The exciting part about this exercise is that we can follow the ups and downs of our beloved Saints throughout the regular season via the variations of their odds not only to make it to the Super Bowl, but first to even make it to the playoffs, win the NFC South, or earn a first round bye in the playoffs.
My favorite website to look at Super Bowl odds throughout the regular season is Five Thirty Eight (FTE). They use the well-oiled Elo rating system. The system was invented by physicist Arpad Elo, and originally designed to rate players in zero-sum games, like chess. The system assigns a gain value to the winner and a loss value to the loser such that the sum of the winner’s gain and the loser’s loss is equal to zero.
Who rose? Who fell? Let’s look at the standings:
The Top 10
The biggest leap this week belongs to the Arizona Cardinals, who went from sixth to first in odds of winning the Super Bowl. The Cards dethroned the Buffalo Bills, after their shocking 6-9 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Without playing a game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went from fourth to second, thanks in part to the Saints losing in disappointing fashion to the mediocre Atlanta Falcons. New to the top 10 after a one-week absence are the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Oakland Raiders dropped from the 10th spot and into the muddled middle.
The Muddled Middle
The Cleveland Browns jumped five spots from 16th to 11th in this week’s muddled middle tier. The Saints interestingly only dropped one spot from 13th to 14th, however their odds of making the playoffs decreased from 76% to 65% this week. New to the tier this week are the victorious Atlanta Falcons, who nearly gagged away an 18-point lead in the Superdome (oh how glorious it would have been, had the score stayed 25-24 Saints). The Falcons are now at the edge between the middle and the bottom, but Arthur Smith’s squad is still showing signs of life and would make the playoffs as the NFC’s seventh seed if the tournament started today.
The Bottom 10
At the back of the classroom with all the troublemakers, the Carolina Panthers continue their steady plunge into the abyss. Following a brief reprieve when they stood at the 23rd position after a win in Atlanta, the kitties were stymied by the Patriots at home and are now at the 26th position with just a 7% chance to make the playoffs and in last place in the NFC South. At the bottom of the barrel, the Lions, Texans, Jets and Jaguars continue to vie for the title of worst student of the year.
Until next week dear readers, hang on to your seats, the fun ride continues.
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