Heading into Week 1, every NFL fan thinks that their team is going to be in competition for a Super Bowl berth. In Vegas, however, thinks are done a bit more pragmatically. Every team has a chance, sure, but not all chances are created equal. Heading into the 2017-2018 season, the New England Patriots were far and away the team with the best odds to win Super Bowl LII.
However, in the span of a week, everything can change. After a 42-27 primetime slap from the Chiefs, in a relatively poor performance from Tom Brady, the Patriots' odds look to take a heavy nosedive in Week 2. Although they're still the Patriots, history is not favorable towards 0-1 teams -- according to playoffstatus.com, a site that tracks teams' playoff odds based on record, 0-1 teams have a 29 percent chance to make the playoffs and a two percent chance to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots, of course, are part of that two percent from their 2014 run, but Vegas always plays the odds.
Outside of New England, the top of the list contains the usual suspects. The top five consists of the Patriots, the Seahawks, the Packers, the Steelers and the Falcons, with the Cowboys sitting just outside at no. 6. The Browns, Jets and 49ers all sit at the bottom, with meager 250/1 odds (cue Jim Carrey "so you're saying there's a chance?").
All odds are as of Sep. 4, 2017 and come from Vegas Insider.
- New England Patriots (13/4): A loss will hurt these frankly outrageously high odds, but perhaps not so badly that they fall out of the top spot. It will take a serious trend of poor play to get people to start betting against the Patriots, and they've started slow out the gate before.
- Seattle Seahawks (8/1): Seattle is, as usual, retaining the core of its talent, and they boast one of the best defensive lines in football with the addition of Sheldon Richardson. Offensive line play may continue to be an issue, but this is a team founded on its always stout defense.
- Green Bay Packers (10/1): The NFC North's schedule is significantly more difficult this year than it was in 2016, but with the likes of Aaron Rodgers it's hard to bet against Green Bay. After they went down to the wire with the Lions last year, the Packers made the NFC Championship Game but fell to the Falcons.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (10/1): The Steelers were seen as the one team that could dethrone New England in the AFC this year, as their offensive skills positions are among the most stacked in the league (see: Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown). The reinstatement of Martavis Bryant helps the rich get richer, as Pittsburgh tries to make another Super Bowl run with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm.
- Atlanta Falcons (12/1): Last year's NFC champion suffered what may have been the most devastating Super Bowl loss in NFL history, and many people fear a hangover. Without Kyle Shanahan they may take a step back offensively, but a team with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones as its primary connection can only fall so far.
- Dallas Cowboys (12/1): If Ezekiel Elliott were certain to be in the lineup for all 16 games, these numbers may look a little different, but a run like the Cowboys' with a rookie quarterback at the helm will always be viewed as suspect. Nonetheless, with the best offensive line in football and a surprisingly stout defense (plus the hopeful emergence of Jaylon Smith), last year's No. 1 NFC seed is nothing to scoff at.
- New York Giants (12/1): Surprised to see the Giants this high? Don't be. With the second-best defense in points allowed in 2016, the Giants have all of their best pieces back. Janoris Jenkins is getting the respect he deserves as a corner, Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul are terrorizing quarterbacks, and Landon Collins proved he's a star. Odell Beckham Jr. heads a potent offense, and all of this is a recipe for a solid Giants squad in 2017.
- Oakland Raiders (14/1): For this to stick, Oakland needs to prove that 2016 wasn't the product of playing the AFC South and NFC South. This year they have to deal with the NFC East and the AFC East. With one of the most exciting young core groups in football, this is as good a year as any for the Raiders to make a run.
- Houston Texans (20/1): On the flip side is the team that beat Oakland in last year's playoff game, one of the worst since the infamous Ryan Lindley performance in 2015 against the Panthers. The Texans have a tremendous defense that's getting their marquee guy back in J.J. Watt, but the offense will have to play better this year if they're going to live up to these odds. The Titans may also challenge their spot in the AFC South this year, so it won't be a blind 9-7 stumble into the playoffs.
