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Cowboys Among the Movers on Updated Super Bowl 51 Odds

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Anyone sold on the Dallas Cowboys as a title contender should act quickly, since they are rapidly moving up the Super Bowl 51 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Dallas’ hopes last season were dashed by injuries at the skill positions, but the rookie tandem of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott have helped the Cowboys go on a five-game win streak this season to take the NFC East lead.

The Cowboys, who are flourishing through being dominant in the rushing phase and solid defensively, are now fourth on the Super Bowl 51 odds at +1000. Dallas was back at +4000 after Week 1 of the season.

The Tom Brady-led New England Patriots maintain top odds at +300. Following this weekend, the Patriots have two major tests – a Week 8 trip to face the Buffalo Bills, who shut them out during Brady’s Deflategate ban, and a Week 10 visit from the Seattle Seahawks. Those games will affect New England’s odds.

The undefeated Minnesota Vikings and aforementioned Seattle Seahawks are the highest NFC teams on the board at +700 and +750 – possessing two of the top defenses in the league. Each team’s offense grades out poorly on the line, but both Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Minnesota’s Sam Bradford are picking up the slack through the air.

Minnesota and Seattle each play in loud home environments, and have the inside track on a first-round bye and home-field advantage in January. Only two of the last six Super Bowl champions – the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2013 Baltimore Ravens – played in a wild-card game. Teams that secure a first-round bye stand a far greater chance of advancing.

With QB Ben Roethlisberger out after a tearing a meniscus during a loss to Miami, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ odds have gone from +750 to +1200. The Packers are also at +1200 after losing in Week 6 to fall further behind Minnesota in the NFC North standings.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, who have dropped two games in a row, have seen their odds double from +1000 to +2000.

Taking control of the AFC West with a road win against the Oakland Raiders has resulted in the Kansas City Chiefs’ odds coming down to +1800 from +2800. And the Atlanta Falcons have regained some of their futures value after losing to Seattle in Week 7, with their odds rising to +1800 from +1400.

Drew Brees, Le’Veon Bell Favorites in NFL Season Leader Props

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When it comes to betting props on NFL individual leaders, the tried-and-true works for picking a passing yards leader while rushing and receiving leaders are a little more random.

With training camps set to open in a matter of days, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a +300 favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Brees has led (or co-led) the NFL in aerial yards five times in the last six seasons, with the lone exception coming in 2013 when Peyton Manning complied a NFL-record 5,477.

Brees will still have Willie Snead and Michael Thomas as outlets for his passes and, assuming the Saints’ defense stays near the bottom of the league, will have the opportunity to get into a few offensive shootouts.

The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan (+400) and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (+500) are the next two on the board. Ryan and the Falcons are likely to face a tougher schedule than what it turned out they had in 2016. Brady has only led the NFL in yards once, in 2007, and would be the oldest player to do so if he succeeds this season.

Based on 2016 won-loss records, the Indianapolis Colts and QB Andrew Luck (+1400) have the easiest schedule in the league, which could lead to Luck putting up some big numbers against softer competition. Another valid darkhorse play is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston (+1600), since he will have a 1-2 punch at receiver with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and a team that still relies on being pass-heavy.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell (+300) and Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott (+350) are tightly bunched atop the NFL rushing champion futures board. Bell will no doubt be among the leaders in yards from scrimmage per game, but he’s only played 16 games once in four seasons. While there hasn’t been a back-to-back rushing leader in 10 years, Elliott will be running behind an excellent Dallas offensive line.

The Los Angeles Rams’ third-year workhorse Todd Gurley (+2000) will be in a new offensive system and, hopefully for the Rams, will be better complemented by second-year QB Jared Goff in the passing phase. That would give Gurley a fairer shot at breaking big runs on the regular.

Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (+400) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (+400) are co-favorites on the odds to tally the most receiving yards, with the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (+500) also coming in highly touted. Brown had two fewer targets per game in 2016 than in ’15, meaning he might be a less high-volume receiver now that he is 29. Jones has a receiving title from 2015, but last season the Falcons were most efficient when they spread the ball around.

Last year, the Indianapolis Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (+1200 this year) led the league in yards after being listed at +3300 in the preseason. Among the potential 2017 replicants are New England’s Brandin Cooks (+3300), who is expected to be the field-stretching target the Patriots have managed to do without since the Randy Moss days a decade ago. The aforementioned Mike Evans (+1200) is also close to a sure thing to get 11-12 targets per game in Tampa Bay and the continued development of Winston could make him a 1,500-yard receiver.

The last 12 league leaders in receiving yardage have been less than 30 years old at the start of the season. That trend has been consistent dating to the mid-1990s, with 19 of the last 21 receiving leaders being players who were no older than 29 at the start of the season.

Internet reacts to O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing

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In case you weren’t aware, O.J. Simpson was granted parole and the internet went crazy.

Cue hilarious tweets.