We have a new Super Bowl LVIII favourite after Week 13 of the NFL season, while history is set to be made across the league in the coming weeks.
San Francisco’s Statement
The San Francisco 49ers are the new $4.33 favourites to win Super Bowl LVIII following their 42-19 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13.
We felt comfortable tipping a 49ers win throughout the buildup but expected more from an Eagles defence who couldn’t handle what Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel and company threw at them.
Purdy finished up with 314 passing yards and four touchdowns. Samuel collected two of them to have three for the day along with 116 receiving yards and 22 rushing yards. Christian McCaffrey chimed in with 93 rushing yards and a touchdown, while George Kittle added 68 yards on four catches. Relatively quiet, Brandon Aiyuk reeled in five catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
The 49ers made it look easy at times.
They looked like the best team in the NFL.
49ers are this year's best offense. Ravens are this year's best defense. pic.twitter.com/gA1t0pLdDI
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@ASchatzNFL) December 4, 2023
Being healthy has been the key for the 49ers this season. They played out a three-game losing streak and looked somewhat vulnerable, but it’s no surprise that Samuel and Trent Williams weren’t available for those games. They’re unbeaten in the nine games both have played from start to finish and scored over 30 points in eight of them.
If the 49ers offence can remain healthy and continue to play as it is while the defence plays it’s part, San Francisco will remain as favourites through to the playoffs. Purdy may end up as a Most Valuable Player favourite in the near future, too.
Brock Purdy ranks through Week 13:
#1 in Completion Rate
#1 in Yards per Attempt
#1 in Passer Rating
#1 in QBR
#1 in Adjusted EPA per Play
#1 in Success Rate
#1 in DVOA
#4 in Touchdowns
#7 in Passing Yards
Firmly in the MVP conversation and no doubt why he's leading the odds.
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) December 4, 2023
Mike Sando at The Athletic looked at where MVP’s over the last ten years ranked in combined EPA on pass plays/QB rushes, EPA per pass play and total touchdowns. Nearly all of them ranked near the top in all three categories.
Brock Purdy leads the NFL in Total EPA and EPA per pass play and is 4th in total touchdowns. Dak Prescott is the current favourite and ranks inside the top three in all three categories. Jalen Hurts, however, ranks only 5th in total EPA, 8th in EPA per play, and 2nd in total touchdowns.
The lazy takes from early in the NFL season are long gone. It’s time to flip the script entirely and talk about him on the third line of betting to win MVP at $4.50. San Francisco is still a game behind the Eagles for the #1 seed. If they get there, Purdy will cash in.
The Detroit Lions are 9-3 for the first time in the Super Bowl era. Following years of disappointment and false starts, it looks as though they’re finally on their way to being a contender.
It won’t be this year, though.
In beating the New Orleans Saints 33-28 the Lions provided plenty of reasons to be happy, but too many concerns to get behind them at $17 in the Super Bowl LVIII winner market.
Sam LaPorta is the real deal at tight end. His nine catches for 140 yards made it seven games with at least five receptions for the season – tied for the second-most by a rookie tight end in NFL history. He’s a reliable target for Jared Goff who took better care of the football and dominated this one early.
However, the Lions made it more difficult than it should have been after leading 21-0.
Detroit Lions doing Detroit Lions things at the moment.
Great with the ball and can beat anybody on their day, but are a tier or two the real Super Bowl LVIII contenders.https://t.co/W6cDcBMsDR
— Jason (@SportsJO13) December 3, 2023
The collapse on its own wouldn’t be a cause for concern. It’s not on its own, though. They blew an early lead against the LA Chargers in Week 10 as well.
Consistency remains an issue, and it’s not one that carries well through the playoffs. They struggle to defend the run and force the offence into shouldering more of the load than it will be able to manage against the best teams in the NFL.
Detroit needs to make a statement in Week 14 as $1.56 and -3.5 favourites to the Chicago Bears next week.
The Tweet Says It All
The New England Patriots are the first team to lose three straight games while allowing 26 or fewer points in total during the streak since the Chicago Cardinals allowed 20 during three straight losses in 1938. pic.twitter.com/L2zJmhW0ca
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) December 3, 2023
Stroud & Ryans Rewriting NFL History
Not since Andrew Luck and Bruce Arians 11 years ago has a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach linked up to make the NFL playoffs.
However, with their 22-17 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 13, C.J. Stroud, DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans are well on their way to ending the streak. Now 7-5, the New York Times Playoff Predictor gives the Texans a 78% chance of reaching the playoffs this season.
Stroud has the Offensive Rookie of the Year award wrapped up at $1.01. He leads the NFL in passing yards and is the $2.80 favourite to keep hold of the spot at the top of the list through to the end of the season. His 3,540 passing yards ranks behind only Patrick Mahomes and Luck for the most by a rookie in NFL history through 12 games.
He faces some competition from Dan Campbell ($3.05), but Ryans is on the second line of betting to win Coach of the Year at $3.60. Not only has he worked wonders with Stroud, the Texans defence is playing well behind him. They gave Russell Wilson nightmares this week and have played a big part in Houston exceeding expectations to date.
Texans defense stands strong to pull off a W. pic.twitter.com/xw57EN84cf
— NFL (@NFL) December 3, 2023
Tank Dell’s season-ending injury put a dampener on the win this week and lowered their ceiling this season. Still, the Texans are on the path to success and have the quarterback and coach to inch closer to Super Bowl contention in the coming years.
Tyreek Hill’s Making His Own History
With 1,481 receiving yards for the season, Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill is on track to become the first player in NFL history to crack 2,000 yards in a season.
No player has recorded more through 12 games of a season than Hill has done in this one.
Unsurprisingly, he’s the $1.16 favourite to lead the league in receiving yards after Week 18.
NFL Odds & Trends
It has been a season for NFL favourites.
After underdogs covered at 54.9% last season, they’ve covered in only 46.2% of games in this one.
The Arizona Cardinals have cashed in on seven of their 13 games swallowing the points. Of teams with at least five games kicking off as the underdog, the Minnesota Vikings are the best of the bunch with a 4-1-1 record.
While they’ve not been able to beat the top teams in the league, the Miami Dolphins are appealing as favourites to be 7-1 this season.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|LAST WEEK’S PRICE
|San Francisco 49ers
|Kansas City Chiefs