Oct 30, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen hugs Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) after the game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Bayou Believers: Derek Carr addition boosts Saints’ odds

Derek Carr has played in exactly one playoff game through the first nine years of his NFL career, but his decision to sign with New Orleans immediately boosted the Saints to NFC South favorites on Monday.

Carr, who will turn 32 later this month, reportedly chose the Saints after a brief free agent tour following his release by the Las Vegas Raiders last month.

DraftKings told Field Level Media that after the news broke of Carr’s decision on Monday, the Saints moved from +5000 to +4000 to win the Super Bowl next season. Their odds to win the NFC title shortened from +2200 to +1500, while the Saints are also the +140 favorite to win the NFC South, down from +210 to start the day.

PointsBet reported that New Orleans’ Super Bowl odds shifted from +5500 on Monday to +3500 in the wake of the Carr news.

Meanwhile, BetMGM said the Saints went from +200 co-favorites with Carolina to win the division to the +130 favorites, with the Panthers’ odds lengthening to +250. Their Super Bowl and conference odds weren’t directly impacted because the sportsbook said New Orleans had been the favorite to land Carr.

The Saints are coming off a 7-10 season, which left them only a game out of first place in the woeful NFC South. New Orleans did so with journeyman Andy Dalton starting most of the season. Jameis Winston started the first three games of the season, but was relegated to the bench after recovering from back and ankle injuries.

Tampa Bay won the division at 8-9, but quarterback Tom Brady retired after the Bucs were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta and Carolina also finished 7-10 last season. The Falcons are expected to turn the reigns of the offense over to second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, while the Panthers are in the market for a quarterback with Sam Darnold a free agent and Matt Corral coming off a rookie season lost to a foot injury.

There could be some interesting jockeying ahead of next month’s NFL draft, with Atlanta currently holding the No. 8 pick just in front of Carolina at No. 9 and New Orleans at No. 10. Tampa Bay’s first selection is at No. 19 overall.

Carr’s arrival immediately gives New Orleans the most stable quarterback situation in the division.

With the Saints, he will also be reunited with Dennis Allen, who was the Raiders’ coach when he was drafted in 2014. Carr spent two days visiting with New Orleans before his release by Las Vegas, but refused to waive his no-trade clause so he could evaluate his options in free agency, also visiting with Carolina and the New York Jets.

Ultimately, he came back to the Saints as his best option, and Carr is expected to sign a multi-year contract.

Carr is coming off a 2022 season in which he threw for 3,522 yards with 24 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in 15 games. The Raiders finished the season 12th in total yards and points scored.

By comparison, the Saints finished 19th and 22nd, respectively, with their quarterbacks combining to throw for 3,969 yards with 24 TD passes and 14 picks.

–Field Level Media

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) celebrates after diving into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half against LSU at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 15, 2022. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Ncaa Football Florida Gators Vs Lsu Tigers

Polarizing QB Anthony Richardson leaving oddsmakers nervous

Alabama’s Bryce Young is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it’s another quarterback who has at least one sportsbook sweating a bit harder as the pre-draft process begins in earnest.

Anthony Richardson remains a +2500 longshot at BetMGM to go first overall, but the former Florida star is the sportsbook’s biggest liability a little more than two months out from the draft. Richardson has accounted for 13.4 percent of all money wagered on the top pick, third behind only fellow quarterbacks Will Levis of Kentucky (34.6 percent) and Young (22.9 percent).

Young is widely expected to be the first name called, whether the Chicago Bears keep or trade the pick. The former Heisman Trophy winner is the -120 favorite ahead of Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud, who is listed at +275.

Defensive linemen Jalen Carter (Georgia) and Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) are both being offered at +600 — down from each opening at +750 — while Levis’ odds have shortened from +1000 to +750 at BetMGM.

Levis has also drawn the most total bets for the No. 1 overall pick at 22.2 percent, followed by Young (15.9 percent) and Carter (14.5 percent). That also makes Levis the sportsbook’s second-biggest liability at this time ahead of Carter.

