Super Bowl LVII is a little over a week away and the betting markets are filled with exciting props. From how long Rhianna’s show will last to the color of the Gatorade bath, there are endless things to bet on. But by far and away the most enticing for a sports fan is picking out who will be named Super Bowl MVP.
It might feel like a narrow market, with both quarterbacks obviously being heavy favorites, but that’s not always the case. Cooper Kupp won the award last year, and Julian Edelman did so in 2019. On the defensive side of things, both Von Miller and Malcolm Smith have won the MVP. All of these instances are within the last decade, opening the floodgates for a whole host of players to step up and stake their claims to immortality.
With that said, here are five Eagles who could be firmly in the mix to win Super Bowl MVP next sunday.
Five under-the-radar Super Bowl MVP Candidates on the Philadelphia Eagles
Kenny Gainwell +13000
Miles Sanders has enjoyed a breakout season right when he needed it most, but in the postseason, that baton has been passed to Kenneth Gainwell.
The second-year running back is averaging 14.5 touches per game, having jumped up from 4.5 in the regular season. That’s a huge bump and it’s no coincidence that his production has followed suit.
Per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports, Gainwell has the 4th-most scrimmage yards of all running backs this postseason, and he’s amongst some elite company. Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon, and Travis Etienne are the only 3 to have more.
Naturally, this should lend itself to a fairly heavy workload in the Super Bowl, and Gainwell’s versatility should position him nicely to be a factor as both a rusher and a receiver. Who knows, perhaps a rushing and a receiving touchdown may be enough to tilt the scales in his favor.
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DeVonta Smith +2600
DeVonta Smith has been arguably the best non-QB draft pick made by the Eagles in years. His rookie season saw fans breathe heavy sighs of relief knowing that the team finally has a wideout to hang its hat on. One year later, he’s not only continued to progress, but shined even brighter alongside A.J Brown.
In the playoffs, Smith has been exceptional. His numbers might not be dominating, but he’s had two incredible catches and a touchdown, along with 97 total yards in his two postseason appearances up to this point.
With a weakened secondary, the Chiefs may struggle to decide who to try and smother, A.J Brown or DeVonta Smith. The answer is usually Brown, which leaves the slim-reaper all the opportunities in the world to punish his opponents with some of the crispest route-running the NFL has ever seen.
A multi-TD game from Smitty is hardly out of the question here, and a Super Bowl MVP crown could follow.
Brandon Graham +7500
Brandon Graham was snubbed from winning Comeback Player of the Year, but he’s already put himself in the Super Bowl history books with the heroic strip sack that arguably sealed the teams’ first-ever Super Bowl win.
Who is to say that BG, knowing this could be his final year in midnight green, won’t punch in the performance of a lifetime after such a dominant season?
At +7500 odds, I’m happy to take the punt on BG winning Super Bowl MVP.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson +15000
CJGJ has enjoyed an explosive first season with the Eagles. Many will be hoping that this won’t be his last, but if it is, what a year it’s been. Prior to his injury, CJGJ led the NFL in interceptions and ended the year tied 1st with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Justin Simmons.
If Mahomes is less than 100% and the receiving corps is struggling for depth, then a lurking ballhawk in the secondary will provide nightmare fuel for Kansas City.
Reed Blankenship +24000
Here’s a real value punt. CJGJ has taken on slot duties since his return, which is great, but it’s left Reed Blankenship starting at safety. The UDFA has done a great job up to this point and if Gardner Johnson isn’t going to get the lion’s share of pick opportunities due to a potential matchup against Travis Kelce, then it will be Reed Blankenship who gets to maraud the backfield.
I wouldn’t go all-in with this, but those odds are to spicy not to have a flutter on Blankenship being namd Super Bowl MVP.
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