It looks like we'll have a first-time MVP winner this NFL season as Carolina QB Cam Newton is the big favorite heading intoplayoffs. Find out our top NFL picks for MVP this year.
Cam, Cam He's The Man!
If you believe reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry, then Newton should win the MVP Award and you should back him with your NFL picks. And barring something totally unforeseen, he will win the first MVP in franchise history. Newton is a massive -1400 favorite on NFL odds.
The only way I saw Newton not winning the MVP was if the unbeaten Panthers lost their final three games, with Newton struggling, and coughed up the No. 1 seed in the NFC to the Arizona Cardinals. Carolina did nearly blow a 35-7 third-quarter lead at the New York Giants in Week 15. The Giants tied it at 35 on a late Eli Manning 14-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr., but Newton calmly led the Panthers into field goal range and Graham Gano hit a 43-yarder at the gun to improve the Panthers to 14-0 and extend their regular-season winning streak to 18 games.
Newton was magnificent against the Giants. He completed 25-for-245 for 340 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the team with 100 yards rushing on eight carries. That made the former Heisman winner the first player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and five touchdown passes in a single game. Newton now has 3,402 passing yards and 580 rushing yards this season and is the only player in history to have five different seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. He has done it each of his five NFL seasons.
To think, some were questioning the Panthers for giving Newton a five-year, $103.8 million extension ($60 million guaranteed) this summer. Now that looks like a bargain -- just like Curry's contact does with the Warriors. Newton and Curry, who is from Charlotte and a big Panthers fan, are friends.
Rest Of The Field
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady apparently will have to wait to win a third MVP Award as he's at +1300 after leading into November. It's just that Newton then decided to go all Superman with three games of five touchdown passes. In just about any other season, Brady would be the winner as he leads the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns. Hey, at least you beat the NFL in court over Deflategate, Tom, and got to play a full regular season.
Arizona's Carson Palmer is +1700. Also in many other years he would be the winner. Palmer is the best downfield passer in the NFL this season and has the Cardinals at heights they have never been. Palmer’s 106.7 passer rating is higher than that of Brady (103.8) and Newton (98.9). He has a higher completion percentage than Newton (63.3 to 58.8) and the same as Brady’s.
Finally, Seattle's Russell Wilson is +2000 at PaddyPower. He wasn't even in the picture until a recent five-game stretch where Wilson has gone bananas, throwing for at least three touchdowns in every game and no interceptions. Wilson is the first player in league history with five straight games like that. Yet Wilson, who leads the NFL with a rating of 111.4, probably is going to finish third in his own conference in voting at quarterback.
Free NFL Pick: Newton can't lose this now.