I’ve started to plough through the NFL markets as we close in on the start of the regular season. I thought I would pick out one or two of them as we look for some involvement. A small overview of things will kick things off.
Firstly in the Superbowl market the Seahawks are ridiculously short and should be readily opposed. The acquisition of Jimmy Graham has meant that a small shift towards a throwing game had been the focus. The correlation between Graham and Wilson in pre season thus far has not been great. I’m sure they will sync up and be productive, but moving away from the running game is a negative in my opinion. Max Unger going the other way in the trade with New Orleans is a big loss too. All of the negatives for me are on offense but no doubt their defense is still top 5 and will keep them in games but they are no way a 9/2 shot.
The two most complete sides for me are Green Bay and Indianapolis. The loss of Jordy Nelson for the cheese heads is a huge blow. He is the most consistent receiver in the league. Yet another pre season ACL injury. I still think they are the most likely winners and are priced about right. The news that Randall Cobb got injured Sunday was a worry although that doesn’t sound serious. That is of course biased as he is my main fantasy receiver.
Indy will be very good on offense. Luck has so many weapons. For the Colts a deep run will rely on how much the D has improved. Will be in the shake up for sure. New England are the Champs and will be there or thereabouts. Brady might miss games, he may not, that will be resolved soon enough. Even without him they will be 4-2 at worst when he returns. Big players and rookies alike just adapt to the way Bill runs the acquisitions. Coral have stuck their necks out and put the Pats up at 10/1. They are however 14.5 on Betfair………. I’d take that in a heartbeat over the 9/2 about Seattle.
In the 10/1-20/1 range you have the Broncos (12/1), Cowboys (16/1) & the Eagles (20/1). If you could bet just on this range we would all be rich! They are completely the wrong way round to me. Philly have made some super signings. Demarco Murray is the new running back, Sam Bradford (torn ACL) has just recovered and moved from the Rams to be starting QB. Just before he got hurt I thought he was bordering on becoming the new Brady. I think he is class. His accuracy is absolutely smoking! The big question about Bradford is going to be his fitness. Can he get through sixteen regular season games? We saw last year just how difficult that is for a QB trying to recover from ACL injuries in Washington when RG3 got hit low more times than a cheap Winmau arrers board.
Dallas are Dallas. Over rated chokers.
I think that even the most hardcore Denver fan might be watching most games from behind the couch this year. Manning just cannot throw deep anymore. The dink and dunk method works to a degree until you do what Indy did last year, stacked the middle of the field and you have nowhere to go. Rumours that they will be a run first team this year with complimentary throws means that they will be getting boos after all the three and outs from weeks one from the home not so faithful. Don’t get me wrong Denver will still win a lot of games, but they are more a 10-6 team than the 15-1 team from two years ago.
To sum this range up I think that the 20/1 about the Philadelphia Eagles is too big and they are a definite bet in the outright market. I don’t think the 20’s will last. On the back of that they are top price 17/10 to win the NFC East. This looks a one horse race to me and is absolute maximum bet in spades. If you have a spare ten grand to be locked up for 4 months then steam in. General 6/4 chance.
Of the remainder the teams that are likely play off contenders that are big prices are as follows:
Pittsburgh Steelers. Big ben has a lot of weapons and they will put up points for sure. D needs to improve on last year but they will win a lot of games. They are a general 28/1 chance. The Buffalo Bills have the potential to be one of the most improved teams in the league. They are a general 40/1 shot. The Minnesota Vikings are set for a better season. Adrian Peterson is cleared to play, has bulked up and looks immense in what we have seen pre season. He is an absolute stonking bet to have most regular season rushing yards at 5/1 in my opinion. If he has a quick start he could be odds on within 5/6 weeks. A lot of real shrewdies in the game believe that Teddy Bridgewater is all set for a break out season too. I like the Vikes, they are in a tough division though but I expect them to be in the wild card hunt for sure.
Last but not least we have the St Louis Rams. A team I think are on the brink of greatness. I cannot believe they traded Bradford. With him at QB I thought we were looking at play offs at the very least. They are young and hungry. Their defense is in my opinion probably the best in the league. I’ve never been Jeff Fisher’s biggest fan but what he has done there is certainly working. The D will win them a lot of games alone and I think they might make the play offs. The trick plays that won the game against the Hawks last year were top quality. I wouldn’t put it past them wining the division ahead of Seattle. I would certainly have them in front of Arizona. Although I do think the Card’s will be slightly better this year. The Rams are 9/1 to win the division and you will back many many worse 9/1 shots in your lifetime. They are 65/1 on Betfair in the outright market.
I have already touched on Peterson in the player markets, he should be backed as should Calvin Johnson who has been largely ignored in the market after his injury hit season last year. Megatron is a general 8/1 chance to have most receiving yards and again could well trade an awful lot shorter than that. I will be backing both and putting them in a double.
My main bet for the season will be to back the Eagles to win the Superbowl at 20/1. As a Redskins fan that is just about the hardest thing I have ever written! I will also trade several other teams on Betfair in the outright market so that I have a potential very green book come the play offs:
Philadelphia Eagles 3 pts win @ 20/1
New England Patriots 2 pts @ 14.5
Green Bay Packers 2 pts @ 8.0
Minnesota Vikings 1 pt @ 50
St Louis Rams 1 pt @ 65
Philadelphia Eagles to win NFC East – Maximum bet at 17/10.
St Louis Rams to win NFC West – 1 pt @ 9/1.
Adrian Peterson most rushing yards – 2.5 pts @ 5/1
Calvin Johnson most receiving yards – 2 pts @ 8/1
The Peterson/Johnson double pays 54/1 and will also get 2 pts in the bid for an absolute smash up!
I’m sure I will come across quite a lot more before we get underway so I will update nearer the time.
Less than two weeks!