49ers, Texas Off to Strong Starts, Pass Patriots as Current Favorites to Win Super Bowl


49ers, Texas Off to Strong Starts, Pass Patriots as Current Favorites to Win Super BowlThe 2012 NFL season is only through two weeks, but the
biggest upset of the entire year could easily turn out to be Arizona's stunning
20-18 win at Foxboro last Sunday.

The Cardinals were the only double-digit dogs in Week 2
at plus-13 and why not? Tom Brady had yet to lose a home opener in his NFL
career and had won 35 of his past 36 regular-season home games. Teams from the
Pacific Time Zone usually don't fare well in 1 p.m. ET starts. For their body clock, kickoff is at 10 a.m.

Arizona dominated the game for the most part. The
underrated Cards' defense snapped New England's streak of 25 consecutive home
games with at least 20 points. The Patriots seemed to get a gift from the gods
when Arizona second-year running back Ryan Williams fumbled with a minute left
and the Patriots out of timeouts. But kicker Stephen Gostkowski shanked the
potential winner from 42 yards out. New England was one of just two home teams
to lose in Week 2 — the 14 home winners matched an NFL record for any week.

The Cardinals are one of six NFL teams heading into
Week 3 at 2-0. Are they a fluke? Arizona's 9-2 record over its past 11 games is
tied for the best in the NFL. The future odds for Coach Ken Whisenhunt's team
didn't take a significant jump at Bovada, however. Entering Week 2, Arizona was
80-1 to win the Super Bowl, 45-1 to win the NFC championship and +800 to win
the NFC West. Now those odds are 60-1, 30-1 and +600, respectively.

Arizona is a four-point home dog this week against another
2-0 team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cardinals, who rank 28th in
the NFL in total offense, look for their first 3-0 start in 38 years. Philly,
meanwhile, is the first team in NFL history to win its first two games by one
point each. It is also the first club to win its first two games with at least
nine combined turnovers since the 1983 Los Angeles Rams.

One of the big upsets of the 2011 season was when the
Eagles lost 21-17 at home to Arizona in Week 10. Cardinals quarterback John Skelton
threw for 315 yards and three scores, including the game-winning TD pass with
1:53 remaining. Skelton was the Cardinals' starter entering this season but was
injured in the opener and replaced by Kevin Kolb, who was 15-for-27 for 140
yards and a touchdown last week. Kolb is a former Eagles backup and was Philly’s
starter entering the 2010 season before getting hurt in Week 1 and losing his
job to Michael Vick. Philadelphia traded Kolb to Arizona before last season.

New England has relinquished its role as the Super Bowl
and AFC betting favorite. The Pats were 5-1 to win it all and 5-2 to repeat as
AFC champs but have been dropped to 13-2 and 11-4, respectively. The Patriots have dropped from -550 to -400 to
win the AFC East.  They are currently three-point road dogs this week at Baltimore, a team the Patriots have never lost
to in six regular-season games.

San Francisco is now the Super Bowl favorite at 5-1,
followed by Houston at 6-1. The 49ers are the only 2-0 team to have opened its
season with wins over playoff teams from a year ago (Green Bay and Detroit).
Despite being tied atop the AFC West with Arizona, the Niners are still big
-450 favorites there.

is the new AFC favorite at 5-2. Because the Texans play in the weak AFC South,
where the other three teams have combined for one win, Houston is now a
whopping -2000 division favorite. Those odds are nearly 500 percent shorter
than the next-closest team, which is San Francisco. The Texans are three-point favorites
in the altitude of Denver this week. Houston is 2-16 all-time vs. Peyton
from his Indianapolis days.

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