP award is probably Hurts' to lose. 

The last player to win both MVP and OPOY in the same season was Mahomes in 2018. 

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