In golf there is such a thing as a mulligan. It’s a free pass, a get-back, a re-do for a bad shot so you’re terrific round isn’t sullied by one mistake. Unfortunately, bookmakers are not nearly as forgiving. Let’s look at some NFL picks we’d like to cancel after Week 5 in the 2017 NFL campaign.
There was only one team associated with the possibility of a perfect season in 2017 and it was the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. However, many NFL odds were offering this “perfect season” prop bet to include every team in the league. Nobody believed for a moment that any club had a chance to deliver a flawless season except the Patriots. Nevertheless, we would rather have all the teams in the mix than just one and for those who decided to include this 16-0 or 19-0 prop bet in their NFL picks, received a return of +800 and +1000 respectively.
The Kansas City Chiefs dashed all those dreams in the opening game of the season when they traveled to Gillette Stadium and came away with a stunning 42-27 victory. You could hear groans from Foxboro to the Cape after TB12 and crew started the year with a 0-1 record. Ironically, it is those very same Chiefs that are the only undefeated team in the league and this bet is technically still alive. Yet, wouldn’t we all take a mulligan right about now?
Big Blue Bust
The Giants were +185 to win the NFC East, trailing only the Cowboys (+145) as preseason favorites to win the division. The receiving corps has been decimated with injuries and the Giants are staring down the barrel of a 0-5 season as of this writing. Unlike previous seasons in which the Giants surged in the second half of the season after poor starts, this iteration of New York’s football entry appears to be dead in the water.
Steel City Blues
Unlike every favored division winner, with the lone exception of the Patriots, the oddsmakers required the bettor to pay the vig on a wager on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were -170 to win the AFC North and although they are currently tied for first place with the Baltimore Ravens, Big Ben has looked more retired than active this season. Roethlisberger talked about retiring in the offseason but decided against it and returned to lead his team again this year. However, his performance has disappointed and the Steelers don’t appear as though they will run away with the division crown anytime soon.
The Oakland Raiders were the darling of the AFC West heading into this season and fresh off a 12-4 2016 campaign when they tied the Chiefs for first place in the division. However, injuries to Derek Carr have taken their toll and the Raiders find themselves in third place with a 2-3 record behind the Broncos and Chiefs. Perhaps more concerning than Oakland’s performance thus far is the juggernaut from Kansas City. Even if Oakland begins to knock down wins, they must rely on the Chiefs to suddenly start losing if they are to claim the division and render a winning ticket for all their preseason backers.