Post-Week 1 NFL Futures Shifts: Broncos, Eagles, Saints Move Up Board

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on September 16, 2021

Typically, futures odds in a sport like the NFL, where the market has a pretty good read on talent levels, don’t change very quickly. Bookmakers know they can’t overreact to one or two weeks of excellent or poor play. Still, some of the markets did see noticeable moves, and TheLines compiled some of the Super Bowl odds changes after Week 1 here.

Like our look at the win totals, it’s instructive to see which results “mattered” the most according to the market.

All odds below come from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Three Upward Moves In Super Bowl Odds Changes

New Orleans Saints: +3000 To +2200

All the Saints did in Week 1 was put an eye-opening whooping on a supposed Super Bowl contender.

The biggest questions about the Saints coming into 2021 regarded their passing offense. Would a consistent strength in past years with Drew Brees at quarterback become a liability under Jameis Winston and an extremely unproven group of receivers?

Winston passed the initial test. Often erratic in the past, he absorbed zero sacks and committed the same number of turnovers.

The defense, meanwhile, hounded Aaron Rodgers into a career-worst type of performance. A Packers offense that showcased his skills en route to MVP honors produced 186 yards of net passing offense with 64 of that by Jordan Love in mop-up duty.

Plenty of questions remain. How will Winston handle less ideal situations where he must make plays instead of merely managing the game? The receiving group also had to do very little.

But, the market saw enough to bump the Saints to +2200. Their divisional odds, however, shifted little thanks to the stellar performance of the Bucs in the national TV opener. Best price there: .

Denver Broncos: +4500 To +3000

Most everyone expected a strong defense out of the Denver Broncos. After all, they had an above-average unit in 2020, are led by a defensive-minded head coach and used their top draft pick on CB Patrick Surtain II.

The questions revolved around the offense. QB Drew Lock stumbled his way into a demotion but would Teddy Bridgewater provide a significant upgrade?

Thus far, the answer appears to be yes. Bridgewater took care of the football and made enough plays to tally 7.3 yards per attempt (YPA) and a sterling 95.7 QBR.

The defense did its part as well in an admittedly easy matchup with the Giants. They’d have held them to single digits if not for a late TD when the game was well in hand.

The Broncos made their case as a sneaky contender and jumped into the top half of the league on the odds board. Like the Saints, they remain long shots just to win the division with the best available price, thanks to the strength of the Chiefs.

Philadelphia Eagles: +10000 To +5000

The NFC East was among the divisions that didn’t feature a prohibitive favorite in preseason markets. Every team listed had a plus sign in front of their odds.

That remains the case head to Week 2, but the only team to post a W saw a jump in Super Bowl odds.

The Eagles spanked the Falcons on the road as +3.5 underdogs. QB Jalen Hurts looked capable directing the passing game against weak opposition. More impressively, the defense strangled a capable offense on the road and in a dome, to the tune of 3.6 YPA on passes.

That will play just fine in a weak division, but how much of this result reflects an overhyped Falcons team?

Now, this move might look massive, but keep in mind that going from +10000 to +5000 in the updated NFL futures only moves the needle from about 1% implied probability to about 2%.

Two Downward Moves In Updated NFL Futures

Baltimore Ravens: +1400 To +1800

A couple of factors have conspired to push the Ravens down among teams with Super Bowl odds changes.

The first and most obvious: they didn’t look great in the season-opening loss to Las VegasQB Lamar Jackson demonstrated poor ball security and pocket presence. The offensive line, long a strength, had difficult blocking a lightly regarded Raiders pass rush.

On the other side of the ball, the Ravens largely failed to take advantage of an inexperienced Raiders offensive line. They didn’t generate pressure commensurate with their blitzing frequency.

Second, and even more important: the injuries have piled up to a staggering degree considering it’s only Week 2. Ravens on IR include:

  • RB JK Dobbins
  • WR Rashod Bateman
  • CB Marcus Peters
  • RB Gus Edwards
  • OG Tyre Phillips

Additionally star LT Ronnie Stanley has reportedly is doubtful for a massive game against the Chiefs.

As underdogs, the team is likely to start 0-2 and health going forward is a huge question mark. The market believes the Browns have supplanted the Ravens as division favorites, with now available after the Ravens were around +125 in the preseason.

Indianapolis Colts: +3500 To +5000

The Colts had one of the wider ranges of outcomes entering 2021. After all, nobody quite knew what to expect from new QB Carson Wentz. Was his horrific play in 2020 an aberration or a sign of continued injury-aided decline?

Week 1 did not inspire much confidence. He managed a 27.5 QBR while leading the team to 16 points against the Seahawks, the final six of which came in garbage time. Perhaps most telling: his two most-targeted teammates were his running backs. Never a great sign.

Without something at least approaching his MVP-level play of yesteryear, Wentz probably can’t take the Colts much of anywhere.

The market lost whatever confidence it had and dropped the Colts several rungs on the futures board. Because of the ongoing mess that is the AFC South, they still have reasonable odds to win the division.

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