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BEHIND THE LINES

Patriots' Brady is MVP favorite

September 02, 2007|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

Many experts and oddsmakers believe New England will end its two-year drought and win the Super Bowl for a third time since 2002 next February in Glendale, Ariz.

If the Patriots are to be successful, quarterback Tom Brady will have to have a big season.

Brady is favored to win his first most valuable player award. Betonline.com lists his odds at +350, meaning a bettor has to wager $100 to win $350 if he or she believes Brady will be named MVP.

San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Indianapolis' Peyton Manning are each +450. Tomlinson won the award last season and Manning shared the award with Steve McNair in 2003 and won again in 2004.

New Orleans' Drew Brees is next among quarterbacks at +900, followed by Cincinnati's Carson Palmer (+1000), Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb (+1200), the New York Giants' Eli Manning (+1200) and Dallas' Tony Romo (+1400).

Seattle tailback Shaun Alexander, who was slowed because of injuries last season after an MVP campaign in 2005, is +1200, and receiver Randy Moss, who didn't play in the exhibition season for the Patriots and is coming off two subpar seasons in Oakland, is +1300.

Spurred by its recent sweep of New York, Philadelphia began the weekend as the hottest team in the National League.

Considering Adam Eaton will start today for the Phillies in Florida, the wave of good feelings could come to a screeching halt.

Eaton is starting because Cole Hamels, who was scheduled to return to the rotation, was scratched after he felt discomfort in his left elbow while throwing Thursday in the bullpen.

Eaton is 0-2 in his last five starts, hasn't won since July 20 and was hit hard in his only other start against the Marlins this season.

In an 11-5 loss on April 28, the right-hander was touched for 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Scott Olsen is the scheduled starter for Florida and he is 2-0 against the Phillies in 2007. The left-hander was the winning pitcher in Philadelphia's 6-4 victory on April 8 and 5-3 victory on May 22.

Kurt Busch, who has the pole position for today's Nextel Cup race at the California Speedway in Fontana, is 18-1 to win the Sharp Aquos 500 on the website Vegasinsider.com.

The price is even larger on Kasey Kahne, the defending champion in a race that was called the Sony HD 500 in 2006. Kahne is 50-1.

Jimmie Johnson, who qualified second on Friday, is the 5-1 favorite on Vegasinsider.com. Jeff Gordon is next at 6-1, followed by Matt Kenseth (8-1) and Tony Stewart (10-1). Kyle Busch, who won the 2005 race in Fontana and is the younger brother of Kurt Busch, is 20-1.

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bob.mieszerski@latimes.com

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