Biggest Disappointments of the 2017 NFL Season
Bettor’s beware: These four NFL teams have whiffed on their preseason projections. Though initially considered Super Bowl contenders, or something close to it, they have now devolved into complete non-options on the futures front, as well as risky plays on a weekly basis.
Make note of them. If you already invested in their big-picture odds, it’s time to circle back and bet somewhere else. Likewise, if you’re in the market for a Super Bowl or consistent weekly play, don’t even think about touching these squads.
Please note: All preseason and current Super Bowl odds for the below analysis come courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Sportsbook.
Preseason Super Bowl Odds: +1600
Current Super Bowl Odds: +3000
Judging from the Atlanta Falcons current odds, they’re not the biggest disappointment in the NFL. And yet, when you think about it, they kind of are.
Atlanta entered the season as last year’s Super Bowl runner-up. Had the defense been able to slow Tom Brady in the second half of the 2017 championship matchup, we’d be talking about the Falcons as reigning title-toters. But they blew a 25-point lead, and the rest is, quite literally, history.
Most didn’t worry about their misfortune. Their offense, piloted by quarterback Matt Ryan, was ridiculously potent last season. They would pick up right where they left off in an NFC bracket begging for a superpower and flirt with Super Bowl contention once again.
So much for that.
The Falcons rank a pedestrian 15th in points scored per game this season, and they rate even less favorably when specifically looking at their passing game. Even with Julio Jones and Ryan still in tow, they just don’t have the firepower this year to match up with the league’s best teams. Their defense is good, make no mistake, but placing 10th in points allowed per game with an average offense at best won’t get you back to the Super Bowl.
Color a lot of people’s preseason Super Bowl bets absolutely ruined. Luckily, the Falcons are still viable weekly plays—particularly when working the under—and summertime Super Bowl bettors have time to purchase stock in another squad.
Preseason Super Bowl Odds: +2000
Current Super Bowl Odds: +50000
Sportsbooks, as you can tell, are on the verge of removing the Denver Broncos from their Super Bowl docket, and you cannot really blame them. In fact, to be honest, they should have already been purged from the ledger.
Replacing quarterback Trevor Siemian with Brock Osweiler is akin to them waving the white flag. The Broncos sit three games under .500 at this writing, in dead last of the hellacious AFC West division, with a 24th-ranked offense at their disposal.
Most harrowing, though? The defense. That’s why they remain on the Super Bowl docket at all—well that, and a rather turbulent AFC playoff picture. Oddsmakers, along with some fans and pundits, are still under the impression that the Broncos are a good defensive unit, when nothing could be further from the truth.
They’re 29th in points allowed per game, and though their rush prevention remains fairly stout, they rate among the worst in the league against the pass. Put more bluntly: They have no identity. And so, they’re not only terrible Super Bowl plays now after originally being considered viable candidates, but you have to give serious thought about whether they’ll be a genuine week-to-week betting option over the next season or two.
Green Bay Packers
Preseason Super Bowl Odds: +1200
Current Super Bowl Odds: +8000
The Green Bay Packers‘ downfall has been, by and large, outside their control. Their 18th-ranked defense is no doubt a disappointment. They were supposed to be much better than they are against the passing game.
But the offense should be good enough to carry them toward borderline favorite status. And yet, Aaron Rodgers’ injury has torpedoed their season. Sportsbooks will still accept Super Bowl wagers with their name on it, because they remain above .500 entering Week 11, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that snagging a flyer even comes close to registering as a good idea.
Brett Hundley is behind center now, and the Packers are done for. They’ve slipped all the way to 14th overall in points per game, having averaged a mere 16.8 points per contest since he took over quarterback duties. His interception rate is more than double that from Aaron Rodgers, while his touchdown rate is roughly one-quarter of his predecessor’s.
In no way, shape or form are the Packers going to make the postseason. And if, by some miracle, they do make it to the big dance, they’ll be bounced before Wild Card Weekend is over. Truth told, they’re barely even a solid weekly play anymore.
New York Giants
Preseason Super Bowl Odds: +2250
Current Super Bowl Odds: – -
Correct: You can no longer place bets on the New York Giants to win this year’s Super Bowl. Not that you would want to. They’ve racked up just one win through their first nine games, giving them a bottom-three record.
While they came into the year with major Super Bowl aspirations, they underachieved from the jump. Injuries to their receiving corps, namely Odell Beckham Jr., didn’t help matters, but the offense has been a dud through and through. They went from winning 11 games last year, to entering this season as a possible superpower, to now checking in as a complete and utter non-threat.
Don’t bother giving them any sort of action from here. They’re going to bench quarterback Eli Manning at some point, which will only hurt their bottom-five offense even further.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference and are accurate leading into games for Week 11 unless otherwise cited.
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