Titans Super Bowl Odds Improve After Landing Julio Jones

Julio Jones #11 catches a pass.  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Julio Jones #11 catches a pass. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

 

Weeks of speculation about Julio Jones’ future were finally put to bed this week as news broke of a trade deal between the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans., dealing the star receiver to the country music capital for a pair of draft picks. Jones himself triggered trade talks by reportedly requesting a trade last month, but his move nevertheless is noteworthy as it elevates Tennessee’s profile immediately, in particular, it has prompted multiple best sportsbooks to shorten the Titans in key betting markets for the 2021-22 NFL season.

Prior to the trade, the Tennessee Titans’ Super Bowl odds were priced at +3500 or thereabouts depending on the choice sportsbook. Post-trade news, the Titans’ Super Bowl odds have shrunk down to a low of +2500, which is available with BetOnline and Bovada, to name a couple of sportsbooks.

Several teams were earmarked as potential landing spots for the stud wideout, including the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots. Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. In the end, the Titans won the Julio sweepstakes and they’re all the better for it if the NFL futures were any indication.

Clearly, the Tennessee Titans are the so-called “winners” of this trade. How else is one supposed to interpret the movement of the odds across the board but that by acquiring the perennial pro-bowler the Titans have –at least “on paper” – improved overall in the eyes of bookmakers.

Jones might be 32 years of age, but he is still one of the best big-play receivers in the game. His addition will likely give the Titans an additional catch-passing weapon to complement A.J. Brown – an area that they especially needed to bolster after letting WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith out the door in free agency without any solutions at the ready.

Arguably, the combination of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones could become one of the best two-punch offensive threats in the AFC South, if not beyond. The Titans offense is the better for it with greater depth and Tannehill now has options with which he can run the offense. As well, one can’t overlook the veteran’s experience and the impact that will have both on and off the field.

Inasmuch as the Titans’ perception and outlook have improved in the context of betting, the trade itself is revealing. It implies the Titans are very much in a “win now” frame of mind. The last two seasons have seen the Titans make significant strides and reach various milestones. In 2019, the Titans emerged seemingly out of nowhere to reach the AFC Championship game (l. to Chiefs) while last season they clinched the AFC South title (albeit they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Ravens).

Jones is coming off a disappointing 2020 season in which he struggled with injuries. He played merely 9 games in 2020, finishing with 771 yards and 3 TDs. However, in the broad spectrum of his career, he’s been a top achiever and undeniably one of the best wideouts in the league. When he’s fighting fit, it’s not unusual to see him leading the league and setting the bar high for his peers. After all, he’s been invited to seven Pro Bowls in his career, twice made a first team All-Pro selection (2015 and 2016) after leading the league in receiving yards and receptions. In ten seasons, he has amassed 12,896 yards and 60 TDs.

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NFL Division Winners, Way too Early Predictions for the AFC EAST

Which AFC teams make for the best bets to clinch division titles in 2021? Find out as we examine the odds for all 16 teams.

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots throws the ball.  Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots throws the ball. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Buffalo Bills Tipped Team To Beat

These are unchartered waters for the Buffalo Bills as they enter the 2021-22 NFL season as the defending AFC East champions for the first time in over two decades. Not only has it been a long time since the franchise has been at the top, it’s also the first time that this coaching staff and its crop of players led by fourth-year quarterback Josh Allen have accomplished the feat.

All the best sportsbooks have installed the Buffalo Bills as the team to beat at -160 (or thereabouts depending on the preferred book) on account of their status as the reigning champions and then reaching the AFC Championship game (l. to Chiefs) in the playoffs as well. This is common practice of course for sportsbooks to take a page from the previous season in early betting markets. And yet, as untried and untested champions aren’t the Bills essentially unproven faves too? If so, can they be trusted as the best bet to win the AFC East for a second straight season?

Let’s face it, they are yet to have the experience of a title-defense campaign and managing the sky-high expectations which were set by their very own success in the previous season. Will Josh Allen demonstrate the kind of mental toughness witnessed by the best quarterbacks in the league? There’s a difference to being in the hunt and to being the one hunted – as he and the Bills will surely soon find out. Until the Bills can actually demonstrate they have the wherewithal to rise to the occasion and deliver with consistency the kind of results many are expecting from them in the coming season, it’s impossible to know with any certainty if they truly merit their incredible favor with sports betting sites.

If there’s one thing that does tip the balance somewhat towards the Bills, it’s the fact that the competition is seen to be thin in the AFC East. Well, it’s perceived to be the case because at least two teams out of the four teams in the division are still under construction – the Jets and the Dolphins. This leaves only the Patriots who’ve dominated the division for two decades as the most reliable contenders according to the NFL odds.

