The landscape of the National Football League changes every week. Where we thought teams lined up before Week 1 can (and usually does) end up being completely different to where they actually end up come Week 17. But all teams are focusing on one goal, even if it calls for a season to be tanked in the meantime. Everyone is aiming for the Super Bowl. And that’s exactly what we’ll focus on here. Every week, I’ll highlight three teams that most improved their Super Bowl winning odds.
Week 6 is a wrap and we’re now headed into Week 7, so let’s get started. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2, +2000)
The NFC North was at the center of a lot of commotion on Monday night, as the Lions lost to the Packers in an extremely controversial fashion. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings passed their way through the Eagles, who were supposed to be one of the better teams in the NFC. Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs in the endzone three times, ending the openly frustrated wide receiver’s three-game scoring drought. Showcasing its offensive capabilities while maintaining its top-9 defense across most categories, Minnesota has cut its Super Bowl odds from +2800 (T-11th-shortest) to +2000 (T-9th-shortest.)
With a 4-2 record, the Vikings find themselves in second place in the division, just one win behind the Packers. Their two losses this season have come in both of their away division games, leaving them with one more to play. That matchup will occur this week in Detroit. It’s a crucial game for both sides, as the Lions look to bounce back from a demoralizing loss. The NFC playoff picture is fairly crowded at this point in the season, so if the Vikings hope to be in frame, they will need to start picking up division wins.
San Francisco 49ers (5-0, +1100)
The 49ers have found their way into my top three for two weeks in a row, now. With an unexpected 5-0 start, how could I not talk about them? Sure, the Patriots are 6-0, but we’ve seen them do that before. Following a Week 6 away win against a division rival who just reached the Super Bowl last season, the Niners should definitely be taken seriously. Granted, Todd Gurley sat out with a quad injury, but the Rams still have plenty of offensive weapons that were ultimately suppressed by the league’s second-best defense. San Francisco’s odds continue to shrink, this week going from +1600 (T-6th-shortest) to +1100 (T-4th-shortest.)
None of the five teams the 49ers faced this season scored more than 20 points against them, four of which have a season scoring average of 20 points or higher. In Week 7, they’ll fly back to the east coast to take on red-hot Washington (total sarcasm.) The spread is currently at 9.5 points in favor of the 49ers, and that seems kind to Washington. The next real challenge for San Francisco will be a Week 8 matchup against the Panthers, who will be fresh off of a bye week and riding a four-game winning streak.
New Orleans Saints (5-1, +700)
Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints continue to win games, even though it isn’t always the high-powered offense we’re used to seeing from them. A 13-6 win over the Jaguars this week marked a four-game winning streak, all without Drew Brees. New Orleans’ total yards per game and points per game haven’t been good enough to break into the top half of the league, but it’s finding ways to win and that’s all that matters in the end. The Saints have trimmed their Super Bowl odds from +800 to +700. After two consecutive losses for the Chiefs, the Saints now hold the second-shortest odds to win it all.
This low-profile offense might not be enough to carry New Orleans to the Super Bowl, but that might not be an issue for long. Drew Brees is reportedly recovering well from his thumb injury and is already gripping and throwing NFL footballs. The veteran QB could return for his team’s Week 8 matchup against the Cardinals, but with the bye week to follow and Bridgewater doing a good enough job, it may be wise to give Brees the extra week to rest. Either way, the Saints could automatically become a top-5 offense as soon as he comes back.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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