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- American football player
One of the perks of being named Super Bowl MVP is a free trip to Disney World (unless you're fresh off a murder trial). If you've been wanting to visit the Magic Kingdom, you could potentially finance your adventure by placing a small wager on a longshot to win Super Bowl MVP this year. I've identified three players whose odds are much longer than their team's odds to win it all, but who would be key to claiming the Lombardi Trophy, thus offering significant value. Here's the trio I'm betting on BetMGM before wild card weekend kicks off:
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans RB (+2500)
The last running back to win Super Bowl MVP was the Denver Broncos' Terrell Davis in 1998. Henry is no normal ballcarrier, though. Tennessee's Terminator missed more than half of the regular season with a fractured foot and still finished ninth in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns. He'll get an extra week of rest, thanks to the Titans owning the top seed, and only has to win two home games in order to make it to the Super Bowl. As the team's centerpiece, Henry would very likely be the player most essential to a Titans Super Bowl victory, yet his +2500 odds for Super Bowl MVP are more than triple Tennessee's +750 Super Bowl odds. Compare that to Aaron Rodgers (+450) and the Packers (+375), Patrick Mahomes (+550) and the Chiefs (+500), Tom Brady (+800) and the Bucs (+750), etc., and what you end up with is value as massive as Henry's frame. If you believe the Titans have a shot at being crowned champs, betting on King Henry for MVP is a no-brainer.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers WR (+10000)
Samuel is like a Swiss Army knife with a bazooka component. The Niners began implementing the receiver into their backfield in Week 10, which unlocked the San Francisco offense like a skeleton key. After starting the season 3-5, they won seven of their last eight games with Samuel playing running back. The third-year hybrid averaged 6.5 yards per carry while scoring rushing touchdowns in six of eight outings. Samuel continued to produce as a wideout, as well, finishing second in the league in YAC (779 yards after the catch) and fifth in receiving yards (1,405). Kyle Shanahan is known for his offensive mind and he has this unit clicking now. If the Niners win the Super Bowl (+2000 on BetMGM), it won't be due to Jimmy Garoppolo's arm; it will be a result of their YAC and rushing attack. That makes new focal point Samuel a phenomenal value for Super Bowl MVP.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots RB (+15000)
The Patriots are the Bruce Springsteen of the NFL because, baby, they were born to run. For that reason, I spent much of the offseason imploring readers to take the over on Harris' season rushing yards prop and telling my friends to bet on him at +8000 to record the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL this year. He easily cleared his prop and tied for the second-most rushing scores, despite missing two games. Harris also ended the season as PFF's highest-graded running back. Bill Belichick built this team to grind you out on the ground. If he gets his seventh ring this year, there's a decent chance he rode the running back who's scored eight times over his last five games. New England is +2500 to win the Super Bowl, yet their best offensive player is nearly sextuple that to win MVP.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference and NBC Sports.