(TNS) — With the NFL schedule half completed, the race for the league's most valuable player award is beginning to narrow on a few candidates.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a standout among them, according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas.
After a third consecutive game with four touchdowns, Mahomes has emerged as the clear betting favorite to win the MVP award. He's listed at 1-to-1 on the website Bovada. Rams running back Todd Gurley is second on the list at 11-to-5. The sports gambling website adds Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to the mix.
But Mahomes' ascent to the top of the leaderboard has been steady through the initial eight weeks. He opened the season at just 60-to-1 to win the award. Eight weeks later, he leads the NFL with 2,526 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has the fourth-best quarterback rating in the league.
The comparison of value between a quarterback to running back has a bit of an apples-to-oranges flavor, but Gurley is indeed outperforming all of his peers. He has rushed for 800 yards _ nearly 200 more than any other player _ and 11 touchdowns in eight weeks. He's added another 351 yards and four touchdowns receiving.
The race might ultimately be decided by a team performance. The Chiefs are 7-1. The Rams are 8-0. The two teams will meet on Monday Night football on Nov. 19. Will the MVP be at stake?
The odds favor the Chiefs getting to that game without another blemish on their record. They are favored by nine points against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
The Chiefs are 6-2 against the spread this year after failing to cover last week's 10-point line against Denver. In fact, the Chiefs did not cover the spread in either matchup with the Broncos this season. They're 6-0 against the spread against all other teams.