San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the Most Valuable Player award at Super Bowl XLVII.
Bookmakers have given the second-year triggerman odds of 7/4 to lift the Pete Rozelle Trophy following the game, which takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans, La., on Feb 3.
Kaepernick is closely followed by his Baltimore counterpart, Joe Flacco, who has been assigned 5/2 odds of being named MVP.
The fact that the two quarterbacks are favorites to win the award is hardly surprising. In the 46 previous Super Bowl games, 25 have seen the quarterback named the star player. That’s 54 percent of the time.
The previous three games, and five of the last six, have seen the quarterback pick up the award. Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning won the accolade following last year’s game in Indianapolis.
In those 25 instances, all 25 have come from the winning side. In fact, only one player has ever been named MVP on a losing side; linebacker Chuck Howley’s Dallas Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts at Super Bowl V in 1971, the first game following the AFL-NFL merger.
With San Francisco currently a four-point favorite, Kaepernick therefore is the leading candidate for the roll.
As an aside, Alex Smith, San Francisco’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, has been given odds of 100/1 to win the award. An early injury to Kaepernick could see the “game manager” come into the game and steal the award. That might just be worth a small wager.
No. 3 on the list is Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis. Having returned from injury in time for the postseason, Lewis has led his side to three straight playoff victories, two of which came with the Ravens lengthy underdogs. It would be somewhat fitting for Lewis to win the accolade ahead of his impending retirement, particularly after what he has meant to this Baltimore side.
History might not favor Lewis though. Defensive players have only won the award seven times, although the Dallas pairing of Harvey Martin and Randy White shared the award following Super Bowl XII in 1978, meaning eight players have been named MVP. That’s just 15 percent of all recipients.
On top of that, only two linebackers have ever won the award. Firstly, the aforementioned Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V and secondly, wait for it, Ray Lewis himself in Super Bowl XXXV. Were he to be named MVP, Lewis would be the first defensive player to be named Super Bowl MVP more than once.
Odds of Lewis lifting the Pete Rozelle Trophy currently stand at 6/1.
The next two spots on bookmakers’ lists are taken up by running backs Frank Gore (17/2) and Ray Rice (12/1) respectively.
Gore was the focus of San Francisco’s offense last season, but this year the emergence of Kaepernick as a running threat has loosened the load for the long-time Niner. Rice was the league’s standout running back last season, but Baltimore’s regular season woes saw the former Rutgers man limited in what he could do this season. Whilst neither had their best season, both could break out in the last remaining game of the season, something history is well aware of.
A running back has won the Super Bowl MVP award on a total of seven occasions. That’s 15 percent of the time. That puts the position second to only the quarterback. However, the last running back to win the award was Denver’s Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII following the 1997 season.
Not only is 15 years a long time but we also live in the age of the quarterback, which makes either running back less of an appealing option.
San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree (16/1) is the favored wide receiver heading in to the game, although Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin (18/1) and Torrey Smith (20/1) are not that far behind.
Wide receiver is the third most prosperous position in regards to Super Bowl MVP voting. A wide receiver has taken home the award on six occasions, or 13 percent of the time. The last player to achieve the feat was Santonio Holmes, who in 2009 joined his Pittsburgh teammate Heinz Ward (2006) as a recipient of the award.
Outside of the three main skill positions things look a little bleaker.
Ravens free safety Ed Reed is considered 33/1 to win the award. A safety has won the award twice in history (four percent of the time); Jake Scott (Miami) in 1973 and Dexter Jackson (Tampa Bay) in 2003.
San Francisco’s Vernon Davis is the highest rated tight end (22/1) but in order for him to win the award, he’d need to make history as no tight end has ever been named Super Bowl MVP.
Likewise, no kicker has ever been awarded the accolade, which is bad news for San Francisco’s David Akers (66/1) and Baltimore’s Justin Tucker (75/1).
Other positions to have historically won the award are defensive end (twice), cornerback (once), and kick returner (once).
Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII MVP