In exactly one month, the NFL season will kick off and football will once again become a part of our weekly lives. (We’re talking real football; not Landry Jones throwing the ball around like he’s mad at the ground.)
But, in many ways, this past week encapsulated the NFL perfectly. While there was joy over the Hall of Fame weekend and start of preseason action, there was also the sad news that Aldon Smith finally broke the camel’s back in San Francisco, after being arrested on charges of a hit-and-run.
And then, of course, there was the seemingly never-ending news out of the “Deflategate” camp: the sides will hold a settlement conference this week where, if both sides are happy with a compromise, this issue will finally end. (Given how both sides have acted so far, it looks like we’ll still have weeks of “Deflategate” to talk about.)
Most recently, there was the ludicrous news out of Jets camp that QB Geno Smith was sucker punched by a teammate in the locker room and will miss 6-10 weeks!
We’re so excited for the NFL to start, though, we’re prepared to set odds for all of it; the good, bad, and potentially morbid. Here are some odds for the upcoming NFL season.
NFL 2015 Odds:
Odds on who will win MVP in 2015:
Winning back-to-back MVP’s won’t be easy, but Aaron “never turn the ball over” Rodgers is certainly capable of doing so. However, Andrew Luck gets favorite status; he’s coming off his best season ever and will be surrounded by more talent this year. If he can follow through with his goal of reducing his interceptions, he should become the fifth Colts QB to win MVP. (Bonus points if you can name the less obvious two.)
Ben Roethlisberger also has a good chance, leading a very formidable Steelers offense up against the toughest schedule in the NFL. Winning another AFC North title would help Big Ben’s case for his first MVP.
Then there’s the two bears that didn’t need to be poked. Both Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady are former MVP’s entering this season with massive chips on their shoulders, partially because of the NFL’s inconsistency with how it suspends players. Both will be motivated to prove they’re still the best, but if Brady’s four-game suspension holds up, it might be too hard to make up ground in the race.
Odds on which player will be arrested next:
The statistics are sad but true. An NFL player is going to get arrested again for doing something stupid. And it could be anyone. Will Shane Ray get carried away in a state where marijuana is legalized? Will Adam Jones suffer another relapse? Heck, even kickers can get into trouble, as Sebastian Janikowski is constantly reminding us. Know one knows where it will come from next, but it will happen.
Odds on which head coach will be fired next:
The Jaguars, Rams, and Dolphins have been patient as their coaches try to develop long-struggling teams into winners, but all three will need to make strides this year. For Jacksonville, it might be as simple as six wins; for the other two, a playoff berth might be necessary – and a slow start that puts the team behind the postseason 8-ball could mean the axe.
Lewis and Coughlin, meanwhile, are some of the longest-serving coaches in the NFL, and anytime you’re around that long, you’ll find yourself on the hot seat a few times. Lewis has taken the Bengals to the playoffs four straight years, but is still looking for his first win. If Cincy has any regular season miscue, ownership may finally have had enough. As for Coughlin, it seems like his name is on this shortlist every few years, and each time the Giants go out and win a Super Bowl. Will his luck finally run out?
Which QB is the most likely to be sucker punched next:
Clearly, Cam is rubbing some teammates the wrong way. As for Cutler, he’s a little safer now that Brandon Marshall, one of his fiercest critics, is gone. But man, there has to be a ton of frustration in that locker room. The same will apply to Cassel and Manuel in Buffalo if the eventual starter can’t muster some half-decent performances. Everything about the Bills is playoff calibre (if not better) except the QBs.
Over/under on how many games Brady will miss as a result of suspension: 1.5
The NFL will have to budge eventually: there is no way the suspension stands at four no matter how uncooperative Brady has been. It’s simply a matter of how much it moves.
Odds on the Patriots record during Brady’s suspension:
Even though we expect the suspension to get reduced, the Patriots should still get ready to play some football without Brady. A tough opener against the Steelers will be eased somewhat by the fact that the Pats are at home. After that, they’ll hit the road for the Bills’ home opener in the hostile Orchard Park. That’s followed by a nice home date with Jacksonville, which should be a W even if a 43-year-old Drew Bledsoe has to play QB. But Brady should be prepared to return to a team with at least one tick in the loss column.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo steal the starting job from Brady in 2015? 400/1
No matter how old Brady is, it will take more than four good games to move ahead of a three-time Super Bowl MVP on the depth chart.
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (originally posted to Flickr as 836) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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