- Kansas City Chiefs (22/1): The Chiefs will see a bump in Week 2 after their dominant performance against the Patriots, but this may be a good place for them. The loss of Eric Berry . Alex Smith looked comfortable against the Patriots, who seemed content with letting him play his game throughout. Kareem Hunt is the x-factor -- if he continues to build off of a stellar Week 1 performance we may see a potent Chiefs offense.
- Denver Broncos (25/1): Having questions at quarterback is listing a used car that's got issues with its engine -- it's going to be a tough sell. Although the Broncos still have Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller captaining their defense, the issues at quarterback are too great to ignore, even with DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders catching passes.
- Arizona Cardinals (28/1): Two words: David. Johnson. Two more words: Secondary. Play. These things are carrying the Cardinals' hopes right now, along with the hope that the Cardinals can bounce back from a disappointing 2016 campaign that they entered with high expectations. David Johnson had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year, but results showed that he can't do it alone. Rookie Haason Reddick has created buzz this offseason and will have a complementary starting role, and he is headlining a new-look defense that is looking to dominate this season.
- Carolina Panthers (28/1): The Panthers' Super Bowl hangover in 2016 was brutal but Cam Newton remains one of the most effective dual threats in the NFL, and rookie Christian McCaffrey is shaping up to be one of the most promising rookies in football. Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Star Lotulelei shape up a top tier front seven as the Panthers try to return to their 2015 dominance.
- Minnesota Vikings (28/1): After a 6-1 start last season, the Vikings fizzled out after an offseason that was fraught with turmoil. Their MO was a stingy defense that tortured offenses with a vicious pass rush, but in the second half of the season they just couldn't keep it up. After finishing third in the NFC North, the expectation is that a year of experience will help the young defense, which still has extreme talent at all levels with Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith, along with the newly extended Xavier Rhodes.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (33/1): These are still relatively long-shot odds, but it's nothing compared to where the Buccaneers are often talked about. With Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and O.J. Howard, in addition to Doug Martin who will be back in Week 4 and the signing of DeSean Jackson, the Buccaneers' moves all indicate that their time to win is now. Winston is quickly emerging as a franchise quarterback, and if he's going to live up to his hype this is the year. The world got a look at Tampa Bay on HBO's "Hard Knocks", but the Bucs don't want that to be the last people see of the Buccaneers.
- Tennessee Titans (33/1): The Titans and the Buccaneers belong together. Two young, terrific quarterbacks that came out of the same draft, veteran running backs that have suffered down years and a receiving corps with the potential to burn most secondaries. Corey Davis was one of the nation's best receivers at Western Michigan, and Marcus Mariota is ushering in an exciting new time for the Titans. DeMarco Murray rebounded from a bad year with the Eagles to rush for almost 1,300 yards in 2016, and the Titans look poised to make a run for the South after finishing just short last year.
- New Orleans Saints (40/1): The Saints defense simply can't seem to catch a break -- or rather -- they can't stop catching breaks. Nick Fairley was placed on the non-football injuries list with a heart condition, Delvin Breaux's leg will keep him sidelined until at least Week 10, and Nathan Stupar and Stephone Anthony are dealing with lingering injuries. Drew Brees is keeping the Saints afloat for the moment, as he usually does, but scoring 40 points a game doesn't matter when you're giving up 60.
- Philadelphia Eagles (40/1): Philadelphia might be tied with Minnesota for "hottest 2016 starts that ended in pain." They went 4-0 in their first four games and 5-2 in their first seven, including a shocking 34-3 rout of the Steelers under rookie Carson Wentz, but they finished 7-9 and last in the NFC East. With the addition of LeGarrette Blount at running back and Alshon Jeffrey at receiver, the Eagles are looking to reshape themselves into a potent, bruising offense after their receiving corps literally and figuratively dropped the ball last year.
- Baltimore Ravens (50/1): The Ravens are arguably currently the most decimated team by injuries in 2017. Between the abrupt retirement of leading tackler Zachary Orr, the season-ending injuries to Kenneth Dixon, Albert McClellan and Tavon Young and the lingering question of Joe Flacco's health, the Ravens enter the regular season with far more questions than answers. Their defense still has talent, but the secondary is extremely questionable heading into the season.
