You aren’t supposed to overreact to Week 1. We all know this, and yet, we can’t help ourselves every year. Every. Single. Season.
Perhaps oddsmakers can’t help themselves, either.
It took just one game for the trading team at Caesars Sportsbook, the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports, to make an adjustment on its Super Bowl odds. The Buffalo Bills rolled past the Los Angeles Rams for a 31-10 victory in SoFi Stadium on Thursday, sending a statement to the rest of the league.
The Bills were already the favorite to win it all at +600, but their odds moved to +550 after the 21-point win on Thursday Night Football. The Rams, who just lifted the Lombardi Trophy last February, are now +1400 to repeat after entering the year with a price of +1100 in this market.
May I remind readers that this was just one game, featuring only two teams. There are 30 other NFL teams waiting to make their season debut.
I’m not one to argue with the oddsmakers because they are immensely smarter than I ever will be on this. I’m just trying to point out how quickly things can change, and keeping up with the market can be beneficial for new and experienced bettors alike.
According to SportsOddsHistory, the Rams never had longer than +1200 odds to win the Super Bowl at any point during the 2021-22 NFL season. They were priced at +650 in Week 9, but typically hovered around +800 or +900 for most of the year.
It was not pretty for the defending champs last night. The Rams benefited from forcing four turnovers, but managed to produce just 10 points. They got shut out in the second half, which snapped a streak of 89 consecutive halves with a point since November 2019. The offensive line struggled, Matthew Stafford tossed three interceptions, and nobody in the offense was able to step up other than Cooper Kupp.
In my season predictions article, I actually projected the Rams to miss the playoffs. It is definitely way too early to bury this team, but there were concerns about this group entering the season. That said, it might not end up mattering in a weak NFC.
As for the Bills, they entered the year as the betting favorites for the first time since 1991 and 1992. They proved why, while not punting once and losing the turnover battle en route to a lopsided victory.
What is especially concerning for the rest of the league is the evolution of Bills QB Josh Allen. After posting the highest EPA among all quarterbacks last postseason, Allen threw a trio of touchdowns and 297 yards in the 2022 opener. The Rams sat in that two-deep look, but Allen took what the defense gave him by finding his receivers underneath. When the defense did blitz, Allen made them pay by beating them over the top.
We know Allen has one of the strongest arms in the league and is a big play waiting to happen. That isn’t breaking news. But his ability to take what the defense gave him last night in an era of more two-safety looks should be particularly worrisome for the rest of the league.
The Bills set the bar in the opener, and now it is time to see who is ready to challenge them.