2014 Super Bowl Odds: Turmoil up top for NFL powers

Can Tom Brady get the Patriots through the playoffs without Rob Gronkowski? (USATSI)
Can Tom Brady get the Patriots to the Super Bowl without Rob Gronkowski? (USATSI)

This is the time of the year when NFL teams are supposed to be rounding into shape, getting hot at the right time and prepping for the playoffs. Instead, things are kind of a mess up top.

The best example comes from Thursday night's Broncos-Chargers game, which has been incorporated below. The Broncos were 11-4 -- having moved up from their previous spot -- and tied with the Seahawks  until Thursday night. Now they're 3-1. Meanwhile, San Diego moved up from 75-1 to 50-1 on the heels of beating Peyton Manning and Co.

The biggest concern for the Broncos is their defense. They're still a top favorite, but you've got to consider Manning's semi-struggles and the Broncos inability to slow down the Chargers a pair of red flags moving forward.

Denver's not alone though. Seattle (11-4) just got beaten by the 49ers (8-1) in San Francisco, a firm reminder that those two teams are a lot more even than people like to admit sometimes. It matters big time where they're playing, and Seattle's a lot better at home, but they're a beatable team if you can play physical with them.

The Patriots (10-1) have a major problem with the loss of Rob Gronkowski. They'll still score points and are a near lock for a top seed and maybe even the No. 1 seed, if they can win out. But the offense won't be as dynamic and they won't be as dangerous in the red zone without Gronk.

The Panthers were manhandled by the Saints (8-1) in New Orleans. We'll learn a lot about them depending on how they bounce back against the Jets (300-1; no longer OFF???) and then in two weeks when they host the Saints. I'm worried about them against teams that can spread them out with multiple weapons and have a quarterback like Drew Brees who can get the ball out quickly. They turned Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson into a non factor.

Notable Movement

  • The Giants and Titans join a growing list of teams that are OFF.
  • The Chargers aren't a great bet at 50-1, honestly, even though they've got a shot at making the playoffs. They need a lot to happen and the Dolphins (66-1) and Ravens (50-1) are probably better bets to make the playoffs. Handling the Broncos was impressive though. Philip Rivers has beaten the Manning Bros in consecutive weeks. That ain't easy.
  • Look at the Eagles (28-1) flying! With the Cowboys (50-1) defense looking terrible against the Bears (50-1) on Monday night, the Eagles are a good bet to win that division. Chip Kelly is doing work.
  • Aaron Rodgers won't be back this week for the Packers (50-1) but if you like longshots they're a pretty good one. Beat the 'Boys, get Rodgers back and they're a sneaky NFC North division winner. There's a reason Vegas is moving them up the board quickly.
Odds via Bovada
Team Week 14  Odds
Week 15  Odds
Team Week 14  Odds
Week 15 Odds
Seattle Seahawks 5-2 11-4 San Diego Chargers
125-1 50-1*
Denver Broncos 13-4 3-1* Arizona Cardinals
100-1 100-1
New Orleans Saints 10-1 8-1 New York Jets
OFF 300-1
San Francisco 49ers 14-1 8-1 Pittsburgh Steelers
125-1 300-1
New England Patriots 13-2 10-1 New York Giants
75-1 OFF
Cincinnati Bengals 20-1 16-1 Tennessee Titans
250-1 OFF
Carolina Panthers 10-1 18-1 Washington Redskins
Kansas City Chiefs 33-1 25-1 Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles 33-1 28-1 Buffalo Bills
Indianapolis Colts 28-1 33-1 Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions 25-1 40-1 Houston Texans
Baltimore Ravens 50-1 50-1 St. Louis Rams
Chicago Bears 75-1 50-1 Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys 33-1 50-1 Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers 75-1 50-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Miami Dolphins 100-1 66-1 Jacksonville Jaguars
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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