September 06, 2016
Even before trading Sam Bradford to the Vikings over the weekend, the Eagles were long shots to make Super Bowl 51 and even longer shots to win it.
And now, with Carson Wentz set to become the only rookie quarterback in franchise history to start the season opener, the folks at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook believe a postseason run is even less likely in Doug Pederson's first year at the helm.
When their first round of odds came out immediately following the Broncos win over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the Birds were right in the middle of the pack, tied with a bunch of other teams for the sixteenth best odds for the 2016-17 season at 40-1.
Then Westgate's updated odds were released in April -- it was a few days before the draft but also a few days after the Eagles traded up for the No. 2 pick -- and the Birds' chances had fallen slightly, dropping to 60-1 to win the Super Bowl. That put them tied with the Lions, Saints and Bucs for the fifth-worst odds in the NFL.
Now that the draft, training camps and preseason games are in the past, they've updated their odds once more, and it's not looking good for the Eagles. After going 4-0 in the preseason with Bradford as their starter, the team dealt him to the Vikings and are instead starting the season with Wentz under center.
Vegas doesn't think this is the right move -- at least in the short-term. They've dropped the Eagles' Super Bowl odds all the way to 100-1, tying them with the Los Angeles Rams for the third-worst odds in the league. They're also 50-1 to win the NFC title, down from their opening odds of 20-1.
The only two teams with worse odds? The Cleveland Browns, who visit the Eagles on Sunday, and the Chip Kelly-led San Fransisco 49ers are tied at 200-1. If you think the Birds' fall from 40-1 to 100-1 was bad, consider this: the Niners fell from their opening 60-1 odds all the way to 200-1.
The Eagles, however, weren't the only team impacted by the Bradford deal. The Vikings, who some considered to be a dark horse contender to win the NFC before replacing an injured Teddy Bridgewater with Bradford, actually didn't see much of a change in their 2017 Super Bowl odds. They opened the offseason at 20-1, which climbed to 16-1 when the updated April odds came out.
Now, a few days before the season opens, Minnesota is back where they started at 20-1, which is tied with three other teams for ninth-best in the NFL. That's not much of a drop considering the Vikings lost a QB who, in addition to winning double-digit games, did something in his second season that Bradford hasn't been able to accomplish in any season since being drafted first overall back in 2009: lead his team to the playoffs.
Here's a look at all the odds from Westgate:
The notion that dealing Bradford in favor of a rookie (who didn't even play at an FBS college) won't make the Birds better right now is an easy one to buy. But if you're an Eagles fan that thinks this is throwing ice water on any hopes you had for Wentz's rookie season, just remember this: the Eagles were long shots to begin with, and likely would've been so again next season had Wentz sat for the entire 2016 season.
Add in the first round pick Howie Roseman was able to steal from the Vikings, and you can take some comfort in knowing that the real benefits of the deal will likely manifest themselves next year ... assuming Wentz proves he's the QB the Eagles thought he was when they traded up to get him.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin