Odds to Win Super Bowl 49
In this article, NFL Analyst Jeff Scott looks at all of the NFL teams and their corresponding Super Bowl odds. He will offer some wagering advice at the end of the article and give out some betting picks as well. Several teams in the league don't have a realistic shot of making the big game so he will break them down into different categories. The categories will be...
- Super Bowl Contenders
- Teams With a Shot
- Not This Year but on the Right Path
- Just Hoping to Improve
Odds to win Super Bowl XLIX courtesy of Bodog Sportsbook
Super Bowl Contenders
Denver Broncos 13-2
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can overcome a brutal schedule that starts with six of their first eight games against 2013 playoff teams. The other two games are at the NY Jets and home to Arizona. The defense has to incorporate several new starters and QB Peyton Manning has to quickly get on the same page with new WRs Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Cody Latimer. RB Montee Ball also has to do his best to duplicate RB Knowshon Moreno's 2013 season (1,038 yards rushing, 10 TDs on the ground).
Seattle Seahawks 7-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - WR Percy Harvin stays healthy and gives the offense the big-play ability it has lacked for several seasons. RB Marshawn Lynch is holding out for one more big payday but the Seahawks have other contracts to deal with (see QB Russell Wilson) but still need Lynch this year. The defense lost several starters and is going to replace all of them in house. They need those players to play up to the level of their predecessors. Gaining home-field advantage is a huge plus for this team as well.
San Francisco 49ers 15-2
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can sweep Seattle. The 49ers are 1-5 in their last six visits to the Emerald City and seemingly need to play them at home in the playoffs to advance. QB Colin Kaepernick has to improve his reads and not run when his No. 1 target is covered. RB Frank Gore is going to be eased out of the lineup soon but his primary backup, RB Kendall Hunter, has been lost for the year and the team needs Gore to be the workhorse again. The defense has to play well until ILB Navorro Bowman can return from injury.
New England Patriots 9-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - The recent additions to the secondary stop the bleeding on the backend. CBs Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are veteran performers who can still get the job done and they have to for the defense to catch up to the offense. Another big year is needed out of QB Tom Brady but he will have to keep the offense going without any new additions to help him. A full season from TE Rob Gronkowski would certainly spark the offense as would a breakout year from one or two of the young receivers.
Green Bay Packers 10-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can stay relatively healthy for the first time in years. The offense looks like it will be the usual high-powered, high-scoring group they have been during QB Aaron Rodgers tenure as the starter but they need all of their players on the field. The defense has some new players to work into the lineup and need to be able to consistently rush the passer and get some big plays from the safety position. They didn't do either last season and an inability to improve in these two areas could doom them again.
Indianapolis Colts 14-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can take advantage of the NFL's easiest schedule and grab one of the top two seeds in the AFC. QB Andrew Luck will continue to improve and the return of WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dwayne Allen will only help him. Some good play from the o-line would be nice. The defense is the weak link for this team and they need the front seven to be better vs. the run and for someone in the secondary to make up for the playmaking ability of the departed FS Antoine Bethea.
New Orleans Saints 14-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can get as many big plays from their defense as they will from the offense. Def. Co. Rob Ryan got this group to believe last season but they need to tighten up the run defense and force more TOs. QB Drew Brees has shown no signs of slowing down and finally has some great speed on the outside in the form of WR Kenny Stills and rookie WR Brandin Cooks. The o-line is breaking in two new starters and they have to help keep Brees upright for the Saints to go deep into the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles 25-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - The loss of WR DeSean Jackson doesn't slow down one of the top offenses in the league. They now lack a true No.1 wideout and need WRs Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to elevate their game. They also need contributions from their two rookie WRs, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. They also need the defense to drastically improve their 32nd ranking vs. the pass. FA FS Malcolm Jenkins should help but he can't do it alone. The pass rush must also improve.
Teams With a Shot
Cincinnati Bengals 40-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - QB Andy Dalton can duplicate his regular season play in the postseason. He has played terribly in three-straight playoff losses and needs to show he can get the job done when it counts. The offense should be more diversified as new Off. Co. Hue Jackson will use the running abilities of RBs Gio Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill more than his predecessor, Jay Gruden. The defense also has a new co-ordinator but they should still be able to mount a strong pass rush but need improved play from the secondary.
Arizona Cardinals 40-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can find a way to have a winning record in their four games vs. Seattle and San Francisco. They play in the toughest division in football but don't have a lot of tough non-divisional encounters. They also need QB Carson Palmer to resemble the player they saw in the second half of 2013 and not the first half model. The defense should remain stout but need ILBs Larry Foote and Kevin Minter to hold the fort in the absence of ILBs Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington.
Chicago Bears 14-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - The defense can undergo the same metamorphosis as the offense did in 2013. Chicago's defense was the worst in franchise history and that's saying something for one of the oldest clubs in the league. They need the slew of FAs and rookies they have brought in to jell quickly and play at least decent defense as the offense should again be potent. Sweeping Green Bay will probably be necessary to win the division. QB Jay Cutler also has to continue to improve and he has to stay healthy.
