Divisions of Grandeur: Where the NFL Moneyline Favorites Come From

ERF-521_BOS_NFL Futures_December 20 2013While the NFL is often lauded for its competitive balance and parity, tell that to somebody who’s been watching the same juggernaut dynasties contend for the championship year in and year out for more than the past decade. While the playoff picture may constantly be changing, the majority of SuperBowl lines begin and end with a select few elite programs.
Since the St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV back in January of 2000, we’ve seen four teams take home multiple titles. Not only does their stranglehold limit the number of fresh faces competing in the big game, the result is a stockpile of titles handed out to a shortlist of divisions.

The 1%

Over the course of the past 13 years, the AFC North has won four championships (thanks to the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers) while the AFC East has won three. Neither the NFC West nor AFC West has won a single one since that Rams victory back shortly after the millennium.
Now, although it may sound like it, we’re not exactly complaining. The fact that a certain group of franchises can manage to stay atop the totem pole for as long as they have is an impressive feat. However, it makes football all the more magical when an underdog prevails.
This year, while it isn’t instantly obvious, we may be seeing exactly that. You might want to keep that in mind and be ready when you go to bet on the Super Bowl.

West is Best

The top three teams available on the NFL futures list heading into the final stretch of the regular season all hail from the aforementioned AFC West and NFC West Divisions. Technically speaking, so do the Kansas City Chiefs who sit seventh on the list as well.
When the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers look to tighten their grip on the rest of the league, they’ll have the potential to bring the west its first ring since 2000.
Currently the Seahawks lead all contenders with 12/5 Superbowl betting odds.

The Fab… Seven?

Of the seven teams that stand alone at the front of the line, two come from the NFC West (Seahawks, 49ers), two from the AFC West (Broncos, Chiefs), two from the AFC South (New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers) and the last is the AFC East staple New England Patriots.
If the Pats were to capitalize on their 12/1 NFL odds, it would further develop the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady Dynasty.
If either the Saints or Panthers do, Super Bowl online betting is about to get a lot more interesting. Aside from the AFC North with Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the AFC South is the only other division with multiple winners over the past 13 years. A Carolina victory would give them a third (joining New Orleans in 2010 and Tampa Bay in 2003).

What It Means

While poetic, it’s important not to base too many of your Super Bowl betting tips on past patterns. The track record may paint a vivid picture of which teams have championship experience, but every team that’s become a perennial force had to win its first title at some point.