Sep 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett before the game against the Houston Texans at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Hot Seats: Broncos’ Nathaniel Hackett co-favorite to be first fired

Nathaniel Hackett’s honeymoon phase in Denver lasted all of one regular season game, when he came under intense scrutiny for a questionable decision at the end of the Broncos’ loss in Seattle.

The criticism has continued to build during the team’s 2-3 start in which the offense has struggled mightily under new franchise quarterback Russell Wilson while Hackett has come under fire for his game management and play-calling.

The crescendo reached a new high following Denver’s 12-9 overtime loss at home to Indianapolis on Thursday night.

Hackett was installed as the 1-2 favorite the next day by SportsBetting.ag to be the first NFL coach fired this season. The odds have since lengthened a bit, but only because there is another coach whose team has stumbled out of the gate with a new quarterback.

Hackett and Carolina’s Matt Rhule are now co-favorites at +100 at the sportsbook, well ahead of the other 14 coaches being offered in the prop market.

First NFL Coach Fired Odds
Nathaniel Hackett, Broncos: +100
Matt Rhule, Panthers: +100
Frank Reich, Colts: +1000
Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals: +1400
Ron Rivera, Commanders: +1600
Dan Campbell, Lions: +2000
Josh McDaniels, Raiders: +2200
Dennis Allen, Saints: +2800
Lovie Smith, Texans: +4000
Mike Tomlin, Steelers: +4000
Kevin Stefanski, Browns: +5500
Mike Vrabel, Titans: +4000
Matt Eberflus, Bears: +5000
Mike McCarthy, Cowboys: +5000
Robert Saleh, Jets: +5500
Pete Carroll, Seahawks: +6600

Hackett had been 6-1 at SportsBetting.ag before Thursday’s loss, but the Broncos do have four extra days of rest before their Week 6 game at the Los Angeles Chargers on “Monday Night Football.”

“We’ve been working really hard,” Hackett said Friday. “We’ve had a unique schedule with different — whether it be short weeks, long weeks and things of that nature. For us, we have to take a breath a little bit to get re-energized.

“We’re going to work and we’re going to do what we have to do to be able to put the guys in the right position and find the right things to get these guys going. Put them in better positions to be open and better positions in the run game.

“We’re here for the long haul this season. There’s a lot left and a lot of room for improvement. That’s what we’re going to be focusing on.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2022; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy reacts during joint practice against the Los Angeles Chargers at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Hot Seats: Dallas’ Mike McCarthy favored to be first fired

With analysts already putting a fork in the Dallas Cowboys after a devastating Week 1 loss, oddsmakers have also moved Mike McCarthy to the front of the line for the first NFL coach likely to be fired this season.

The honor had belonged to Carolina’s Matt Rhule over the summer and the Panthers suffered their own heartbreaking loss on Sunday. But the Panthers were at least competitive and lost on a 58-yard field goal nailed by Cleveland rookie kicker Cade York.

Later that night, the Cowboys failed to find the end zone in a 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay that saw quarterback Dak Prescott suffer a broken right thumb that will sideline him at least a month.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted to being “very, very frustrated” at the end of last season but insisted McCarthy’s job was never in danger. However, he did acknowledge that a perceived lack of endorsement at the time for McCarthy was part of a strategy to keep defensive coordinator Dan Quinn from leaving for a head coaching job elsewhere.

That Quinn serves as a potential replacement with previous NFL head coaching experience for a team with Super Bowl ambitions certainly increases the heat under McCarthy’s seat.

SportsBetting.ag opened a market with odds on all 32 NFL head coaches and their chances of being the first one fired this season. McCarthy leads the way at 3-1, followed by Rhule (4-1) and Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury (5-1), whose Cardinals opened the season with a blowout loss at home to Kansas City.

First Head Coach Fired
Mike McCarthy, 3-1
Matt Rhule, 4-1
Kliff Kingsbury, 5-1
Frank Reich, 9-1
Mike Vrabel, 9-1
Robert Saleh, 10-1
Arthur Smith, 14-1
Dan Campbell, 14-1
Pete Carroll, 16-1
Ron Rivera, 16-1
Kevin Stefanski, 25-1
Kyle Shanahan, 28-1
Lovie Smith, 33-1
Mike Tomlin, 33-1
John Harbaugh, 50-1
Nick Sirianni, 50-1
Josh McDaniels, 66-1
Matt LaFleur, 66-1
Todd Bowles, 66-1
Bill Belichick, 75-1
Doug Pederson, 75-1
Zac Taylor, 75-1
Dennis Allen, 80-1
Nathaniel Hackett, 80-1
Andy Reid, 100-1
Brandon Staley, 100-1
Brian Daboll, 100-1
Kevin O’Connell, 100-1
Matt Eberflus, 100-1
Mike McDaniel, 100-1
Sean McVay, 100-1
Sean McDermott, 150-1

All might not be lost for the Cowboys just yet in 2022.

