There's the New England Patriots, and there's everyone else. That's the way the NFL odds are shaking out for Super Bowl 50, with the defending champs comfortably on top.
Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 11: 30-30-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 21-27 Total
No, they're still not the 2007 New England Patriots. But this year's model is halfway there. The Patriots remain undefeated at 8-0 (5-2-1 ATS) after beating Washington 27-10 last week as 13.5-point home dogs; with the win, New England has moved even further ahead into first place on the Super Bowl 50 futures market, at a range between +180 and +290. No other team is in the same neighborhood.
That includes the other two undefeated teams going into the second half of the regular season. The Cincinnati Bengals (8-0 SU, 7-0-1 ATS) and the Carolina Panthers (8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) have done even better than New England against the spread, thanks in part to their small-market status, and as we go to press, they're both available at around +800 on our NFL odds board. Smell the value.
Been There, Done That
Of course, neither Cincinnati nor Carolina has won the Super Bowl. The Bengals haven't even won a playoff game in the Marvin Lewis-Andy Dalton Era, and the Panthers haven't gotten past the Divisional Round since head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Cam Newton arrived in 2011. If you think championship experience is worth paying a premium for, the Patriots are your huckleberry.
They're also the best team in the NFL. That's according to the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders; through Week 9, New England is miles ahead of everyone else, with Cincinnati at No. 3 overall and Carolina at No. 4. The team in between? The Arizona Cardinals (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS). The Cardinals have thrived this year, but at +1400 for Super Bowl 50, buyer beware: Arizona has also played one of the easiest schedules in the league thus far.
The good times could all come crashing down this Sunday. Next on Arizona's dance card: the Seattle Seahawks (4-4 SU, 2-5-1 ATS), who despite their mediocre record are clinging to Super Bowl contender status at around +1000. They've made some changes to the offensive line, and they didn't allow any sacks in their last game against the Dallas Cowboys. It's still a risky play, but this might be a good time to buy low on the two-time and defending NFC champions.
And what about our preferred NFL pick, the New York Jets? They improved to 5-3 with a 28-23 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, although the Jets dropped the cash as 7.5-point home faves to fall to 4-3-1 ATS. You can now get the Jets as low as +6500 at GTBets, down from +5000 last week despite the victory. How can you resist a bargain like that? The Jets are still fifth overall on the efficiency charts, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is back at quarterback, injured thumb and all. Fear the beard.
Super Bowl 50 NFL Pick: New York Jets +6500 at GTBets