- The 2018 NFL season will be here before you know it. While every team will look somewhat different come September, it’s not too early to set the odds on what lies ahead.
- The futures for Super Bowl 53 are out at most sportsbooks, and the aggregated numbers have the Patriots as the favorites.
- Our frontrunners for MVP are both coming off injuries that curtailed their 2017 seasons. Can they bounce back?
- None of the first-year coaches have a better than 50/50 shot to make the playoffs, but a couple veteran bosses are likely to be out of a job before 2019 rolls around.
Now that the Eagles have etched their name into the Super Bowl record books for the first time ever, it’s time to look ahead to the 2018 season and Super Bowl 53. With Tom Brady returning, the Patriots — as ever — are the favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy. Philadelphia isn’t far behind, and neither are the Packers. Not-so-coincidentally, those three frontrunners are led by the three favorites for the 2018 MVP award.
The Defensive Player of the Year race is more wide open, since it doesn’t (almost) always go to the same position, but last year’s winner (Aaron Donald) remains the favorite.
Donald’s dominant 2017 year came under the tutelage of first-year coach Sean McVay and a new defensive coordinator (Wade Phillips). With seven teams making coaching changes this season, will any of the new hires find immediate, McVay-like success? The most-hyped hiree (Jon Gruden) has the best chance, while the odds on which coaches will get canned are also headed by a name that pervaded the news cycle (for all the wrong reasons) last year.
Onto the numbers!
*The Super Bowl 53 odds below are taken from our Super Bowl 53 Futures Tracker, which aggregates the odds from all major online sportsbooks. The remainder of the odds were developed in-house by our team of NFL analysts.
Super Bowl 53 Odds
|Team||Aggregated Odds To Win Super Bowl 53|
|New England Patriots||24/5 (+480)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||37/5 (+740)|
|Green Bay Packers||43/5 (+860)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||11/1 (+1100)|
|Minnesota Vikings||12/1 (+1200)|
|Atlanta Falcons||17/1 (+1700)|
|Los Angeles Rams||17/1 (+1700)|
|Dallas Cowboys||18/1 (+1800)|
|New Orleans Saints||18/1 (+1800)|
|San Francisco 49ers||20/1 (+2000)|
|Houston Texans||21/1 (+2100)|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||21/1 (+2100)|
|Seattle Seahawks||22/1 (+2200)|
|Carolina Panthers||23/1 (+2300)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||27/1 (+2700)|
|Oakland Raiders||30/1 (+3000)|
|Los Angeles Chargers||33/1 (+3300)|
|Denver Broncos||34/1 (+3400)|
|Indianapolis Colts||38/1 (+3800)|
|Detroit Lions||42/1 (+4200)|
|Baltimore Ravens||43/1 (+4300)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||43/1 (+4300)|
|Tennessee Titans||46/1 (+4400)|
|New York Giants||49/1 (+4900)|
|Arizona Cardinals||55/1 (+5500)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||74/1 (+7400)|
|Buffalo Bills||75/1 (+7500)|
|Miami Dolphins||69/1 (+6900)|
|Chicago Bears||84/1 (+8400)|
|New York Jets||87/1 (+8700)|
|Cleveland Browns||130/1 (+13000)|
Player Award Odds
|MVP Front-Runners||2018 MVP Odds|
|Aaron Rodgers (Packers)||8/1|
|Carson Wentz (Eagles)||11/1|
|Tom Brady (Patriots)||12/1|
|Russell Wilson (Seahawks)||14/1|
|Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers)||15/1|
|Drew Brees (Saints)||16/1|
|Andrew Luck (Colts)||19/1|
|Deshaun Watson (Texans)||22/1|
|Antonio Brown (Steelers)||29/1|
|Todd Gurley (Rams)||39/1|
|David Johnson (Cardinals)||39/1|
|Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys)||39/1|
|Matt Ryan (Falcons)||39/1|
|Julio Jones (Falcons)||49/1|
|Le’Veon Bell (Steelers)||49/1|
|Odell Beckham (Giants)||49/1|
To be clear, these aren’t the top 16 favorites. Looking at the history of the award and what it takes for a non-QB to win, the top 16 would consist of 15 quarterbacks. That’s part of the reason why FIELD has relatively short odds. The list above doesn’t include Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Matt Stafford, or Jared Goff.
