© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the biggest early-season surprises around the NFL have been the performances we’ve seen from the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers defenses.

Despite seeing Aaron Rodgers struggle to an extent on offense, Green Bay finds itself at 4-1 heading into Monday night’s battle against the Detroit Lions.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers join the New England Patriots as the only undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. They rank in the top five in total defense, passing defense, against the run, points allowed and scoring differential.



It goes without saying that the Packers and 49ers have seen their Super Bowl odds spike big time from the preseason.

From Sports Betting Dime (opening odds in parenthesis)

  • New England Patriots: 7/2 (8/1)
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 8/1 (11/1)
  • New Orleans Saints: 10/1 (11/1)
  • Green Bay Packers: 13/1 (24/1)
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 15/1 (18/1)
  • San Francisco 49ers: 19/1 (39/1)
  • Dallas Cowboys: 21/1 (29/1)
  • Seattle Seahawks: 22/1 (36/1)
  • Los Angeles Rams: 22/1 (23/2)
  • Baltimore Ravens: 28/1 (42/1)

It’s rather clear that Las Vegas and the entire betting world sees Green Bay and San Francisco as legitimate contenders to come out of the NFC. As it relates to the AFC, it’s still all about the Chiefs and Patriots.

On the other end of the spectrum, teams that opened the season with high expectations have been hit with a deadly dose of reality.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 300/1 (28/1)
  • Atlanta Falcons: 250/1 (36/1)
  • Cleveland Browns: 45/1 (19/1)

Of these teams, the struggles we’ve seen from Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns has to be seen as the most surprising. Cleveland is coming off a blowout 31-3 loss to the above-mentioned 49ers and sits at 2-3 on the season.



Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is down to its No. 3 quarterback after losing future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger for the season back in Week 2. Its dramatic drop from 28/1 odds makes sense.