Earlier today, Jay Cutler was given the sixth-best odds, according to Bovada, to win the MVP award in 2014 — tied with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford — at 20:1.
It certainly raised many eyebrows, but ESPN's Skip Bayless was surprised in a good way.
"The oddsmakers are saying the Bears ... are going to be very good," Bayless said on First Take. "Jay Cutler at 20:1 is telling you that the oddsmakers have more respect for, and faith in, Jay Cutler than many analysts do. This is obviously a huge year for Jay Cutler and I, for one, think he's going to have a huge year."
Cutler was on his way to posting career-high numbers in several categories in 2013, but injuries limited the Bears quarterback to just 11 games.This year, Bayless believes he'll jump back on the same pace and back up his MVP odds.
"Last year under Marc Trestman, I started seeing some new positive signs," Bayless added. "I think that Jay Cutler [under Trestman] is ready to take that next big step, so I like Jay Cutler at 20:1 and I think he belongs that high."
Bayless's partner, Stephen A. Smith, however didn't exactly stand on the same side of the yard when Cutler's MVP odds were released.
"When I saw Jay Cutler's name on this list, I barely glanced at anything else. I couldn't believe that this man was at 20:1," Smith said. "Jay Cutler doesn't even belong on the list for MVP candidates. He hasn't been to the postseason the last three years, two 8-8 seasons over the last three years, and oh by the way, you had a 1,339-yard rusher in Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery who emerged last year, Brandon Marshall is a stud, Martellus Bennet is no joke, Marc Trestman who's supposed to be some kind of offensive genius, and as far as I'm concerned, Jay Cutler was still Jay Cutler, a walking piece of mediocrity."
Bayless said he's not a betting man, but admitted if he were he'd "probably put a couple bucks down on 20:1" for Cutler's MVP chances.
"This is going to be the year. I believe in him," he said. "The point is, the Chicago Bears will make the playoffs [this] year."