Super Bowl LI MVP Odds: Tom Brady the betting favorite over Matt Ryan

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Tom Brady is the clear-cut Super Bowl LI MVP favorite, which serves to make the prop on Matt Ryan all the more tantalizing.

Just more than a week before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, the New England Patriots’ triggerman is the front-runner on the MVP futures board at +160, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Ryan of the underdog Atlanta Falcons is listed at +250.

That is good value considering that the award goes to the winning QB more than half of the time and the most likely scenario for the Falcons to win is probably in a higher-scoring game.

Brady has been named MVP in three of the Patriots’ four Super Bowl victories. The Patriots’ offense-by-committee approach makes for long odds on WR Julian Edelman (+1600), RB LeGarrette Blount (+2000), WR Chris Hogan (+2500) and RB Dion Lewis (+2500).

With Patriots coach Bill Belichick having two weeks to scheme, if someone wants to play a long shot, it’s worth noting that Edelman and Lewis can both create touchdowns in multiple ways.

Falcons WR Julio Jones, at +750 on the Super Bowl betting prop to win the game MVP, has the top odds of any non-quarterback. The Falcons rotate running backs Devonta Freeman (+2500) and Tevin Coleman (+3300), although Freeman is likely a better bet since he gets more touchdown opportunities from inside the 10-yard line.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller‘s dominant game in Super Bowl 50 resulted in him being only the second defensive player in the last 13 years to be voted MVP. The highest defensive player on the board is Falcons DE Vic Beasley (+3300).

Atlanta’s likely only chance of containing  Brady is with a four-man rush, since Brady is too good at zipping short passes when teams send extra defenders. The Patriots focus more on causing turnovers, so there is potential for a defensive player to grab the spotlight by being involved in a couple takeaways. Cornerback Logan Ryan (+5000) and CB Malcolm Butler (+6600) likely figure to be busy on Super Sunday against the Falcons’ skilled receivers.

The Patriots are listed as three-point favorites against the Falcons with a 58.5-point total.

The MVP is chosen by a fan vote during the game that counts for 20 percent of the tally and a media panel whose votes count for the other 80 percent.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app