After a United States Court of Appeals reinstated quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his involvement in the Deflategate scandal Monday, the New England Patriots' odds to win Super Bowl 51 took a hit, according to Joe Osborne of OddsShark.com.
Here are the updated Super Bowl 51 odds:
|Super Bowl 51 Updated Odds|
|New England Patriots||9-1|
|Green Bay Packers||10-1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||25-1|
|New York Giants||25-1|
|New York Jets||40-1|
|Los Angeles Rams||50-1|
|San Diego Chargers||66-1|
|New Orleans Saints||66-1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||75-1|
|San Francisco 49ers||100-1|
As Osborne noted, the Patriots had been the favorite throughout the offseason to win Super Bowl 51 until the news of Brady's upheld suspension.
The Patriots will certainly be without Brady for a tough stretch of their schedule, as they open the season with matchups against the Arizona Cardinals (away), Miami Dolphins (home), Houston Texans (home) and Buffalo Bills (home).
The Cardinals and Texans were both playoff teams a season ago, while the Dolphins split the season series with the Patriots in 2015, and the Bills went 8-8 and expect to compete for a postseason berth this season.
With Brady suspended for the first quarter of the season—unless he is granted a stay in this case and continues the appeals process—the team will turn to Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady's backup has appeared in all of 11 games since being selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, throwing for just 188 yards and a touchdown.
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The fact that the oddsmakers dropped the Patriots down to the second most likely team to win the Super Bowl suggests there isn't a panic over Garoppolo opening the season as quarterback. Barring an 0-4 start to the season—which seems unlikely for a Bill Belichick-coached team—it's hard to imagine the Patriots failing to reach the postseason.
Belichick himself acknowledged in January that Garoppolo has continued to grow as a quarterback over his first two seasons, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com:
Jimmy has made great strides for us. The reps that he’s gotten on the field in preseason games and in practice, I think he’s shown a lot of development—better understanding, quicker recognition and reading of the defenses, more awareness of what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball, better communication, better understanding of the offense—really everything.
Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, said on NFL Network on Tuesday: "This is a player they believe in a lot. He is a future starter and potentially a star in the NFL. It's why they took him with a second-round pick, so they wouldn't end up in a situation like the Dallas Cowboys last year, who lost Tony Romo and had no answer."
So that's the situation with the Patriots. What about the rest of the NFL?
Interestingly, it's the Seattle Seahawks—and not the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers, last year's Super Bowl participants—that are now the favorites to win the title.
Perhaps that has something to do with the players who left Denver and Carolina, as Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler are no longer with the Broncos, and the team's starter currently appears to be Mark Sanchez. Star cornerback Josh Norman had his franchise tag rescinded by the Panthers and promptly signed with Washington.
The Patriots are followed by the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, led by Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively. The Packers lost in overtime to the Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Round, while the Steelers were eliminated by the Broncos in that same round.
The biggest surprise might be the Dallas Cowboys, considered to have the 10th-best chance to win a Super Bowl title. Those odds will be contingent on quarterback Tony Romo staying healthy, as Dallas has a talented roster behind him. If he deals with injuries as he did throughout 2015, however, Dallas may struggle immensely again this season.
Washington, meanwhile, comes in with the lowest Super Bowl odds (40-1) amongst teams that reached the postseason a year ago. Both the Cowboys (20-1) and the New York Giants (25-1) have better odds in the NFC East, suggesting that oddsmakers aren't high on Washington's chances of repeating as division champions this season.
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