Prescott was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks, but the NFL Network reported Tuesday that the timeline could be closer to four to six weeks depending on how quickly the bone heals following surgery.

Jones told 105.3 FM in Dallas that Prescott would not be placed on injured reserve.

Cooper Rush, who has started one game through his first four NFL seasons, will replace Prescott for the time being. The team also has Will Grier on the roster.

However, SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on veteran quarterbacks the Cowboys might sign. McCarthy said the Cowboys would be making roster moves Tuesday, noting he was carrying a list of all available quarterbacks in his pocket during the media session.

The list includes everyone from former Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert to longshot odds on a quartet of retired superstars.

Which QB will Cowboys sign in 2022?
Garrett Gilbert, 4-1
Nick Foles, 9-2
Teddy Bridgewater, 5-1
Gardner Minshew, 6-1
Ryan Fitzpatrick, 6-1
Cam Newton, 9-1
Jimmy Garoppolo, 11-1
Ben DiNucci, 12-1
Mason Rudolph, 14-1
Mike Glennon, 16-1
A.J. McCarron, 20-1
Matt Barkley, 20-1
Colin Kaepernick, 40-1
Ben Roethlisberger, 50-1
Drew Brees, 50-1
Philip Rivers, 50-1
Andrew Luck, 66-1

The Cowboys play host to Cincinnati on Sunday with both teams trying to avoid an 0-2 start. Dallas is also trying to find the end zone for the first time this season — another market being offered by SportsBetting.ag.

When will the Cowboys score their first offensive TD? (Week 2 only)
First quarter +190
Second quarter +160
Third quarter +180
Fourth quarter +350
No offensive TD scored +500

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Captain Obvious? Steelers’ Mitch Trubisky favored to be first QB benched

The Pittsburgh Steelers might be trying to portray confidence in Mitch Trubisky by naming him a captain, but oddsmakers aren’t buying into his prospects as the team’s long-term answer at quarterback.

The former No. 2 overall draft pick (2017) was named one of five team captains by a vote of the players on Monday and was later tabbed the starting QB ahead of the Steelers’ regular-season opener at Cincinnati on Sunday.

Trubisky, 28, is with his third team in as many years as he enters his sixth NFL season. He signed as a free agent in March, a month before the Steelers made former Pitt star Kenny Pickett the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Trubisky completed 24 of 34 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions during the preseason. Pickett, 24, was 29 of 36 for 261 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, while veteran backup Mason Rudolph took the rest of the snaps.

While Trubisky is positioned to open the season under center for Pittsburgh, he was also being offered as the 3-1 favorite to be the first quarterback benched this season in a market opened by SportsBetting.ag on Monday. After the Bengals, the Steelers play host to New England before traveling to Cleveland in Week 3.

The next shortest odds belonged to Baker Mayfield, who won the job in Carolina even before Sam Darnold suffered an ankle injury that will sideline him for at least the first four weeks of the regular season. Mayfield’s backup to begin the season is PJ Walker.

One of the tightest quarterback battles throughout the preseason was waged in Seattle, but veteran Geno Smith has only the seventh-shortest odds at SportsBetting.ag to be the first starter to lose his job. His backup is Drew Lock, who was acquired from the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson blockbuster trade.

First QB Benched Odds
Mitch Trubisky: 3-1
Baker Mayfield: 6-1
Daniel Jones: 6-1
Davis Mills: 7-1
Carson Wentz: 9-1
Marcus Mariota: 9-1
Geno Smith: 10-1
Trey Lance: 10-1
Jameis Winston: 12-1
Jared Goff: 12-1
Justin Fields: 14-1
Ryan Tannehill: 14-1
Tua Tagovailoa: 16-1
Jalen Hurts: 25-1

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA;  Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws the ball before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks Next QB Odds: Drew Lock trails ‘Any Rookie’

What the Seattle Seahawks plan to do at the quarterback position is one of the great mysteries of the NFL offseason after they agreed to trade Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

Three-year veteran Drew Lock and the Nos. 9 and 40 overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft will be part of the package heading Seattle’s way when the new league year officially starts next week.

