News and Notes from the NFL- Sept.23
The 2011 NFL regular season is only two weeks old, but the print media and air waves are already filled with predictions of Super Bowl glory for any team that is 2-0 and an entry into the Andrew Luck-sweepstakes for all the teams that are 0-2.
Jumping to these conclusions seems a bit premature given there are 14 more games left to play, but there are a number of statistics that bear these predictions out. Past history has showed that there is a great chance that one of the seven teams that are 2-0 will win it all this season and that one of the seven teams that has lost its first two games will most likely end up with the first pick in next year’s draft. Four of the past five Super Bowl champions started the year 2-0. The only exception was the 2008 New York Giants, who went on to win it all after starting, amazingly enough, 0-2. Over the past two seasons, no team that started 0-2 made the playoffs and the best record for anyone in this boat was 8-8 (Carolina and Tennessee in 2009).
Do not get me wrong, there is a big difference between New England and Green Bay being 2-0 verse Buffalo and Washington’s fast start, but looking over Bodog’s futures odds for these teams, it is amazing what a few wins does for your posted odds. The Patriots are still the odds-on-favorite to win it all, but they started the year at 13/2 and have dropped to 9/2 after two impressive wins. The Packers opened at 7/1 and are now 11/2 to win back-to-back titles.
The change in the odds for the other two teams is much more dramatic. The Bills opened the season as the longest shot to win a title at 150/1, but have plummeted to 75/1 in the current listings. The Redskins opened at 100/1 and are now 45/1 to shock the world in early February of 2012.
People are suddenly lining up to jump on the Detroit Lions’ bandwagon after their perfect start and the odds have followed. They opened as 30/1 longshots, but are now 16/1 to win it all. With the demise of Indianapolis due to the loss of Peyton Manning, it is no surprise that Houston is now the odds-on-favorite to win the AFC South at -600 after opening at +180. The Texans’ odds to win the Super Bowl have followed as they are now listed at 11/1 after opening at 25/1.
The final team to start 2-0 is the New York Jets. They opened the season as the fifth favorite to win it all at 12/1 odds and have remained at 12/1, but are now sixth on the list. That is one of the pitfalls of playing in the same division as New England; however there is a certain amount of value to be found here. The Jets have a chance to control their own destiny with two shots at knocking off the Patriots to gain the edge at winning the AFC East. This task may be easier said than done, but a small wager on the New York at this point in the season may not the worst idea in the world.
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