New York Sports Recap: MVP Candidates Don’t Include Giants Or Jets Players

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New York Sports Recap: MVP Candidates Don’t Include Giants Or Jets Players

For all the glee and elation being felt by New York sports fans this particular Monday, a reality check is in order. The Jets are still 1-1, no matter how magical their final 2-minute comeback was over Cleveland. The Giants were booed off the field at MetLife Stadium at halftime before Graham Gano saved the day with his fourth field goal.

Josh Allen
Josh Allen
Buffalo Bill QB Josh Allen, seen on the field above. So far, he’s New York’s only chance for an MVP award. (Image: sportingnews.com)

The Yankees have not won anything yet, and Aaron Judge still trails Roger Maris for the AL home run record and Luis Arraez for the batting title that would give him the Triple Crown; The Mets are tied with Atlanta in the loss column and still must win the NL East to have any chance at winning the World Series, given their need to set up their starting pitchers properly.

Meanwhile, the only team that actually plays football within the borders of New York state has the leading candidate for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award, and Josh Allen takes the field tonight for the Buffalo Bills against Tennessee, coming off a 26-for-31 season debut against the defending champion Rams.

That happened way back on Sept. 9, two Thursdays ago, so let’s just say the young man from the University of Wyoming will be plenty rested by the time the first of tonight’s two Monday Night Football games kicks off.

So while it feels good to feel good, as all New Yorkers who were not robbed or shot or attacked with an axe at a McDonald’s over the weekend know, it is also wise to remember that Week 2 of the NFL season is awfully early, to say nothing about how meaningless September baseball games will feel once October arrives and the postseason begins.

The Giants are heading to Dallas for a game next Monday night, while the Jets and their resurrected hero of a backup QB, Joe Flacco, will be entertaining the Cincinnati Bengals, one of the only teams sporting 0-2 records.

Check back in eight days to see if we are ready for bandwagon jumping. Still, at this point, the overriding thought here is that the sporting gods will not smile as brightly on Gotham’s pro teams once the weather turns cooler. The miracle finishes (the Giants had one in Week One; the Jets had one in Week 2) could revert to the type of catastrophes that fans of the local teams have become all-too-accustomed to.

How Long Will These Feel-Good Stories Last?

A fatalistic view? Maybe. But when you have been around the block a few more times than most New Yorkers, you learn to manage expectations. The Giants play muck-it-up football; the Jets will be switching QBs in 2 weeks, even if Flacco pulls a Tua Tagovailoa, and the Dodgers are far and away the best team in baseball, which is music to the ears of everyone in Brooklyn 90 years of age or older.

The Bills, however, are another story.

When you knock off the Super Bowl champs as decisively as they did in their opener, and when you have a dual-threat QB as versatile as Allen, championship aspirations are legitimate. Buffalo is favored by 9 1/2 or 10 points (depending on the sportsbook) over the Titans, and a whopping 69% of the handle has come in on the Bills.

Gamblers who watched one stunning fourth-quarter comeback after another yesterday across the NFL feel that this game is a gimme for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s favorite team (she has pledged roughly $600 million in state funds, mostly from upstate casino revenues, toward the Bills’ new stadium).

Buffalo is the +490 favorite to emerge as the Super Bowl champion, and Allen is the +350 to +380 MVP favorite, just ahead of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.

Who On The Jets/Giants Is Wager-Worthy

The shortest odds at Fan Duel for a Jets player are +17000 for Zach Wilson, Flacco’s eventual replacement, and BetMGM has Flacco at +15000. No Giant is lower than Saquon Barkley at +19000 (Barkley failed to cover the over/under of 77 1/2 rushing yards yesterday). There are no odds anywhere on Gano because kickers simply do not win awards, and the lowest price on any Giant or Jet is Big Blue coach Brian Daboll at +800 for Coach of the Year (Robert Saleh is +3500 at BetMGM and +4000 at FanDuel).

Of course, handicapping the MVP award is an exercise in trying to find the perfect player at the perfect price, and money started to come in heavily overnight Sunday on the Dolphins’ Tagovailoa after he threw for six TDs, including four in the fourth quarter, of a 42-38 comeback win over Baltimore. The lefty leads all QBs in passing yardage (739) and QB rating (85.7) and is tied with Mahomes and Carson Wentz of Washington for most TD passes (7).

Allen had three TD passes in the Bills’ opener, and the over/under line on his TD passes tonight is 1 1/2, with the underpriced at +176 — something you rarely see on a player prop. His favorite receiver in Week One was Stefon Diggs with eight receptions, and Diggs is +750 to score the game’s first touchdown.

Bet MGM spokesman Drew O’Dell said Tagovailoa trailed only Lamar Jackson in the percentage of MVP handle wagers taken overnight Sunday (through noon EDT Monday), Draft Kings spokeswoman Cassie Buontempo said Tagovailoa took in a league-leading 24% of MVP handle overnight. Fan Duel’s Kevin Hennessy said Baltimore’s  Jackson took 25% of MVP bets. Tagovailoa took 20% since midnight EDT.

Therefore, only the truest of true believers should plunk down money on a Giant or a Jet. (And New Yorkers must travel out of state to make those player award wagers, let’s not forget). A week from now, things may look different. But right now, the best bet for any Giants or Jets fan may be their teams winning their respective divisions.

The AFC and NFC East are relatively weak, the Giants are +450, and the Jets are +3100.

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