Post-Draft SB53 Odds
April 30, 2018
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As is the usual habit of the bookmakers, the Super Bowl LIII odds were taken offline during the 2018 NFL Draft and now they’re back up again after what ended up being a super entertaining selection process. The dust has settled after a bustling trade market, surprise picks and a flurry of Rashaan Penny jokes.
So what’s the verdict?
Well not much has changed in that regard. This is a byproduct of the worst teams from the 2017 season having the best possible picks in the draft, and the betting public being generally wary of new-look teams. It also didn’t help that the biggest needle movers in the game of football are quarterbacks, and none of the five are touted as immediate impact players.
TOP 5 REMAINS UNCHANGED
The New England Patriots remain the favorite at +600 which is essentially where they were pre-draft. They used their first two picks on some dirty Dawgs to shore up absences at left tackle and running back, and the remainder of the draft went to shoring up the defence. They also picked up LSU quarterback Danny Etling in round 7 and while it’s impossible to say whether or not he’s the heir apparent to another late round pick in Tom Brady it is definitely a source of need for the Pats.
Trialing the Patriots are the defending champions Philadelphia Eagles at +900, the Los Angeles Rams with +900 Super Bowl LIII odds, the Minnesota Vikings at +900 and the Pittsburgh Steelers with a foothold of +1200. All of those four teams not only round out the top five, they also did the majority of their damage in the off-season through free agency.
FOUR POTENTIAL EARLY INVESTMENTS
So who came out of the 2018 NFL Draft with an improved standard? Obviously it’s way too early to tell, but the summer is when crazy Super Bowl odds are the best take. First off, you’ll forget that you made a $20 bet eight months ago by the time December rolls around and second of all, this is the best time to establish bragging rights on a long term investment.
There are a few teams worth taking a stab at, and I’m here to provide that nudge that you need. I’m also here to remind you that the Philadelphia Eagles are the defending champions and ascended to the heights of glory on the back of Nick Foles. It’s football. Anything can happen.
Cleveland Browns (+6600) – Why the hell not? Do you know who else the betting public totally derided and lacked confidence in at this time last year? DeShaun Watson. Now the Houston Texans are +2500 outsiders and all of that potential is built in to how the oddsmakers feel about Watson compared to Tom Savage.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Baker Mayfield, but nobody has the rationality to say, “Well, let’s wait and see.” Mayfield has every single tool you would want in a quarterback aside from the three extra inches needed for Bill Polian to classify you as a “prototypical archetype” as if being 6-foot-4 is the be-all-end-all of a quarterback’s career.
I know what you’re probably thinking, but also consider what else Cleveland did over this past year. They added one of the best wide receivers in the league, who ironically works well with Mayfield’s scrambling attack (roll outs for days!). They also improved the secondary with Denzel Ward, even though it cost them a shot at Bradley Chubb.
On top of that, they got the other Chubb – Nick – to spell Carlos Hyde and that’s fantastic when you consider that they had a great offensive line and replaced Joe Thomas with Austin Corbett to start the second round. It’s a lot of major gap filling to go with an overzealous free agency spending period. This recalibration is just as rapid and convoluted as the LA Rams, but it’s also a bit more haphazard.
I’m not a person who loves teams that put too many moving pieces together on the fly. I don’t actually love what the Rams have done this year. But if you want a real shot in the dark, a flier on the Browns isn’t insane. At least, it’s not as ludicrous as it was five days ago.
Denver Broncos (+3300) – I myself have been particularly hard on Jon Elway for his recent draft fumblings, especially because he hadn’t really hit a Pro Bowl level talent since drafting Von Miller and Derek Wolfe when he first came on board. This year? He knocked it out of the freaking park.
Bradley Chubb is a gift from the heavens and will pair unbelievably well with Von Miller. He’d pair unbelievably with anyone, but putting him on this defence is the stuff of nightmares for opposing offences. I love Courtland Sutton as a breakout wide receiver, and Royce Freeman is an underrated beast of a back who has his value boosted because of head coach Vance Joseph’s propensity to run the ball.
What Denver continued to do through the draft is sort of sneaky, and a storke of genius if it pans out. They essentially bolstered their special teams unit overall, which I know isn’t a lot to scream about but they’ll eventually transition those players in to prominent starting roles if they pan out. You have to be a well rounded team these days in the NFL, and now Denver has legs in all departments.
Whether or not you think Case Keenum can pilot this team is reasonable, but he basically did the same thing last year with the Vikings with an almost identical team that just got better. This team was always a quarterback away from competing last year. Now they have their man, and a whole lot more so these 33-to-1 odds are really, really tempting.
Carolina Panthers (+3300) – Well, the Panthers did make the playoffs last year, didn’t get that much worse in free agent losses and seemed to shore up a lot of holes through the draft. If you’re a Cam Newton believer (like me), then these odds are staring at you in the face and asking for a dance.
D.J. Moore is the best receiver in this draft by a mile, and the Panthers very much lucked out in getting him. He tested better than Calvin Ridley and Courland Sutton and is the athletic freak the team was hoping Kelvin Bejamin would be. To be fair, Benjamin’s problems were injury related more than anything and Moore gives them a fresh body and a fresh start in this regard.
From there, Donte Jackson is the epitome of a Carolina corner despite his size he’s joined by then went yard with Rashaan Gaulden because he can be stretched to different defensive positions. For whatever it’s worth, I also really like Ian Thomas at tight end. They got a whole hell of a lot out of Ed Dickson. They can surely help Thomas blossom given all of his amazing skill sets.
Carolina is a team that just doesn’t make sense given what we know about the game, but that’s fair given that Cam Newton is not the type of quarterback that we see of that much in any generation. This is a special team and are unique in that way. Their draft picks were fantastic. Could have been a little better, but they addressed all of the needs outside of finding a thicker skull for Cam Newton’s brain.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2500) – The other team in Los Angeles is the Chargers, who got a huge gift in the draft when Derwin James dropped all the way to 17th for no reason that anyone can even attempt to explain. TAKE THE BEST PLAYER ON THE BOARD YOU IDIOTS UNLESS YOU ALREADY HAVE A GREAT QUARTERBACK!!! IDIOTS!!!
The Chargers needed secondary help, and then took Uchenna Nwosu from USC who is a local boy that fills a huge need at linebacker. They then drafted hefty defensive tackle Justin Jones out of NC State after him and Chubb had been scalping opponents through college, and then continued with a few flyer picks.
It’s a lot of good things, and the big part about the Chargers is that they were already pretty damn good. They got off to a horrifying start to the season last year which put them in a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of by the final week of the season. Their picks make them a better team, and that’s saying something when they have one of the best backfields in the NFL already.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers remain my favorite longshot in the Super Bowl LIII futures. They were that at the end of the free agent feast, and they continue to be that same proposition after the draft.
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