There are still four undefeated teams crowding the top of the NFL odds list for Super Bowl 50. And then you have the Seattle Seahawks at 4-4. Hope springs eternal.
Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 4: 26-21-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-27 Total
If you're new to betting on football, one of the first things you need to wrap your head around is the concept of the marketplace. People who bet on football teams are making financial investments and looking for returns. Recreational bettors might not think about it in those terms, but you should. Your profit margin comes from bettors who improperly value the teams they're investing in.
You best object lesson for this concept: the Super Bowl futures market. Casual fans make up a yooge percentage of the bettors in this marketplace, and as you can see by the latest NFL odds going into Week 9, they see things a little differently than the stat nerds who break down every play and crunch the numbers and think really, really hard about football. Like a certain super-villain once said, hubba hubba hubba, money money money, who do you trust?
Victory Lap Tour 2015
Let's show you the difference. First, we have the top six teams on the Super Bowl 50 futures market at GTBets (all odds are at press time):
New England Patriots +200
Green Bay Packers +333
Denver Broncos +800
Cincinnati Bengals +850
Carolina Panthers +1200
Seattle Seahawks +1200
Seems reasonable enough; you've got the four remaining undefeated teams, plus the 6-1 Packers... and the 4-4 Seahawks. They've been sticking around the top of the charts despite their difficult times of late – kind of like those bands who used to be amazing, but haven't put out a good album in far too long, and now they're a bit embarrassing. You know who I'm talking about.
Here Come the Warm Jets
Now let's bring in the experts from Football Outsiders and see who they have in their Top 6 teams, based on their fresh DVOA stats:
1. New England Patriots
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Green Bay Packers
5. New York Jets
6. Denver Broncos
There you have it, folks. Pretty much everyone agrees that the 7-0 Patriots are playing lights-out football. But the marketplace appears to be undervaluing the 7-0 Bengals, the 6-2 Cardinals (+1300 at GT Bets), and especially the 4-3 Jets (+5000). Granted, it'll be more difficult for the Jets to get into the playoffs after losing three games already, but they're in a Wild Card position right now.
As for the Seahawks, they're No. 9 on the latest DVOA charts, two spots behind the Panthers. Seattle has played quite well for a 4-4 team; Football Outsiders has the 'Hawks pegged at 4.7 Estimated Wins. But that's still not Super Bowl material, not like the Jets (6.8 Estimated Wins). We're not sure if New York has a healthy quarterback right now, but at this price, let's go ahead and put the Jets in our NFL picks for Super Bowl 50. Stranger things have happened.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Jets +5000 at GTBets