The landscape of the National Football League changes every week. Where we thought teams lined up before Week 1 can (and usually does) end up being completely different to where they actually end up come Week 17. But all teams are focusing on one goal, even if it calls for a season to be tanked in the meantime. Everyone is aiming for the Super Bowl. And that’s exactly what we’ll focus on here. Every week, I’ll highlight three teams that most improved their Super Bowl winning odds.
Week 5 is a wrap and we’re now headed into Week 6, so let’s get started. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Oakland Raiders (3-2, +6600)
Just when we were ready to write off the Oakland Raiders, they piece together a two-game win streak against a pair of tough opponents. In Week 4, they took down the Colts in Indianapolis, who we all know went on to give the Chiefs their first loss. And this week, Oakland showcased a proper performance in London, beating the Bears 24-21 with a fourth quarter rushing TD from Josh Jacobs. The two wins have propelled the Raiders to second in the AFC West, while shortening their Super Bowl odds nearly in half, from +12500 (T-26th-shortest) to +6600 (T-19th-shortest.)
They’ll now head into their bye week, which may be perfect timing for the Raiders. Top wide receiver Tyrell Williams can recover from his injury and newly acquired receiver Zay Jones (traded from Buffalo on Monday) can get acclimated with Oakland’s playbook. If the Raiders can keep the streak going, a Wild Card finish won’t be out of the question. Though, with consecutive visits to Green Bay and Houston, I think that win streak will be cut off rather quickly.
Seattle Seahawks (4-1, +2500)
Let’s jump to another second-place team in a West division. The Seattle Seahawks held on for a huge victory against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night, setting themselves up nicely for an extended break before taking on the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. Now Russell Wilson, who has thrown the most TDs and has the highest passer rating in the league, and the Seahawks have turned into serious Super Bowl contenders, though their odds may not reflect it.
At no point this season has Seattle had shorter odds than +2500. While those odds were trimmed by 800, that still only puts the Seahawks in the 9th-shortest spot with the Ravens. As mentioned above, they’ll travel to Cleveland to take on a deflated Browns team who hasn’t won at home this season. Then, the Seahawks will host the Ravens in Week 7, so that could be the odds tie-breaker matchup. If you’re looking for a team that could realistically make a Super Bowl run, you’re not going to find a better pick with longer odds than Seattle at this point in the season.
San Francisco 49ers (4-0, +1600)
And now we pivot to the top team in the NFC West: the 49ers. In what ended up being a very easy Monday night matchup, the Niners and their run game barreled over the Browns, winning 31-3. Their defense has been outstanding, allowing the second-fewest yards per game and the fourth-fewest points per game. While the bye week came early in San Francisco’s schedule, it’s still in great shape standing as the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC. Its Super Bowl odds shortened from +2200 (9th-shortest) to +1600 (T-6th-shortest.)
So, with the 49ers and the Patriots as the last undefeated teams in the league, the narrative is as follows: Tom Brady vs. Jimmy Garoppolo, legend vs. protégé, in the Super Bowl. We’re still pretty far away from that happening, but it’s definitely possible. I refuse to call the Cleveland Browns a “good team,” and if you subscribe to that logic, the Niners have yet to play against one this season. Don’t worry, we’ll get to see how they do in that scenario as early as Sunday, when they head to Los Angeles to take on their division rivals. A win against the Rams would seriously strengthen the 49ers’ claim to being a top team in the NFL.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
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