It took Taysom Hill all of four quarters to assuage concerns about how the New Orleans Saints would fare while quarterback Drew Brees recovers from lung and rib injuries.
After a slow start in his first full NFL game under center, Hill led a convincing 24-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The Saints now own a two-game lead in the NFC South and sit one game clear of their closest competitors in the NFC.
The Saints (8-2) are in excellent position to claim the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. They have already concluded their season sweep of division rival Tampa Bay and a Week 15 home game against Kansas City is the only remaining opponent with a winning record on New Orleans' schedule.
The Saints' odds of winning Super Bowl LV shortened from 750 last week to 650 at PointsBet, where they are being offered behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (275) and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Meanwhile New Orleans has pulled even with Pittsburgh at 550 by DraftKings behind Kansas City (300).
New Orleans holds a one-game lead in the NFC over the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, who are each 7-3 on the season and 500 to win the NFC title along with the 7-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The sportsbook is offering the Packers and Rams at 1100 to win Super Bowl LV, with the Seahawks at 1300 along with the Bucs. DraftKings is offering the Bucs' title odds at 1100 ahead of the Packers and Rams at 1200 and Seahawks at 1300.
With a 1 1/2-game lead and the first tiebreaker over the Bucs in hand, the Saints have put a vice-grip on the NFC South with six regular-season games to play. They are being offered at -770 to win the division by DraftKings. Those are the shortest odds among division favorites behind only the Chiefs at -10000 to win the AFC West and the Packers at -835 to win the NFC North.
Oddsmakers haven't jumped on the Steelers' bandwagon to threaten the Chiefs just yet, but they are being offered at 500 by PointsBet and 520 by DraftKings to finish the regular season undefeated. The Steelers are scheduled to play the 6-4 Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night and still have difficult games against the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns, who are each 7-3.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets' odds of going 0-16 have shortened to 180 at both sportsbooks, with DraftKings offering them at -225 to win at least one of their final six games. PointsBet lists the Jets at -223 to avoid going 0-16.
--Field Level Media