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 7 is a wrap and we’re now headed into Week 8, so let’s get started. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Indianapolis Colts (4-2, +2500)
At this point, I think we can all stop mentioning Andrew Luck’s retirement when we talk about the Colts. Jacoby Brissett has stepped in and led this offense in a way that many of us thought he couldn’t. He’s currently one passing touchdown behind the league leaders – Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan (granted, the last two suffered injuries in their seventh games.) And after picking up a win in Kansas City plus a home victory against the Texans, the Brissett and the Colts have established themselves as a team to be taken seriously.
Following two tough opponents, Indianapolis gets a seemingly easier stretch of games. Its next four matchups (three of which are at home) are as follows: Broncos, Steelers, Dolphins, Jaguars. After shortening their odds from +3300 (15th-shortest) to +2500 (11th-shortest again,) now is still a decent time to take a long shot bet on the Colts. If they continue to win, those odds will continue to shrink. And at +2500, they have the longest odds of any division leader.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2, +1800)
I haven’t highlighted the Ravens too much this season. That’s partly because other teams have improved their Super Bowl odds at a more noticeable rate, and partly because I couldn’t figure out if they were for real or not. Seeing how they performed against the Seahawks this week and looking at the gap they’ve created in the AFC North, we can safely say the Ravens are legitimate. Lamar Jackson’s versatility is throwing defenses for a loop, as he’s already halfway to 1,000 rushing yards. Beating Seattle dropped Baltimore’s odds from +2200 (T-9th-shortest) to +1800 (T-6th-shortest.)
So now the Ravens head into their bye week with its shortest odds to win the Super Bowl all season. The Steelers aren’t threatening, the Browns are crumbling and the Bengals are tanking. Everything is awesome, right? Maybe not so much looking ahead. The Ravens start November off hosting the Patriots, who have bulldozed every team they’ve faced so far this season. Jon Harbaugh’s squad will definitely be underdogs heading into it, but if they pull off the upset, the Ravens will really raise some eyebrows.
San Francisco 49ers (6-0, +900)
For the third consecutive week, I’m featuring the 49ers here. It was an easy week, albeit low-scoring, in Washington. This also marks a third consecutive week of the 49ers keeping their opponents under eight points. So it’s very clear what their strong suit is. Their defense is right up there with the Patriots’ and has arguably faced more talented offenses. Now at 6-0 and with two less losses than its closest division rival, San Francisco cut its odds from +1100 (T-4th-shortest) to +900 (3rd-shortest.)
Jimmy G and the 49ers won’t have an easy path to an undefeated season, as no team ever does. Of their nine remaining opponents (ten games,) only two currently have a losing record (they play the Cardinals twice.) Fortunately, they’ve given themselves a nice cushion to work with. Next week, the Niners face the Panthers who are coming off of their bye week. The 49ers are home favorites in this matchup, but shutting down Christian McCaffrey is no small task, regardless of how impressive their defense has been.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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