Interestingly, Richardson has accounted for 13 percent of the total bets and 13.4 percent of the money since BetMGM opened the market on the No. 1 overall pick.

Quarterbacks have a lengthy history of rising through the pre-draft process, and Richardson’s name remains somewhat polarizing a little more than two weeks before the start of the NFL Scouting Combine.

Richardson is rated the fourth-ranked quarterback prospect in this year’s class by Lindy’s Draft Guide, which compares his skill set to that of former NFL MVP Cam Newton. While Richardson has “all-world tools,” according to the publication that is published in conjunction with Field Level Media, he also likely faces a long learning curve in the NFL.

After a red-hot start to his final season in Gainesville, Richardson finished it with a 53.8 completion percentage. He has the upside to intrigue teams with top-five picks. Whether his potential ceiling is enough to entice whichever team has the No. 1 pick come draft day remains to be see.

One thing is for sure: His pre-draft journey will be monitored extremely closely by oddsmakers along with NFL scouts.

–Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) waves to the crowd after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12, 2023.

Nfl Super Bowl Lvii Kansas City Chiefs Vs Philadelphia Eagles

Chiefs slated as early favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs

The Kansas City Chiefs, winners of two of the last four Super Bowls, have been installed as early favorites to bring home some more hardware at the end of next season.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he is “not gonna say dynasty yet. We’re not done.” Four of the leading sportsbooks appear to agree.

Kansas City, which claimed Super Bowl LVII with a down-to-the-wire 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz., is listed at +550 by Caesars Sportsbook and +600 by DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM to win back-to-back championships.

Oddsmakers aren’t nearly so sure about the Chiefs’ closest pursuers, however.

DraftKings and FanDuel list the Buffalo Bills second at +700 and +850, respectively. BetMGM has the Cincinnati Bengals second at +850, and Caesars posts the San Francisco 49ers at +600.

Caesars has the Bills third at +650, while BetMGM has them among three teams tied for third at +900. The other two are the Eagles and the 49ers.

The sites do agree on the top five, the order notwithstanding. The Chiefs, Bills, Eagles, Bengals and 49ers are in everybody’s upper tier. All other teams’ odds range from +1400 to +28000.

Looking for a real longshot? All four sites list the Houston Texans at the bottom of the pile. FanDuel has the Texans, the Arizona Cardinals and the Indianapolis Colts at +28000. BetMGM has the Texans and Cardinals at +25000.

Like BetMGM, DraftKings has the Texans and Cardinals listed last, as both sit at +20000. Houston sits alone at the bottom over on Caesars at +12500.

–Field Level Media

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will battle Sunday in Super Bowl 57.

Syndication Usa Today

Chiefs drawing game-day support, Eagles favored in Super Bowl LVII

After the Chiefs opened as a +110 underdog at DraftKings and BetMGM, oddsmakers are a bit more confident that Kansas City can win its second title in four seasons when it faces the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Just hours before opening kickoff in Glendale, Ariz., the Chiefs went to +100 at both books after previously being listed at +105 on Saturday.

The Kansas City moneyline accounted for just over half of the bets (51 percent) placed on an outright winner, also making up 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. BetMGM revealed similar action — 59 percent of the bets are on Chiefs moneyline — and 52 percent of the outright winner market handle.

The spread for the game has shifted only slightly in the two weeks since the opening line was released with Philadelphia as 2.5-point favorites on BetMGM and a 2-point favorite at DraftKings after the conference championship games.

As of Sunday morning, the Eagles are favored by 1.5 points as a virtual consensus with BetMGM, DraftKings, Caesars and BetRivers posting an identical line.

The point total opened at 49.5 on Jan. 29 and is up slightly. DraftKings offered a 50.5 total on Monday, and 54 percent of bettors took the over. Since then, the total has gone up a half-point to 51. As of Sunday morning, 57 percent of the money was on the over.

BetMGM bettors are more confident the teams will put up points; 59 percent were riding on the over at 50.5 on Saturday, which increased to 61 percent by Sunday morning.

