When breaking down the 2013 Super Bowl Odds prior to Week 4, I pointed out that there was some separation starting to form in terms of the top favorites. Well, the marshy waters that are Super Bowl odds have gotten a little more filtered out as we head into Week 5.
You'll notice on the table below that there are two sides. The left side is the top half of the league, odds-wise. The right side is the bottom half of the league, odds-wise. The teams on the left side have mostly green arrows by them (with the exception of five teams), while the teams on the right side have mostly red arrows by them (with the exception of three teams).
That's because we're actually starting to get some separation: the favorites are all getting ahead of the pack and therefore trending higher quickly. Vegas doesn't want to get torched by a long-shot Super Bowl bet that could pay off. Meanwhile, the heavy dogs are falling farther. Vegas would love for you to take a gamble on some of these teams, because you're basically setting money on fire.
Not surprisingly, the top four teams continued to see their odds shrink as they either looked convincing in a win (the Texans and 49ers), handled their business against a frisky division underdog (the Ravens) or pulled off a ridiculous comeback that really put some distance in their division (the Falcons). Houston and Atlanta are going to need to do some serious work not to make the postseason. But if you're going to bet on them, wait til a couple of losses or a bad game or something. They both won't go undefeated.
The Cardinals are the only undefeated team with lower than 20/1 odds and they didn't jump much after an unconvincing performance at home against the Dolphins that required overtime to win. Hold off on betting them.
Dallas and Chicago took a sizable tumble and jump, respectively, after Monday night, and it's hard to blame Vegas for that move. Dallas' defense looked vulnerable, it plays in a tough division and Tony Romo gonna Tony Romo. Meanwhile, Chicago actually protected Jay Cutler and won for the second consecutive week in convincing fashion. The Bears play the Jaguars, have their bye in Week 6 and then get the Lions and Panthers at home before playing the Titans on the road. Considering the Bears could easily be 7-1 heading into a matchup against the Texans, now would be a very good time to hop on their bandwagon. Things aren't so easy for the Cowboys, who get the Ravens, Panthers, Giants, Falcons and Eagles after their Week 5 bye. Do not invest.
The Vikings are the fringe team in the top half this week after their 3-1 start. Vegas is starting to buy in, but should you? Um, maybe: they get the Titans, Redskins, Cardinals, Buccaneers, Seahawks and Lions before their bye. All of those games are absolutely winnable. 50/1 is a pretty good price.
Seattle fell far this week after a no-show against the Rams. They're just not that great offensively and don't seem capable of putting up a lot of points on most teams. In a tough division with them squarely behind the eight ball at 1-3, 66/1 shouldn't be surprising. The team that beat them, the Rams, was one of two risers on the right side. But 300/1 versus 200/1 shouldn't really make you bat an eye.
The Redskins simply go with Robert Griffin III's popularity. Winning helps, but that drive makes people believe, and do silly things like throw money at their odds, even though the defense is going to be bad the rest of the way home.
Meanwhile, the Jets took a precipitous drop after getting pounded by the Niners in their first game without Darrelle Revis, falling from 35/1 to 100/1. That number should keep getting larger. The Bills second-half no-show game against New England pushed them from 50/1 to 100/1. Not that I think they're winning the Super Bowl, but they could still make the playoffs if they could ever get the defense going, so that's a decent investment.
Oh, and congrats to Cleveland, for becoming the first team with odds that feature a comma.
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