With five weeks remaining and the stretch run portion of the 2016 NFL regular season pretty much officially here, let’s find out if Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will fulfill their Super Bowl 51 futures odds as this season’s prohibitive favorite or whether some other title contender looks like a better pick to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy this February.
In Depth Analysis On The NFL Futures Odds In The Spotlight And Super Bowl 51 Analysis
The Favorite – New England Patriots 7/5The New England Patriots (9-2 SU, 8-2 ATS) have won two straight and six of their last seven games heading into Week 13 and look like virtual locks to get a first round bye in the playoffs as one of the top two seeds in the AFC.
The Patriots are ranked a stupendous sixth in scoring at 26.6 points per game and an even more impressive third in points allowed defensively, by limiting the opposition to just 17.9 points per contest. More importantly, New England’s final five regular season games all look very winnable right now as they’ll face the Rams in Week 13, followed by matchups against Baltimore, Denver, the New York Jets and a Week 17 road matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
I’m expecting the Pats to go 4-1 over the stretch, if not a perfect 5-0 to secure a bye and virtually assure themselves of a date in the AFC Championship at the very least. Whether you love them or loathe them, the New England Patriots are the overall favorite for a reason, if backing them at 7/5 odds isn’t going to bring you a ton of money on their Super Bowl futures odds.
The Smart Pick – Dallas Cowboys 9/2Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys (10-1 SU, 9-1-1 ATS) are on fire, having won an incendiary 10 straight games.
Now, the No. 2 overall favorite to win Super Bowl 51 at 9/2 odds, Dallas is look quite formidable. Rookie signal-caller Dak Prescott had been an absolute gift for owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett despite being drafted in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft. The former Mississippi State star has played like a wily 10-year veteran in completing a blistering 67.9 percent of his passes for 2,835 yards with 18 TD passes and just two interceptions.
Gifted running back Ezekiel Elliott has made his selection as the fourth overall pick in the draft look absolutely phenomenal by rushing for a league-high 1,199 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not only that, but the Cowboys also have three very capable receivers in wideouts Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant and veteran tight end Jason Witten and rank a fantastic third in scoring after 12 weeks (28.7 ppg). While Dallas ranks third against the run defensively, there is cause for concern with the Cowboys ranking a discouraging 31st against the pass. The good news is that despite their inability to stop the pass, Dallas still ranks a stupendous third in points allowed (19.3 ppg). A 9/2 odds to win it all, they’re also quite deserving of a wager against their Super Bowl 51 futures odds.
The Longshot: Oakland Raiders 16/1While I’ve alternated between the Kansas Chiefs and Oakland Raiders as my top two Super Bowl 51 longshots the past few weeks, I’m back on the Raiders’ bandwagon after watching blossoming quarterback Derek Carr lead Oakland to a huge 35-32 comeback win over Carolina this past weekend, although it should be noted that Kansas City’s Week 12 win over Denver was almost as impressive.
As far as the Raiders (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) are concerned, they rank fifth in scoring at 27.9 points per game and have arguably the best young quarterback in the game today in Derek Carr and arguably the best pair of starting wide receivers in all of football in Amari Cooper and veteran Michael Crabtree.
Carr has completed a stellar 66.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,115 yards with 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Cooper has caught 66 passes for 922 yards and three scores while Crabtree has hauled in 60 passes for 711 yards and six scores. If there is a concern to be had about the Raiders, it’s on the defensive side of the ball where they rank an uninspiring 23rd in points allowed (25.0 ppg) and in the bottom third of every other meaningful defensive statistical category.
Still, the Raiders look like they could beat any team in the league these in a high-scoring shootout, much like they did Carolina on Sunday.