In sports wagering, the concept of “recency effect” is a thing. The recency effect is simply that ideas and events that are most immediate in the past provoke a bias that causes those ideas and events to be weighed more heavily than ideas and events that happened further in the past.
So, recency is a bias that sports gamblers and fantasy sports contestants should definitely be aware of to avoid exaggerating the importance of what they’ve seen lately, such as an extraordinarily outstanding performance or an extremely poor showing in a recent game.
All of which brings up San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy. who now stands as the “odds” favorite for the NFL’s MVP award at several sportsbooks and would most definitely be the leader in California sports betting participants' minds.
Brock Purdy Leads NFL MVP Race In These Sportsbooks
At ESPNBET, Purdy is +300, a slight favorite over Dak Prescott (+325) and Jalen Hurts (+350). At BetMGM, Purdy and Prescott are co-favorites at +300 and Hurts is right behind at +400. At ESPNBET, the other top candidates are Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes (+650), Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson (+700), and Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa (+900).
What is noteworthy is Purdy’s meteoric ascent in the MVP odds. After throwing four touchdowns in a 42-19 rout of the Eagles and increasing the 49ers Super Bowl odds, oddsmakers have made the second-year 49ers phenom the MVP favorite with five games remaining in the regular season. Consider that early in the season, Purdy was listed at about +3000 to win the MVP, about the same as Green Bay’s Jordan Love and New Orleans’ Derek Carr.
And as recently as Week 10, Purdy’s MVP odds were +4000 at BetMGM. After Week 13, they were +1600. Yet, last Sunday’s performance against Philadelphia trimmed Purdy’s odds down to +300.
If California betting apps were live, you can bet they would have Brock Purdy firmly planted on top with the rest of the nation.
Is The Current NFL MVP Leader Due Recency Bias?
Some would argue that Purdy isn’t even the most valuable player on his own team. San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey is the NFL’s runaway leader as a running back (1,032 rushing yds) and the non-kicking scoring leader (112 points) but is only +2500 at ESPNBET for league MVP because the honor has gone exclusively to quarterbacks for almost two decades. The last non-QB to win the award was San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006, and in 2005, it went to Seattle RB Shaun Alexander.
However, on a team that bristles with offensive playmakers, Purdy’s contribution – while certainly significant and praiseworthy – is not as individually impactful in the team’s overall success as, say, that of Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in the Ravens’ offense.
By some statistical measurements, several quarterbacks are rated higher than Purdy in certain rating systems. At Pro Football Focus, which uses a statistical technique called Bayesian Updating, it is Prescott who is ranked No. 1 followed by Tagovailoa and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. On that PFF scale, Purdy is ranked ninth. However, in ESPN’s QBR rating system, Purdy is the leader (75.6) by just a tick over Prescott (75.4). For sheer passing yards, Houston rookie C.J. Stroud leads. In the familiar passer rating system, it’s Purdy at No. 1. And for most passing TDs, at the moment, it’s Prescott who leads the NFL.
Of course, all the above is subject to change after next weekend’s results, when there will likely be another wave of recency influence that could rearrange the MVP odds.