Part of the reason Jimmy Garoppolo and Andrew Luck are so high is because of narrative. The MVP award is won as much in the media as it is on the field of play. If either of those two pivots leads his team to a playoff berth and is among the league leaders in passer rating, yards, and touchdowns, they will get a long look from voters. The perception will be that they completely turned their franchises around, given how the Niners and Colts looked without them last year.
|Defensive Player of the Year Front-Runners||2018 Defensive Player of the Year Odds|
|Aaron Donald (Rams)||11/1|
|Cameron Jordan (Saints)||14/1|
|JJ Watt (Texans)||14/1|
|Chandler Jones (Cardinals)||16/1|
|DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys)||16/1|
|Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars)||19/1|
|Joey Bosa (Chargers)||22/1|
|Calais Campbell (Jaguars)||22/1|
|Khalil Mack (Raiders)||22/1|
|Bobby Wagner (Seahawks)||24/1|
|Von Miller (Broncos)||24/1|
|Myles Garrett (Browns)||29/1|
|Everson Griffen (Vikings)||29/1|
|Casey Hayward (Chargers)||34/1|
|Harrison Smith (Vikings)||34/1|
Can Aaron Donald become just the second back-to-back DPOY ever? Yes, he absolutely can. Even though he didn’t lead the league in the sexy stats (i.e. sacks), he was unquestionably the most disruptive defensive player in the league last year. He generated over 90 QB pressures as an interior lineman. No one else even reached 80. Teams gameplanned to stop him, and still couldn’t keep him at bay.
The only player that can rival [Aaron] Donald’s dominance is a peak JJ Watt. But we haven’t seen a peak JJ Watt in a while …
The only player that can rival Donald’s dominance is a peak JJ Watt. But we haven’t seen a peak JJ Watt in a while now thanks to injury, and whether we ever will again is a huge question mark. Here’s hoping.
|Coaches On The Hot Seat||Odds To Be Fired On/Before Black Monday|
|Hue Jackson (Browns)||1/2|
|Dirk Koetter (Buccaneers)||1/2|
|Marvin Lewis (Bengals)||1/1|
|Vance Joseph (Broncos)||5/3|
|Todd Bowles (Jets)||5/3|
|Bill O’Brien (Texans)||3/1|
|Jason Garrett (Cowboys)||5/1|
|Jay Gruden (Washington)||5/1|
|Andy Reid (Chiefs)||7/1|
If the Browns don’t notch a win in the first four weeks, Hue Jackson will be given the (overdue) boot. Dirk Koetter can’t afford a slow start either in Tampa. As for Marvin Lewis, the complacency of the Bengals’ ownership/front-office has to give way one of these years, right? Cincinnati is heading toward another sub-.500 season, which could finally end Lewis’ 16-year tenure.
|First-Year Coaches||Odds To Make The Playoffs|
|Jon Gruden (Raiders)||3/2|
|Mike Vrabel (Titans)||2/1|
|Matt Patricia (Lions)||2/1|
|Pat Shurmur (Giants)||3/1|
|Steve Wilks (Cardinals)||4/1|
|Matt Nagy (Bears)||6/1|
To be honest, the Colts were closer to the top of this list before Josh McDaniels spurned them. His cold feet drop their odds for two reasons: (A) It raises questions about the longterm health of Andrew Luck. (Did McDaniels decline the job because he knows something we don’t?) (B) It leaves the Colts in the head-coaching lurch. The best candidates have signed elsewhere, and now Dave Toub looks like the favorite. That gives 2018 a less rosy outlook.
Did McDaniels decline the [Colts] job because he knows something we don’t [about Andrew Luck’s health]?
With the Chiefs starting a first-year QB and the Broncos starting who-knows, Jon Gruden’s Raiders have the best chance to reach the postseason among the teams that hired new coaches. Matt Nagy’s Bears could be in for a long year: the Vikings are here to stay, and Aaron Rodgers is the MVP favorite for good reason. The NFC North will be a nightmare.
Individual Player Props
|Player & Prop||Odds|
|Chris Long plays for the winning team in Super Bowl 53||19/2|
|Malcolm Butler starts in Week 1, 2018||3/7|
|Rob Gronkowski Retires||4/1|
|Nick Foles is a starting QB in Week 1||1/4|
|O/U starts for Andrew Luck||4.5|
|O/U Value of Kirk Cousins next multi-year contract||$145 million|
|Tom Brady retires before winning another Super Bowl||1/2|
Chris Long has won two in a row, and with different teams. In a perfect, world he’d spend his whole career on one-year contracts bringing the Lombardi trophy with him, but he’s signed with the Eagles for next year, and the roster in Philadelphia looks amazing. His odds to win a third straight are, essentially, the Eagles odds to win the Super Bowl, less the odds Long gets injured.
Malcolm Butler is an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He might sign with New England, where he made an incredible, game-defining play to win Super Bowl 49, or he might not sign with New England, where he was benched for the entirety of Super Bowl 52. Either way, he’s a starting-caliber DB in this league.
Matt Stafford’s $135 million contract is currently the richest in the NFL. Will Kirk Cousins become the highest-paid player in the league when he finally signs a multi-year contract? Probably.
Tom Brady wants to play until he’s 50. That’s not going to happen. But he sure looks like he has multiple years left in that immaculately fueled body. With Bill Belichick back and Josh McDaniels still running the league’s most efficient offense, the Pats are the favorites for Super Bowl 53 … and will probably top the list for Super Bowl 54 next season. That said, the defense is a mess and age will catch up to Brady one of these years. No amount of electrolytes can stop Father Time.