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Broncos and Niners are Your Super Bowl XLVIII Favorites

Jim Harbaugh

Despite losing last week, I like the Niners' chances to return to the Super Bowl.

The parade in Baltimore is now over so I feel more than confident enough to go ahead start looking ahead to next year and the odds are readily available for our wagering enjoyment. I’m not going to go over every team, but I am going to take a look at some of the favorites and a I think could be long-shots but worth your attention.

The Favorites

Denver Broncos 7/1 – I’ll tell ya right now I don’t like the Broncos to make it to Super Bowl XLVIII and sadly it starts with Peyton Manning. As he proved in AFC Divisional Round playoffs, I just don’t have confidence in him when it comes to the playoffs. Even in the year his Colts won the title he threw for four touchdowns and seven picks. They’ll be be good again, but I’m not wasting my cash.

San Francisco 49ers 7/1 – Teams that lose the Super Bowl often struggle to return unless your name is the Buffalo Bills I suppose. This team and this coach are different however. The defense will have a few issues as will the offense but the majority of key guys are back and you have every right to lay some coin on the boys by the bay.

New England Patriots 15/2 – The window for this team, Tom Brady and even Bill Belichick is closing. With questions about Wes Welker coming back and whether Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez can stay healthy dogging them, I sense a step back. Only their improved defense will make me think twice. Either way, I don’t see the Super Bowl in their 2013 future.

Green Bay Packers 10/1 – Can the defense improve and get better. especially against the run? Can the running game stay consistent? Will the loss of Greg Jennings (more than likely) affect them much? This is a team I like behind Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers.

Seattle Seahawks 12/1 – If they have home-field advantage in the playoffs, book it. Don’t forget the sophomore slump though for Russell Wilson. I love their D so I think they’re worth a shot.

Baltimore Ravens 14/1 – The defending champions will pay dearly for Joe Flacco and will have to replace Ray Lewis. Ed Reed may retire or move on to another team. I like the Ravens to make the playoffs, but a Super Bowl repeat isn’t in the works.

Josh Freeman

I like Freeman and the Bucs as a possible Super Bowl longshot.

The Long-shots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 60/1 – This is a selection I think has serious merit. Yes, Josh Freeman has to play better and more consistently, but the running game is there and the defense is as well. Carolina is coming off a disappointing season and Atlanta and New Orleans will formidable in the division, but don’t be surprised to see them in the playoffs.

Tennessee Titans 75/1 – There is one thing I can always say about the Titans and this goes back to the Jeff Fisher days and that is that they play hard every week. I like the way Jake Locker plays and if Chris Johnson can find consistency then the sky is the limit for the offense. More playmakers are needed on both sides of the ball, but Mike Munchak can flat-out coach.

Kansas City Chiefs 50/1 - The Chiefs had no problem running the ball in 2012 and they played very good defense throughout the season. Bring in Andy Reid and he will immediately make the offense better and it won’t matter who is at QB. If they go with a rookie QB I’d actually be less cautious based on recent rookie success versus bringing in a veteran free agent.

Regardless of who your team is, look at schedules, free agent comings and goings and draft results before you lay some money on a potential Super Bowl champion.

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