San Diego Chargers 40-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can sweep Denver and gain home field advantage in the playoffs. While this doesn't seem possible, no team other than Seattle was able to contain this offense in 2013 except San Diego. QB Philip Rivers has to play like he did last season and he will have some injured receivers back to help him in this endeavour. The defense looks to be improving and have to play the rest of the league as well as they do the Broncos for a chance to go far in the playoffs.
Detroit Lions 33-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - They can sweep the Packers and earn a top seed in the playoffs. New HC Jim Caldwell's calming influence should really help this team, which has a habit of blowing late leads in big games. A rejuvenation of QB Matthew Stafford is needed after two so-so seasons. The defense has several question marks but if they can all be answered correctly (especially in the secondary), this team has the talent to surprise some of the better teams in the NFC.
Pittsburgh Steelers 33-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - Their young starters on defense can play to the level of their predecessors. It used to be routine to see the Steelers with the No. 1 defense in the league and they need that to happen this year to have a prayer at the big game. They also have to win their division, something they haven't done since 2010. The new-look offense shined in the final four games of 2013 and they need their run-first offense to control the clock and close out games to have a chance at a 7th Lombardi Trophy.
Baltimore Ravens 40-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - QB Joe Flacco plays like he did in the 2012 playoff season and not like the 2013 regular season. Flacco threw three more interceptions than TDs last year and you're not going anywhere with those type of numbers. The addition of WR Steve Smith at least gives him another reliable target to throw to. The running game must provide balance for this offense but can RBs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce get the job done? The defense is getting younger in the front seven and need to return to a Top 5 defense for this team to have a chance.
New York Giants 40-1
Will Make the Super Bowl if - QB Eli Manning can rebound from a horrendous season and get the offense back on track. When the team CEO says, "The offense is broken" you know changes will be made. New York has made them and need the newcomers to produce right away. The defense played well last year but need DE Jason Pierre-Paul to return to his double-digit sack days. FA CBs Walter Thurmond and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should give the Giants the best pair of corners they have had in years.
Not This Year but on the Right Path
Carolina Panthers 40-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - QB Cam Newton has a career year and the defense can remain a Top 5 unit. It's sad to see the No.2 seed in the NFC in 2013 drop this far but this is what happens when you lose three-fourths of your secondary, your four top WRs and your franchise LT in one offseason. With little cap space in which to manoeuvre, the Panthers have turned to aging veterans and untested youngsters. They would certainly need to go 5-1 within the division again to make the playoffs but that isn't likely.
Atlanta Falcons 40-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - The rebuilt o-line performs well and the personnel on defense adjust to the new 3-4 look quickly. That is a lot to ask and expect the defense to struggle early in the year. The healthy return of WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White will help the offense but the loss of TE Tony Gonzalez will be nearly impossible to overcome. Matt Ryan is paid like a franchise QB and needs to have that type of season for Atlanta to reach the playoffs again.
St. Louis Rams 50-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - They survive an eight-game stretch in the middle of the year where they face seven 2013 playoff teams. They need to have a winning record in the division (something they accomplished in 2012, 4-1-1) to make the playoffs and for some of the teams in the NFC West to have an off year. QB Sam Bradford is in a make-or-break year and this team has some of the best young talent in the league (courtesy of the RGIII deal). The Rams need at least two of their young wideouts to step up and have breakthrough years.
Kansas City Chiefs 50-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - They can duplicate their play in the first half of 2013 (8-0) and not the second half (3-5, 0-1 in playoffs). OLBs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are back healthy and will give the team a strong pass rush. QB Alex Smith has a rebuilt o-line in front of him and this offense may have to rely even more on RB Jamaal Charles than they did last year (team leader in rushing and receiving yards, receptions and TDs). HC Andy Reid has had success in the past and you can't count this team out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 50-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - New HC Lovie Smith can elevate the players to play better than they believe they can play. There is plenty of talent in Tampa and Smith is the ultimate player's coach (see Chicago resume). The offense has a lot of potential but also lots of new faces. The defense is transitioning back to the classic Tampa Cover 2 but the players will need time to adjust. One of those teams you may not want to face late in the year with something on the line.
Washington Redskins 50-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - QB Robert Griffin III returns to his former self and the defense can play consistently over the course of the season. The addition of FA WR DeSean Jackson gives the offense two talented receivers to go along with bruising RB Alfred Morris. The quartet of Griffin III, Jackson, WR Pierre Garcon and Morris is better than some of the teams listed above them on this list. The defense needs FA NT Jason Hatcher to wreak havoc and give a weak secondary a chance in the passing game.
Miami Dolphins 66-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - QB Ryan Tannehill takes the leap into stardom behind a totally rebuilt o-line. Tannehill is the best QB Miami has had since the days of Dan Marino but still has a ways to go. He does have some weapons at his disposal and the FA addition of RB Knowshon Moreno should stabilize a position long in need of consistency. The defense should continue to improve as the players get more familiar with the 4-3 front. Playing in the AFC doesn't hurt either.
