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Longshot Super Bowl Futures Odds: Which Teams Have the Best Value?
by George Monroy - 12/11/2012

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Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch

The Super Bowl may be the most difficult championship to win in professional sports. The single-elimination format makes it extremely difficult for any football team to be a significant favorite. The constant threat of injuries, coupled with the grind of weekly games, make betting Super Bowl futures an excellent way to get huge value and return on a minimal investment.

The Top 6 favorites to win the Super Bowl are getting anywhere from 5 /1 all the way up to 9/1 odds to win the game. But if you look for wagers outside of the conventional favorites, you can find more than a few excellent prices, For this article, let’s take a look at a few Super Bowl long shots (anything over 10/1) and see which teams have the best value to place a bet on.
(All odds come from the Bovada online sportsbook and are current as of Week 14 of the NFL season)

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New York Giants: +1,200

The New York Giants are just one of those teams that are always a serious threat to win the Super Bowl until the day they are actually eliminated from the playoffs. The team has a ball-stopping defense, skill players at every position, and a quarterback that is not afraid of pressure situations. The Giants are always liable to get hot at the right time and make a deep run into the playoffs — they won their last two Super Bowls using that exact same formula.

Don’t let the fact that the Giants have been playing poorly over the last few weeks convince you not to trust them during the post season. In fact, New York’s recent struggles benefit you as a gambler because all they do is push their Super Bowl odds higher and higher, while their true odds remain the same. Are the Giants any more or less likely to win the Super Bowl than they were three weeks ago? The answer is probably not.

Worth a bet? Yes. The Giants currently lead their division by a full game, and, barring any disasters, should make the playoffs and have at least one home game under their belt. On a good day the Giants are talented enough to beat any team in the league. Being able to get them 12/1 to win the Super Bowl is an excellent wager.

Chicago Bears: +1,800

The Chicago Bears are in an excellent position odds-wise. Sportsbooks are expecting the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North and push Chicago into one of the wild card spots -- which is why they are getting 18 /1 Super Bowl odds while Green bay is only getting 9 /1 odds. But the Bears are currently a game behind Green Bay for first place in the division, and they still have one more matchup against each other left on the schedule. Chicago may not be playing great football over the last five weeks, but the Bears still have a decent chance to win the division. And if you were to bet them now, you could possibly get a wager on a division champ at a wild card price.

Chicago is going to have at least one, and maybe even two, home playoff games if they win the division. If the team has a healthy Jay Cutler, they have the talent to play with anybody in the league. The Bears are an upper-echelon team, and anything can happen in a one-game playoff.

Worth a bet?: Yes. Taking the Bears at 18 /1 is an excellent value play. Chicago can be one of the most talented teams in the league, and, at this point in the season, the odds are simply not reflecting that fact.

Pittsburgh Steelers: +1,800

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in the No. 6 seed in the AFC, and they still have an outside chance of catching the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North division lead. So, at first glance, getting 18/1 on the Steelers, looks like a great proposition to have. The team has a solid defense, a capable offense, and a coach and quarterback with Super Bowl experience to boot.

But, the question is, how healthy is Ben Roethlisberger? The Steelers’ quarterback returned from a shoulder and rib injury last week against the Chargers, but there is still a question of health hanging over his head. If “Big Ben” cannot stay healthy throughout the playoffs, the Steelers have little chance to win another Super Bowl.

Worth a bet?: No. There is simply too much uncertainty hanging over the team to place a bet at these odds. Maybe if the odds were closer to the 30/1 range, a bet on Pittsburgh would be a reasonable idea, but at 18 /1 it feels like a negative expected value play.

Seattle Seahawks: +3,300

The Seattle Seahawks are currently sitting alone in the six-seed spot in the NFC, and they have it all but locked up and ready to go. The team has victories over Green Bay, New England, Chicago, and a competitive loss to San Francisco, under its belts. People may want to count the Seahawks out, but they are a Super Bowl threat and 33/1 seems like the perfect odds to place a bet on them.

Worth a bet?: Yes. The Seahawks have excellent chance to make the playoffs via the wild card. And once they are in, the team plays the type of football that could help them make a deep playoff run.

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