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.
With Week 3 just ending, let’s get started. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Carolina Panthers (1-2, +5000)
Cam Newton’s status is unclear, but Kyle Allen is doing just fine. In his third-career game, Allen threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns, leading Carolina to a 38-20 road win over Arizona. Let’s not get carried away, he was playing against the Cardinals after all. Regardless of the opponent, it was a crucial win for the Panthers. Their Super Bowl odds shortened by the most amount of any team’s from last week, going from +8000 (T-23rd-shortest) to +5000 (T-19th-shortest.)
The Panthers now sit in a three-way tie for the second-best record in the NFC South, just one win behind the Saints, who we all know are having their own QB injury issues with Drew Brees. A visit to Houston stands between the Panthers and their next home game. While the Texans are tough opponents, this could be a turning point for the Panthers, whose best hope of making the playoffs will likely be through winning the division. They’ll want to make up as much ground as possible before Brees returns in what is estimated to be at least five more weeks.
San Francisco 49ers (3-0, +2200)
It’s been an easy start for the 49ers after facing the Bucs (1-2,) Bengals (0-3) and Steelers (0-3,) but that shouldn’t devalue what they’ve accomplished. Jimmy Garoppolo finished off Week 3 with a game-winning touchdown drive to give San Francisco its first 3-0 start since 1998. If they didn’t share a division with the Rams (3-0) and Seahawks (2-1,) the 49ers’ Super Bowl odds would probably be even shorter. Alas, those odds have only dropped from +3300 (T-15th-shortest) to +2200 (T-9th-shortest) putting them with the company of the Ravens and Vikings.
Now, though, the real tests begin. Well, maybe not RIGHT now, but soon. The 49ers and the Jets have the first bye week, so the next time we’ll see Jimmy G take the field will be in Week 5 when they host the Browns. Since 2003, the 49ers have been the second-worst team (5-12-1) after a bye week. Although, the Browns will be traveling to Baltimore in Week 4, which may be one of their most important games of the season. And honestly, the Browns haven’t been as impressive as everyone said they would be. I think we’ll witness a 4-0 start for the Niners.
Green Bay Packers (3-0, +1200)
Speaking of 3-0 starts, the Packers are off to their first since 2015. With two division wins to boast about already, a non-conference win against the Broncos last week kept the Packers all alone at the top of the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had to go above and beyond to muster up wins. His team’s defense has been outstanding, being one of five teams to allow less than 200 passing yards per game and ranking second in points allowed. Green Bay has the second-shortest odds of NFC teams to win the Super Bowl, as it cut +1600 (seventh-shortest) down to +1200.
The road ahead roughens for the Pack, with a Thursday night matchup against an Eagles team desperate to get back on track. That is followed by consecutive games against the Cowboys and Lions (both currently undefeated.) While the Packers might not have the same weapons that the Rams (+800) or the Cowboys (+1300) do, they have experience in Aaron Rodgers. And in a league like the NFL, that can take you far...as long as your team reaches the playoffs. The NFC North is arguably the toughest division in football, but I expect to see Green Bay on top at the end of the regular season.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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