Lock and former University of Washington star Jacob Eason will be the only two quarterbacks on the roster once the trade becomes official. Coach Pete Carroll said the team hopes to re-sign Geno Smith, Wilson’s backup the past two seasons, but he will become a free agent and has an off-field incident hanging over his head following a January arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Few believe Lock is the team’s short-term answer at quarterback much less its long-term one. However, the immediate future is clouded by a thin free agent class and a quarterback draft class widely considered to be weak.

DraftKings is offering a “first-snap” market on who will be under center for the Seahawks in Week 1. “Any Rookie” leads the way at -150, followed by Lock (+125) and Smith (+500).

Seahawks 1st Snap QB:
Any Rookie QB: -150
Drew Lock: +125
Geno Smith: +500
Gardner Minshew: +500
Jimmy Garoppolo: +600
Jameis Winston: +600
Marcus Mariota: +700
Deshaun Watson: +700
Jacob Eason: +800

Lock has started 21 of 24 games through his first three seasons while throwing for 4,740 yards, 25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He has an 8-13 career record, including 0-3 last season.

Minshew, who starred at Washington State, as well as Winston and Mariota are considered the top pending options on the free agent market. Garoppolo is widely expected to be dealt by San Francisco, but it’s unlikely the 49ers would ship him to a division rival.

Watson’s status remains in limbo while his legal situation in Texas plays out, and he could yet face punishment from the NFL. He has been accused of sexual improprieties by multiple women.

Carroll and general manager John Schneider selected Wilson with the 75th overall pick in 2012 and started him as a rookie. So there is certainly the potential for Carroll and Schneider to identify a quarterback they see as an immediate fit in this year’s draft.

The Seahawks will have eight total picks once the trade is finalized, including Nos. 41, 72 and 107 overall.

SportsBetting.ag went a step further in breaking out the rookie quarterbacks individually in the sportsbook’s prop market for who will start for Seattle in Week 1.

Lock is the early leader, followed by Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who may be available to the Seahawks at No. 9. Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and North Carolina’s Sam Howell also are listed as options.

Seahawks Week 1 QB Odds (SportsBetting.ag)
Drew Lock (-130)
Malik Willis (+400)
Deshaun Watson (+600)
Geno Smith (+900)
Marcus Mariota (+1200)
Mitchell Trubisky (+1600)
Jameis Winston (+1600)
Kenny Pickett (+1800)
Matt Corral (+2000)
Jimmy Garoppolo (+2000)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (+2000)
Teddy Bridgewater (+2000)
Cam Newton (+2800)
Desmond Ridder (+5000)
Sam Howell (+6600)

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Could Russell Wilson replace Tom Brady in Tampa?

Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle remains a topic of debate despite saying earlier this month that his “hope and goal” is to remain with the Seahawks.

BetMGM is offering -400 odds that the 34-year-old will remain with Seattle compared to +280 odds that another quarterback will be under center for the Seahawks in Week 1 next season.

But with several playoff contenders likely to be in the market for a quarterback upgrade this offseason and a draft class widely considered to be weak at the position, Seahawks general manager John Schneider may well receive tempting offers for Wilson.

Tampa Bay (Tom Brady) and Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger) lost their starting quarterbacks to retirement shortly after their seasons ended. They are among 20 potential NFL destinations SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on landing Wilson if he departs Seattle.

Russell Wilson Next Team Odds:
Buccaneers (+350)
Saints (+400)
Steelers (+400)
Dolphins (+500)
Raiders (+800)
Panthers (+1000)
Bears (+1000)
Broncos (+1200)
Browns (+1400)
Colts (+1400)
Patriots (+2000)
Commanders (+2000)
Titans (+2500)
Packers (+3300)
49ers (+3300)
Jets (+3300)
Eagles (+4000)
Falcons (+4000)
Ravens (+4000)
Texans (+5000)

Wilson reiterated in an interview with Chris Russo’s “Mad Dog Sports Radio” that he aims to be back with the Seahawks in 2022 and beyond.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to play 10 amazing years in Seattle,” Wilson told Russo earlier this month. “My hope and goal is to be back there and keep winning there. That’s the vision, that’s the goal. That’s always been it. It’s never really been anything different.”

