- The Eagles are a big NFL Draft winner, according to the Super Bowl odds market.
- Philadelphia is the only top-end contender that saw positive odds movement.
- Down the board, the Patriots made a huge jump after drafting Christian Gonzalez.
- The Super Bowl odds market marks the Raiders as the biggest draft loser.
Now that the NFL Draft is over, the NFL odds market is settling in for the long summer offseason. The full 2023 schedule will be released later this month, but summer rosters have been mostly finalized, as far as bettors are concerned.
Any time the NFL community reaches and advances through a calendar milestone like the draft, you can be sure that the football odds board will evolve to reflect major changes.
That’s what I’m looking at today. A few teams saw major shifts in their odds, thanks in large part to the perception of a few high-impact draftees.
Eagles Draft Picks: 2023 Selections Drive New Betting Action
It’s a bit unusual to see a noticeable spike in any early-market contender’s odds right after NFL draft weekend. Most of the big movement happens down the board, as a team like the Seahawks evolve from +5000 to +4000 on the back of a high-profile wide receiver in the first round.
With teams that are already expected to be primary contenders, one or two rookie players are less likely to make a key difference. At the top of the market, free agency is much more likely to dramatically shift the odds.
This year, the exception appears to be the reigning NFC champions. About 48 hours before the beginning of the draft, Philadelphia was +900 to win the Super Bowl and +350 to win the NFC; a week later, the Eagles are now +700 to win the Super Bowl and +300 to win the NFC.
That’s a clear jump over Buffalo, Cincinnati, and San Francisco, the three teams that were either tied with or slightly above Philly in the table just a week ago.
Clearly, the football betting community liked something about what the Eagles did this week.
Jalen Carter Could Be an Instant Impact Player
The most obvious asset the Eagles acquired was ninth-overall pick Jalen Carter.
Carter was pegged by some draft experts as the No. 1 prospect in the entire draft. However, after a series of offseason incidents, some teams were bearish on adding Carter to their program.
The Eagles obviously figured they have the culture and institutional control to handle Carter, and so the two-time national champion and All-American defensive tackle will be shopping for real estate in Philadelphia this summer.
If Carter proves to be a good pick, Philadelphia may have found a primary source of interior defensive pressure for years to come.
Eagles Depth Chart
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Philadelphia. I’m a realist about Philadelphia’s chances to sustain its success beyond 2022, and the fact of the matter is that the Eagles had some unrepeatable good fortune and contract alignment last season.
Those chickens are coming home to roost this offseason. Quarterback Jalen Hurts earned a massive $255 million contract extension, while the Eagles lost a load of talent to free agency and expiring contracts. This year’s team will look different from the 2022 NFC championship squad.
I’m skeptical of their ability to repeat with new pieces and an increasingly expensive offensive apparatus.
49ers Odds to Win Super Bowl
At least in the NFL futures market, the 49ers have mostly been viewed as NFC co-equals to the Eagles. Their overall roster will likely be stronger in 2023, and they’re earlier in their quarterback contract window.
That co-equal status finally broke during the draft, as the market now favors Philadelphia. But the 49ers aren’t far behind, holding steady at +900 to win the Super Bowl and +350 to win the NFC.
Detroit Lions Draft Picks
I’ve got a few more NFC notes here. I did something of an investigation last month into the curious case of the Detroit Lions’ Super Bowl odds, eventually finding that nearly 50% of all NFC championship tickets at the BetMGM online sportsbook were (surprisingly) backing the Lions.
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 14, 2023
As far as I can tell, we haven’t seen much new action on the Lions since the draft. Shockingly, reaching for a running back in the first round when you already have multiple quality running backs doesn’t draw new Super Bowl betting action.
Lions gonna Lions, I guess.
Seahawks Super Bowl Odds
The only other big mover in the NFC was Seattle. As I mentioned earlier, the Seahawks moved down from +5000 to +4000 after they used their first-round pick on Ohio State burner Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
The rookie addition should add some real rocket fuel to Geno Smith’s passing attack. Seattle’s wide receiver room now includes DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and JSA, among others.
Patriots Odds on the Move in the AFC
It’s mostly NFC teams that have gotten NFL betting attention in the days since the draft ended.
Perhaps that’s because the top of the AFC is so loaded — throw Aaron Rodgers and the Jets’ Super Bowl aspirations into that now, too — that there’s simply not much room left at the top of the market for new faces.
There are some interesting moves happening farther down the board, though. In particular, Bill Belichick and the Patriots made a huge jump from +6600 to +4000, seemingly on the back of an NFL draft performance that impressed the football betting market.
As was the case in Philadelphia, it’s likely that the perception of New England’s first-round pick is driving a lot of the action here. The Patriots were the lucky winners in the Christian Gonzalez sweepstakes, as many experts’ No. 1 corner inexplicably fell all the way to Belichick at No. 17 … even after he traded down in the middle of the first round.
Most NFL sharps will agree that the formula for New England’s return to Super Bowl contention involves another elite Belichick defense. If Gonzalez is the NFL corner that some think he can be, then the Pats could be on their way back to contention.
Browns Moving Up the NFL Odds Board, Too
Cleveland was a huge mess last season, as the Deshaun Watson spectacle played out as the sport’s biggest public car crash in years.
Browns fans and bettors are hoping their on-the-field product gets back to normal this year. Something about the Browns’ draft seemed to impress someone, since Cleveland moved up from +4000 to +3000 in the last few days.
If Watson plays MVP-caliber football again, it’s easy to see what the pathway toward a Super Bowl looks like for the Browns. But we haven’t seen that in years, which makes this ticket a high-variance play with boom-or-bust potential.
NFL Draft Losers
It’s not all winners here. For some teams to shoot up the board, others generally have to fall down. Here’s a quick look at some of the teams that the market is really down on following last week’s NFL Draft:
- Las Vegas Raiders +4000 → +6600
- Minnesota Vikings +4000 → +5000
- New York Giants +4000 → +5000
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8000 → +10000
The Raiders might be the biggest loser here, as the market seems to be only just coming to grips with the near-term future of what Las Vegas will look like.
With an aging Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and far fewer systemic advantages on his new team than there were in San Francisco, the Raiders could fall back to a distant fourth in a deeply competitive AFC West.
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