In theory, no one should have a better sense of the state of the NFL than Vegas, bookies, and the rest of the gambling community. They’re supposedly cold, calculating enterprises that treat the drama of sports in no higher regard than any other investment opportunity.
While the bookies and sports books may be managed to within an inch of their lives, remember that their job isn’t to pick the winners or guess the outcome. Their job is to make sure that bets are hedged, and that both sides of a proposition are bet equally.
Essentially, the accuracy of sports books are often no better than the accuracy of the mouthbreathers that are taking their action. That said, it’s not like you have a better system, so see what Vegas has to say about the 2014 season.
(While there are tons of different ways to gauge a team’s ranking or quality, I’m comfortable just using the Super Bowl odds to see who the best is. The most likely team is the best, the least likely is the worst. Not the most dynamic system, but we’re not statisticians.