Philadelphia and Kansas City had no problem scoring this season. The Chiefs led the NFL in that category in the regular season (29.2) and the Eagles put up the third most points per game at 28.1.

Two of the main contributors to their respective team’s success have been quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes, who are currently the frontrunners to take home Super Bowl MVP honors.

Hurts (+120) was the favorite to take home the award over on DraftKings, while Mahomes (+125) was a close second on Feb. 4. Since then, the quarterbacks swapped places, and Mahomes sits at +120 while Hurts was at +135.

Line movement regarding the MVP race over on BetMGM has been staggering. Hurts opened at +650, went down to +135 by Tuesday and is now listed at +140, while Mahomes opened +400 and moved to +135 by Tuesday before settling into his current odds at +130.

One of BetMGM’s most-bet rushing props as of Tuesday was Miles Sanders’ rushing total, which was set at 59.5 yards (-115). The line has now moved to 61.5 yards, with the over at -110 and the under at -120.

As of last Sunday, Mahomes to throw for over 1.5 touchdowns was the player prop with the most bets at DraftKings. The line was -210 at the time, but Mahomes’ TD total jumped to 2.5, and the odds were posted at +170.

A bettor over at BetMGM made a potential splashy wager on Tuesday, putting $1 million on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl at -125 odds.

–Field Level Media

Jan 31, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Stadium and field preparation is underway for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

News Super Bowl Lvii Preparations

SB LVII line shifts as Chiefs draw increased action

The Philadelphia Eagles remain the favorite to win Super Bowl LVII, but the line has made a noticeable shift, with the public increasingly getting behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

After the Eagles drew heavy early support following the conference championship games, the consensus line had moved back to Philadelphia -1.5 by Thursday.

That included at BetMGM, where the line opened at 1.5 points but shot up to 2.5 by Monday morning. However, the sportsbook reported that by mid-week the action had largely evened out.

“From a futures perspective, a Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl was a great outcome for the sportsbook,” BetMGM sports trader Christian Cipollini said. “Right now we’re seeing even action on both sides for the Super Bowl but that could change leading up to kickoff.”

However, Kansas and Massachusetts remained the only states receiving more spread-line money action on the Chiefs. By comparison, the other 17 states the sportsbook is live in reported more spread money flowing in on the Eagles.

The line has also moved to 1.5 at BetRivers, FanDuel and DraftKings. The Eagles are still drawing 70 percent of the spread-line bets and 72 percent of the money at DraftKings as of Thursday — the same splits as on Monday. They are also backed by 64 and 78 percent of the action, respectively, at BetRivers.

The handle on the moneyline at DraftKings has been split between the Eagles (-125) and Chiefs (+105), while Kansas City has drawn 55 percent of the total bets. According to the sportsbook, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 were the only underdog in the past four years to win the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, the Over/Under at DraftKings has shifted slightly from 50 to 50.5 total points, with the Under backed by 52 percent of the bets while 56 percent of the money has been wagered on the Over. The same point total at BetRivers has seen the Over an even more popular play, with 64 percent of the money wagered.

Among the countless offbeat props available around the Super Bowl, Caesars Sportsbook reported one bettor wagered $13,000 at -650 that a quarterback will not have a reception during the game, with a potential payout of $2,000. Meanwhile, another bettor wagered 10 cents at -1600 that the game will not go to overtime — to win 1 cent.

The two most bet prop at DraftKings has been the result of the coin flip at +100, with “Tails” leading “Heads” in total bet count. The third most popular has been the opening kickoff not resulting in a touchback at +160.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in action against the New York Giants during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NFC Championship Game: 49ers-Eagles Preview, Props, Prediction

Brock Purdy emerged out of nowhere to become just the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first two postseason starts.

However, a bigger prize looms on the horizon when the San Francisco 49ers play in the NFC Championship Game for the third time in four seasons, visiting the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Purdy will be striving to lead the second-seeded 49ers to their second Super Bowl appearance in the past four seasons. His rise from the 262nd and last pick in the NFL draft to unbeaten in seven career starts is becoming legendary stuff.

Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens in 2008-09 and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets in 2009-10 are the other rookies to win their first two playoff starts.

“He doesn’t care if he messes up,” 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel said. “If he does, he’s going to go full speed and we’ll talk about it at the end of the day.

“I have seen him grow throughout the whole year from zero snaps to being the starter of this team.”

Philadelphia’s defense, which ranked second in total defense (301.5 yards per game) in the regular season, will be the best Purdy has faced. Counting the postseason, the Eagles have racked up 75 sacks, third most in NFL history. The only two higher outputs came from the mid-1980s Chicago Bears, who had a record 82 in 1984 and 80 in 1985.

Also part of the equation is the raucous Philadelphia crowd, which will provide noise.

“In these games, it all comes back to communication,” Purdy said. “How can you operate smoothly, get in and out of the huddle, get the play off in the right way and make sure everybody is on the same page. It’s definitely a big emphasis this week.”

The Eagles feature NFL MVP finalist Jalen Hurts at quarterback, an elite runner who has turned into a strong thrower. Hurts passed for 22 touchdowns and rushed for 13 during the regular season.

Hurts threw for two scores and ran for one as Philadelphia routed the New York Giants 38-7 in the NFC divisional round.

The 49ers led the NFL in total defense (300.6 yards per game) and scoring defense (16.3 points per game). San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa (NFL-high 18.5 sacks) is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

“They’re really good across the board,” Hurts said. “It starts out with their front seven and then adding a really good defensive back group. They fly to the ball at every position and they’re well-coached. We have a task in front of us and a really big challenge.”

The Eagles are in the NFC title game for the first time since the 2017-18 season when they went on to win the Super Bowl.

Philadelphia is a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings and BetMGM, where the line opened at 2.0 but shifted with the Eagles drawing 76 percent of the spread-line bets and 85 percent of the money.

The line had moved to 3.0 points by Saturday at BetRivers, where Philadelphia covering was drawing more than twice as much action (28.3 percent) than any other play among the two conference championship games (Bengals +1.0, 12.4 percent).

This will be only the second game of the season in which San Francisco enters as the underdog. BetRivers reported the 49ers have covered in nine consecutive games against NFC opponents and are 13-6 ATS this season.

Purdy Over 0.5 INTs (-140 at DraftKings): All three sportsbooks are offering the same prop, with the potential payout slightly better at DraftKings as of mid-day Saturday. Purdy hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 17 and has 59 pass attempts through his first two playoff games without committing a turnover. But the Eagles’ defense can bring pressure from any angle, with four players registering double-digit sacks. Purdy is still a rookie, and under pressure he has a tendency to spin out of the pocket and will force the occasional ball downfield – and Philly’s defense rarely lets opportunities slip away.

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey Anytime TD (-120 at BetMGM): This has been the most popular NFC prop at several sportsbooks. McCaffrey missed practice time with a calf injury this week but has vowed to play. When he plays, McCaffrey typically finds the end zone — including at least once in eight consecutive games entering Sunday.

Over 46.5 Total Points (-110 at BetRivers): It’s easy to lean Under given the strength of these two defenses. But that inclination hasn’t played out over the course of the season, with the sportsbook reporting these are two of only six teams to hit the Over in more than half of their games. Good defenses also create short fields, which create scoring opportunities. And both offenses have plenty of offensive firepower to take advantage.

Eagles WR A.J. Brown Over 68.5 Receiving Yards (-115 at BetMGM): The Giants didn’t do much right defensively last week other than hold Brown to 22 yards on a trio of catches. That has been the exception to the rule, with Brown topping 68.5 yards in the six games leading up to the Eagles’ playoff opener. He will draw a difficult matchup with Charvarius Ward likely tracking him most of the game, but Ward proved vulnerable to another big, physical wideout in Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf two weeks ago.

