The start to this NFL season has been so shocking that we really should have Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler calling it. “Trevor Siemian, where the hell did he come from?” “Carson Wentz, what did we just see?!”
If you thought breaking into the NFL was difficult for young quarterbacks, you have the wrong league. This year, football has been dominated by rookies, backups, guys traded days before the year started, and virtual unknowns. It’s enough to make you laugh out loud at the notion that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. It may be the most important position, but it looks like just about anybody can play it well if put in the right situation.
The Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings are undefeated with the unknown Siemian, rookie Wentz, and newly acquired Sam Bradford at the helm, respectively. The Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts are in a heap of trouble with Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, and Andrew Luck under center.
But we have only seen one month of football. Is it too soon to start overreacting? Never! At least, not in some areas. Let our latest collection of odds explain. Here’s how we see the NFL breaking down at the quarter-pole.
Updated NFL Odds for 2016
Super Bowl Odds
- New England Patriots: 7/2
- Denver Broncos: 8/1
- Pittsburgh Steelers: 9/1
- Minnesota Vikings: 10/1
- Seattle Seahawks: 10/1
- Green Bay Packers: 13/1
- Cincinnati Bengals: 22/1
- Oakland Raiders: 22/1
- Philadelphia Eagles: 22/1
- Atlanta Falcons: 25/1
- Carolina Panthers: 25/1
- Arizona Cardinals: 30/1
- New York Giants: 30/1
- Baltimore Ravens: 35/1
- Dallas Cowboys: 35/1
- Kansas City Chiefs: 35/1
- Buffalo Bills: 40/1
- Houston Texans: 40/1
- Los Angeles Rams: 45/1
- New York Jets: 60/1
- Washington Redskins: 60/1
- Jacksonville Jaguars: 80/1
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 80/1
- Detroit Lions: 100/1
- Indianapolis Colts: 100/1
- San Diego Chargers: 100/1
- New Orleans Saints: 150/1
- Chicago Bears: 200/1
- Miami Dolphins: 200/1
- San Francisco 49ers: 200/1
- Tennessee Titans: 250/1
- Cleveland Browns: 2500/1
Given the amount of success new QBs are having, the Patriots might be the favorite to win even if Brady never came back and this stayed Jimmy Garoppolo’s show. That’s why this team is a resounding favorite with the four-time Super Bowl champ at the helm. After Green Bay, there’s a real drop off from that top-tier of contenders.
Sure, teams like Philadelphia and Oakland have looked strong out of the gate. But history shows us that playoff experience is usually a necessary asset for a Super Bowl champ, something a lot of these young teams lack. Others – like Atlanta and Dallas – don’t have a competent defense, another useful tool in winning titles. Even though Arizona and Carolina have stunk out of the gate, we’ve at least seen them have success in January.
- Matt Ryan: 11/2
- Ben Roethlisberger: 11/2
- Russell Wilson: 7/1
- Aaron Rodgers: 8/1
- Derek Carr: 9/1
- Von Miller: 12/1
- Tom Brady: 12/1
- Carson Wentz: 25/1
Ryan actually had his hat in the MVP conversations after four weeks last season, before teams clued in that Julio Jones was his only weapon. This year, Atlanta’s improved supporting cast means Ryan should be able to keep his production up all season; whether it can stay MVP-caliber is another question. But while he and Roethlisberger both have the benefit of throwing to the league’s top wideouts, their teammates won’t really be a threat to win the award: no wide receiver has ever won the AP’s MVP.
Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
- Carson Wentz: 3/2
- Ezekiel Elliott: 7/3
- Will Fuller: 8/1
- Dak Prescott: 9/1
- Sterling Shepard: 18/1
- Jordan Howard: 25/1
- Michael Thomas: 30/1
Every superlative has already been used to describe Wentz’ start. Even if he were to tail off into averageland though, the award still favors QBs over all other positions. Elliott’s production will always come with the asterisk of “anybody could run behind that Cowboys o-line.” Fuller might be able to pull off the upset; the Texans rookie has flashed unmatched speed and big-play ability in an otherwise stagnant offense.
