Patriots Installed as Betting Favorites on Super Bowl LII Futures Board

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The way Tom Brady and the New England Patriots rallied to win the Super Bowl on Sunday burnished their aura of invincibility, but it’s bad for creating a good price in betting futures for next season.

The Patriots, who won their fifth title in the past 16 seasons on Sunday, opened as a +450 favorite on the Super Bowl LII futures boards at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Brady will turn 40 years old before the season kicks off but Tom Terrific is betraying few signs of decline, having passed for a Super Bowl-record 466 yards while guiding New England to 31 unanswered points in their 34-28 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons.

Anyone believing New England might repeat – assuming a healthy Rob Gronkowski, too – might want to wait until the prices drop. Since New England went back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, only one defending champion – the 2014 Seattle Seahawks – has even made it back to the big game.

The top of the board is filled with a who’s-who of NFC contenders; that is, the teams who will never face a foray to Foxborough in January for a divisional round contest or the AFC Championship Game.

The Dallas Cowboys are listed at +1000 after finishing with a conference-best 13-3 record. The long-time playoff mainstays, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, each draw in at +1100. The Falcons, who will face a first-place schedule and some improved competition in the NFC South, are listed at +1250, suggesting oddsmakers believe there will be some Carolina Panthers-like regression.

Atlanta has already lost offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

The real value on the board might derive from the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and New York Giants, who are each listed at +1900. All three have their flaws. The Chiefs have been a consistent playoff team for two years, while the Raiders were in the hunt for a No. 2 seed before losing franchise QB Derek Carr and ending up with a wild card spot. The Giants still figure to return crafty QB Eli Manning and a much improved defense.

Super Bowl LII will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4, 2018. No host team has ever won. The Minnesota Vikings are among the longshots at +2800.

NFL’s burning questions generate betting props at the sportsbooks

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The revolving door that is the Cleveland Browns quarterback job and props predicated on whether brilliant but sometimes brittle superstars Rob Gronkowski and J.J. Watt can stay healthy comprise some of the best NFL preseason betting props.

With the Browns holding what is tantamount to an open competition for their quarterback job, Cody Kessler is the -165 favorite on a prop based on who will be Cleveland’s Week 1 starter at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Kessler started eight games in 2016 before his season was cut short by a brain injury, and he’s been demoted in practice. Brock Osweiler (+130), whom the Houston Texans essentially paid the Browns to take off their hands, does have starting experience and has started so far in the preseason. Osweiler might be the safe pick for Cleveland coach Hue Jackson and bettors alike.

However, rookie DeShone Kizer (+800) out of Notre Dame offers the best value and has been splitting first-team reps at practice. But most teams are loath to start a rookie right away unless forced to by injury, like the Dallas Cowboys with Dak Prescott after Tony Romo got hurt in 2016.

Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt (+250) is the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year after an injury-shortened season that led to two back surgeries. Two other pass rushers extraordinaire, the Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack (+400) and Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller (+400), are also high on the board.

If Watt is able to play a full season, he’s a reasonable chalk pick, especially since he should have a lot of sack opportunities going against some weak pass blocking groups in the AFC South, as well as the NFC West, the division’s cross-over opponent.

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald (+1200) will likely sign at some point and join what is a very strong D. While only three interior linemen have won DPOY in the last 40 years, Donald is just that good, though. No player on a losing team has won since recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jason Taylor (2006 Miami Dolphins).

The total on how many games Gronkowski will play is 10.5, with over at -150 and the under pegged at +120. Gronkowski has played half the regular season or less twice in the last four years. The law of averages would push one toward the over; “Gronk” has never had two shortened seasons in a row.

Last but not least, the Washington Redskins’ failure to lock down QB Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal has led to oddsmakers taking bets on where Cousins will play in 2018. The San Francisco 49ers (+175) are favored, with Washington (+300) high on the board. The Miami Dolphins (+2000) might be in play as a darkhorse with starter Ryan Tannehill out for the season with a torn ACL.

The New York Jets (+2500) have the highest available price, but chances are they will look for their next QB in the 2018 draft.

Key & Peele paid Von Miller’s twerking fine

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D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

The former New York Jets lineman might not know it, but his epic polysyllabic name inspired more than just Key & Peele’s viral “East/West College Bowl” video, in which the comedic duo portray football players with increasingly creative names.

It also led them to pay Von Miller’s fine for twerking during a game.

The Broncos linebacker borrowed the celebration another popular Key & Peele video — “McCringleberry’s Excessive Celebration” — in which a football player learns just how much twerking he can do after scoring a touchdown.

“Jordan and I paid Von Miller’s fine. He had perfect form,” Keegan Michael Key said on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday morning. “It was 15 grand, so we each paid $7,000 to his foundation in Denver.”

Key gave Peele credit for coming up with most of the names in the videos, which Ferguson would eventually appear in as himself, but did reveal that he came up with “Dan Smith,” the fictional player in the video who attends BYU.

“The way I’ve always described Jordan creatively, is like if you had a vase of roses at a party, 100 people in the room and 99 people would say ‘Look at that gorgeous bouquet of roses,'” he said. “Jordan would say, “I wonder if that vase was made in Taiwan.'”