- Cincinnati Bengals (50/1): Cincinnati is in a kind of football purgatory, as they continually either make the playoffs or fall just shy of the playoffs, and if they do make it they get bounced in the first round. Star linebacker Vontaze Burfict will miss the first three games of the season due to a suspension he incurred against the Chiefs, and the offense is partially contingent on rookie Joe Mixon with the other part going to receivers A.J. Green and John Ross (who is a rookie himself).
- Indianapolis Colts (50/1): Andrew Luck's absence has cast a heavy shadow over the Colts' playoff chances, let alone Super Bowl hopes. The Colts have been mum about the extent of Luck's injury, but as long as the Colts are starting Scott Tolzien it would be unwise to expect their odds to improve.
- Detroit Lions (66/1): The Lions have their quarterback, as they were able to get a deal with Matthew Stafford, but now they need to turn their sights toward the upcoming season. Their front seven is suspect, and Ezekiel Ansah will need to return to 2015 form (or slightly below it, as 14.5 sacks might be unreasonable) if they're going to go back to be effective up front. The secondary looks decent with Darius Slay and Glover Quin, but no one can cover all day.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (66/1): Conversely to the Colts, the Jaguars' certainty about their starting quarterback might be their downfall. If Blake Bortles plays poorly this year, he'll become the personification of a sunk cost fallacy. The Jaguars are still looking for their identity on offense, but with the likes of Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Leonard Fournette, it shouldn't be this hard.
- Los Angeles Chargers (66/1): The Chargers are dealing with a tough move and, although their roster is possibly in the best shape in a decade, adjusting to a new coach and a new location are difficult obstacles to overcome. Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon are solid picks to lead an offense, and Joey Bosa was fantastic last year, but this team may be a few years out.
- Miami Dolphins (66/1): Putting Jay Cutler back in an Adam Gase offense was a deft move to cover the loss of Ryan Tannehill, but the Dolphins have plenty of holes elsewhere. An offense with Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Jay Ajayi and Julius Thomas looks promising, but their secondary and front seven outside of Cameron Wake just looks too shaky to go all in on the Dolphins.
- Washington Redskins (66/1): Kirk Cousins won't like that. He also won't like that he lost his top two receiving targets in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Until Jameson Crowder proves he can carry the receiving load, it's going to be hard to trust the Redskins' offense. This combined with a schedule that has the Giants and Cowboys twice makes the Redskins a tough bet.
- Buffalo Bills (100/1): The Bills have made their 2017 intentions perfectly clear. They're moving on from the Doug Whaley era in spectacular fashion, and new GM Brandon Beane is getting new head coach Sean McDermott whoever he wants for 2018. It may look bad for this year, but the Bills are undoubtedly convinced their fans will thank them later.
- Los Angeles Rams (150/1): Starting a second-year quarterback while undergoing a regime change is a tough move, and doing so while acclimating to a city that received your team in a lukewarm fashion is more difficult. The Rams are trying to move past the Jeff Fisher era, and Sean McVay may help them do so, but Todd Gurley still has little help up front and Jared Goff doesn't have amazing talent to throw to. The NFC West will likely be run by the Seahawks and Cardinals this year.
- Chicago Bears (200/1): Mike Glennon is starting for the Bears, and Mitchell Trubisky is their backup. It's easy to see why the Bears are long shots this year, they're in a rebuild and they own it. Obviously they're hoping Trubisky is the quarterback of the future, and who knows, we might see around Week 5 if that's the case.
- Cleveland Browns (250/1): Another team in full rebuild mode, the Browns are at least trying to do things the right way. They've added strong tools on defense in Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers, and they'll see what they have in DeShone Kizer. With 13 2018 draft picks, including five in the first two rounds, the Browns may just finally figure it out.
- New York Jets (250/1): The Jets are at Sam Hinkie levels of tanking right now, as they're unloading anyone that will get them picks. They want Sam Darnold bad, and they'll start Josh McCown to get him.
- San Francisco 49ers (250/1): The 49ers are under a decent start under John Lynch, as he made a solid deal with the Bears that ended up netting the Bears Trubisky and gave the 49ers precious picks. In 2018 they'll have nine draft picks as they try to continue to piece together their post-Harbaugh team.