NFL 2019 - What Have We Learned So Far?
NFL 2019: What Have We Learned So Far & How Have The Markets Moved?
We are now five weeks into the new NFL season and a few big teams have already established themselves as serious Super Bowl contenders. Others have struggled to make an impact in the early stages of the season and their fans are bracing themselves for a gruelling winter. We have been treated to a number of thrilling ball games and a handful of players have dazzled fans with their individual brilliance. These are the key talking points of the NFL season so far:
Tom Brady Continues to Defy Father Time
Reigning Super Bowl champions New England maintained their 100% start to the season with a 33-7 victory over the Redskins on Sunday. Evergreen quarterback Tom Brady leapfrogged the legendary Brett Favre and moved into third place in all-time career passing yards during the game. The 42-year-old has now thrown for 71,923 yards during his career, leaving him behind only Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in the all-time stakes.
The great man is now targeting yet another Super Bowl appearance. He guided the Pats to a hard fought victory over the Rams at Super Bowl LIII, his third consecutive appearance in the big game, and New England emerged as the pre-season favourites to seize the Vince Lombardi trophy again this time around. Our traders priced the Patriots at 45-49 for Super Bowl glory in the NFL spread betting before the season began, and they are now 56-60 in the Super Bowl 54 Index after their impeccable start.
Over in the NFL odds New England Patriots are clear favourites to win Super Bowl LIV at 3/1.
Patrick Mahomes is a Genius
Reigning MVP Pat Mahomes has made a blistering start to the new season and he is the red-hot favourite to win the award again. He leads the league once again for passing yards after five weeks, and some of his plays have left veteran commentators drooling. He delivered yet another moment of magic against the Colts at the weekend when scrambling more than 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, gliding past oncoming defenders, hurtling forwards at 15.6 miles per hour and throwing to Byron Pringle for the touchdown.
The Chiefs may have lost the game, ending their unbeaten start to the season and snapping a record-breaking NFL streak that saw them score 25 or more points in 25 consecutive games, but Mahomes still wowed the crowd. He twisted his ankle in that game and mobility looked to be an issue as Indianapolis beat him up, and Chiefs fans will be desperate for him to remain healthy. They have gone from 34-38 to 45-49 in the Sporting Index Super Bowl 54 Outright Index leaving them behind AFC rivals New England. A showdown between them in the AFC Championship game would be a joy to behold.
Saints Go Marching On
The New Orleans Saints remain third in the Super Bowl Winner market, making them the highest placed NFC team. They have inched closer and closer to the Super Bowl in recent years, and they were only denied by a botched pass interference call against the Rams last season. The Saints have retained a strong core of leading players, and they lead the NFC South with a 4-1 record after winning three on the bounce.
Vonn Bell is on fire right now in a strong defence, while Ryan Ramczyk continues to impress and Thomas Morstead has inspired the special team’s unit to reach new heights. Teddy Bridgewater has performed admirably in the absence of the injured Brees, who has recovered quicker than expected from a nasty injury, and optimism abounds in New Orleans.
Green Bay Emerges as a Surprise Package
Our traders anticipated a pretty strong showing from the Packers this year and handed them a pre-season Super Bowl 54 Index of 18-21. Aaron Rodgers was expected to light up the offence under the guidance of new coach Matt LaFleur. That has not quite panned out, but the Packers have flourished anyway. Aaron Jones was sensational in their 34-24 victory in Dallas last time out, equalling a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns. That takes him up to eight for the season, which is already double his tally from last year.
The Packers defence has surrendered a huge number of yards in Green Bay’s last two games, but they have delivered some crucial interceptions and sacks too. The Packers top the NFC North with a 4-1 record, and they are now priced at 27-31 in the NFL spread betting on the Super Bowl 54 Outright market. They are currently 32-34 favourites to win the NFC North in the spread betting and 6/5 in the fixed-odds.
Eagles Soar After Slow Start
The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NFL history when they toppled the Patriots at Super Bowl LII. They struggled for form last seasonamid a raft of injuries to key men, but they scraped through to the playoffs with a 9-7 record, they stunned the Bears and only narrowly lost to New Orleans in the divisional playoffs. They were expected to challenge again this season, after being handed a pre-season Super Bowl 54 spread of 28-31, but they lost their opening two of their opening three games.
Yet they have bounced back in style, winning twice in a row to return to contention in the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys won their opening three games, but they have since lost twice, leaving both teams 3-2.
The Eagles are current favourites to win NFC East at 37-39 but the impressive Dallas Cowboys are only narrowly behind at 35-37 and those two teams look ready for a real scrap in the NFC East.
Kyle Shanahan Sparks Optimism in San Francisco
The 49ers coach is fast proving himself as the most talented play-designer in the NFL, frequently bamboozling rivals with inside and outside zone calls, backfield motions and tricky pulls. San Francisco’s 4-0 record is the best in the NFC and the route to the Super Bowl could well go through the Bay Area. The Niners began the season with a Super Bowl Winner spread of 11-14, and that has shot up to 26-29 after their sensational start.
They are neck and neck with the Los Angeles Rams in NFC West Winner market, both at 29-31. If they can retain a lead over the 3-2 Rams and the 4-1 Seahawks over the course of the season, it will be a real statement of intent from this ambitious franchise and its gifted coach.
Battle for Number One Pick Heats Up
The Miami Dolphins have been dreadful this season and they really should have the number one draft pick sewn up. They are 0-4 in the AFC East, having scored just 26 points and allowed a league high of 163, making it a truly dismal campaign for their fans. Yet the Jets are also 0-4 in the AFC East, rivalling Miami when it comes to performing poorly.
The Bengals are also 0-5, while over in the NFC the Redskins are 0-5 too – having just fired coach Jay Gruden over their alarming slump in form – so there are plenty of terrible teams competing to be the worst in the league right now. This one will rumble on too, and Sunday’s game between the Dolphins and the Redskins should be intriguing.