How the NFL preseason impacted Super Bowl odds
The NFL preseason doesn’t mean much in the overall scheme of things for football bettors. Outside of injuries and quarterback depth charts, the tune-up games are often skipped over when pigskin fans start sizing up the NFL odds.
The preseason did, however, impact some teams’ odds to win the Super Bowl. Here’s a look at five teams who watched their NFL futures rise and fall following the exhibition slate:
Miami Dolphins +6,000 to win Super Bowl
The Dolphins’ Super Bowl odds fell as low as 10-1 during the Peyton Manning free-agent frenzy. Miami was the odds on favorite to land the veteran quarterback and bettors jumped all over the Fins trying to grab value while they could. But, as well all know, Manning went to the Broncos and Miami was left to pick from a rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore under center.
“So much of that early money was based on speculation,” Jay Rood, sportsbook director at the MGM Mirage. “Everyone thought that was where (Manning) was going to go.”
New York Jets +1,500
Books are being very cautious with the Jets, having moved them up only slightly from 12-1 to their current price. New York looked lost in the preseason schedule, going 0-4 SU and ATS and mustering only 31 total points through those games. Rood says he doesn’t want to go crazy with the Jets’ futures in case they get off to a hot start in the regular season.
Tennessee Titans +3,000
The Titans have been a roller-coaster ride for NFL futures bettors this preseason. Tennessee entered the exhibition schedule at 80-1 to win the Super Bowl thanks to a QB controversy between veteran Matt Hasselbeck and youngster Jake Locker. After announcing Locker as the No. 1 guy, the Titans offense looked good in the preseason contests and drew the admiration of bettors, moving to 60-1 and then to 30-1.
Seattle Seahawks +3,000
The Seahawks are another team putting their faith in a young QB this season. Seattle named rookie Russell Wilson as its Week 1 starter, beating out Matt Flynn and the departed Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks went a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS in the preseason and moved from 50-1 to 30-1 heading into Week 1’s tilt with Arizona.
Arizona Cardinals +9,000
Speaking of the Cardinals, Arizona was perhaps the worst-looking side during the preseason. The Cardinals entered the exhibition season hoping to iron out their QB battle between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. However, neither QB played well and bettors took notice, not only fading Arizona in Week 1 but ignoring them in the futures market. The Cards entered the preseason as low as 40-1 and was quickly adjusted to their current odds.
Washington Redskins +4,000
Washington was other team involved in the Manning sweepstakes, with speculation forcing oddsmakers to dip their Super Bowl futures all the way down to 15-1. Once Manning was out of the picture, and rookie Robert Griffin III was locked in as the No. 1 QB, the odds climbed to 40-1. Washington opened the 2012 futures at 150-1.
“I would imagine, as good as RG3 can be, it’s asking a lot for Washington to be a top-tier team,” says Rood. “Just look at (Cam) Newton last year. He put up video game numbers but a first-year QB is only as good as all the other aspects of the team. This number will continue to come down.”