Super Bowl odds might just provide the best snapshot of NFL team hierarchy available.
With so many oddsmakers tasked with protecting the house by crafting impeccable lines, it stands to reason that those folks would be right on the money most of the time. That's why Green Bay sits at 4-1 and Jacksonville at 200-1 going into Week 3.
The lines are a strong way to review where things stand and also make some coin for those willing to take the dive. Below, let's look at each team's odds and arrange them into power rankings based on two games and work in practice.
Week 3 NFL Power Rankings and 2015-16 Super Bowl Odds
|1||New England Patriots (2-0)||5-1|
|2||Green Bay Packers (2-0)||4-1|
|3||Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)||22-1|
|4||Denver Broncos (2-0)||12-1|
|5||Arizona Cardinals (2-0)||16-1|
|6||Indianapolis Colts (0-2)||16-1|
|7||Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)||16-1|
|8||Dallas Cowboys (2-0)||22-1|
|9||Atlanta Falcons (2-0)||28-1|
|10||Carolina Panthers (2-0)||33-1|
|11||Seattle Seahawks (0-2)||10-1|
|12||New York Jets (2-0)||33-1|
|13||Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)||28-1|
|14||Miami Dolphins (1-1)||33-1|
|15||Buffalo Bills (1-1)||33-1|
|16||Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)||22-1|
|17||San Diego Chargers (1-1)||40-1|
|18||Minnesota Vikings (1-1)||33-1|
|20||Houston Texans (0-2)||100-1|
|21||Detroit Lions (0-2)||100-1|
|22||Chicago Bears (0-2)||150-1|
|23||New York Giants (0-2)||66-1|
|24||Tennessee Titans (1-1)||100-1|
|25||San Francisco 49ers (1-1)||50-1|
|26||St. Louis Rams (1-1)||50-1|
|27||Cleveland Browns (1-1)||150-1|
|28||Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)||200-1|
|30||Oakland Raiders (1-1)||100-1|
|31||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)||100-1|
|32||New Orleans Saints (0-2)||66-1|
|Odds via Odds Shark, rankings author's opinion.|
Odds courtesy of Odds Shark.
Analyzing Notable Week 3 Movers
Pittsburgh Steelers (16-1)
Two things should stick out about these odds.
One: The Pittsburgh Steelers look like one of the better teams in the league coming out of Week 2. Two: The team has yet to field wideout Martavis Bryant and star back Le'Veon Bell.
That's why a Week 1 loss in New England didn't destroy the team's chances in the first place. A rebuilding defense couldn't stop Tom Brady, allowing him to throw four touchdowns. Still, the team lost by just seven points, an encouraging sign, all things considered.
The Steelers played strong again the following week, bullying San Francisco in a 43-18 victory behind a trio of scores from both Ben Roethlisberger and stopgap running back DeAngelo Williams.
We can count Williams as one excited to see Bell return, as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette captured:
There might be a little exaggeration there, but the finer point seems simple enough: These Steelers seem to have embraced who they are, gunning up and down the field in a sprint to compensate for a shaky defense in transition.
With Bell back and the outlook obvious, this isn't a bad line to jump on right now.
Houston Texans (100-1)
Notable lines can go in either direction; the reeling Houston Texans are proof enough.
One would have considered the Texans a sneaky high-value bet before the season. Coach Bill O'Brien almost led the team to the playoffs last year and built on the roster in the offseason. The AFC South looked open as long as the team could play Indianapolis well.
The Texans sit at 0-2 instead. It doesn't sound like the end of the world, since Indianapolis shares the same record, but Houston doesn't have an Andrew Luck who can put the team on his back and carry it to the postseason.
What O'Brien has instead is a question mark under center after both Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett saw playing time in a Week 1 loss to Kansas City, then just the latter in an odd 24-17 loss to Carolina.
The offense misses Arian Foster in the backfield, of course, but neither quarterback has shown an ability to get the job done. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle hit the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to the defense:
So far, the Texans haven't looked like the defensive power from one year ago, surrendering five passing scores in two games.
Houston might be able to turn things around when Foster returns, but right now there seem to be too many holes in the ship. The odds have dived for good reason, and it isn't advisable to wager anything of merit until the team shows some signs of a pulse.
New York Jets (33-1)
The New York Jets might be the most surprising story of all.
Outside the signing of Darrelle Revis, there wasn't a huge amount of hype around the team, a notion that increased in the preseason when Geno Smith went down with an odd jaw injury.
While it's impossible to know how the team would be playing with Smith under center, the Jets sit at 2-0 under the guidance of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has four touchdowns in two games. The opener was a 31-10 thumping of Cleveland, which preceded a Monday Night Football triumph in Indianapolis, 20-7.
It didn't seem like it at first, but the offseason went quite well for the Jets. The defense looked strong in holding Luck to a single score and picking him off three times. Veteran wideout Brandon Marshall has 13 grabs for 163 yards and two scores so far.
The jury remains very much out on whether the Jets can hang with the Patriots, but this line has jumped in a big way for obvious reasons. With both sides of the football playing at a high level, bettors could do much worse for a lesser payout at this point in the season.