Hurts Anytime TD (+118 at BetRivers): This has been the second most popular NFC prop at the sportsbook, drawing 3.1 percent of the total tickets and the second most money. Hurts has six rushing touchdowns in his past five games, including one last weekend as the Eagles have increasingly relied on his legs with opponents also having to respect Philly’s ground game near the goal line.

49ers: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) was officially ruled out. McCaffrey (knee) and fellow RB Elijah Mitchell (groin) missed multiple practices this week but are expected to play. McCaffrey is expected to play while Mitchell was listed as questionable along with CB Ambry Thomas (ankle). Coach Kyle Shanahan said Charles Omenihu (oblique), who was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence earlier this week, would play if healthy.

Eagles: MLB T.J. Edwards (ankle) was the only player listed as limited in Friday’s practice and Philadelphia is expected to have everyone available.

Purdy has been unflappable in winning his first seven career starts, including a pair of playoff games. He also hasn’t faced a defense the likes of the Eagles, who will bring a slew of different looks and pressure from all angles. The 49ers’ defense is equally impressive, but Philly capitalizes on a turnover or two and takes advantage of shorter fields to win a tight contest throughout. –Eagles 26-23

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;  Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs for the first down as Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Carlos Dunlap (8) makes the tackle during the fourth quarter at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals at Chiefs Odds, Props & Picks

In the playoffs, there’s no passer like Patrick Mahomes at home.

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Bengals in the AFC Championship game Sunday in a repeat of the 2021 title game that sent Joe Burrow and Cincinnati to the Super Bowl. But there’s a significant twist.

Mahomes plans to play with a sprained right ankle and has lost three games in a row to the Bengals, including 27-24 on Dec. 4. His health and the groundswell of support for Burrow has the Chiefs as the underdog in the playoffs for the first time in Mahomes’ career.

Mahomes has been at his best on the big stage with 32 touchdowns (28 TD passes, four rushing) and three interceptions in 10 career home playoff starts.

The tug of war for bettors has been evident since Sunday night, when most books had the Chiefs as favorites — by 2 or 3 points — only to see the Bengals favored by 2 as a consensus by midday Monday. But with Mahomes’ status firmed up by the Chiefs and video evidence to support, the public forced a wild swing that had Kansas City favored by a point.

Burrow, mind you, is 19-5 against the spread in his last 24 games as an underdog. Cincinnati is 9-0 in its last nine as an underdog.

As of Friday morning, the Chiefs were a 1.5-point favorite and a low money line to win outright (-118 at FanDuel).

BetMGM’s handle on spread betting as of Noon ET Friday was 70-30 in favor of the Bengals. At DraftKings, the swing to give Cincinnati points pushed more money on straight spread bets toward the Bengals. DraftKings had 76 percent of the total spread handle on Cincinnati.

Money line wagering was also leaning Cincinnati and tipped the two-thirds mark at DraftKings.

The initial sprain forced him out of the Chiefs’ divisional playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. He returned to the game with limited mobility, completing 22 of 30 passes for a season-low 195 yards with two touchdowns and was not sacked.

He’s 9-3 in 12 career playoff games with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Mahomes said the injury isn’t as severe as his 2019 high ankle sprain or a toe injury two seasons ago, when he finished the season in a Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The difference will be in physical limitations on his right ankle and plant leg throwing from the pocket.

Cincinnati has a 10-game winning streak and its most recent loss was to Cleveland on Halloween. Burrow would tie Russell Wilson for most wins (six) by a quarterback in their first three seasons if he can knock off the Chiefs again.

“He’s got an edge to him,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said of Burrow. “I like that in our quarterback.”

He hasn’t been intercepted in his past three playoff games. In three starts against the Chiefs, Burrow has nine TDs (one rushing), one interception and a combined passer rating of 121.

A fumble by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in the fourth quarter turned the game at Cincinnati in December, and kicker Harrison Butker missed a 55-yard field goal that would have sent the game into overtime.

Mahomes will start his fifth conference championship game.