The Jets are in redevelopment mode under a new coaching staff and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. Whereas the Miami Dolphins may be further along in the redevelopment phase, they’re nevertheless not nearly as far along in the development cycle at the quarterback position. Mainly, it’s unclear what Miami has in its chosen starter Tua Tagovailoa because his second year in the league will actually mark only his first full year as the No.1 starter.

The New England Patriots’ record in the AFC East is undeniable, so too is the coaching nous of Bill Belichick. Those two aspects underscore New England’s NFL odds in the context of the division. However, inasmuch as the Patriots might be the most reliable contenders in the AFC East as a result, they are coming off a rather disappointing 2020 campaign that featured Cam Newton’s debut with the Patriots. The veteran signal-caller earned mixed reviews for his play and towards the end of the season visibly struggled in his role.

Whether Newton has a better campaign in 2021 depends largely on if he gets a chance to redeem himself in the upcoming season. How the Patriots will approach their roster decisions is yet unknown but they have options at the quarterback position, including rookie Mac Jones who the Patriots drafted with the No.15 selection in this year’s draft.

That said the Patriots have been one of the busiest teams in the offseason making some big moves in free agency and shoring up key positions across the board. Having the worst season record in his career with the Patriots didn’t go down well with Belichick and he’s clearly intent on rectifying that setback.

Undoubtedly, there are many reasons why the Bills are favored to win the AFC East again, but at the same time, there are legitimate reasons why bettors might look to hedge their bets in this section and look to options outside of the “chalky” Bills. The potential of a hangover effect after a banner season like theirs or simply crumbling under the weight of expectation is something to consider when betting Buffalo.

Hedging bets with the Patriots therefore might be an alternative for early NFL picks as such, especially for those that trust in the Belichick effect and his experience in producing top-tier competitive teams. One could argue the same is true for the Dolphins who finished 10-6-0 last season and narrowly missed the playoffs. Of course, to do so would mean that there’s an element of trust in Tagovailoa to carry the weight of expectation after Ryan Fitzpatrick’s departure in free agency.

As the market currently stands, the Patriots at +300 with Heritage, BetOnline or Bovada is the most tempting option to hedge bets on.

NFL Picks: Patriots +300 at Bovada to win AFC East

2021 AFC North: Can Ravens Win The Division?

Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after making a field goal.  Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after making a field goal. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

 

Lamar Jackson took the league by storm in 2019 and led the Ravens to a stellar 14-2-0 SU mark that raised expectations for the quarterback individually and the team collectively. Two years on, has the shine come off of Jackson and the Ravens?

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NFL Super Bowl LVI Odds: Four Teams to Avoid in 2022 Futures

A detail shot of a Super Bowl LV ball. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

A detail shot of a Super Bowl LV ball. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

 

One of the first markets to go to press every year with online sports betting sites is: Super Bowl Futures. The odds for the season’s corresponding Super Bowl that all 32 teams at the beginning of their campaign aspire to reach and yearn to win. However, let’s face it, not all teams can win the coveted Lombardy Trophy, despite the odds that would suggest otherwise.

Some teams are perpetually deemed to be in contention, some are perpetually middling, while some just can’t seem to shed the longshot stigma. Amongst these are teams that spend excessively to improve, teams that don’t spend enough while hoping to still win, and teams that seem to be transfixed by a continuous stream of coaches and quarterbacks trundling down the conveyor belt never seeming to quite land the right ones or the right combination of the two. And so on.

The 2021 season is still four months away from its first kick-off in September but the league has just dropped the NFL schedule, giving bettors a comprehensive insight into what to expect over the course of the 18-weeks and 272 games scheduled for 2021-22. Naturally, this has heightened the excitement by several notches amongst fans, and pundits and experts are beginning to speculate in earnest, serving up way too early NFL predictions. Just as yours truly plans to do here…although with a bit of a twist. Instead of identifying the best bets to win Super Bowl LVI, the focus is going to be on teams to AVOID in the betting.

Here’s a list of FOUR teams to avoid in the betting with a few words on why bettors should fade these from early NFL picks.

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Odds Markets React Following NY Jets Trading Sam Darnold to Carolina Panthers

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before a game. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before a game. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

NY Jets trade Sam Darnold To Carolina Panthers, answering another off-season quarterback question that has been a source of hot debate since the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season.

In this space, we look at Sam Darnold’s trade from both perspectives as well as look at what some of the early implications are on the NFL betting odds.

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