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Super Bowl LI: Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski considered MVP candidate by oddsmakers

What would it take for a kicker to win Super Bowl MVP?

Bovada has released odds for various players from the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons to win MVP in Super Bowl LI. The list is a mix of usual suspects and head-scratching surprises.

QB Tom Brady is the top option with 3/2 odds, implying a 40% chance of winning MVP. Falcons QB and likely regular season MVP Matt Ryan is second with 5/2 odds, representative of a 28% chance. Falcons WR Julio Jones (10/1), Patriots WR Julian Edelman (12/1), and Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount (20/1) round out the top five.

Most MVP candidates are on the offensive side of the ball and it would take a multi-sack, multi-forced turnover performance by a defender to earn consideration. Falcons EDGE Vic Beasley Jr. has the best odds of any non-offensive player at 25/1. The field has 20/1 odds.

Surprisingly, CB Logan Ryan is the Patriots defender with the best odds of winning MVP at 40/1, edging out CB Malcolm Butler (66/1) and FS Devin McCourty (75/1). Ryan has better odds than TE Martellus Bennett (50/1), RB James White (66/1), and LB Dont’a Hightower (100/1). WR Chris Hogan (25/1) and RB Dion Lewis (25/1) join Brady, Edelman, and Blount as the only Patriots with better MVP odds.

What I found even more surprising was K Stephen Gostkowski with 50/1 odds, tied with Bennett and ahead of Butler, White, and others. The MVP award has gone to a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver in 40 of the 50 Super Bowls. What would it take for a kicker to win MVP?

It probably would require that no offensive player exceed 100 yards or score a touchdown. And that kicker would have to be responsible for every point the team scored with a minimum of five field goals, including a game winner, while no defender stood out for production- no sacks, forced turnovers, few tackles. Just look at Super Bowl XVI.

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 in Super Bowl XVI and 49ers K Ray Wersching connected on all four field goal attempts. QB Joe Montana threw one touchdown and rushed for another, but only had 157 passing yards- and Montana was named MVP.

Gostkowski and Falcons K Matt Bryant share 50/1 odds. If either of them win MVP, they’ll be creating history.