NFL Betting: Offseason Report and Super Bowl 50 Odds
by Dave Schwab - 2/23/2015
It has been only three weeks since New England's thrilling 28-24 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX, but it feels like an eternity for anyone who loves to wager on the NFL. Most of the sportsbooks have already posted their futures odds to win next season's Super Bowl, and if you go to Bovada you will even find betting odds for the game. The NFC is a 2.5-point favorite, and the total has been set at 50.5 for Super Bowl 50.
The following is a brief look at some of the top trending storylines in the NFL as we get ready to close out the first month of the offseason.
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The official start of the free agency signing period in the NFL is set to get underway at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, and there is already some widespread speculation as to where some of the top players on the list might end up next season.
The Cowboys have some tough decisions to make between now and then in their effort to keep both wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray. Both players were a vital part of the team's run to an 11-5 record and a NFC East Division title, but both will also be unrestricted free agents if they are not resigned in the next two weeks.
The big question in Denver surrounds the immediate future of Peyton Manning. He is not set to become a free agent this year, but heading into the final year of his contract he has yet to commit to coming back next season. The Broncos also have to be concerned with the future of one of Manning's favorite targets in Demaryius Thomas. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent. However, the early word out of Denver has the Broncos using the franchise tag on Thomas if a long-term deal cannot be worked out in time.
Winston vs. Mariota
The NFL Combine got underway last week, and one of the hottest topics surrounded quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. NFL draft guru's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay helped fuel the debate as to which player should go first in the draft by moving Winston to the top of their board as the No. 1 overall pick while sliding Mariota down to sixth on the list.
It remains to be seen what Tampa Bay will do with the first overall pick in the draft, but the more interesting scenario could be what Philadelphia might decide to do in order to drop low enough in the draft to reunite Mariota with his former head coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly. The Eagles head coach is now calling the player personnel shots in Philadelphia after a recent shake up in the front office.
ATS Winners and Losers
Everyone knows that the Patriots are the reigning world champions in the NFL, but which team belongs at the top of the list when it comes to making money for bettors? Using the closing NFL betting odds at 5Dimes' Sportsbook, the Indianapolis Colts finished the regular season with a solid 10-5-1 record against the spread, and they went 2-1 ATS in their run to the AFC title game. Before getting blown out by the Patriots 45-7 as seven-point road underdogs, the Colts posted a 5-2-1 record ATS in their previous seven games.
The best winning streak ATS to close-out the regular season belonged to both Jacksonville and the New York Jets after each team covered in their last three games. The Jaguars actually went 4-1 ATS in their final five games, and the Jets were 5-2 ATS in their last seven contests.
The best bet at home this past season was a tie between Arizona and Kansas City, with each team covering in six of their eight home games. Green Bay and Indianapolis each posted a 6-2-1 record ATS in nine home games this year. The top road warrior in the NFL was the Dallas Cowboys after covering in eight of nine road games this season. Their lone straight up loss on the road came in the Divisional Round Playoffs when they were eliminated by Green Bay 26-21 while covering as 5.5-point underdogs.
The biggest bankroll buster in the NFL this past season was the Tennessee Titans at 3-12-1 ATS. That was still better than their SU record of 2-14. Both San Francisco and Washington were costly to wager on with a 5-11 record ATS, and the 49ers closed out the regular season by failing to cover in their last six games.
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