Wilson’s future in Seattle looked murky at best when he publicly lobbied for more offensive line help after the Seahawks lost in the wild-card round following the 2020 season. His agent then told ESPN that Wilson had not asked for a trade, but that the Super Bowl-winning quarterback would waive his no-trade clause to go to the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders.

The quarterback landscape has changed since then, with the Cowboys locking up Dak Prescott long-term and the Bears drafting Justin Fields. Wilson is coming off a challenging 2021 season. He missed games due to injury for the first time and missed the playoffs with a losing record altogether, all career firsts.

In 14 games, Wilson threw for 3,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions with a 64.8 completion percentage.

Near the end of the season, Wilson told reporters that he hoped he wasn’t nearing his last game as a Seahawk and said he planned to win more Super Bowls with the franchise.

“I want to win three more Super Bowls,” Wilson told Russo. “That’s my focus, is to get back and win again and for us to overcome all the obstacles. There’s nothing more fun than that.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) reacts after getting sacked by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson: Next team odds for Seahawks QB

Russell Wilson’s future with Seattle became a burning topic with the quarterback saying this week that he’s “frustrated” with the pounding he takes behind the Seahawks’ offensive line.

The 32-year-old has a no-trade clause that gives him veto power and Wilson’s contract carries a $32 million salary cap hit for next year if he is traded, so it remains unlikely that he will suit up elsewhere next season.

That didn’t douse the flames on the rumor mill, and SportsBetting.com is offering odds on all 31 potential NFL destinations should Wilson be traded before Sept. 1.

Russell Wilson Next Team Odds
Las Vegas Raiders: 5/1
Dallas Cowboys: 6/1
Washington Football Team: 8/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1
Denver Broncos: 10/1
San Francisco 49ers: 10/1
Miami Dolphins: 12/1
Indianapolis Colts: 12/1
Chicago Bears: 15/1
Carolina Panthers: 15/1
New England Patriots: 15/1
New York Jets: 20/1
New Orleans Saints: 25/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 40/1
Minnesota Vikings: 40/1
Cleveland Browns: 40/1
New York Giants: 50/1
Houston Texans: 50/1
Pittsburgh Steelers: 50/1
Atlanta Falcons: 50/1
Tennessee Titans: 50/1
Detroit Lions: 50/1
Los Angeles Chargers: 70/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 70/1
Los Angeles Rams: 70/1
Arizona Cardinals: 70/1
Baltimore Ravens: 100/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 100/1
Green Bay Packers: 200/1
Buffalo Bills: 200/1
Kansas City Chiefs: 500/1

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) warms up prior to a AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Colts next QB odds: Jacoby Brissett early frontrunner

The only quarterback currently on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster under contract for next season is Jacob Eason.

Considering the 2020 fourth-round pick has yet to take a snap in an NFL regular-season game, it’s fair to assume the Colts will be in the market for a veteran quarterback following Philip Rivers’ retirement on Wednesday.

Indianapolis signed Rivers to a one-year deal in 2020 after Jacoby Brissett failed to convince the team he was the long-term answer after signing a two-year, $30 million contract in 2019.

Brissett is also a pending free agent after throwing for just 17 yards on eight pass attempts in mop-up duty this season. That came after throwing for 2,942 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions while starting 15 games in 2019.

Do coach Frank Reich and the Colts believe the 28-year-old is ready for another crack at the starting job? Reich repeatedly referred to signing Rivers last offseason as a rare opportunity, and still may believe that Brissett truly is a starting-caliber quarterback.

But does Brissett want to return to Indy, or perhaps pursue one of the several starting quarterback jobs expected to be up for grabs around the NFL?

He was installed as the +300 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to take the first snap for the Colts in Week 1 shortly after Rivers announced his retirement Wednesday.

Just behind him is Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is under contract with the Lions. However, there is speculation that he may want a fresh start elsewhere with franchise hiring a new general manager and coach.

Another pending free agent is Andy Dalton (+500), who finished last season as the Dallas Cowboys’ starter after Dak Prescott’s ankle injury.

Eason’s odds of starting for the Colts in Week 1 are being offered at +800, followed by journeymen backups Brian Hoyer (+1000) and Chase Daniel (+1200).