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster under 46.5 yards (-110, FanDuel): With only 11 targets in the past four games combined and two in the playoff win over the Jaguars last week (29 yards), Smith-Schuster might be due. But his breakout isn’t coming here. The Bengals clamped him the regular-season clash in December, when he caught three of four targets for 35 yards. Smith-Schuster has been limited to 38 yards or fewer seven times in the past nine games.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon over 58.5 rushing yards (-110, BetMGM): Only four NFL teams played more base nickel or dime defense than the Chiefs and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo isn’t the type to change his stripes. He’s the type to rip with the front four and vary coverage. The Chiefs could apply more pressure if the Bengals, who didn’t have three starters on the offensive line at Buffalo last week, show leaks in protection. Methodical drives and a heavy reliance on plowing ahead with Mixon – 105 rushing yards last week — worked in beating the Bills, and Mixon had 88 rushing yards at Kansas City in the 2021 AFC Championship. Noteworthy: Mixon’s rushing total at FanDuel and DraftKings was set at 59.5.

Bengals LB Germaine Pratt over 6.5 tackles (-120 at BetMGM): This number includes solo plus assisted tackles. Pratt’s total was bet up to -140 at other books, and this one is a soft guarantee. Soft because he had only four total tackles when the teams met Dec. 4. He had eight or more tackles in nine games this season and a physically limited Mahomes brings the chances of short and quick throws, where Pratt could be in on double-digit stops.

Butker over 7.5 points (+105 at Caesars Sportsbook): Bend, don’t break. That’s the charge for Cincinnati against the Chiefs, a winning approach that resulted in back-to-back 27-24 wins for the Bengals. Butker missed a field goal in the December meeting that would’ve forced overtime – and given him nine total points for the game. With safeties deep and boundaries available, the Chiefs won’t have as many explosive plays – or points – but count on Kansas City consistently moving the ball into FG range.

–Field Level Media

Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins Next Team Odds: Does Bill O’Brien hurt Patriots’ chances?

The question about which team DeAndre Hopkins will suit up for next season took on another wrinkle when the New England Patriots brought Bill O’Brien back into the fold on Thursday.

The Patriots are in need of a No. 1 receiver and often have been mentioned as a potential trade partner should the Arizona Cardinals decide to separate from Hopkins, who could be part of the team’s offseason housecleaning.

However, O’Brien is the man who surprisingly dealt Hopkins out of Houston in 2020 in exchange for a second-round pick and running back David Johnson. Reports at the time indicated a rift between Hopkins and O’Brien, who is returning to the Patriots — he was on Bill Belichick’s staff from 2007-11 —
after spending the past two seasons as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

Could Hopkins and O’Brien co-exist again?

The Patriots are still being offered at +450 by SportsBetting.ag to land Hopkins if he’s traded. That’s tied for the second-lowest odds among the dozen teams being offered odds on.

The current favorite is the Green Bay Packers at +300. That possibility could well be tied to the future of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has yet to decide if he wants to return to the Packers — if he decides to play in 2023 at all.

Green Bay does have a pair of promising young receivers in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, and Hopkins would be a welcome veteran addition even if the Packers ultimately transition to Jordan Love at quarterback.

New England has the same current odds to land Hopkins as Kansas City. The Chiefs brought in a trio of new receivers this season in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney. However, Smith-Schuster is on a one-year deal and Hopkins could be a very appealing replacement to pair with quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Patriots, meanwhile, have a clear need for a star wideout.

Leading receiver Jakobi Meyers is a pending free agent, as is Nelson Agholor. DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne each have one year remaining on their contracts.

The Baltimore Ravens present a combination of question marks as they have the fourth-shortest odds to land Hopkins at +700.

First is the status of Lamar Jackson and whether the sides are able to work out a long-term contract.

The Ravens have publicly stated they will get a deal done to keep Jackson at quarterback, but that is the first domino that needs to fall before making a serious run at Hopkins. Baltimore has a desperate need for a No. 1 wideout for whomever is under center next season.

