By JEFF J. KELLEY
When the season started, the New England Patriots were significant favorites to win the Super Bowl. And why not? They were coming off a victory over the Falcons, seemed to improve the defense and still had Tom Brady.
A couple games shy of the midway point, the Patriots are still the favorites. But things have tightened up significantly.
According to this chart from Sports Betting Dime, the Patriots are still the favorites at plus-340, but the surprising Philadelphia Eagles have closed the gap and are now second favorites at plus-700, while the Steelers are a close third at plus-790.
The Eagles have made the biggest jump, as they were plus-5100 in February. The chart is a nice tool that tracks how much movement has happened for each of the contenders.
The Texans remain a long shot at plus-3500 after opening at +6000, but the Deshaun Watson factor could cause that number to drop over the next few weeks.
While the Falcons have struggled, their number has not moved much, from plus-1400 to plus 1800.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have also seen significant movement, dropping from a high of plus-10,000 to plus +3900.
The Minnesota Vikings have made a big move as well. The real question is which of the teams do you trust? The Eagles might be playing the best right now, but they have a suspect secondary, and can Carson Went continue to play well and consistently? Are the Chiefs last two losses aberrations? Are the Patriots still the gold standard?
As of today, it remains relatively wide open, and expect a lot more movement in these odds moving forward. The Texans in particular could drop significantly, especially if they can get a signature win over a team like the Seahawks. Even with their defensive injuries, they have played well at times but have yet to beat a decent team. A win like that could change everything.