Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Just a month ago it seemed like the Super Bowl odds picture was set in stone. New England and Green Bay were prohibitive favorites in their respective conferences. It was hard to see any other teams rising up and challenging them in January…particularly if the Pats and Packers were going to enjoy home field advantage in the conference brackets.
Since then, New England is further locked in in the AFC. But, Green Bay has lost THREE straight games (at Denver, at Carolina, and vs. lowly Detroit) to fall out of the favorite spot in the NFC. Most recent Futures pricing shows that the Carolina Panthers are now NFC favorites! Who would have thought that before the season started? Arizona is right on their heels after an impressive road win at Seattle.
Let’s look at updated “composite” prices from around Nevada and offshore...
(If this is your first time reading one of my Futures articles, these are based on $100 bets. So, a $100 bet on New England would win $200 if they win the Super Bowl…a $100 bet on Minnesota would win $1,600)
ODDS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL
New England +200 (now an even bigger favorite)
Carolina +550 (surging over last few weeks from +1000…now NFC favorite!)
Arizona +800 (also surging, was +1400 last week!)
Cincinnati +900 (harder to like after loss to Houston)
Green Bay +900 (falling like a rock from +300 a few weeks ago)
Denver +1200 (second loss, and now Manning is hurt)
Seattle +1400 (tougher to take seriously after home loss to Cards)
Minnesota +1600 (now ahead of Packers in NFC North standings)
I had been calling it a seven-team race the last few weeks. Minnesota’s now made that an eight-team race because they keep winning and they have a chance to actually get some distance from Green Bay! Those two teams play each other in Minnesota this weekend. Should the Vikings win, they’d have a two-game divisional lead on the Packers.
In the AFC, New England showed some vulnerability in a nailbiter loss at the NY Giants. But, that couldn’t really hurt them because Denver was losing at home to Kansas City at the same time, before Cincinnati fell to Houston Monday Night. Then the market also became more fully aware of Peyton Manning’s injury situation. You knew something was up on game day when their line with Kansas City kept falling. News would come out about plantar fasciitis, and then a torn fascia in Manning’s foot. Very hard to envision the Broncos going the distance with Brock Osweiler!
The NFC is fascinating because Carolina’s stats don’t suggest they’re a legitimate undefeated power, Arizona has enjoyed a weak schedule, Green Bay is better than they’ve shown the last three weeks, and Seattle still has a puncher’s chance to make something happen in January (if they can even make the playoffs!) The market is now pricing off projected home field advantage in January…but Carolina and Arizona aren’t automatic to win home playoff games should the opportunity arise.
Let’s see what’s happening just below the elite eight…
Pittsburgh +2500 (up from +3300 with Big Ben back)
Indianapolis +2500 (down from +2200 on bad Luck injury news)
NY Giants, Philadelphia +3300 (both just lost, but one will probably win NFC East)
Atlanta +4000 (standing pat after a bye week)
Buffalo, Kansas City, NY Jets +6600 (Wildcard hopefuls)
Houston +8000 (rising from +15000, back in the WC picture after upsetting Cincy)
Pittsburgh is clearly a playoff caliber team when Ben Roethlisberger is healthy. They will certainly be at least a factor in January as long as he stays that way. The Colts will be without Andrew Luck for awhile. But, somebody has to win the AFC South. Similar story with the Giants and Eagles…one of those two teams is likely to make the playoffs…and anything can now happen in the NFC.
Oakland, St. Louis, Washington +10000 (Skins can win a weak division)
Miami +12500 (up from +2000 after upsetting Philadelphia)
Dallas, Jacksonville, New Orleans +15000 (at least Romo returns for Pokes)
Some interesting things happening in this group. Washington is in the mix in the bad NFC East…Miami launched themselves back into the Wildcard discussion with a road win over the Eagles, Dallas can still rise from 2-7 in a weak division because Tony Romo is coming back this week (Miami hosts Dallas this Sunday!), and the Bears just won a couple of games they weren’t supposed to in a way that could make some Wildcard noise.
Tampa Bay +40000
Baltimore, Detroit San Diego, San Francisco, Tennessee +50000
Wanted to include some quick college numbers…
ODDS TO WIN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Ohio State +275
Notre Dame +700
Oklahoma State +1200
ODDS TO WIN THE NCAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
North Carolina +800
Michigan State, Virginia +2000
Four of those teams square off Tuesday night in Chicago when Kentucky faces Duke and Kansas plays Michigan State. I love handicapping college hoops, so you know I’m really looking forward to that! Virginia was just upset last night by George Washington.
We resume our regular late-week schedule on Thursday…
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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Thanks for reading. See you again in a few days.
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