The Colts’ first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is current 21st overall. Should the Colts stay put, quarterbacks who may be available include Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask. They would likely have to move up to snap BYU’s Zac Wilson or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.

SportsBetting.ag is offering a rookie quarterback starting Week 1 for Indianapolis at +1200.

It’s unlikely the Colts will be in contention for a blockbuster deal for Deshaun Watson (+1600) if for no other reason than the Houston Texas would not trade him to a division rival and face Watson twice a season.

Another option could be trading for Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz (+2000), whose development his first two seasons came under the watch of Reich as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.

Colts Next QB Odds (SportsBetting.ag):
Jacoby Brissett +300
Matthew Stafford +400
Andy Dalton +500
Jacob Eason +800
Brian Hoyer +1000
Chase Daniel +1200
Rookie Quarterback +1200
Jameis Winston +1600
Deshaun Watson +1600
Nick Foles +2000
Carson Wentz +2000
Teddy Bridgewater +2500
Jimmy Garoppolo +2500
Alex Smith +2500
Dak Prescott +3300
Taylor Heinicke +3300
Ryan Fitzpatrick +4000
Marcus Mariota +4000
Sam Darnold +5000
Drew Lock +5000
Cam Newton +5000
Mitchell Trubisky +5000
Jared Goff +6600
Matt Ryan +6600
Ben Roethlisberger +10000

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles with the ball as New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich (50) applies defensive pressure during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Could Deshaun Watson land with Bill Belichick in New England?

Deshaun Watson in a Patriots uniform?

With rumors swirling that the Houston Texans’ franchise quarterback might request a trade this offseason, New England has emerged as one of several potential destinations.

Watson is coming off a career-best 4,823 passing yards while being named to his third Pro Bowl. But that came in a 4-12 season that saw coach Bill O’Brien get fired.

“We just need a whole culture shift,” Watson said Monday. “We just need new energy. We just need discipline. We need structure. We need a leader so we can follow that leader as players. That’s what we need.”

Those comments sparked speculation that Watson may want out of town. Additionally, an ESPN report Thursday added that Watson was upset the Texans did not inform him before hiring former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio and also that they did not consider any of the candidates that he endorsed to ownership.

If he is traded before Sept. 1, Sportsbetting.com is offering the Patriots as the 2-1 favorite to land Watson.

Deshaun Watson next team odds:
New England Patriots (2/1)
Indianapolis Colts (3/1)
Chicago Bears (4/1)
Denver Broncos (5/1)
Washington Football Team (5/1)
New Orleans Saints (10/1)
Detroit Lions (10/1)
Philadelphia Eagles (15/1)
San Francisco 49ers (20/1)
New York Jets (20/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (25/1)
Atlanta Falcons (30/1)
New York Giants (30/1)

Watson signed $177.54 extension in September that put him under contract through 2025, and the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported Thursday that, “under no circumstances will the Texans trade Watson.”

However, Houston closed the season with five consecutive losses under interim coach Romeo Crennel. The team is also facing a potential rebuild, and longtime veterans such as defensive end J.J. Watt could be on the move this offseason.

The Patriots have a glaring need for a new starting quarterback after a one-year failed experiment with former NFL MVP Cam Newton.

Several other destinations being offered by Sportsbetting.ag make sense as well on different levels.

–The Colts will assess their future at the position after the season with Philip Rivers, who signed a one-year deal last offseason.

–Chicago reached the playoffs, but only after returning to Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback after the former No. 2 overall pick was benched in favor of veteran Nick Foles.

–San Francisco saw Jimmy Garoppolo finish another season on injured reserve. In four seasons with the 49ers, he has played more than six games only once and his future in San Francisco is very much in question.

–Drew Lock said Monday that “without a doubt” he feels like he can be Denver’s quarterback of the future. But that comes after finishing his second season tied for the NFL lead with 15 interceptions while his completion percentage dropped to 57.3 from 64.1.

–Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has two years remaining on his $135 million deal. With a new coach and a new general manager coming in, Stafford acknowledged Monday that “there’s a lot to discuss” without specifically addressing his future with the Lions. Will he demand a trade from the team his has led since 2009?

–The Washington Football Team won the NFC East with a 7-9 record. The return of Alex Smith was one of the season’s feel-good stories, especially juxtaposed to the release of 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, but the 36-year-old is certainly not the long-term answer in Washington.

