Updated Super Bowl 50 Odds

Updated Super Bowl 50 Odds

Now that the NFL preseason is mercifully over, and the Tom Brady “Deflategate” saga put to bed (for now), the pro football world can turn its full attention to the 2015 regular season. As much as the preseason is a useless endeavor, Vegas bookmakers keep a close eye on all the happenings in August and early September. In fact, a couple of recent developments caused a bit of a ripple in the current Super Bowl 50 odds. Here’s a look at the top contenders as Week 1 inches closer.

Seattle Seahawks 7/1 – The two-time defending NFC champs remain the favorites, and a lackluster preseason did nothing to alter their number. Kam Chancellor is still holding out, but the addition of shifty rookie Tyler Lockett has given the 12th Man something to cheer about in the return game. The defense is still stout, and Jimmy Graham should give the offense another red zone option not named Marshawn Lynch.

Green Bay Packers 15/2 – The season-ending loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb’s sprained AC joint isn’t causing Vegas to panic. Aaron Rodgers is the best in the game, which in theory should offset a missing playmaker. However, if Cobb’s injury lingers, this offense will be much less potent. Eddie Lacy and Davante Adams will be relied on heavily to pick up the slack. Even though the first-team defense was abused by the Eagles in the Week 3 exhibition, it’s a veteran unit that will be ready to go on September 13.

New England Patriots 8/1 – The ruling to dismiss Brady’s 4-game suspension bumped the Patriots odds from 10/1 to 8/1. Now, there’s still a chance Brady will have to sit at some point during the season if the league wins its appeal of the decision. Legal nonsense aside, the Pats watched a lot of talent walk out the door in the offseason, most notably Darrelle Revis. They are still the class of the AFC East, but the other three teams are gaining ground.

Indianapolis Colts 8/1 – Andrew Luck. A bunch of offensive weapons. Favorable schedule. Indy is gradually building a juggernaut capable of contending for years to come.

Philadelphia Eagles 10/1 – Chip Kelly’s Birds outscored their first three preseason opponents 115-53. After Sam Bradford’s 10-10, 3 TD effort against Green Bay, Vegas moved the Eagles from 20/1 to 10/1. That’s a significant jump, but the additions of Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, rookie receiver Nelson Agholor, and upgrades to the beleaguered defense makes Philly a trendy pick. Of course this assumes Bradford, ya know, doesn’t break or tear a body part between now and January.

Denver Broncos 14/1 – Nobody is talking about Denver, which might be good or bad. The team that Peyton built is installing a more balanced offense under head coach Gary Kubiak, but if the attack struggles early, expect Manning to start dialing up Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders just like he did in 2014. On the surface, the defense looks nasty.

Dallas Cowboys 17/1 – Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett are convinced they can adopt the same run-first approach they did a season ago with the duo of Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden toting the rock behind a dominant offensive line. They better be right, because after Dez Bryant, the receiving corps is thin. On the plus side, the front seven could be scary once all their suspended players return.

Kansas City Chiefs 40/1 – The Chiefs are flying well below the radar, but at this number, they are an excellent choice. The offensive line is still a concern, but the trio of Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin, and Travis Kelce could be special providing “good” Alex Smith can hold “bad” Alex Smith at bay. On top of that, the defense is loaded.