A deafening loss by the New Orleans Saints did very little to muffle their odds in SBLIII Futures. A lot of that had to do with how the other two top teams fared in Week 13, but the team that everyone gets routinely annoyed by did a ton to back themselves in the book this past weekend. To almost nobody’s surprise, the New England Patriots have moved up to +600 as the next best option in Super Bowl futures, and have gained some separation from the Chargers, who are fifth overall.
Los Angeles Rams (+325 in SBLIII Futures) – The Rams had an absurdly poor performance against Detroit and still won 30-16. They’re as good as you think they are, and the return of Aqib Talib improves their ability to protect against the pass exponentially. Jared Goff was curiously inaccurate with 17-of-33 for 207 yards, 1 touchdown and a pick, but the offense as a whole was carried by Todd Gurley’s 132 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. He also caught 3 passes for 33 more yards through the air and comically waited a few extra plays to score a touchdown just to bleed more clock in the ultimate “I’ll just do it later” move of the century. The Rams maintain value and can be forgiven for not taking these types of games as seriously, as they should. As we saw in the Greatest Monday Night Football Game Ever Played, the Rams step up when it’s necessary.
New Orleans Saints (+325 in SBLIII Futures) – To a certain extent, this is fine despite the loss to Dallas with everyone watching. It’s very hard to argue that New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams aren’t the two best in the conference. But it’s also fair to suggest that what floated the Saints a bit in this market is the fact that the Rams and Chiefs weren’t outrightly dominant in Week 13. Yes, they were both still incredibly good and scored 30+ points, but played against meager (at best) competition. New Orleans has a very tough matchup against a suddenly surging Tampa Bay team, which could equally remind is that the Saints are immortal…or very, very mortal.
Kansas City Chiefs (+550 in SBLII Futures) – Kansas City made short work of a scrappy Oakland team in their 40-33 win as -14.0 point favorites despite the sudden loss of Kareem Hunt. In his place, Spencer Ware and Damien Williams were totally fine by combining for 86 yards and a touchdown. It’s probably by design that the Chiefs didn’t take more advantage of the limp Raiders. A win was by far more important than a statement game, and the Chiefs had a ton of mental obstacles to overcome this past weekend. Their odds overall took a hit from the +325 value they held midweek prior to Week 13. A big test against Baltimore’s savage defense awaits next.
New England Patriots (+600 in SBLIII Futures) – If you “follow the money”, the Chiefs rightfully waiving Kareem Hunt dropped their chances of winning the Super Bowl from +350 to +550. That money had to go somewhere, and it landed exactly where you’d expect. Prior to the cyclone of news that hit social media all through Friday, the Patriots were +1000 and then went down immediately to +650 after Hunt was released. They justified that market adjustment by blasting the Vikings on Sunday afternoon. Remember that New England still owns a victory over the Chiefs, who have taken a step back in terms of personnel, while the Patriots are now back to full health. It’s going to be a fun fight in the AFC, especially since another team legitimized their chances of going deep in to January.
Los Angeles Chargers (+1100 in SBLIII Futures) – Yes, the refs blew a few key calls in that game, but nobody’s ever believed that the Steelers were as impervious as the other four teams on this list. Pittsburgh also lost James Conner, which was a void that was impossible to replace on their offense. After that injury, the Chargers gained steam and piled on a comeback for the ages. It was the type of marquee performance the Chargers have been missing all season…and they did it without Melvin Gordon. From the preseason up until now, the Chargers have been the sneaky, off-the-radar team. Prior to Week 1, the Chargers were the favorites to seize the AFC West and now they’re one game away from playing the Chiefs for (potentially) a shot at the division.
Best of the Rest in SBLIII Futures:
Pittsburgh Steelers +1400
Houston Texans +1600
Chicago Bears +2000
Dallas Cowboys +2500
Seattle Seahawks +2800
Minnesota Vikings +3300
Baltimore Ravens +4000
Indianapolis Colts +4000
Philadelphia Eagles +5000