It seems every team in the NFL made it through the preseason without a Super Bowl-altering injury. Sure, there were some starters here and there who suffered-season ending issues but no starting quarterbacks. Some coaches didn’t play a few key guys at all. Don’t be shocked if the preseason is cut to just two games in the next five years and the regular season extended to 17 or 18 games.
If the team you are backing had a losing record this preseason, then recent history says that club will not win the Super Bowl. Each of the past 10 champions has finished at least .500 in the exhibition schedule. The last team not to was the 2007 New York Giants, who were 1-3 in the preseason and then won the Super Bowl as a wild card, shocking the unbeaten New England Patriots.
The only team to go winless in the preseason and win the Super Bowl was the 1982 Washington Redskins in that strike-shortened season.
The Patriots, per usual entering Week 1, are the Super Bowl favorites – now priced at +650 on the Super Bowl 53 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. New England wasn’t immune to the injury bug in the preseason as the club’s top draft choice this year, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, suffered a torn Achilles that ended his year. Keep in mind that no Super Bowl loser has returned to the big game the next year since the early 1990s.
The Los Angeles Rams now have the second-shortest odds at +850. Coach Sean McVay, at +1200 on the NFL Coach of the Year odds, didn’t play most of his first-team offense at all in the preseason, including quarterback Jared Goff and superstar running back Todd Gurley. Los Angeles still avoided a losing exhibition record, though.
The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and the team they beat in the NFC Championship Game, the Minnesota Vikings, are both +950. The Eagles play both the Vikings (October 7 in Philadelphia) and the Rams (December 16 in Los Angeles) this regular season but no rematch with the Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (+1000) and Green Bay Packers (+1100) are the only other teams under +1600. The Packers face the toughest schedule in the NFL this season if you go by their opponents’ combined winning percentage (.539) in 2017. Just this week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers became the highest-paid player in league history. Yet, Rodgers has been to just the one Super Bowl, beating Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in XLV.
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Source: Heavy Sports