The Biggest Talking Points In The NFL So Far & Futures Betting Market Update

The NFL regular season is already nearing its midway point, with each team having played either five or six games since it all kicked off in early September. Plenty has transpired in that short period of time, from Josh Allen and the Bills taking the league by storm to the Eagles doing the same in the NFC, and there has already been plenty of market movement both in terms of individual player markets, and markets to win the Super Bowl. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest talking points in both the AFC and the NFC, as well as exactly which markets have changed, and how.  


Biggest Talking Points in the AFC


Josh Allen’s Hot Streak

Josh Allen was expected to have a good year, entering the season as the $7.50 favourite to win the MVP award. Few, however, could have predicted the level of dominance he would exact upon the league. The 26-year-old has been unstoppable, leading the Bills to a 5-1 start and compiling some incredibly impressive stats along the way. He’s picked up 1980 pass yards in his six games – over 200 more than any other player – is managing 8.3 yards per attempt, and has contributed a league-high 17 touchdowns while giving up just four interceptions. Calling him the MVP favourite is now an understatement; he is widely expected to win the award even with more than half of the season to go, and if he continues on the same path he is currently on, his run towards the MVP – and the Bills’ run towards the Super Bowl – will be difficult to stop.


A Super Bowl Hangover?

The Bengals run to the Super Bowl last season, exciting as it was, certainly saw them exceed the expectations of most after they won their first Playoff game since 1990 in the Wild Card Playoffs, before going to beat first the Titans and then the Chiefs in consecutive thrilling games to make it to the big dance. They certainly weren’t widely expected to repeat those heroics this season, but nonetheless a side which was just three points away from winning the Super Bowl last year would have been hoping for better than a 3-3 start to the year. There’s plenty of time for them to turn it around, but thus far they have looked a lot like a side suffering from a Super Bowl hangover.


The Broncos’ Offensive Woes

After signing Russell Wilson from the Seahawks in the off-season, the Broncos looked capable of exceeding the seven wins that they managed last season, but things didn’t quite go to plan over their first five games. Wilson has struggled in the Cowboys system and they won just two of those first five matches, but more concerning than their win/loss record is the nature of those games. In them, they were the least effective offence in the entire league, scoring just six touchdowns and 75 points. No one expected them to be world beaters, but their blatant inability to find any sort of offensive cohesion is disappointing.


Biggest Talking Points in the NFC


The Unstoppable Eagles

Nearly a month and a half into the season, just one team remains undefeated, and few would have picked who six weeks ago. The Eagles, led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, have beaten all six teams they’ve come up against so far this year, and have catapulted themselves into Super Bowl contention as a result. The undefeated streak, however, has been far from perfect; they just crept over the line against the Lions in their first game and have had a couple of other close run things, and they have consistently gone AWOL in second halves. But a win is a win, and they have been doing plenty of that.

Heading into the season, these two teams were expected to be right up there in contention for the title, the Rams obviously coming off a Super Bowl win last season and the Packers hoping to improve on their Divisional Playoffs exit with Aaron Rodgers leading the way on the back of consecutive MVPs. Neither side, however, has lived up to expectations. The Packers have lost consecutive games – the latest by 17 points to the Jets – to fall to 3-3 while the Rams boast the same record, and each side now find themselves a lot further down the pecking order in terms of contenders than they did at the beginning of the season.


The Undefeated Father Time

Given that he has won the last two MVP awards, it’s safe to say that the 38-year-old Aaron Rodgers has thus far done a pretty good job of staving off Father Time. But the Packers’ superstar has struggled so far. He had the lowest QBR of his career five games into the season, and has tumbled down the list of MVP contenders as a result. Entering the season he was second favourite for the award; now he’s hardly even in the picture. Rodgers has plenty of time left to turn it around and probably will at some stage, but his output is also bound to slow down at some point, and a slow start to the season at his age will invariably get tongues wagging about whether that regression has arrived.

Rodgers isn’t the only oldie failing to reach the high expectations set for him at the beginning of the year. Tom Brady, of course, had an interesting off-season, retiring only to announce his comeback 40 days later. And even aged 45 and having decided to finally give up the game just months earlier, he was still expected to be a dominant force in the league, beginning the season at $9.50 to win the MVP. But he hasn’t nearly met those expectations. Brady’s QBR of 95.1 after six games is his second lowest since 2013 and third lowest since 2008, and his Buccaneers have now lost three of their last four games.  


Second Year Blues? Not for Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons had a strong debut season in the NFL, winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year for his troubles. The 23-year-old linebacker, however, has taken things to a new level entirely in his second year in the league. So good have his first six games of the season been that Parsons is now an almost odds-on favourite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. He has been a focal point of a defence which has been as sturdy as almost any in the league, and in just six games has already managed three with multiple sacks. Just 24 games into his career, Parsons is already a defensive force in the NFL.


How Have the Markets Moved Since Preseason?

While a lot has gone as expected in the early stages of the NFL season, there have also been plenty of surprises and some major market moves as a result. A couple were mentioned above; Josh Allen’s pursuit of what would be his first MVP has attracted a groundswell of support, seeing him move in from $7.50 to $2.50 to win the award.

His Bills side, unsurprisingly, have mirrored that movement, shortening significantly in their hunt to win Super Bowl LVII. They were favourites to start the year already at $5.80, but they’ve come in significantly to $3.70, less than half that of any of their opponents. The side sitting immediately below them is the Eagles, who have enjoyed an even more significant reduction in their odds. They started the year as a more-than-$20 chance to win the Super Bowl, but six wins in as many games has seen them come in to $7.50. 

A handful of teams have gone in the other direction, most notably the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams. They started the year at $11 and $12 to win the Super Bowl, which was fourth and fifth respectively behind just the Bills, Buccaneers and Chiefs. In just a few short weeks, those odds have virtually doubled, and they are now both paying $23.

Micah Parsons’ aforementioned rise to prominence has also seen him shorten drastically for Defensive Player of the Year. He is, as mentioned, close to an odds-on favourite for the award now, but prior to the commencement of the season he was paying double figures for the award. His performance in the first week of the season saw those odds virtually half while they’ve come in roughly $1 most weeks since, and as a result it’s now his award to lose.


NFL Futures

Below, take a look at the odds for the Super Bowl six weeks into the season.

Buffalo Bills – $3.75

Philadelphia Eagles – $7.50

Kansas City Chiefs – $8.50

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $12.00

Baltimore Ravens – $20.00

Minnesota Vikings – $20.00

San Francisco 49ers – $21.00

Los Angeles Chargers – $22.00

Cincinnati Bengals – $23.00

Dallas Cowboys – $23.00

Green Bay Packers – $23.00

Los Angeles Rams – $23.00

Miami Dolphins – $44.00

New England Patriots – $46.00

New York Giants – $56.00

All Other Teams $61.00+


The NFL season is well and truly in full swing, and already there have been a litany of intriguing storylines pop up across the league. From the Eagles’ surprising undefeated streak to the struggles of the reigning champs in the Rams, from Josh Allen and Micah Parson’s brilliant starts to the year to the woes of a couple of aging stars, a lot has changed in just a few short weeks.


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.