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NFL MVP odds: How Joe Burrow sitting in Week 18 impacts MVP chances

Bengals QB will rest up in Week 18 despite Cincy having a shot at the No. 1 seed. We break down how this impacts his chances to win NFL MVP.

Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow is not expected to play in Week 18 vs. the Cleveland Browns. This is an odds move by Cincinnati, which can still move up in the AFC playoff standings. The Bengals have a realistic shot at the No. 1 seed depending on what happens with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans. Instead, Burrow and the rest of the offense will rest up for the playoffs. After Week 17, the second-year QB was 10/1 to win NFL MVP. We break down how Burrow sitting could impact the race.

NFL MVP race 2021: Joe Burrow odds

Before this news, there was a path to Burrow winning MVP over Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Rodgers is -400 and the heavy favorite. The Green Bay Packers QB is also going to play in Week 18 (which is shocking) despite the team clinching the top seed in the NFC. Chances are Rodgers won’t play much. Brady and the Buccaneers will need a win to keep pace in the standings as the No. 3 seed. A loss could drop Tampa Bay down to the 4-seed and a matchup with the Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Rams.

Burrow has the stats to win MVP and the Bengals won the AFC North because of the offense. Still, A-Rod has the fast track to MVP and has played close to flawless football. Burrow would have had to throw for another 400-500 yards and 4 TDs while the Bengals clinched the top seed in the AFC in order to make a very strong case. Now that Burrow isn’t playing, you’ve got to think his MVP chances are shot.

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