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 top 10 dance continues after week 11, as the Arizona Cardinals jumped back on top following their 23-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday. The Cards went from fifth to first, while the Titans went from first to fifth, after they followed up their close win over the Saints two weeks ago with a head-scratching 22-13 loss against the 2-8 Houston Texans. The Chiefs (4th) and the Patriots (7th) continue their steady rise back to the top, as we are now firmly entering the crunch time of this NFL regular season. The Saints’ divisional foes Tampa Bay Buccaneers snapped their two-game losing streak by dismantling the New York Giants 30-10 and improving their odds to win the Super Bowl from sixth to third overall. To finish, the Saints’ next opponent, the Buffalo Bills stumbled all the way from third to 10th following yet another stomping, this time a 41-15 blowout at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills are coming to the Superdome a very much wounded Buffalo.
The Muddled Middle
The Saints had been rather steady thus far this season, but a three-game losing streak will make a significant dent into your odds of even making it to the postseason. Going from 13th to 17th, New Orleans now has only a 33% chance to clinch a playoffs berth, while its chances of winning the NFC South went down from 14% last week to 8%. The other NFC South team found in this tier are the Carolina Panthers who come in at 21st and with only a 14% chance of making it to the postseason after losing at home to the Washington Football Team.
The Bottom 10
Maybe the biggest surprise in this tier is the presence of the 3-7 Seattle Seahawks. Thought of as a contender before the season started, injuries, poor coaching and poor play have derailed a team that boasts a dynamic quarterback in Russell Wilson. Rumors of Wilson’s departure from Seattle continue to swirl, while head coach Pete Carroll’s job is not safe either. The Atlanta Falcons, fresh off a 25-0 humiliation at the hands of the New England Patriots, are also in the bottom 10, at 27th. The Falcons felt good after beating the Saints in the Superdome three games ago, since then they were spanked by the Cowboys then thrashed by the Pats. Misery loves company, and when misery happens for the Dirty Birds, the Schadenfreude is doubly rewarding.
Until next week dear readers, hang on to your buns!
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