Other than becoming the first team to go 0-17, the most “Same Old Lions” thing that can happen this season would be all the way across the country. Imagine: Matthew Stafford, NFL MVP.
Or how about Super Bowl champion?
Depending on whom you talk to in Michigan, it could be a dream or nightmare scenario.
You have some Stafford defenders who bemoan the Lions for never putting enough talent and infrastructure around a talented player who could’ve finally taken this team to the top. Those folks are likely Los Angeles Rams fans already, with another apparently pathetic Detroit Lions season on the way to petering out.
You also have the critics who say it’s no coincidence that No. 9 never won meaningfully and sustainably here in Detroit. That argument has a lot to lose if Stafford succeeds elsewhere.
Those in the Michigan sports betting community are also taking note of Stafford this season, many with action riding on him.
Since Stafford entered the league in 2009, 22 players have received at least one vote for MVP. Stafford is not among them.
Stafford already winning at an unfamiliar level in LA
It didn’t take long for the eye-popping facts to come forward.
After Stafford and the Rams won their Week 2 game at Indianapolis, it was the first time the former No. 1 pick won back-to-back games to open a season since 2017.
Then, he went and beat the greatest quarterback of all time in Week 3, topping Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-24.
The MVP talk had already started to simmer in Detroit, but it was catching on at an even bigger scale.
Stafford was beaten by fellow early-season MVP candidate Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals 37-20 in Week 4. But the tough NFC West has ample chances for Stafford to collect more of the big wins that eluded him during his 12 seasons in Detroit.
Stafford MVP odds are shrinking as the wins come
Stafford opened the season at No. 7 on the MVP odds at BetMGM Sportsbook, coming in at +2000. He was the top pick among Michigan BetMGM bettors for MVP coming into the year.
Heading into Week 5, Stafford is now No. 8 on the list, though his odds have shrank to +1200.
Over at PointsBet Sportsbook, right before kickoff of his season opener on Sunday Night Football against Chicago, Stafford was at +1600 for MVP.
Since then, the odds have shortened to +1100 heading into Week 5.
Stafford not BetMGM’s biggest liability for MVP
Stafford is coming into Week 5 as No. 2 in BetMGM’s ticket percentage for MVP futures at 15.3% and with the handle at 13.1%.
He’s second to Murray in both, as the former Oklahoma star is at 16.1% of BetMGM NFL MVP tickets and 18.2% of handle.
Not coincidentally, Arizona sports betting launched right before the football season started, and BetMGM is live there. So, there’s definitely some home cooking to factor into the Murray betting.
Of course, some Michigan secondary home cooking could be at play, too.
Statistically, Stafford was fourth in the NFL in passing yards through four games, throwing for 1,222 yards. His 11 touchdowns ranked second behind Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City (14), and Stafford has thrown just two interceptions.
Stafford’s best live odds for MVP are currently at .
Rams among Super Bowl favorites, too
Watching Stafford win a Super Bowl the year after he leaves Detroit?
Oh, man, just the thought of it could your stomach turn. Or force audible laughter, depending on your personal form of Lions torment.
Heading into the season, the Rams were fourth in Super Bowl futures league-wide, priced at +1200 at BetMGM. Heading into Week 5, LA was still fourth but ticked down to +900.
The Rams opened at +2000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Heading into Week 5, the Rams were at +800 there, taking 11% of handle, trailing only Kansas City (16% handle, +600 this week).