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Ranking the 2014 Super Bowl Odds

Being that we live in the era of instant gratification, 24/7 sports media outlets, the odds for next year’s Super Bowl have already been released. Here are the top 11 teams, according to Vegas:

  • New England Patriots: 7/1
  • San Francisco 49ers: 8/1
  • Denver Broncos: 8/1
  • Green Bay Packers: 10/1
  • Houston Texans: 14/1
  • Baltimore Ravens: 14/1
  • Seattle Seahawks: 16/1
  • Atlanta Falcons: 18/1
  • New Orleans Saints: 18/1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 18/1
  • New York Giants: 20/1

A few things stand out. First, how in the hell are the New England Patriots the most likely team to win the Super Bowl? Every year when Vegas releases their ridiculously early Super Bowl odds, the Patriots seem to stand at the top of the list. I think a large part of this is based off the respect the team earned in the early 2000s, coupled with the fact that they’re always in the playoffs, thus giving themselves a better chance to win than most NFL franchises. However, the Patriots have simply been unable to get it done in recent years, and with Tom Brady a year older and the rest of the AFC only getting stronger, it’s tough to see how the Pats will remain the automatic Super Bowl favorite that they have been for a decade now.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl champions, being ranked so low. Vegas never really liked this team, even as they were embarking on their dominant run through the playoffs. But 14/1 odds for the reigning champion is utterly mystifying. It’s not like they’re going to be worse next year; they’re going to lock up Joe Flacco, and if they do cut Anquan Boldin like they’re threatening to, look for tight end Dennis Pitta and young speed demon wide receiver Torrey Smith to step into bigger roles in the offense. The only defensive cog they’re losing, Ray Lewis, is in reality four to five years past his prime; the 49ers were utterly abusing him in pass coverage in the Super Bowl where he struggled to keep up with younger players like Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. Tell me, then, how the Ravens are the fourth-most likely team to win the Super Bowl in 2014? True, many Super Bowl champions fall prey to a bit of a hangover in the season following their championship campaign, but you can’t tell me that the Ravens won’t be back in the playoffs again. I will take the reigning Super Bowl champs to repeat at 14/1 any day of the week.

There are two other bets that I truly love here: the Seattle Seahawks at 16/1 and the New Orleans Saints at 18/1. The Seahawks absolutely should’ve won their bout against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game; they were only a few seconds away from doing so. Nothing in that game convinced me that the Seahawks weren’t the best team in the NFC, and at their tender ag e, they’re only going to keep getting better. Look for Seattle to have a truly dominant season, especially at home; their 50-point victories toward the end of last season could start to look more like the norm than the exception for that team. The same goes for the Saints, who will be back with a serious vengeance after the reinstatement of head coach Sean Payton. Their defense is still atrocious, but look for the Saints to come out firing from the hip at the beginning of the year. They’ve got a massive chip on their shoulder, and I predict they retake the division from the Falcons in style.


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