Two-thirds into the 2022 NFL season and Tua Tagovailoa and his Miami Dolphins stand atop the AFC East. And yet, the quarterback is a distant +500 on the NFL odds for MVP, behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (-150) and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts (+375). This is disrespect in the highest honor thanks in part to the potent NFL media machine that keeps understating what the third-year Miami quarterback is doing.
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The Case for Tagovailoa as NFL MVP
Dolphins Unbeatable With Him
There are only three teams with a better record and one can argue that no team would have one had Tagovailoa not gotten hurt. In fact, Miami is 14-2 in Tagovailoa’s last 16 starts. One of these losses came when he got hurt against last season’s super bowl runner-up, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami is averaging 25.8 points in these 16 games, which has them ranked sixth. In fact, the Dolphins have scored 30+ points in its last four games (3-1 against the spread). And whether it’s pulling off upsets against Baltimore and Buffalo or covering a 14½-point spread against Houston, folks super bowl bet online on the Dolphins would be “raking.”
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
The Stats … Duh
We live in a stats-obsessed world. But even hardcore stats nerds would be hard-pressed to dismiss Tagovailoa’s numbers this season. Tagovailoa currently leads the league in a number of passing categories: touchdown percentage (6.7 percent), yards per attempt (9.0), and passer rating (115.7).
Sure, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins may have padded their stats in recent easy matchups over the past month But against the three opponents with the toughest defenses, Tagovailoa averaged a 117.8 passer rating and a 71.3 percent completion rate. In fact, Tagovailia has had a passer rating of at least 92.7 in all but the Bengals game.
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Potent Underdog Story
Most notably, Tagovailoa has the right narrative behind him. Despite the team records and stats, NFL MVPs are crowned by media members. People get behind powerful narratives and Tagovailoa has the edge over Mahomes and Hurts in that department
“Do I suck?”
It’s a question that Tua Tagovailoa consistently asked himself last season.
An incredible report from @AKinkhabwala on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/v2U1TeNpWv
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 28, 2022
Tagovailoa has had to constantly battle injuries and, entering this season, the common theme was that he was playing for his job. Not only has Tagovailoa cemented his spot as Miami’s franchise quarterback, but he’s also elevated himself as a superstar quarterback. Not bad for a guy who almost everyone – media and fans alike – kept throwing under the bus.
What Tagovailoa is Up Against
While it’s not a fair comparison, the Dolphins are behind the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs in the standings. Tagovailoa missed a few games, which tanked Miami and should improve his stock as an MVP. The Dolphins are also much better as an NFL pick against the spread (ATS) with Tagovailoa under center, sporting a 66.7 percent cover rate vs. Philadelphia’s 54.6 percent and Kansas City’s 40 percent.
But it may sway voters when Kansas City finishes atop the AFC. Mahomes lost his top target, Tyreek Hill, who, coincidentally, went over to Tagovailoa’s side. As for Hurts, he has also improved significantly from last season, going from an 87.2 passer rating to 105.6. Philadelphia has struggled in recent games but is still the favorite to finish with the NFL’s best record.
The Road Ahead
Another factor we can’t ignore is how Miami’s schedule is looking. The Dolphins have the eighth-hardest remaining schedule with five of their next six opponents owning winning records. In comparison, the Eagles and especially the Chiefs have easier schedules.
Philadelphia faces Dallas and Tennessee but also gets the slumping New York Giants twice and Chicago. The Chiefs have a road game against Cincinnati this week. After that, it’s a softer slate as their remaining opponents have a combined record of 14-29-1. If Philadelphia and Kansas City all but sweep the rest, expect the sportsbook to continue leaning on Hurts and Mahomes in the MVP race.
We’ve got plenty of Super Bowl betting for you to consider your odds to win the Super Bowl.