Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41), wide receiver Michael Thomas (13), running back Mark Ingram (22)
- Several Super Bowl 53 contenders lost again this week, which has allowed the Saints (+160) to run away with the top spot on the odds list.
- The Chargers (+700) are right behind the Chiefs (+600) following a crazy game in Kansas City on Thursday night.
- The Steelers (+1400) took care of the Patriots (+800) in what was a must-win game for Pittsburgh.
Can we have a week in which something crazy doesn’t happen in this league for once?! For the third straight week, we’ve had Super Bowl 53 contenders lose games — some in quite ugly fashion, too.
Though a few teams looked pretty dominant halfway through the season, they’ve all shown pretty egregious flaws at times over the past few weeks.
With the Rams losing a consecutive game, the Saints sit alone at the top by a wide margin, followed by a second tier of contenders that includes the Rams, Chiefs, Chargers and Patriots.
All odds via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Click on the date to sort.
New Orleans Saints: +175 to +160 (+2.1% Implied Probability)
At +160, the Saints have matched the Rams from back in late October for largest Super Bowl favorites of the season. And they haven’t even done anything this week!
The Rams’ loss basically guarantees home-field advantage for the Saints barring a major collapse.
Pittsburgh Steelers: +2000 to +1400 (+1.9% IP)
It was a huge win for Pittsburgh vs. the Patriots, as a loss would have put the Steelers’ playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.
They have a very difficult game at New Orleans next week and could have realistically ended up with a 8-7-1 record if New England came back to win.
The 8-6 Ravens remain just one-half game back, but have a tough test of their own this week at the Chargers.
Houston Texans: +2000 to +1400 (+1.9% IP)
Look at what we have here! The 2-seed Houston Texans! They’re still not in the top tier of contenders per the oddsmakers, but perhaps they will be if they can end the season with a 12-4 record.
They visit the capable-of-anything Eagles next week and host the lowly Jaguars in their season finale.
Perhaps one reason why oddsmakers are still doubting the Texans is because none of their wins have come against legit Super Bowl contenders.
The best team they beat was the Cowboys, and that was before they acquired Amari Cooper. It’s not exactly their fault, but it is something worth considering if you were thinking of betting on them.
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Los Angeles Rams: +350 to +450 (-4.0% IP)
Another week, another disappointment from the Rams. As I mentioned before, they were +160 at one point of the season — a 38.5% implied probability.
That is down to just 18.2% given their current odds and there’s probably not much they can do to improve it for the rest of the regular season other than hope the Saints struggle down the stretch.
Kansas City Chiefs: +450 to +600 (-3.9% IP)
That is all.
New England Patriots: +600 to +800 (-3.2% IP)
The Patriots continue to seem … unpatriotic, at times. They’ve owned the Steelers in recent years, but somehow scored just 10 points against a defense that allowed 24 to the Raiders.
Dating back to 2003, this is just the 12th regular season game in which a Brady-led Patriots team has scored 10 points or fewer, and the third time this season.
They’ve been a “decent” bet in games following poor offensive outputs (10 points or fewer), going 11-0 straight up and 10-1 against the spread with an average cover margin of 14.27 points.
The Bills may be in for a hurting when they visit Foxborough this week.