- Patriots leap frog Eagles for best Super Bowl odds
- Preseason injuries and trades shift rankings
- QBs will be the key element to a Super Bowl this year
Hard to believe, football fans, we’ve made it.
Week 1 of the NFL regular season starts a week today ? pic.twitter.com/CRY5VRHJ0a
— C R ? (@Manchip8) September 2, 2018
In just a few short sleeps, there will be NFL games that mean something, and soon, all the horrible off-the-field stories (looking at you, Shady McCoy), anthem sagas, holdouts, hitting rules, player safety and concussions will conveniently slide under the rug come Thursday.
The NFL has many, many flaws. But the one thing they do have going for it is the length of season. It’s quite literally the perfect sports drug.
Seventeen weeks and 16 games to determine the field, and four weeks of playoffs that lead to the championship finale. Verbal Kent takes it from there.
There’s no better time than now for our final updated, post-preseason, eve-of-regular-season Super Bowl odds. Let’s unravel some of the reasoning of where some teams ended up.
Updated Super Bowl 53 Odds
|New England Patriots||7/1|
|Los Angeles Rams||15/1|
|Green Bay Packers||20/1|
|New Orleans Saints||30/1|
|San Francisco 49ers||35/1|
|Los Angeles Chargers||35/1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||45/1|
|New York Giants||70/1|
|New York Jets||90/1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||200/1|
If there’s one thing we should’ve learned from the #Patriots decades of dominance it is this: You don’t win with a couple of great players. You need a whole bunch of really good ones, plus a quarterback.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) September 2, 2018
Eagles, Patriots on collision course for Super Bowl 53
You think reputation counts for something?
If we told you unnamed team x had a Hall of Fame coach, with one of the best quarterbacks in football, but was questionable at the receiver spot and questionable on defense after showing considerable breakdown from years past, should that team be 7-to-1 to win the Super Bowl?
BRADY EXPECTATIONS: Phillip Dorsett on the key to working with Tom Brady. All about understanding what he expects. pic.twitter.com/oVFmy1kQvI
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 2, 2018
Because that team I was talking about was the Seattle Seahawks, though it sounded a lot like the New England Patriots. And at no point in the preseason did the ‘Hawks find their way near the top five of odds. Yet even with their flaws widely exposed, the Pats made a leap to the top of the board.
We already know that Carson Wentz is not ready for the Eagles, and neither is Alshon Jeffrey. Meanwhile, backup Nick Foles looks like he reverted back to a pumpkin as he labored through the preseason.
We're going to look back on Doug Pederson winning the Super Bowl with Nick Foles as the greatest coaching job ever.
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) August 24, 2018
But there the Super Bowl 52 finalists are.
New England is the default top seed in the AFC, and this year there are no clear-cut candidates to claim that distinction, at least for now. Philly reigns as the champs until defeated. Their past successes may have earned them these spots, but we’ll see if that holds up.
Stud QBs can lead their teams to titles
After the Pats, Eagles, Vikings, Rams and Steelers is where the true value can get unearthed. There are about eight or nine teams that have the personnel and ability to win the whole thing, but will need things to break right for them along the way.
Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, and if healthy, could lead the Pack to the promised land. He’s one of the few in the NFL who can will his team to wins with his sheer ability to make play after play. Beautiful to watch, terrifying to game plan against. It’s why he’s the latest $100 million man in the NFL.
When you make Aaron Rodgers-level money, you can wear whatever you want ? (via @packers) pic.twitter.com/Xo2pSHecey
— ESPN (@espn) August 30, 2018
With Rodgers out much of the year with a broken collarbone, the team plummeted to 21st in points scored, and 25th in passing yards per contest. Expect a massive spike in production. That could help a budding defense stay off the field and be more effective when they are called upon.
Still a big fan of Deshaun Watson, the motor behind the Texans’ offensive attack and a team holding steady at 25/1. They averaged 34 points a contest in his starts last year, and less than 17 in the games he was out.
It’s not the win-or-go-home playoff scenario that is worrisome. It’s the Jags and Titans and a sneaky resurgence bid by Andrew Luck that will make the AFC South a tough division to emerge from.
And does any QB get less respect than past MVP Cam Newton? Respect is due here, as Carolina jumps past the 49ers and Chargers into 30/1 odds. Newton compiled 4,000+ yards rushing and passing, and dabbed up 28 total touchdowns in what was a down season for his standards a year ago.
Good to see Cam Newton is in mid-season “to hell with my body” form. #Patriots #Panthers #NFL pic.twitter.com/raOJ4EPmPB
— The 300s (@The300sBoston) August 24, 2018
The guy keeps his team in games, even though at times they are overmatched at the skill positions. At 29 years old, Newton is in his prime, and with the help of a pretty impressive defense, Cam can carry the Panthers deep into the playoffs.
Just try to take it easy, big man, your team needs you healthy.
Aaron Rodgers seeing Khalil Mack in the NFC North ? pic.twitter.com/Z6JbreCM46
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 1, 2018
Mack trade vaults Bears Super Bowl odds
It’s quite the jump for the Chicago Bears (55/1) after a late trade for star rusher Khalil Mack.
A defense that was already on the rise after finishing 14th in defensive DVOA just added a guy who’s averaged 10 sacks and 20 knockdowns the last three years. He’s also just 27, hasn’t missed a game, and has been voted to the Pro Bowl three times and named to the All-Pro team twice. In four seasons.
The @Raiders need to be drug tested ASAP for trading their best player. K.Mack !
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) September 1, 2018
This potentially could vault the Bears’ defense from good to Monsters of the Midway 3.0 if all breaks right. But there’s one thing Mack can’t do: run an offense. And until we know what Mitch Trubisky is made of, the Bears simply lurk on the periphery of teams that can make noise.
The Raiders Officially Announced The Khalil Mack Trade on Twitter & The Replies Were Real and Spectacular https://t.co/6cRxBukHNH pic.twitter.com/nPOot9xXhm
— Robert Littal (@BSO) September 2, 2018
Raiders and Cowboys take a tumble
The Yin and Yang of trades is right here.
Oakland traded away its best defensive player for a massive haul that includes first-round picks the next two years. Good for the future, crippling for the present for a team that was already 23rd in yards allowed, 26th in passing yards allowed and 20th in points allowed per contest.
#Cowboys used trade (Parker Ehinger) & waiver claim (Adam Redmond) to add a guard & center in the last 72 hours, outwardly confirming internal concern over the state of their interior offensive line.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 2, 2018
What has been the bread and butter for the Cowboys has crumbled this preseason, as injuries have depleted the offensive line, widely regarded as the best in football.
Zach Martin’s left knee injury is going to probably be an issue most of the season, as is left tackle Tyran Smith’s back. Even more concerning is Travis Frederick’s battle with an auto-immune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Ezekiel Elliot is going to have to be superhuman this year for Dallas just to tread water.
The Cowboys are one offensive line injury away from calling me to play guard. https://t.co/gtQWLajLmI
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 23, 2018