After Marquise Brown was traded last offseason — ironically to team up with Hopkins in Arizona – Baltimore’s leading wideout was Demarcus Robinson with a 48 catches for 458 yards. Devin Duvernay was next with 37 receptions but ended the season on injured reserved along with Rashod Bateman, who caught just 15 of 28 targets in seven games.

The first step to any team making a run for Hopkins is Arizona deciding to deal him.

The Cardinals parted ways with general manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury this offseason, and quarterback Kyler Murray’s timetable for a return from ACL surgery remains to be seen.

Hopkins has a full-no trade clause and would have control of where he goes. The other question is what type of value a receiver who will turn 31 in June and has played in a total of 19 games over the past two seasons due to suspension and injuries will bring in return.

Arizona might be eager to make Hopkins part of its housecleaning efforts after watching firsthand the decline of A.J. Green after he turned 31.

DeAndre Hopkins Next Team Odds
Packers (+300)
Chiefs (+450)
Patriots (+450)
Ravens (+700)
Bears (+900)
Giants (+900)
Browns (+1000)
Cowboys (+1000)
Chargers (+1000)
Jaguars (+1200)
Raiders (+1600)
Buccaneers (+1600)

NFL trades cannot become official until the first day of the NFL league year in March, but terms often are established in the weeks between the end of the regular season and the Super Bowl. Similar deals have been executed in recent offseasons, including the blockbusters involving wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford.

Hopkins has two years and $34.36 million left on his contract, but reportedly would like to renegotiate the deal after the market was reset last spring by Adams and Tyreek Hill, among others.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in action against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Public behind Eagles, Bengals in early title game betting

Early money on the conference championship games decidedly backs the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals.

BetMGM was first to report where public money landed on Monday, with the line in the AFC Championship Game sliding toward Cincinnati with the status of Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes up in the air.

Kansas City knocked off the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday and hosts the Bengals this weekend in a repeat of the 2022 conference title game. Cincinnati has won the past three meetings with the Chiefs, including a 27-24 victory during the regular season.

More than 80 percent of the handle bet on the spread of the AFC Championship Game is on the Bengals +1. The line at BetMGM and DraftKings opened at Kansas City -2.

As of Monday, 85 percent of bets on the outright winner or money line was on the Bengals. BetMGM dropped the money line from +100 to -105 in the first five hours of wagering on the game.

Massive support for the Eagles, who play host to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, pushed the line from opening at -2 to -3.

Public money on Philadelphia includes 84 percent of the spread handle, and 75 percent of the BetMGM take on the total is on the under (45).

But money line wagers point to some support for the 49ers. Around 56 percent of money line bets back the 49ers (+125), but the total money line handle is 74 percent Philly.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) audibles during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Divisional Playoffs: Bengals-Bills Preview, Props, Prediction

Pro Bowl quarterbacks Josh Allen and Joe Burrow were slated to have their initial confrontation earlier this month.

But Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest emergency postponed that battle after nine-plus minutes.

Instead, the two gunslingers will have their first official duel on a much bigger stage when the second-seeded Buffalo Bills entertain the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC Divisional playoff game on Sunday afternoon at Orchard Park, N.Y.

Burrow guided the Bengals to the Super Bowl last season and Allen craves a similar run for the Bills. Burrow is the first Cincinnati quarterback to win playoff games in consecutive seasons while Allen is aiming to steer Buffalo into the AFC Championship Game for the second time in three seasons.

Both teams are red hot: The Bengals have won nine straight games and the Bills have prevailed eight consecutive times.

“It feels like two deserving teams,” Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said of the matchup. “Buffalo is one of the greatest environments to play in in all of football. I’ve been there many, many times and it’s a fun environment.

“It’s a worthy playoff environment and so our guys are going to be juiced up and ready to go.”

The Bengals were the surprise team last season when they crashed the Super Bowl and lost to the Los Angeles Rams. Now they are part of a tough trio of AFC contenders along with the Bills and top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs.

