The “Suck for Luck” Odds

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Six weeks into the 2011 NFL season and the most discussed race in the league is for the first pick in the draft. Stanford junior QB Andrew Luck is considered the best passing prospect to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning in 1998 and thanks to the new rookie salary rules will make about half of what 2010 first overall pick Sam Bradford did coming out of college. This has led to fans in nearly a dozen NFL cities actively rooting for their home team to lose in order to be in position to draft him, a phenomenon not seen before in the NFL. As the “Suck For Luck” campaigns picks up steam around the league, we thought it would be a good time to provide an update on who has an inside track to the number one pick.

The Favorites

Miami Dolphins (record 0-5): Anyone who watched the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Jets on Monday night saw a team that has given up on the season after only five games. Players on both sides of the ball were seen jogging through plays or found themselves out of position. With starting QB Chad Henne out for the year this team is being led by the perpetually mediocre Matt Moore, who is not good enough to put Miami on his back for a couple of wins. The next four weeks, with matchups against Denver, Washington and Kansas City will determine whether this team is for real. ODDS: 5-2

Denver Broncos (1-4): A surprise appearance as a favorite, Denver worked their way on to this list with a pair of personnel moves. While the promotion of QB Tim Tebow to the number one spot was anticipated, he has to be viewed as a downgrade from Kyle Orton in the short term. The gift of WR Brandon Lloyd, the NFL’s leader in receiving yards last year, to the Rams for a late draft pick is another clear sign that this team has given up on being competitive in 2011. ODDS: 7-2

St. Louis Rams (0-5):  St. Louis has scored 49 points through 5 games, a league low. They have been outscored by 88 points, also a league low. With top offensive players Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson both banged up, this doesn’t look like a situation that is going to improve any time soon. The only thing keeping this team out of the top spot is their remaining schedule, featuring six games against the awful NFC West. ODDS: 4-1

The Contenders

Indianapolis Colts (0-6): Indy is currently the clubhouse leader as the only 0-6 team in the league, but we can’t put them on top of this list yet. The Colts have been in every game they’ve played this season and should win a few games with improved play by new starter Curtis Painter. Peyton Manning still has an official (and unlikely) chance to return by the end of the season, and he has led this team to the playoffs on a regular basis over the last decade. ODDS: 7-1

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5): Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert has looked good at times, but this team is averaging under 150 yards passing over six games. Back Maurice Jones-Drew is the only reliable weapon on offense and the defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone thus far this season. With games against Baltimore and Houston the next two weeks, the Jags should enter their week 10 game against Indianapolis with a 1-7 record and a new head coach. ODDS: 9:1

Minnesota Vikings (1-5): It seems weird for the Vikings to be on this list, considering they can run the ball and stop the run, but a loss to the Chiefs and a home in the NFC North make them a contender. Rookie signal caller Christian Ponder should take over under center this week, so growing pains should be expected. ODDS: 10-1

The Longshots

Kansas City Chiefs (2-3): No Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry or Tony Moeaki means bad times for last year’s surprise playoff team. ODDS: 13-1

Carolina Panthers (1-5): Cam Newton is proving his doubters wrong, which is keeping them in games. Eventually they should start winning some of them, if the defense improves. Don’t bet on it. ODDS: 17-1

The Field

Arizona Cardinals (1-4): ODDS : 22:1

Washington Redskins (3-2): ODDS: 31:1

Seattle Seahawks (2-3): ODDS: 34:1

Cleveland Browns (2-3): ODDS: 35:1

New York Jets (3-2): ODDS: 35:1

Philadelphia Eagles (2-4): ODDS: 40:1