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.