Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM
It’s tempting to say that the Green Bay Packers are pulling away from the pack in the NFC. They are now heavy favorites to win the conference after an undefeated start confirmed everyone’s expectations for greatness.
But, if you look closer. They’re not so much pulling away as holding steady while everyone else falls backward! Potential challengers are slumping…and potential surgers are still viewed with a lot of skepticism.
Here’s a look at current “composite” odds to win the Super Bowl for NFC teams as gathered from a variety of offshore and Las Vegas locales. Remember that…factored into the pricing…is the fact that the ultimate NFC winner has to beat the AFC champ to win the Lombardi Trophy. The market is very skeptical that the teams below Green Bay can get past the Packers, and then also beat New England (or the ultimate AFC champ) in Super Bowl 50. (Note that the AFC is now -2 over the NFC on the current Super Bowl betting line.)
ODDS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL (NFC teams only)
Green Bay +300
Let’s stop there. Nobody’s at +600, or even +1000. There is no logical “second best” in the NFC right now. Seattle is still tied for second on the ladder even though they’re off to a 2-4 start! Arizona just lost recently at home to St. Louis and on the road to Pittsburgh.
Carolina is still undefeated, but the market is very skeptical that Cam Newton can lead this team to playoff victories. They’ve been winning with defense. Newton’s ceiling is probably too low to take out the likes of Green Bay and New England in the postseason. The Panthers will likely fall back to earth a bit anyway. Philadelphia is still being priced on potential. They’re back to .500 now. But, you saw a lot of very ugly football Monday night when they beat the NY Giants. The Eagles suffered FOUR turnovers and had trouble moving the chains.
Picking up with the next level…
NY Giants +4000
St. Louis +8000
Atlanta may have a 5-1 record. But, their last two games were an overtime home win over lowly Washington, and then a bad road loss at lowly New Orleans. That’s not championship material. There are so few good teams in the NFC right now that somebody has to win the games. Minnesota has been a disappointment to sharps even though they have a winning record. The Wise Guys expected more big play dynamics from Teddy Bridgewater. He will get two chances to impress against Green Bay before the season is over.
Dallas still has a chance to be a force in December and January if they can tread water waiting for Tony Romo to return. It’s been more sinking than treading so far…but the NFC East is so bad that they might be able to get away with that. Clearly, the market isn’t optimistic given that pricing. I personally think the Cowboys have better “late surge” potential than they’re getting credit for.
The worst of the rest…
New Orleans +10000
San Francisco +25000
Tampa Bay +30000
Detroit’s been a huge disappointment. San Francisco is showing signs of life…but those are signs about regaining respectability rather than threatening the Packers. They just lost a home game to the Packers by two touchdowns not too long ago.
Right now, the NFC is a one-team race. Everyone else is battling to see who might have a chance to lose to the Packers in January! There’s time for that to change of course. Seattle may get their heads on straight and return to elite status. You have to figure at least one team from the pack of possible pretenders will take a step forward in a way that might make them legitimate (this was supposed to be YOU Arizona!). And, if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, the race becomes wide open.
Over in the AFC…New England is in a similar situation. Though, Denver’s defense is fantastic, and great defense always has a chance to win in January. Cincinnati’s playing very well so far, and might finally be ready to arrive.
Current AFC Super Bowl Odds: New England +300, Denver +1000, Cincinnati +1000
Just below are Indianapolis at +2000, Pittsburgh at +2200, and the NY Jets at +3300. After that, same story as the NFC. A lot of teams filling out the schedule who don’t have any real hope of going the distance the season unless they make unexpected improvements and peak late.
I’ll take a more detailed look at the AFC in a future report.
Back again Thursday for our regularly scheduled “sharp betting” articles.
Lunchtime Thursday: How Sharps are Betting Thursday/Friday Football
Lunchtime Friday: How Sharps are Betting College Football Marquee Matchups
Dinnertime Friday: How Sharps are Betting Sunday/Monday NFL
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