The projected matchup between America’s Team and the team America loves to hate didn’t materialize in Super Bowl LI, but the odds point to a Cowboys-Patriots showdown in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis.
The New England-Dallas matchup is the 6-1 favorite after opening at 7-1 at the Golden Nugget sports book, which has posted odds on all 256 possible Super Bowl LII matchups.
“We took a fairly decent bet on the Cowboys-Patriots. It was big enough to knock it down to 6-1,” Golden Nugget sports book supervisor Aaron Kessler said. “The Patriots are clearly the class of the AFC and the Cowboys are a great team. When you’ve got an offensive line like that, it’s hard not to be.”
New England, the 3-1 favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champion, is part of the top five matchup choices: 8-1 against the Packers, 10-1 against the Falcons and Seahawks and 12-1 against the Giants.
State of silver and black
The Raiders, the 6-1 second choice to win the AFC and 12-1 fourth choice to win the Super Bowl, are part of three of the top nine matchup choices. A Raiders-Cowboys clash is 12-1, Raiders-Packers 15-1 and Raiders-Seahawks 18-1.
“We’ve taken multiple wagers on Dallas and Oakland,” Kessler said. “The Raiders would be getting support even if they were not coming here. Now that they’re coming here, everybody wants to hop on.”
Here are the odds on Oakland’s other potential Super Bowl LII matchups: vs. Falcons (25-1), Giants (30-1), Vikings (30-1), Panthers (40-1), Buccaneers (40-1), Cardinals (40-1), Lions (60-1), Saints (60-1), Eagles (60-1), Redskins (100-1), Rams (150-1), Bears (150-1) and 49ers (200-1).
The most unlikely Super Bowl LII showdown is Jets–49ers at 5,000-1, followed by a trio of 3,000-1 matchups in Browns-49ers, Jets-Rams and Jets-Bears.
“I’m a Bears fan,” Kessler said. “I’m not looking forward to the season too much.”
Smart money on Penguins
The Predators opened as high as minus-150 favorites in Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Sunday in Nashville before late sharp money across the city poured in on the Penguins, who closed as minus-115 favorites.
“We didn’t write Nashville tickets (Sunday),” Kessler said.
Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said there was plenty of Penguins support from the sharps and the public.
“The public was taking the plus for once because the home team had won every game,” he said.
Before Pittsburgh clinched its second straight Stanley Cup title with Sunday’s 2-0 win at Nashville, the home team had not only won but covered the puck line (minus-1½ goals) in each of the first five games.
Pittsburgh favored to three-peat
The Penguins opened as the 7-1 favorite to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup next season. The Blackhawks, Capitals, Ducks, Oilers and Sharks are each 10-1.
Knights begin quest for Cup
The Golden Knights are 150-1 to win the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season and Vegas is 75-1 to win the Western Conference.
The Philadelphia Flyers were the fastest expansion team to win the Stanley Cup, claiming the NHL title in their seventh season (1973-74).
The Florida Panthers compiled the best record by an expansion team in its inaugural season, going 33-34-17 (83 points) in 1993-94, when they missed the playoffs by one point.
Sherman estimates the Knights’ season point total to be in the low 70s.
“We’ll see how the expansion draft goes,” he said. “We’ll start doing some props once they get some players on the team.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-266-6080. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.