Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott are leading the NFL MVP race.
Thanksgiving offers the chance to see one of MaximBet’s favorites for NFL MVP, Josh Allen, do his thing in the final game of a tripleheader as the Buffalo Bills take on the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.
By the time the game ends, the tryptophan will have kicked in for all those folks around the country who gorged themselves on turkey. But excluded from that group will be the people in Buffalo who dined on local cuisine. “Huh?” you say?
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Well, Buffalo is known most for Buffalo wings but is actually an even better food city than many people realize. If you have never heard of “Beef On Weck,” check it out. Spaghetti parm and peanut sticks are also on the list, and you can excuse the friendly folks of Western New York for carrying around a few extra pounds once you have been there and experienced the cuisine, and the weather that often keeps those poor folks inside unless they are digging out of one of the massive snowstorms that come in regularly off Lake Erie.
This season, the Bills are best known for Allen, the No. 7 pick of the 2018 draft who is now second behind the ageless Tom Brady in an MVP race that has had about a half dozen favorites over the course of the season. (Dak Prescott, currently tied for third on the MVP list with +900 odds at MaximBet, is also playing on Thanksgiving.)
“I don’t think there really is a favorite,” said veteran NFL writer Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, which tallies the votes cast by 50 writers and broadcasters who vote on the award. “It is not that unusual for this award to go down to the final weeks.”
When Aaron Rodgers won it for the second time it came down to the final weeks, and it was also won in the second half of the season when Lamar Jackson won it. It’s such a quarterback-driven league that guys who don’t play quarterback get ignored. Jonathan Taylor (of Indianapolis) has almost 2,000 yards rushing and may not even get a single vote.”
Such is the landscape as we head into Week 12. The Arizona Cardinals (9-2) having the best record in the league with quarterback Kyler Murray among the Top 10 MVP candidates despite being ranked 19th in the NFL in passing yardage and missing the last three weeks with an injury.
Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City leads the league passing, but he has played one more game than the three QBs behind him—Derek Carr (Raiders), Matthew Stafford (Rams) and Justin Herbert (Chargers). And Brady is lurking right behind with 2,870 yards heading into the Bucs’ Monday night matchup with the New York Football Giants.
Taylor and Derrick Henry (unlikely to return from injury this season) lead the rushing race, but only Taylor is on the board in the Top 10 for MVP. Taylor’s odds at MaximBet are +2500, to give you some proof that running backs are largely forgotten in this race.
What this means for the bettor is that there are a lot of good choices and good odds out there at the present time, and what is going to get this award won is a strong finishing kick. Rodgers has won the award twice, including last season, and quarterbacks have won the award each of the past eight seasons.
The last non-QB to win the award was Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, and before that it was LaDamian Tomlinson of the Chargers in 2006. That could mean one of two things: That a running back is overdue and Taylor is actually a very good bet at 25-1; or that this will be consecutive year No. 9 that the award goes to a guy who stands under center every Sunday.
We may or may not have a clearer picture by the time next weekend’s games are complete. The football always serves as a nice diversion on American’s best gluttony holiday, and another strong MVP candidate, as mentioned above, will be on the menu in the second game of the afternoon as Prescott leads the Dallas Cowboys against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders.
Prescott has thrown for 2,557 yards while coming back from a nasty fractured ankle he sustained over a year ago. He begins the week sitting with the same odds as Stafford and Rodgers, and it does not hurt him that the Cowboys go into Thursday’s game with a 7-3 record in the division that last season was known as the “NFC Least.”
Again, there is no “it” team as of yet in the NFL. All eyes continue to be drawn to the 44-year-old Brady and the Bucs as the sporting world wonders whether he can pull off an eighth Super Bowl victory in what would be his 11th appearance in the NFL’s championship game.
By then, however, all of the MVP ballots will have been cast because that is a regular season award, and Brady’s odds will be impacted by whether he can lead the Bucs to a sexier record than the 6-3 mark they carried into Monday night’s game against the Giants.
Bills play-by-play announcer John Murphy of flagship station WGR 550-AM has watched Allen as close as anyone. He believes no player has been more important to his team’s success than Allen, who not only has thrown for 2,811 yards but also is just 75 yards shy of Devin Singletary for the team rushing lead.
He has kept up with Brady’s exploits, too, and is circling his calendar for Sunday, Dec. 12 when the Bills travel to Tampa Bay to play the Bucs. By then, perhaps the field of contenders will have been thinned.
But before then, we all have to be on our best behavior this coming Thursday while we eat that big bird…unless y’all are reading this from Buffalo, where turkey sometimes takes a back seat to Beef on Weck.
“When Marty Schottenheimer came here in ’93 for the AFC championship game and held his Friday press conference he did not even want to talk about the game,” Murphy said. “He spent the first 15 minutes of his press conference going on and on about Beef on Weck.”
So, there you go: Consider yourself “bettor” informed about New York’s true best food city, and maybe make it a point to consider a trip to the city where the Anchor Bar served up the first order of Buffalo wings and started a national craze.
If you think guacamole and the Super Bowl go together better than any sports and any food, you may just change your mind by navigating the snow belt between Erie, Pa. and Buffalo and hitting just about any restaurant you can find. New Yorkers in the five boroughs may like bragging about the culinary choices in the Big Apple, which are often as pretentious as they are expensive.
That is not the case on the other end of the state in New York’s second-largest city. So if you are wagering with your stomach at MaximBet this particular week, take it from a writer who lives on the wrong end of the state.
Buffalo may or may not have the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. But it 100 percent for certain has the best food in the Empire State. And one day, the stock market futures on whatever company eventually takes Beef on Weck national will be a worthy investment. Schottenheimer, who passed away earlier this year, certainly knew what he was talking about.
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