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Gambler bets big on Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes to repeat as NFL MVP

Only four players have repeated as The Associated Press NFL MVP in the 62-year history of the award.

Jim Brown won the first two MVP awards in 1957 and 1958. The other repeat winners were Joe Montana (1989, 1990), Brett Favre (1995, 1996) and Peyton Manning, who went back-to-back twice (2003, 2004; 2008, 2009).

Patrick Mahomes is bidding to join that exclusive club this season, and at least one Las Vegas gambler is betting big that the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback will succeed.

The Westgate sportsbook took a $22,000 wager to win $20,000 this past week on Mahomes to repeat as MVP. Mahomes is the minus 110 favorite to earn MVP honors after he was the 4-1 favorite in July.

Circa Sports also took “a sizable bet” this past week on Mahomes at plus 152 to win the MVP, though sportsbook manager Chris Bennett declined to give the exact amount.

“It was a big enough bet to go from plus 152 to minus 123,” Bennett said. “It really motivated me to move his price significantly and raise everybody else. Mahomes is the favorite by a pretty significant margin. The next shortest odds are Russell Wilson at 10-1.”

Mahomes has thrown for 1,510 yards in the Chiefs’ 4-0 start, putting him on pace to produce the NFL’s first 6,000-yard season and shatter the NFL’s single-season record of 5,477 yards set by Manning in 2013.

The third-year quarterback has completed 67.9 percent of his passes to 14 receivers and is tied for second in the league in touchdown passes (10) and QB rating (120.4), with no interceptions.

Mahomes engineered a 13-play, 79-yard game-winning drive in the final minutes of the Chiefs’ 34-30 comeback victory at Detroit last week, keeping the drive alive with a 15-yard scramble on fourth-and-8.

“Obviously, it helps to be a quarterback. And his defense is weak enough that he needs to score a lot every game,” Bennett said. “The MVP is on a team going to the playoffs who also fills up the stat sheet. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, I don’t know who can beat him out.”

Wilson has completed 73.1 percent of his passes for 1,409 yards, 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Seahawks quarterback leads the league in QB rating at 126.3 after throwing four TDs on Thursday in Seattle’s 30-29 comeback win over the Rams.

“Russell Wilson is the flavor of the week right now,” Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “He’s been playing great and is making a lot of plays for that team.”

The Westgate and several other Las Vegas books have a huge liability on Mitchell Trubisky to win the MVP. But the Bears quarterback is out with an injury and out of contention for the MVP. His odds have skyrocketed to 1,000-1.

“The one liability we have that has the most realistic chance of winning is (Ravens QB) Lamar Jackson. He opened at 125-1 and is down to 12-1,” Bennett said. “We also took a big bet on Tom Brady before the season started. But the Patriots’ defense is playing so well, he doesn’t need to put up passing numbers.”

Eagles QB Carson Wentz is the 14-1 third choice at the Westgate, followed by Jackson at 16-1 and Brady and Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey at 20-1.

“It’d be nice to have a few more contenders up there,” Kornegay said. “It’s still real early. Team success plays a big role in this.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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