Believe it or not, the first NFL team reports to training camp already on July 11: the Baltimore Ravens’ rookies are due in Owings Mills, Maryland, on Wednesday. That’s the first reporting date of any team, with Baltimore’s veterans also the earliest on July 18.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The annual Hall of Fame Game, this year featuring the Chicago Bears and Ravens, is less than a month away (August 2) in Canton, Ohio. The Ravens were allowed to report earlier than any team because they are playing in that game. The Bears will be the earliest NFC team to report (veterans on July 19) for the same reason.
With all due respect to the Ravens and Bears, it would be a mammoth upset if either team had a player in the NFL MVP conversation for 2018. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is +7500 on this prop. Flacco has been trending downward ever since winning MVP honors of Super Bowl XLVII and getting a huge contract extension – which has essentially killed the Ravens ever since.
Flacco might not even keep his job the entirety of the 2018 season as Baltimore traded back into the end of the first round of this year’s draft to select Louisville quarterback and former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. The Ravens have never had an NFL MVP.
MVPs don’t come from losing teams, and the Bears haven’t had a winning record since 2012. They were 5-11 last year and figure to be a bit better in 2018, but Mitchell Trubisky would need to take a big step forward after struggling as a rookie. He’s +9000 for NFL MVP. Chicago has had just one MVP winner: the late, great Walter Payton in 1977.
The usual suspects remain the favorites on this NFL prop: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+550) and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (+800). The future Hall of Famers have combined for five NFL MVP Awards, with Brady winning his third last year.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is the +850 third-favorite, which is interesting. Has nothing to do with Wentz’s talent as he was arguably the MVP favorite last year before suffering a season-ending knee blowout in a Week 14 win at the Los Angeles Rams. We still don’t know whether Wentz will be ready for Week 1 from that devastating injury, although all signs are positive right now.
Coach Doug Pederson has insisted the team won’t rush Wentz back but that he also doesn’t need a full training camp or even have to play in a single preseason game to get the go-ahead for Week 1. Wentz will be one of the NFL’s biggest storylines in training camp.