On September 8 the National Football League kicked off the 2016 season with a Super Bowl rematch edition of Thursday Night Football, pitting the defending champion Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers.
But on that day, neither team was listed by online sportsbook Bovada as the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this time around. In fact, with rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian under the helm in place of retired legend Peyton Manning, Denver was listed seventh among NFL teams, at +2000 (20 to 1) on the Super Bowl LI odds. Carolina, meanwhile, was actually slated higher by Bovada in fifth at +1000.
Both teams trailed the Green Bay Packers (+600), the New England Patriots (+675), and the Seattle Seahawks (+900), while the Panthers were deemed equally as likely to win it all as the Pittsburgh Steelers (+1000) and Arizona Cardinals (+1000).
Two weeks of games are now in the books though, and many of the teams listed above are trending in different directions. The 2-0 Patriots, for example, were buoyed by the stellar play of inexperienced QB Jimmy Garropolo, who shined in place of suspended superstar Tom Brady. So rather than drop off as many prognosticators predicted, New England is now the favorite to win their fifth title under head coach Bill Belichick.
The Packers have struggled on offense so far, leading to a small dip from +675 to +800, while the Steelers have lit up the scoreboard to improve their chances from +900 to +700.
The two teams to make the biggest push into the realm of respectability are the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans. Both have sprinted out to 2-0 records, moving from +2500 to +1600. The Vikings’ ascendancy has been particularly surprising, given the season-ending injury to QB Teddy Bridgewater and his replacement by perennial disappointment Sam Bradford.
Another pair of major preseason underdogs in the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles – both of which entered the year at +7500 to be crowned champions – have played well enough to essentially cut the odds against them in half.
The Jets are a missed field goal away from being 2-0 against two tough teams in the Bengals and the Bills, and they moved to +4000 as a result.
The Eagles are 2-0, and while they’ve beaten up on bad Browns and Bears teams, the spotless play of rookie QB Carson Wentz and a defense that has surrendered 14 points or less in both contests has pushed them to +3300.
You can check out the table below to see the full list of Super Bowl 51 odds, then and now, to see how teams have repositioned themselves after two weeks:
|Team||SB Odds on 9/8||Team||SB Odds on 9/20|
|New England||+600||New England||+450|
|NY Giants||+2000||NY Giants||+1800|
|NY Jets||+7500||Tampa Bay||+7500|
|San Diego||+7500||San Francisco||+15000|