Super Bowl Li Odds
As we head into one of the last few weeks of the 2016-17 NFL season, I thought I’d reflect on the remaining eight teams, the Divisional round matchups this weekend and their odds to win the Super Bowl. But to spice things up, I thought I would dig up the Super Bowl Li odds from the NFL Draft and compare them to the odds entering this weekend. For those who don’t know, Super Bowl LI is scheduled for Sunday, February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and will be the third time the Super Bowl will be held in Houston, after VIII in 1974 and XXXVIII in 2004.
The Texans still are still in the playoffs and are hoping to be the first ever team to play in the Super Bowl while hosting it. The San Francisco 49ers, who played Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium, rather than Candlestick Park, and the Los Angeles Rams, who played Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl, rather than the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum do not count as they didn’t play in their home stadium.
New England Patriots
Then+ 700 | Now: + 180
No surprises here. Bill Belichick has built a dynasty and currently holds the record for the most post-season wins along with the best playoff head coaching winning percentage (.697) in NFL history. Belichick is 22-9 with the Patriots and even without Tight End Rob Gronkowski this weekend, the team finds themselves a whopping 16 point favorites over the visiting Houston Texans. The Patriots are 7-1 in their head to head series versus the Texans.
BTW: Tom Brady is on Instagram now
Then + 1400 | Now: +475
The Cowboys are 7-0 straight up and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games at home. The team hopes to take advantage of home field throughout the postseason with a win this Sunday over the Green Bay Packers. Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott haven’t looked like rookies at all, and everyone is wondering when or if they will ever show signs of falling from the mounting pressure. Dallas is a 4.5 point favorite in Arlington but over the final six games of the regular season, the Cowboys went 1-5 against the spread.
Green Bay Packers
Then + 1000 | Now: +550
It was announced on Friday that Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the game after being unable to go through practice during the week. The veteran WR took a nasty hit from Giants DB Leon Hall last Sunday and reportedly fractured multiple ribs.
The Packers have looked unstoppable for well over a month as the team is gathering speed and confidence with every Aaron Rodgers led drive. Losing Jordy is a huge blow, but it didn’t stop them last week against the Giants. In our twitter poll, over 150 people thought that of all teams this weekend, the Packers had the best odds against the Spread.
Then + 1000 | Now: +725
The Steelers are the type of team that can beat anyone under any circumstances. Roethlisberger had his best game of 2016 in Week four when he threw for 300 yards and 5 TDs against, you guessed it, the Kansas City Chiefs. Fans may be reading into this too much, though, it is still worth noting. Big Ben has struggled on the road this season and the environment will be extremely hostile as Kansas City hasn’t hosted a playoff game since 2011. This game could go either way, but if the Steelers do advance, many believe they have the best chance to overthrow the Patriots and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Then + 4000 | Now +800
The Falcons are the first team with Super Bowl odds, then and now, that is worth noting. Clearly, the oddsmakers didn’t like the Falcons chances earlier in the year and lumped them into a “maybe” pile of teams with talent that often crumble when they need to step up. Matt Ryan has had an MVP type season, and the Falcons defense has been good enough to put defenders in tight situations that have helped win games. The Falcons playoff chances honestly bank on how far their middle of the road defense can take them. Ranking 25th in points allowed, 25th in Yards, 28th in Passing Yards and 17th in Rushing yards doesn’t sound like playoff material, but the post-season is a perfect to get hot. With the week off, Atlanta looks to continue with their winning ways as they host the Seattle Seahawks.
Then + 1000 | Now + 900
The Seahawks have always been in a playoff conversation when discussing NFC teams in 2016. Yet, for the first time since their reign of terror began, the talk is about whether or not the team’s secondary can withstand a high powered offense like the Falcons. In just a few of their games without injured SS Earl Thomas, the Seahawks allowed their first 30-point game of this season (38 points in a blowout loss at Green Bay), 34 points in the home defeat to Arizona on Christmas Eve and 23 points to the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers. The Hawks did rally to shut the doors on Detroit last weekend, but Matthew Stafford and the Lions were in the middle of their own downward spiral as they dropped their fourth straight game to end their season. This week’s road game versus the Falcons should be interesting; Seattle was 3-4-1 on the road this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Then + 2500 | Now: +900
Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t look like the AFC West champions with a first-round bye in Week Four. They didn’t even look like a team that was going to go .500 when the Steelers destroyed them on national TV 43-14. Granted, after that loss, the team won 10 of their next 12 games while holding eight of those opponents to 20 points or less. Was the Steelers game a wake-up call or does Pittsburgh have their number? This weekend’s game should answer a lot of questions, namely, are the Chiefs for real?
Then + 4000 | Now: +5000
Where do I start? The Houston Texans have worse odds of winning the Super Bowl now in the playoffs as one of the final eight remaining teams than they did after the NFL draft in May. That’s amazing, and extremely sad. As a passionate sports fan that loves to see the unthinkable, the unbelievable, the “where were you when it happened” memorable games of our time, I will be cheering for the Texans to play spoiler this weekend.
Enjoy the playoffs!