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 roller coaster that is the 2021 NFL season continues, as the Tennessee Titans rose from the third place to first overall in odds of winning the Super Bowl. The biggest stumbles were taken by the Arizona Cardinals, who dropped all the way from first to fifth, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who fell from two to sixth. Hey look who’s back! The New England Patriots’ steady rise from the ashes continues, as they went from 12th to 8th this week, and are back to being a feared team on the heels of a victory against the schizophrenic and underachieving Cleveland Browns.
The Muddled Middle
The big drop here comes from the Cleveland Browns, who went from the precipice of the top 10 (11th) last week, to the 17th best odds to win the Super Bowl. Cleveland is just 5-5 on the season, after being hyped in the preseason as a Super Bowl contender. The New Orleans Saints, interestingly, jumped one spot from 14th to 13th, thanks to both the Steelers and Browns dropping, while the Indianapolis Colts flip-flopped with the Saints. The biggest mover in this tier is the Carolina Panthers, who on the back of a surprise win in Arizona, one that saw the return of quarterback Cam Newton to the team, jumped all the way from 26th and in the bottom 10, to 15th in odds of winning the Lombardi in February. Noteworthy for the Saints as they travel to Philly this coming Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles, after their big win against the Denver Broncos in Denver, moved from 23rd and in the bottom 10, to 20th in the middle tier. The topsy-turvy NFL of this season goes on.
The Bottom 10
At the back of the classroom with all the troublemakers, is where our friends the Atlanta Falcons have found themselves back, following a dismantling at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. The Falcons were flying high and mighty after eking out a win at the last minute in New Orleans, then came crashing back down to earth with a loud thud. The loss dropped Atlanta from 22nd in odds of winning the Super Bowl to 27th, with the Falcons odds of even making the playoffs dipping from 25% to 9%. The Detroit Lions snapped their 12-game losing streak dating to last season, with, in a most Detroit fashion, a tie! They couldn’t seize several chances in overtime against the Steelers and maintained their pursuit for the “Worst NFL Team Award,” which they’ve now won for a record number of seasons.
Until next week dear readers, hang on to your buns!
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