New York Jets 66-1
Could Make the Playoffs if - RB Chris Johnson returns to his 2009 form and the Jets get good play from the QB position. Johnson clearly isn't the player he was back then but still has the speed to break long runs. QB Geno Smith is expected to start and has better weapons and talent around him than he did last season. FA WR Eric Decker and rookie TE Jace Amaro both figure to have an impact on an offense that ranked 31st in passing in 2013. The defense should remain relatively stout and may even be better in 2014.
Just Hoping to Improve
Houston Texans 66-1
It Will be a Good Year if - The offense can make progress and a QB for the future is determined. There are three veteran QBs in camp, all with starting experience and one rookie, Tom Savage. The defense had trouble defending the run last year and finished last in the NFL with only 11 takeaways. That number needs to improve as the offense will probably be behind the defense at the start of the year and could use the good field position TOs usually provide. This is also a big year for RB Arian Foster as he has to show he can be a 'team' player.
Dallas Cowboys 50-1
It Will be a Good Year if - QB Tony Romo stays healthy for the whole season and the team can finally break out of their 8-8 doldrums. The offense looks like it could be dangerous as Romo has a good running game and three good receivers at his disposal. The defense looks horrific on paper and no amount of coaching will change that. This group needs as many as six new starters to be competitive and look for the Cowboys to be on the losing end of several high-scoring affairs.
Buffalo Bills 75-1
It Will be a Good Year if - The Bills finally break their 14-year drought of missing the playoffs. The team hopes QB E. J. Manuel can make a quantum leap in his second season and made a bold move on draft day to facilitate that growth. Trading next year's No.1 pick to move up to take WR Sammy Watkins will be a good move if Watkins quickly becomes a Pro Bowler and the team finally makes a move up in the standings. Losing LB Kiko Alonso for the year hurts a defense that showed signs of improvement in 2013.
Tennessee Titans 100-1
It Will be a Good Year if - QB Jake Locker stakes a claim as the QB of the present and future. Locker's option wasn't picked up for 2015 so he has one more year to show if he's the 'guy'. The defense is moving to a 3-4 look but the personnel is lacking for that move. New def. Co. Ray Horton is a terrific coach but needs another good draft or two to get the players to make his scheme work. This year will be about finding which current players fit and which don't. Expect new HC Ken Whisenhunt to be given time to turn this franchise around.
Cleveland Browns 75-1
It Will be a Good Year if - The front office isn't cleaned out again at season's end like it has the past two years. Also, the harnessing and badmouthing of 1st-round draft pick QB Johnny Manziel has to stop. It makes you wonder why this team drafted Manziel as he has been criticized by his head coach and owner at every turn, while they lavish slavish devotion on QB Brian Hoyer (he of 4 career starts). The defense has some talent but the loss of WR Josh Gordon hurts the offense no matter who ends up under center. Quickly becoming the 'Circus Team' of the NFL, dethroning the long-reigning Raiders.
Minnesota Vikings 100-1
It Will be a Good Year if - Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater shows he is the QB of the future for a team that has been searching for one for years. RB Adrian Peterson still has some gas left in the tank and WR Cordarelle Patterson is capable of highlight-reel plays. New HC Mike Zimmer has some talent to work with on defense but it still has holes. He has made his name on turning defenses around and he should be able to do the job within a few years. Look for this team to pull off at least one big upset in the 2014 season.
Oakland Raiders 100-1
It Will be a Good Year if - Rookie QB Derek Carr (like Bridgewater) shows he is the long-term answer at QB for Oakland. The last good QB the Raiders drafted and who played winning football for them? Try Ken Stabler, drafted in the 2nd Round (like Carr) in 1968! The Raiders upgraded their talent through FA and the draft but still have a long ways to go. Changing the losing culture has been a challenge for GM Reggie McKenzie and HC Dennis Allen, so they brought in several low-cost FAs with Super Bowl rings on their fingers. Having the league's toughest schedule doesn't help matters either.
Jacksonville Jaguars 250-1
It Will be a Good Year if - HC Gus Bradley's toughness wears off on his players and they start to play consistent football on both sides of the ball. Like the Raiders, there is a lack of overall talent but slowly this team is getting better. Bringing in FA DEs Chris Clemons and Red Bryant (both ex-Seahawks, like Bradley) was a smart move and the team had a good draft. The Jaguars may be the worst team in the league but there is hope in north Florida as GM Dave Caldwell and Bradley just need some time to turn this thing around. Finishing on a 4-4 run in 2013 after a 0-8 start is encouraging.
Looking at the odds, Seattle looks good at 7-1. You also have to look at Denver and New England as they appear to be the two best teams in the weak AFC. Two teams that catch my eye are Philadelphia at 25-1 and Cincinnati at 40-1. Both were division winners last season and are favored to repeat in 2014. That means they would be in the running for one of the top two seeds in their conference. At worst they would host a playoff game on Wild Card Weekend. As for longshots, I like Arizona and San Diego, also at 40-1. The weakness of the AFC helps the Chargers while the Cardinals will have already played a lot of tough games if they can escape their division. Indianapolis and New Orleans are also worth a look at 14-1.
As you may have noticed the teams weren't grouped in descending order to their odds. Some teams were changed to other groups based on my belief of where they may finish in 2014. I thought Chicago and Dallas were rated too highly and Cincinnati and San Diego too low, for example.
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