Patriots, Vikings, Rams Lead Odds to Finish 2018 NFL Season with Best Record

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2018

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots huddles with teammates in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

As teams prepare to make a run at Super Bowl LIII, the oddsmakers have evaluated the field and set the odds as to which teams are in the best position to pile up the wins during the 2018 NFL regular season.

According to OddsShark, the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams are the favorites to finish with the top record in the league this upcoming season:

OddsShark @OddsShark

Odds to finish the RS with the best record (@betonline_ag): NE +400 MIN/LAR +800 PHI/PIT +700 GB +800 LAC/NO +1200 ATL/JAX +1600 HOU +2000 CAR/DAL/KC +2500 BAL/SF +3300 OAK/TEN +4000 DEN/DET/NYG/SEA +5000 IND +6600 WSH +8000 ARI/CIN/CHI/MIA 100/1 NYJ/TB 125/1 CLE 150/1 BUF 200/1

None of the front-runners should come as much of a surprise.

As long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick remain in New England, the Patriots are always a good bet to be in contention. After all, they've made the playoffs 15 times in the last 17 seasons, and the last time they failed to reach the postseason was back in 2008, when Brady suffered a knee injury during the season opener. 

New England has made it to eight Super Bowls during the Brady-Belichick era, including three of the last four. The Patriots have made it to at least the conference championship game in every season since 2011, so they are always among the teams to keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, Minnesota made it to the NFC Championship Game a season ago despite playing without Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook. Now, free-agent pickups Kirk Cousins and George Iloka and a healthy Cook, the Vikings appear to be loaded and ready to make another run at a championship.

No team has had a busier offseason than the Rams, though. Los Angeles has added veterans like Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to a team that won the NFC West last year. With Todd Gurley and Jared Goff emerging as stars as well, the Rams have one of the most talented rosters in the league—on paper, anyway.

One team's odds may be a little surprising: the Philadelphia Eagles. The reigning champs are listed with the fourth-best odds despite the fact that they added to their roster, acquiring Michael Bennett, Haloti Ngata and Mike Wallace, among others.

Two factors may have come into play for Philadelphia. First, Carson Wentz's status remains up in the air after he tore his ACL last December. While backup Nick Foles earned Super Bowl LII MVP honors during an unbelievable postseason run, Wentz was playing at an MVP level for 13 weeks prior to his injury. Also, the NFC East figures to be much improved in 2018. The Dallas Cowboys should have running back Ezekiel Elliott for a full season, and the New York Giants should have a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. while adding running back Saquon Barkley and veteran left tackle Nate Solder.

Eight of the top 10 teams on the list made the playoffs a season ago. The Los Angeles Chargers missed out by virtue of a tiebreaker, while the Green Bay Packers finished 7-9 as a collarbone injury limited two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to just seven games.