Two weeks into the NFL season, the New England Patriots’ gap over the competition on the Super Bowl 51 champion futures board has widened.
Winning their first two games with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett subbing in while Tom Brady serves his Deflategate suspension has led to New England’s top odds dropping to +450 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Patriots were listed at +650 on the odds to win Super Bowl 51 following Week 1 of the season.
Ben Roethlisberger has guided the Pittsburgh Steelers to a pair of wins over defending division champions (Washington and Cincinnati) even though contributors such as RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Markus Wheaton have yet to play. Pittsburgh is the second favorite at +700.
The Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings have each vaulted up the board to +1600. Houston was listed at +2500 after Week 1 before winning their playoff rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs (+1800). Minnesota, previously listed at +2000, illustrated that it has an elite defense by stifling Aaron Rodgers during a Week 2 win against the Green Bay Packers.
It’s unclear how losing No. 1 RB Adrian Peterson (torn meniscus) will affect Minnesota, so their odds could jump around over the new few weeks.
The price for the Seattle Seahawks, who have scored a pitiful 15 points in two games, has risen to +1200 from +850 at the sportsbooks. Keep in mind the Seahawks are habitual slow starters.
Both Green Bay and the Arizona Cardinals are listed at +800. The Packers will be dangerous if they can shore up their pass protection for QB Aaron Rodgers. Arizona also appears like it might be able to run away with the NFC West and vie for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
While the Carolina Panthers are projected to take a step back, Cam Newton and company are listed at +1200. It could be difficult to gauge Carolina’s potential since after this week’s home game against Minnesota they don’t play outside the thin NFC South until a Week 8 game against Arizona.
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are listed at +1400. The Broncos are off to a 2-0 start.
According to the OddsShark NFL Database, 58.6 percent (44 of 75) of teams that have started 2-0 since 2007 have made the playoffs. Only 9.3% (seven of 75) of teams that got out of the gate 0-2 have qualified. While two weeks seems like a small sample, it speaks volumes about whether a team has Super Bowl potential.