Football’s back, and if you can see the future of any given Sunday, you stand to get rich quick. Americans are going to gamble almost $100 billion on pro and college games this fall. That’s a ridiculous figure, equivalent to the entire [economy of Ecuador](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listof_countries_by_GDP(nominal). Some of that could be yours — and, let’s face it, probably is. Here’s what you can expect in the next four months of following the Odds.
1. The New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl 50
So, yeah, Deflategate was a thing. After a federal judge threw out Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, the ageless New England Patriots quarterback led the Pats to a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening night. Barring any real progress on the league’s appeal, how will an active Brady affect the team’s chances for back-to-back Super Bowl victories? We highlighted the suspension when Brady was slated to miss the first quarter of the season. Their odds have only gone up with his full return.
Odds the New England Patriots will win Super Bowl 50: 15 to 2
2. Roger Goodell Is Staying Put as NFL Commissioner
Commissioner Roger Goodell is crap at discipline. Besides having the Brady ruling overturned, the official league rulings on the Saints’ bounty program, the Ray Rice assault, the Adrian Peterson assault, and others have been reduced or overturned. After the Ray Rice scandal, in which video emerged of the former NFL player hitting his wife emerged and caused the league to backtrack on their punishment, oddsmakers put Goodell’s ouster at a surprisingly likely 9 to 2 odds. But the fervor has died down. The Deflategate reversal won’t unseat the commiss.
Odds Roger Goodell will be fired as NFL Commissioner: 100 to 1
3. Fantasy Football Could Make You Rich
Even the apathetic football fans at Inverse HQ have been dragooned into an office-wide fantasy football league. The winner will likely claim it helped morale; the losers will rue the day. (Note: My team, “Han YOLO,” is a solid bunch of gentlemen, for whom I have high hopes.) Not only is pro football the country’s most popular sport and the most lucrative, but with the sport accounting for 36 percent of the estimated 40 million fantasy games played each year, it’s also the most popular for stat heads. That’s a lot of entry fees, and somewhat fewer payouts.
Over / under on how much money users could make on fantasy football sites like DraftKings or FanDuel: $2 billion
4. The NFL’s New Extra Point Rule Will Change the Game
In the offseason the NFL changed the most rote play in the game. By moving the line of scrimmage for an extra point after a touchdown from the 2-yard line back to the 15-yard line, the league made the previously inevitable point after into the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal. Kickers had been hitting 99.3 percent of their extra points, a virtual gimme. Yet so far this year, kickers have missed four of 63 kick attempts. Even if it’s still incredibly easy to kick a field goal after a touchdown, kickers are nine times more likely to miss. Chances are you’ll pay more attention to the PAT this year.
Over / under on extra point conversion percentages for the 2016 season: 93.7 percent
5. Surprisingly, Chicago Cubs Fans Are the Happiest Baseball Fans
You’ve got to hand it to baseball fans. A team’s 162-game schedule is a damn marathon. The good folks at FiveThirtyEight tried to quantify it by analyzing positive and negative words from each MLB team’s subreddits. The findings: Every team has lost fan support at some point this year except the Chicago Cubs. This despite the 107-year World Series drought, punctuated by recent farce. But a successful season so far obviously has Wrigleyville constantly abuzz — and the odds say it’s for good reason. The Cubbies are in the mix.
Odds the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series: 12 to 1