Odds to be the first coach fired
- Mike McCoy: 2/1
- Chuck Pagano: 5/1
- Jim Caldwell: 5/1
- Gus Bradley: 13/2
- Mike Mularkey: 9/1
- Rex Ryan: 18/1
- John Fox: 30/1
- Jay Gruden: 30/1
- Mike McCarthy: 40/1
After the ridiculous ways the Chargers have managed to lose football games recently, Mike McCoy is fully deserving of the clubhouse lead. He’ll have some challengers, though, if the Colts and Lions keep losing. Detroit fans love themselves some Jim Bob Cooter – the Lions offensive coordinator – but are less jazzed on Caldwell, himself. Meanwhile, Pagano may have signed an extension, but this is a results-based league, and 9-12 since the start of last season is not where a team with Andrew Luck should be.
Odds a team goes 16-0: 31/2
Minnesota and Philadelphia play each other in a few weeks, guaranteeing a possibility of two undefeated teams at the most. Denver is the most likely team to run the table with their dominant defense and a manageable schedule.
Odds any of the undefeated teams (after Week 4) miss the playoffs: 7/4
Despite their hot starts, neither Denver nor Philadelphia have managed to open up a big lead in their division. The Eagles, in particular, are in a wide open race in the NFC East and have yet to play any divisional opponents. A few losses there would change this team’s outlook fast.
Odds the Browns go 0-16: 38/1
The poor Browns have played hard, but still haven’t gotten a win in this calendar year (even going 0-4 in the preseason). Despite feeling due for a win, Cleveland has a tough schedule playing in the AFC North. With such a young roster and all their best receivers getting hurt or going to rehab, the Browns appear to be equipped to stay winless for a while. However, lasting 12 more games is still long odds.
Odds the Browns make the playoffs: 1500/1
Over/under number of Browns starting QB’s in 2016: 3.5
While the Brownies are already at three, Josh McCown is battling to come back quickly from an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, but it should be rookie Cody Kessler’s team even when McCown does return. And Kessler’s current backup is Charlie Whitehurst; it’s not like Cleveland is in a hurry to see what “Clipboard Jesus” has to offer.
Odds Tony Romo starts a game this season: 1/6
There’s no doubting that Dak Prescott has looked great in his rookie year. But there’s also little doubt in my mind the Cowboys would be (at least) 3-1 at this point had Romo been under center since Week 1. Watch how quickly the quarterback controversy goes away when the Cowboys lose their next two games.
Odds on who will attempt more passes before throwing his first interception
- Dak Prescott: 10/13
- Carson Wentz: 13/10
Prescott has about a 30-pass lead after the Eagles’ Week 4 bye. However, Wentz will head to Detroit this week to face a secondary that has picked off just one pass all year. Prescott’s schedule gets much tougher now, so he may see his streak ending very soon.
Over/under number of games started by Colin Kaepernick this season: 2.5
The Niners aren’t going to be doing a ton more winning with Blaine Gabbert throwing short on fourth downs. At what point do they say “screw it” and give Kap one more try under center?
Odds on which first-year starter will finish season with the most TD passes
- Carson Wentz: 1/1
- Trevor Siemian: 7/2
- Dak Prescott: 7/1
- Cody Kessler: 9/1
- FIELD: 16/1
In Philly’s offense, Wentz has been asked to do more than Siemian and Prescott, meaning his opportunities to put up stats are far greater. And, despite how well they’ve both performed, there’s no guarantee Siemian or Prescott will hold the starting job all season.
Odds of missing the 2016-17 playoffs
- Carolina Panthers: 10/11
- Cincinnati Bengals: 2/3
- Arizona Cardinals: 3/7
- New York Giants: 1/3
- Green Bay Packers: 7/3
- Seattle Seahawks: 4/1
Odds all three Florida teams (Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars) make the playoffs: 800/1
Odds all three Florida teams miss the playoffs: 1/3
By virtue of playing in the awful AFC South, Jacksonville could still spoil this, but none of these teams look even close to playoff-level through four games.
Odds all three New York teams (Bills, Giants, Jets) make the playoffs: 150/1
Realistically, the Jets and Bills are fighting for the same playoff spot. There’s no reason to think New England won’t win the AFC East again, meaning they’ll be fighting the likes of Oakland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Kansas City for the two Wild Cards. And so far, there’s little reason to think the Jets will even be in the race come December.
Odds all three New York teams miss the playoffs: 2/1
Over/under on how many California teams (49ers, Chargers, Raiders, Rams) make the playoffs: 1
The Raiders and Rams have both instilled hope in their fans early in the year. But they’re both coming off a decade of failure. Will they really make the playoff leap in the same year?
Odds all four California teams miss the playoffs: 4/1
Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/].