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. I’ll highlight three teams whose Super Bowl winning odds will change the most in Week 6.
Week 5’s biggest shift = Tennessee Titans. After an extended break due to COVID-19 protocols and schedule changes, the Titans made a statement in their first game back by taking down the undefeated Buffalo Bills 42-16. This was by far their widest margin of victory this season, trimming their odds from +3000 (13th-shortest) to +1800 (9th-shortest).
As we get approach Week 6, let’s break down which teams could see the biggest changes. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
New England Patriots (2-2, +2500)
It’s fair to say that the Patriots are the best team with two wins or less at this point in the season. Considering a devastatingly narrow loss to the Seahawks in Week 2 and a Cam Newton-less loss to the Chiefs in Week 4, we can see that they’re still aiming to be the most feared team in the AFC. Obviously that’s hard to accomplish with Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson still going strong, but with Super Cam clearing the COVID list, it’s much more of a possibility.
The Pats get their rescheduled Week 5 game this weekend, as they host the Denver Broncos. Even if Stidham or Hoyer had to quarterback New England for one more week, this would be a very winnable game. Fortunately, Cam is slated to return and he is expected to pick up right where he left off. The 4-1 Bills have to battle with the 4-1 Chiefs on Monday. If Kansas City bounces back and hands Buffalo its second consecutive loss, we will see New England’s odds drop significantly. Now is a good time to buy.
Carolina Panthers (3-2, +6600)
Teddy Bridgewater fell short in the first two weeks of the season, but since then, he and the Carolina Panthers have pieced together a three-game winning streak to keep pace with the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Losing Christian McCaffrey hasn’t had a major impact on the Panthers game plan, as they’ve plug-and-played Mike Davis in essentially the same role. Now, I’m not saying Davis is the next CMC, but he’s at least holding down the fort in his absence averaging a touchdown per game (and just over seven receptions per game).
In Week 6, the Panthers will welcome the Bears and Carolina is currently a 1.5-point favorite. While the Saints are on their bye week, the Bucs (who lost to the Bears in Week 5) have to face off against the Packers who will seemingly have Devante Adams returning to full health thanks to the bye week. Green Bay and Carolina wins would cut down the latter team’s odds drastically, and if you’re the type to throw in some long shot bets on teams that could actually sneak into the playoffs, now is as good a moment as any for the Panthers.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3, +4000)
Okay, before you stop reading, I know that Dak Prescott’s season is over. I also know that Andy Dalton is in line to head up the Cowboys offense. But we need to see the full picture here. Despite losing their stud quarterback last week, the Cowboys picked up a valuable division win over the Giants by a score of 37-34. That has placed them at the top of the league’s worst division: the NFC East.
Andy Dalton isn’t just some random second stringer who will be thrust into a starting position. He has years of starting experience (even if it was on some really bad Bengal teams) and, in fact, he ranks ninth in total passing yards and tenth in passing touchdowns among all quarterbacks since 2011. He also has one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Dallas Dalton (coining that now) will come out firing against a pass-friendly Arizona defense this week and could widen the gap in the division as Philadelphia faces Baltimore. Someone from the NFC East has to make the playoffs, and the Cowboys seem to have the best shot.
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