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NFL MVP long shot Jimmy Garoppolo could deal blow to sportsbooks

Two years ago, Lamar Jackson was a 200-1 long shot to win the NFL MVP award.

A few bettors at the Westgate turned $50 into $10,000 when the Baltimore Ravens quarterback was named the 2019 MVP, and professional sports bettor Mark DeRosa turned $500 into $63,000 at Circa Sports, where he backed Jackson at 125-1.

“I learned a lesson that the starting quarterback for an 8½-win team should probably not be over 100-1,” Circa sportsbook manager and NFL oddsmaker Chris Bennett said.

That said, there are still a handful of quarterbacks on projected winning teams who have MVP odds of 100-1 or higher at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

San Francisco starter Jimmy Garoppolo might be worth a wager at 125-1 at BetMGM and 100-1 at the Westgate and Circa, where the 49ers have a win total of 10½ and are the 14-1 fifth choice to win the Super Bowl.

The caveat is that the Niners picked Trey Lance (100-1 at MGM) with the third overall pick in the NFL draft to be their quarterback of the future.

“The expectation is that Trey Lance takes over,” Bennett said. “But right now, Jimmy Garoppolo is deemed the No. 1 quarterback for a team that’s supposed to be pretty good.

“It wouldn’t shock me if he somehow held Lance off and he and the Niners had a really good season. That’s a possibility there, but we don’t know how that quarterback situation shakes out.”

Bettors are banking on the oft-injured Garoppolo at William Hill, where he’s 75-1 after opening at 100-1.

“We lose six figures on Jimmy G, so there’s definitely money on him,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “If he has a monster year and Frisco posts a good record, he has a chance. He’s a good quarterback. He’s just got to stay healthy.”

The Saints, who have a win total of 9, have a quarterback competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Winston is 100-1 to win MVP at Circa, and Hill is 150-1 at MGM.

“It’s hard to make a bet like that when you don’t know who will be the No. 1 quarterback for the team,” Bennett said.

Bettors back Fitzpatrick

William Hill would get crushed if Ryan Fitzpatrick works his “Fitzmagic” for Washington, which has a win total of 8½ and is the +230 second choice to win the NFC East. The veteran journeyman quarterback is 200-1 at William Hill to win MVP after opening at 250-1.

“There’s a ton of action on Fitzpatrick,” Bogdanovich said. “They’re in a very winnable division, and he’s shown signs of brilliance.”

Chasing Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes is the clear 5-1 favorite to win MVP. But Bennett and Bogdanovich said the gap between the Chiefs quarterback and the top contenders is close.

“I didn’t think he should be that clear of a favorite,” Bennett said. “I initially had the best odds on him, and they thought there was value on him (at +625).

“He is the best quarterback, but his metrics last year were clearly inferior to Aaron Rodgers. I don’t want to say he’s overrated, but he’s just not so far above every other quarterback in the league.”

Josh Allen and Kyler Murray are tied for the second choice at Circa at +850, followed by Russell Wilson at 10-1, Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson at 12-1 and Rodgers at 15-1.

“I have Mahomes favored over any of them,” Bogdanovich said. “But I don’t think it’s by a country mile.”

Allen is 12-1 and Wilson 20-1 at the Westgate and MGM, and Murray is 22-1 at Boyd Gaming.

Fading Rodgers

Circa has the best price on Rodgers, 37, who has a chance to become the fifth player to repeat as MVP in the 64-year history of the award — which has gone to a quarterback 43 times.

“We intentionally have the best odds on Aaron Rodgers, so if someone is looking to bet him for MVP, they should bet it with Circa right now,” Bennett said. “We’re willing to gamble a little bit that they won’t give the award to him again after giving it to him last year.

“He’s a great quarterback who deserved to win last year. But it’s a voted-on thing, and repeating his performance, especially given his age, (is unlikely).”

Backing Stafford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, 18-1 at Circa, is the ticket leader at William Hill and second in money behind Mahomes. Bogdanovich said Rams running back Cam Akers’ season-ending injury might inadvertently help Stafford’s case.

“MVP-wise, he catches a break with Akers going down,” Bogdanovich said. “Now he has to throw more, and he’ll have more attempts and more yardage and more touchdowns.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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