NFL Football Betting

Early Super Bowl 53 Odds Preview

Even in defeat, the New England Patriots came this close to pulling off yet another stunning comeback. The Patriots were down 10 points to the Philadelphia Eagles (+4.5) late in the third quarter of Super Bowl LII; naturally, New England took the lead in the fourth, but this time, they couldn’t seal the deal. The Eagles won 41-33 (OVER 49), securing their first-ever Super Bowl victory when Tom Brady’s Hail Mary attempt hit the ground in Philadelphia’s end zone, inches away from Rob Gronkowski.

Will that be the last time we see Gronkowski in a Patriots uniform? After Sunday’s loss, the five-time Pro Bowler was non-committal about returning to play in 2018, despite having two more lucrative years on his contract. While Gronkowski takes a few weeks off to think about it, Super Bowl 53 odds have already hit the NFL futures market, and it didn’t take long for New England to slip to +600 after opening at +500 favorites.


Eagles in Good Shape With Wentz, Foles

The Eagles may be the new champions, but they opened at +900 on the Super Bowl betting odds board – tied with the Green Bay Packers for second place behind the Patriots. Again, bettors seem more inclined to put their faith in Philadelphia; they’ve driven the Eagles to +800 in early betting. This is a program that still has plenty of upsides, with quality players across the field, while the Patriots will be led next year by QB Tom Brady, who turns 41 in August. Can Brady repeat his MVP performance from 2017, or will he fall apart the way Peyton Manning did in his final season?

Packers fans have their own quarterback concerns. Aaron Rodgers, now 34 years old, was having one of his least effective seasons as a starter before breaking his collarbone in Week 6. But at least Rodgers was performing at an above-average level. Backup Brett Hundley was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league in 2017, and Green Bay missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Neither the Packers nor the Patriots have the defensive talent to overcome any quarterback issues they might run into. When Manning turned to dust in 2015, his Denver Broncos were the top defensive team in the NFL, and they went on to win the Super Bowl.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, is facing the kind of quarterback problem that most teams would love to have. With Carson Wentz sidelined by a torn knee, backup Nick Foles turned in a magical postseason and earned Super Bowl MVP honors for his work on Sunday. Wentz might not be healed in time for the start of the 2018 campaign, so the Eagles may decide to keep Foles as an insurance policy. That would be prudent in a league that can’t seem to keep its starting quarterbacks from getting injured.


Garoppolo Fever Grips San Francisco

The Patriots had some quarterback insurance of their own, but they traded backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in late October – and now San Francisco is making a move up the NFL odds list. After winning all five of their games with Garoppolo as their starter, the Niners opened at +2000 odds to win Super Bowl 53, then quickly stepped up to +1800 and again to +1600. That’s ahead of the Los Angeles Rams (+1800), another team on the rise that just won the NFC West at 11-5.

Only two other teams have better Super Bowl odds than San Francisco: the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are tied at +1400. The Vikings have many of the same characteristics as the Eagles, including a glut of players at quarterback. Case Keenum played very well in 2017 after bouncing around the league, but will he stay ahead of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford on Minnesota’s depth chart? It might not matter too much, given how potent the Vikings’ defense is.

As for the Steelers, they’re also gifted in just about every facet of the game, and they’ve got an unusually durable quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, who just made the Pro Bowl for the sixth time. “Big Ben” has already confirmed he’ll be back in 2018, with an eye on playing at least three more years. The Steelers have also placated Roethlisberger by replacing offensive coordinator Todd Haley with former quarterback coach Randy Fichtner. For the Niners to vault ahead of both Minnesota and Pittsburgh speaks volumes about how the betting market views Garopollo. Imagine how these Super Bowl odds would look if he were still with the Patriots.

*Odds as of February 7, 2018