2012 NFL Super Bowl Futures Odds Update and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 5/9/2012
The dust had hardly settled from New York’s 21-17 victory over New England in last season’s Super Bowl before Bovada released its odds for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans next February. These early odds were primarily based on each team’s form at the end of last season, but with the start of free agency in March and last month’s college draft, there has been some significant movement in both directions for a couple of teams.
The following is a look at two teams whose stock is rising in the Super Bowl ‘futures’ market and two whose stock is dropping like a rock along with our ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ recommendations for all four.
Stocks on the Rise
The obvious winner in this category just so happened to also win the Peyton Manning derby that was held earlier this year. Of the handful of teams in the running, the Denver Broncos pulled off the win as an original dark horse in the race. With a future Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm as opposed to the departed Tim Tebow, the Broncos went from 50/1 longshots to win next season’s Super Bowl to one of two fourth-favorites at 12/1.
These are lofty expectations considering that Manning has not thrown a pass in a regular-season game since the 2010 season, but it appears that he will be able to return to form while suffering no lingering effects from his neck injury. The value in the lower odds is still definitely there; giving the Broncos a strong ‘buy’ recommendation.
Another team that is on the rise, although not as dramatically as Denver, is the San Francisco 49ers. They opened at 15/1 odds in early February, but are currently third-favorites at 10/1 to win it all next season. The 49ers were also in the running to land Manning, but they have decided that Alex Smith will remain the starter at quarterback.
Apparently the addition of wide receivers Randy Moss and the Giants’ Mario Manningham along with former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs has been enough to convince a good portion the betting public to jump on the San Francisco bandwagon for 2012. Regardless, this stock’s new odds have suddenly become a bit too pricy so we are going with a ‘sell’ recommendation.
Stocks on the Decline
The biggest drop in market value belongs to the New Orleans Saints. This perennial Super Bowl contender opened as the third-favorite at 17/2 to win a world title in its own backyard, but a series of scandals that have rocked this once-proud franchise to the core have it tumbling down the ranks. The Saints are now 18/1 with eight other teams having lower odds.
Head Coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be sitting out the entire 2012 campaign for their roles in a player bounty program that existed on this team for the past several seasons. Vilma is appealing his suspension. However, do not expect to see him on the field in their near future.
Saints’ general manager Mickey Loomis, who is also serving a suspension for his role in the bounty situation, is now being investigated for illegal wire tapping of opposing team’s coaches. To add to this whole mess, all-pro quarterback Drew Brees remains unsigned after declining to sign the team’s one-year franchise tag offer. While the overall talent level on the Saints remains high, all this off-the-field turmoil is bound to have some lingering effects on their on-field performance in the regular season so they remain a firm ‘sell’.
The next team with the biggest drop on the board is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They opened as fourth-favorites along with Houston at 12/1 when the odds were first released, but since that point have been on a steady decline and are currently listed at 20/1. While there are some obvious reasons for some of the other team’s movements, this one is a bit tougher to understand. It could partially be due to the sudden rise of the Broncos, but there has to be some other reason that the betting public has turned sour on a team that has been to three Super Bowls in the past seven seasons and won twice.
The roster remains basically intact from last season and improvements to the offensive line will make quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s life that much better. The Steelers have not re-signed free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, but they have not lost him either as he remains on the open market. This is the kind of team that you can count on to be in the mix come January and it has shown the ability in the past to come back strong after a down year. These two aspects tend to add a ton of value to its current odds that keeps Pittsburgh firmly on our ‘buy’ list.
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