The Carolina Panthers may be the last undefeated team in the league, but the New England Patriots are still the top team on the NFL odds list for Super Bowl 50.
Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 2: 45-41-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-31 Total
Tom Brady is not a happy man. Not only did his New England Patriots (10-1 SU, 5-4-2 ATS) lose their first game of the season last week, Brady's college team, the Michigan Wolverines, lost to the hated Ohio State Buckeyes. As a result, Brady had to put on an OSU shirt and parade around the dressing room at Thursday's practice. Reports say his teammates were quite pleased.
They'll also be happy to know they're still the favorites to win Super Bowl 50. The defending champs are available at around +300 on the NFL odds list, down from as high as +180 in mid-November. That's despite the ongoing accumulation of Patriot injuries; the latest on TE Rob Gronkowski is that he's “week-to-week” with his knee injury. Aren't we all.
Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers (11-0 SU, 9-2 ATS) are still undefeated, but they're the second favorites on the Super Bowl 50 futures market at around +400. Carolina doesn't have the same championship pedigree as the Patriots – almost nobody does – but when it comes to the here and now, the Panthers may be the better team. Football Outsiders has them ranked No. 3 overall in Weighted DVOA, which discounts the games from earlier in the season. New England ranks No. 5.
At No. 1... would you believe the Kansas City Chiefs (6-5 SU and ATS)? They've won their last five games SU and ATS to put themselves in Wild Card position in the AFC. It won't be easy holding onto that spot, but Kansas City has one of the softer schedules in the league going forward at No. 24 overall. Soft, but not as soft as the Patriots (No. 27) and the Panthers (No. 31). Anyway, if you're willing to take a flyer on the Chiefs, they're available at around +2500 as we go to press.
How about our heroes, the New York Jets (6-5 SU, 5-5-1 ATS)? We put them in our NFL picks last month when they were available at +5000; since then, the Jets have split their last four games, but they're still on the AFC Wild Card bubble – and still a worthwhile long shot at prices as low at +10000. New York's remaining strength of schedule ranks No. 19 overall, by the way.
If you're looking for an even bigger payout that actually has more than a snowball's chance in hell, check out the Oakland Raiders (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS). They're available at around +12500, sitting just one game back of the AFC bubble. It's a tough road from here, with the No. 2-ranked strength of schedule to close out the regular season, but with an offense this good, anything can happen. And a Super Bowl win would make such a nice going-away present for Oakland fans.