No sooner had the last piece of confetti been swept up following Super Bowl XLVII, then oddsmakers had listed the futures for Super Bowl XLVIII. The San Francisco 49ers, who suffered a deflating 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, are now the team to beat.
Oddsmakers believe that Colin Kaepernick has gained the experience needed to lead his team back to the Super Bowl and have listed the Niners as 13/2 favorites. New England is next at 15/2 followed by Denver (8/1), Green Bay (11/1) and Seattle (12/1).
Midrange Favorites (14-20)
There are several teams to consider in this price range. The New Orleans Saints will have head coach Sean Peyton back, and as a result, their odds are a tempting 14/1. The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, NFC finalist Atlanta Falcons and AFC South champion Houston Texans are lined at 16/1. The Pittsburgh Steelers are in at 18/1 with the New York Giants at 20/1. Any team from this group could slip into the Conference Championship games. Give them a look.
Find a Dark Horse
Since the first odds were released, before Super Bowl 47 was played, there have been almost daily changes in the lines. The free agency period and NFL draft will transform the fortunes of different teams and that will probably cause a change in the odds. Now is the time to examine teams who have made either coaching changes or player personnel moves. Perhaps you will find a hidden gem.
The Washington Redskins are priced at 25/1, but until more is known about the health of QB Robert Griffin III, that is a ‘no play’ in my book. The Colts (33/1), Bengals (35/1) and Vikings were all playoff teams in 2013 and merit serious consideration for the upcoming season.
Maybe the Eagles and new head coach Chip Kelly strike your fancy. Philadelphia is currently lined at 50/1 and could become a betting favorite down the road. Get them now while the price is high.
Don’t Waste Your Money
Unless you are a diehard fan, I cannot imagine there would be any reason in the world to bet on teams like the Cardinals (66/1), Raiders (100/1) or Jacksonville Jaguars (150/1).
Why Play Futures?
There are two main advantages of futures bets. The first is the lure of earning significant money for a smaller wager. The second is that they provide an NFL bettor a rooting interest in the entire season. Since season-long bets typically have a team or two that the bettor will want to see lose, they will have a little more cheering incentive.
Wagering on Super Bowl futures can also carry a few risks. The most notable is an injury to a key player. Sometimes the chemistry of the team may be altered due to a coaching change made during the off season.
Next year’s NFL title game will be played on February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey.