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Betting the NFL: Steelers and Falcons with new QBs and new hope

Bettors have not yet rallied around the thought of Aaron Rodgers as the nation’s next Vice President. However, they have organized in support of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons following the free agent signings of Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins respectively.

A number of markets have seen seismic shifts since the two quarterbacks signed with their new teams.

The Falcons’ Super Bowl odds have been cut in half dropping from +5000 to +2500 while the Steelers’ odds of claiming the Lombardi Trophy have gone from +8000 to +6500. Frankly, the Steelers’ roster looks far more complete than that of the Falcons. However, Pittsburgh’s odds of succeeding next season depend on an older signal-caller raising his game in a much more difficult division and conference. The Falcons’ path does appear to be easier.

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For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and thus while the arrival of Cousins has raised expectations and lowered the odds in Atlanta, his departure from Minnesota has lowered expectations and raised the odds. The Vikings stood at +4000 to win the Super Bowl prior to Cousins’ exit but currently those odds are +7500.

Since free agency…errr legal tampering opened, the Pittsburgh Steelers are accounting for over 20% of all tickets purchased. Again, considering the age and recent history of Russell Wilson that may be a bit of a surprise. Not shocking to see the Philadelphia Eagles (13%) and the 2-time defending champion Kansas City Chiefs (9%) the next most popular teams to win it all next February. For all those leaping on the Falcons’ bandwagon, know they stand 5th on the list accounting for 5% of all tickets.

While Pittsburgh’s odds to win the Super Bowl have moved considerably since Wilson signed and over 40% of all bets and roughly 50% of all money to win the AFC has been put on the Steelers, the odds of the Steel Curtain (+4000) winning the AFC remain unchanged.

A deeper dive into the Falcons’ conference odds reveals more tickets have been placed on the Dirty Birds since Cousins signed than on any other team. Just over 20% of all tickets written since the beginning of legal tampering are on Atlanta to win the NFC. The result? Atlanta (+1000) now owns the 6th shortest odds to claim the conference.

Oddsmakers have now set the Falcons (+100) at even money to claim the NFC South. Those odds were driven by a high-ticket count (60%) and an extremely high handle (87%) on Arthur Blank’s team.

No doubt there will be further movement across the NFL Odds Board following the NFL Draft, the second wave of free agency, and possibly this summer’s political conventions.

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*Odds courtesy of DraftKings