Here’s Who Vegas Is Picking to Win the 2017 NFL MVP Award

Football is widely considered to be the ultimate team sport. Still, one of the fastest ways a player can earn legendary status in the NFL is by winning a league MVP award.

Most players would tell you that they would take winning a Lombardi Trophy and being rewarded with a Super Bowl ring over any type of individual award. At the same time, it’s only human nature to want to be recognized for individual accomplishments along the way. That’s where the MVP award comes into play.

With the NFL’s regular season rapidly approaching, here’s who the oddsmakers in Vegas are picking to win the 2017 NFL MVP award.

11. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panther addresses the media during media availability prior to Super Bowl 50 at the San Jose Convention Center/ San Jose Marriott on February 3, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton is a proven MVP candidate. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Odds: +2500 (25-1)

Newton proved to be one of the most dynamic players in the league when he took home the 2015 NFL MVP award. That said, Newton has had his fair share of struggles (starting with his performance in Super Bowl 50) since joining the prestigious list of NFL MVP winners.

At the end of the day, Newton needs more support from his teammates to have any chance at contending for the honor in 2017.

9. (tie) David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 24: David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball in the first half against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Arizona’s David Johnson is the real deal. | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Odds: +2000 (20-1)

Johnson took the NFL by storm in 2016. In his second year in the league, the former Northern Iowa star totaled 2,118 total yards from scrimmage and scored a league-high 20 total touchdowns.

Johnson is arguably the best all-purpose back in the league today. As long as he stays healthy, the 25-year-old could legitimately challenge Chris Johnson’s NFL record for most yards from scrimmage in a single season. If that happens (and the Cardinals have a solid season), expect to see Johnson in the running for MVP honors at the end of the season.

9. (tie) Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after a two-yard touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Derek Carr looks primed for a big year. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Odds: +2000 (20-1)

If we were in the business of giving betting advice, we would tell our readers to jump all over these odds. From a football standpoint, Carr has everything in place — an elite offensive line; one of the league’s best group of pass catchers (wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Jared Cook); and a proven running back (Marshawn Lynch). On top of that, the former Fresno State Bulldog is in a contract year. If the Raiders contend in the AFC as expected, Carr will be one of the frontrunners to take home the 2017 NFL MVP.

8. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24: Le'Von Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers waves to the crowd after the 28-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Le’Von Bell looks unstoppable at times. | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Odds: +1800 (18-1)

When he is healthy and focused, Bell may be the best pure running back in the NFL. The former Michigan State Spartan is a threat both on the ground (he should contend for the 2017 NFL rushing title) and through the air (he caught 75 passes for 616 yards in 12 games last year). Bell is playing this season out on Pittsburgh’s franchise tag, so it’s safe to say he will be motivated by the idea of landing a massive contract next offseason. If the Steelers have the type of season they are hoping for, Bell will likely emerge as a MVP candidate by the end of the year.

6. (tie) Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on prior to a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Ezekiel Elliott has taken the NFL by storm. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Odds: +1200 (12-1)

Elliott became a bona fide NFL superstar by rushing for a league-high 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns (he also caught 32 passes for 363 yards and touchdown) during his rookie season in 2016. We have some concerns about his workload from a year ago (354 total touches), but Elliott does still have the benefit of running behind one of the league’s premier offensive lines.

If Elliott stays healthy and can improve his numbers from 2016, he has to be considered a serious threat to win 2017 NFL MVP honors.

6. (tie) Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons defeated the Packers 44-21. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan will be out to defend his 2016 MVP award. | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Odds: +1200 (12-1)

Ryan seemingly came out of nowhere to win the 2016 NFL MVP award and guide the Falcons to a near-win in Super Bowl 51. The four-time Pro Bowler turned in the best season of his professional career and finally settled the debate over whether or not he is an elite NFL quarterback.

Atlanta has everything in place (other than offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) for Ryan to have a similar type of season (possibly even better) in 2017. If he does, the former Boston College signal caller could become the first back-to-back MVP winner since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009.

4. (tie) Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches from the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on November 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger could be in for a big season. | Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Odds: +1100 (11-1)

When it comes down to it, Roethlisberger will have to stay healthy for an entire season to have a legitimate chance at taking home his first career MVP award. The Steelers have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, so Big Ben should have no problem putting up monster numbers if he plays a full 16-game season. Roethlisberger’s MVP candidacy could ultimately come down to whether or not he can guide his team past Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Playoffs.

4. (tie) Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott is looking to avoid the sophomore slump. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Odds: +1100 (11-1)

If Prescott continues on his current career trajectory, he will likely be remembered as the biggest steal in NFL Draft history. The former fourth-round pick is now the Cowboys’ unquestioned starting quarterback, and the pressure is on to build off his immensely success rookie season.

Prescott is in an excellent position to have a highly efficient and productive season while leading America’s Team on a deep postseason run. If he proves to be even better than he was as a rookie this fall, the former Mississippi State standout will be in the running for the MVP award at the end of the season.

2. (tie) Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum on September 1, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Seahawks need a big season out of Russell Wilson. | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Odds: +1000 (10-1)

To be perfectly honest, we were surprised to see Wilson come in this high on the list. Wilson has the ability to contend for this honor when he is playing his best football, but there is just no denying that the Seahawks are a team that is carried by their defense. If Wilson happens to put together a dominant season from start to finish, though, he will be in the mix for MVP honors next January.

2. (tie) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on December 28, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Detroit Lions 30-20. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
We believe Aaron Rodgers is going to produce monster numbers in 2017. | Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Odds: +1000 (10-1)

If we were picking today, Rodgers would be our pick to take home the 2017 NFL MVP award. The 33-year-old quarterback is arguably the best offensive player in the game today, and the Packers will only go as far as he can carry them. With the weapons he has at his disposal (wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb and tight end Martellus Bennett), Rodgers could have a career year in 2017. If he does, don’t be surprised to see him take home his third career MVP award.

1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on during Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tom Brady is the heavy favorite to win the 2017 NFL MVP award. | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Odds: +400 (4-1)

Brady coming in as the odds-on favorite to win the 2017 NFL MVP award should come as no surprise. The Patriots are heavy favorites to win Super Bowl 52 (and could have a chance at completing the second perfect season in NFL history), and they have built an offense that could be nearly unstoppable this fall.

Brady could easily have one of the best statistical seasons of his career in 2017. If he does and the Pats win Super Bowl 52, he could win the 2017 MVP award in a landslide.

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference. Odds courtesy of Bet365, Article based on odds as of June 15, 2017.