“We’re in a great spot,” Burrow said. “We have great leaders in the locker room and Zac puts us in the right mindset to create positions to go and succeed. We have the utmost faith in each other to go make plays to win the game.”

The Bills are 6.0-point favorites at several sportsbooks. That includes BetMGM and BetRivers, where the underdog Bengals have been backed by 67.5 percent of the spread-line tickets – second-most among the eight teams playing this weekend behind only Kansas City.

The 5.5-point spread at DraftKings has drawn lopsided action with the Bengals backed by 72 percent of the total bets along with 59 percent of the money.

The Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-17 in the wild-card round with defensive end Sam Hubbard scoring the winning points on a 98-yard fumble return that is the longest in postseason history.

Meanwhile, Buffalo has won 13 of its last 14 home playoff games after posting a 34-31 victory over the Miami Dolphins. The Bills were up 17-0 before sloppy play — they committed three turnovers — allowed the Dolphins back in the game.

“You can’t try to eliminate every single turnover and play scared,” Allen said. “We’re aggressive. We want to score touchdowns. That’s the gist of it.”

Sunday’s matchup comes 20 days after the matchup in Cincinnati in which Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter after tackling Bengals wideout Tee Higgins. He was administered CPR on the field and taken to a nearby hospital and the game was later postponed.

Hamlin has made a miraculous speedy recovery as the teams reunite for the playoff showdown.

“I’m sure it’s gonna be a little bit emotional,” Allen said of facing the Bengals. “I will say that I’ve got so much respect for the Bengals, their staff, their organization, and their players after everything that transpired. The way that we came together and kind of talked with them — they were extremely open to the whole concept of not continuing the game and making sure that we were OK.”

Also of note is that the Bills are playing in the division round for the third straight season. They went 1-1 the past two campaigns.

“We’ve been here before,” Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said. “We’ve got good experience in the divisional round. We’re grateful for that. … So, it’s the next game on our radar. And we’ve got to prepare for it.”

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase Anytime TD (+135 at DraftKings): Chase has been the fourth-most popular Anytime TD scorer among the four games this weekend, and offers by far the biggest potential payout among the top five at the sportsbook. Chase has scored at least one touchdown in eight of 13 games this season, including six of his past eight. Buffalo ranked 26th against the pass during the regular season while allowing an average of 258.1 yards per game, and struggled to contain Dolphins rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson last weekend.

Over 49 Total Points (-110 at BetMGM): Not only are these two of the hottest teams in the league going head-to-head, it’s two of the most potent offenses in the league. Of concern with this prop are the injuries along Cincinnati’s o-line – down three starters. But Buffalo’s defense has also been vulnerable in recent weeks. The expectation here is that Burrow and Allen are trading punches for four quarters and that every offensive opportunity will need to be maximized.

The Bengals lost left tackle Jonah Williams (dislocated kneecap) during the win over Baltimore and will be without three starting offensive linemen. Right tackle La’el Collins (ACL) and right guard Alex Cappa (ankle) were previously injured.

“It’s an interesting spot,” Cincinnati center Ted Karras said. “We have to have guys step up. We’ve lost three starters. That’s never a huge recipe for anything good.”

Cornerback Tre Flowers (hamstring) was ruled doubtful in the Bengals’ final injury report.

For the Bills, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (calf) and nose tackle Jordan Phillips (shoulder) were ruled questionable. Buffalo cornerback Dane Jackson (knee) and safety Jordan Poyer (knee) were limited earlier in the week before advancing to full-practice participants.

The size of the spread is somewhat surprising given the battle between two of the hottest teams in the league. Injuries along the Bengals’ offensive line have contributed to the spread and are a legitimate concern, but quarterback Joe Burrow has an extremely strong record in elimination games dating back to college.

Meanwhile, the Bills had to survive a scare against the Dolphins due to a few poor decisions by Allen, some sloppy ballhandling and an inability to consistently get off the field on defense.

–Bengals 30, Bills 27

–Field Level Media