–Ben Roethlisberger has said he plans to return for an 18th season in Pittsburgh. The 38-year-old struggled at times late this season and Mason Rudolph has not shown that he’s a legitimate heir to Roethlisberger’s throne in the Steel City.

There will be numerous teams in the market for new starting quarterbacks this offseason. And another name who could be a factor is Carson Wentz, who reportedly wants out of Philadelphia after being benched late in the season in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs by Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (24) during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals, Dolphins playoff-bound? Flip a coin

The NFL’s expansion to 14 playoff teams for the 2020 season is creating the expected glut of teams jockeying for the postseason with only five regular-season games remaining.

In the NFC, there are six teams within a game of each other battling for the conference’s three wild-card spots. The scenario is similar in the AFC, where the Cleveland Browns are in good shape at 8-3, but there are four teams currently separated by a game in the standings for the other two wild-card spots.

According to SportsBetting.com, the Browns are in the best position of the teams outside of the current division leaders, holding a 55.6 percent probability of reaching the postseason. Cleveland is being offered at -125 by the sportsbook to reach the playoffs compared to -105 to miss out on the postseason.

Meanwhile, the 5-6 Minnesota Vikings face a steep climb with a 77.8 percent chance of missing the playoffs, according to SportsBetting.com.

NFL Playoffs odds by SportsBetting.com:
(probability percentage of making the playoffs)

Arizona Cardinals
Make Playoffs: Yes -125, No -105 (55.6 percent of making)

Cleveland Browns
Make Playoffs: Yes -350, No +250 (77.8 percent of making)

Indianapolis Colts
Make Playoffs: Yes -150, No +120 (60.0 percent of making)

Las Vegas Raiders
Make Playoffs: Yes +130, No -160 (61.5 percent of missing)

Miami Dolphins
Make Playoffs: Yes -150, No +120 (60.0 percent of making)

Minnesota Vikings
Make Playoffs: Yes +250, No -350 (77.8 percent of missing)

The book is not offering odds on the 5-6 Chicago Bears or San Francisco 49ers in the NFC or the 6-5 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC.

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2019; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough (12) completes a pass against Montana at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kerr-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon, USC favored in truncated Pac-12 slate

The Pac-12 will finally kick off its seven-game, conference-only schedule this week, with Oregon and Southern California the “preseason” favorites.

The last of the conferences to begin play, the debate continues about whether any Pac-12 team will have a 2020 resume deep enough to warrant a College Football Playoff spot even with an undefeated record.

Oregon has been installed as the +180 favorite to win the Pac-12 by SportsBetting.com, followed by USC (+200). PointsBet is offering the Ducks at +195 and the Trojans at +210, while DraftKings has them listed as co-favorites at +200.

The 12th-ranked Ducks open their season against Stanford (+2800). They’ll do it without star offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who opted out to focus on the 2021 NFL Draft, where he is expected to be a top-five pick.

Sewell’s decision came after the Pac-12 originally decided to postpone the fall football season, and he didn’t change his mind after the conference decided in late September to move forward with a shortened schedule.

Oregon is still a 28-point favorite to roll past Stanford by PointsBet, where the over-under on the game is 51 points.

The Pac-12 also had a request to expand the CFP denied, which likely means an undefeated team would also have to be dominant in order to gain serious consideration. The Pac-12 championship game is scheduled for Dec. 18.

The late start and shortened schedule has also impacted player futures, with no Pac-12 players among the 19 players DraftKings is offering Heisman Trophy odds on.

Pac-12 odds, over/under win total (SportsBetting.com)
Oregon +180, 6
USC +200, 5.5
Washington +500, 4.5
Utah +700, 4.5
Arizona State +850, 4.5
Cal +2500, 4.5
Washington State +2500, 2
Stanford +2800, 3.5
UCLA +2800, 3.5
Arizona +5000, 1.5
Oregon State +8000, 1.5
Colorado +10000, 1.5

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal has yet to name his starting quarterback against Stanford, although SportsBetting.com is offering Tyler Shough at -1000 ahead of Anthony Brown (+650).

Other Pac-12 Week 1 starting QB odds:
Utah: Jake Bentley -1100, Cameron Rising +675
Washington: Kevin Thomson -200, Jacob Sirmon +150, Dylan Morris +800, Ethan Garbers +1200

–Field Level Media