Tom Gable, Director of Race & Sports at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, provides our readers with insider tips and strategies for making the most of their sports betting ventures. This week, Tom is reflecting on Week 9 of football and setting expectations for the remainder of the NFL season.
We are now more than halfway through the NFL season and have one unbeaten team remaining (the Pittsburgh Steelers) and one team that remains without a single win (the New York Jets). The NFC appears to have a lot of parity at the top of the conference with 4 or 5 teams that seem capable of making it to the Super Bowl. The AFC, despite having the undefeated Steelers, appears to have the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and then a few other contenders that will be looking to unseat the Chiefs. This week, we are going to take a look at some of the top contenders in both conferences with their current Super Bowl odds and how likely they are to win the big game.
Let’s start in the NFC, where the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints all seem to have legitimate chances to win the conference with a few teams bubbling right below them at the halfway mark, including the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Out of the teams at the top, the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers have the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl right now at Borgata Sportsbook at +700 (meaning for every $1 you wager, you would win $7 if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl). Despite just getting thrashed last Sunday night by their division counter-parts, the New Orleans Saints (currently +900 to win the Super Bowl), the Buccs have played extremely well this season and with a ferocious defense and a lot of offensive weapons for Brady to throw to, you can’t count this team out to make a long playoff run. While the Saints have now beaten them twice this season, New Orleans has looked very weak at times as well, suffering a couple of losses. The Green Bay Packers (currently +1100) got off to a very hot start but had their unbeaten streak broken by Tampa Bay a few weeks ago, but they do have a win against the Saints (again, parity is the name of the game in the NFC). This brings us to the Seattle Seahawks (currently +1000). Seattle plays in what is the toughest division in the NFC (the West), alongside playoff contenders the LA Rams, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Seattle seems to be able to score at will behind quarterback and MVP candidate Russell Wilson. However, their defense has been sorely lacking and are one of the worst defenses in all of football. They can’t seem to muster any sort of pass rush and give up a lot of points (weekly tip: consider wagering on the “over” in Seattle’s games as they are the perfect team for it, they score a lot of points and can’t stop their opponents from scoring). Seattle remains dangerous though simply due to Wilson’s presence on the offensive side of the ball.
Now let’s take a look at the AFC and start with the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers (currently +600 to win the Super Bowl). Pittsburgh has beaten some very tough opponents this year already including teams that are at the top of the AFC like the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans. You can’t argue with an undefeated record, but they are not the current favorite to win the Super Bowl. That goes to the Kansas City Chiefs (+350) who continue to look like the championship team they were one year ago. The Chiefs are of course led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes who continues to pull out magical plays and appears to have a natural ability that very few other quarterbacks in the league can match, or even come close to. The Chiefs have suffered one loss on the season (an upset loss to the Las Vegas Raiders) and will more than likely lose another game before the regular season comes to an end. But they are still the one team in the conference that no one wants to face in the playoffs. Some other teams in the AFC that you may want to look at include the Baltimore Ravens (+900) and the Buffalo Bills (+1800). While the Bills just beat up on the Seahawks last week, I am still hesitant to say that they can match up with the best of the best in their conference in the playoffs. Only time will tell.
You can continue to wager on who you believe will win the Super Bowl, the NFC and AFC and individual division winners along with MVP, Coach of the Year, and a number of other awards at Borgata Race and Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar, or online at Borgatasports.com.