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.
Let’s look at the standings:
The Top 10
Well, this past week the Saints took it on the chin with a humiliating 26-7 loss against the Carolina Panthers. That result saw New Orleans drop from the third position to out of the top ten in odds to make it to the Super Bowl. Vaulting from second to the top are the inevitable Tampa Bay Bucs, who have a 16% chance to get to the Big Dance. The Chiefs drop to second after their narrow 36-35 loss against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football. Despite a loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Seattle Seahawks remained in the top 10, albeit after dropping from the fifth position.
The Muddled Middle
Well, here are the Saints! After that ugly loss last week, New Orleans tumbled 10 spots from third to 13th in odds of making it to the Super Bowl. The Saints still have a 49% chance of making the playoffs, so at 1-1, the sky might be heavy with dark clouds, but it is not falling just yet. Interestingly, the Patriots, whom the Saints play on Sunday turn up at the 17th position, four spots behind New Orleans. Again, through two games this season, these aren’t your big bad Pats of old. Oh, and those Panthers that whipped the Saints’ collective butt on Sunday? they have the 18th odds of making it to the Super Bowl, still five spots lower than the Saints. Do not overreact, friends, it’s a long season.
The Bottom 10
At the back of the classroom with all the troublemakers, the only truly notable team for readers on this blog are our friends the Falcons. Atlanta is 0-2, has a 0.1% chance to make it to the Super Bowl and is projected to win only 6 games this season. The rebuild is on in ATL, even if the Falcons’ front office and coaching staff are still reluctant to call it that. My guess is no one here is going to shed a tear.
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