Just how essential is having a superstar quarterback to a team’s Super Bowl betting odds? We like to think that championship contenders come in all shapes and sizes, but when the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning tend to dominate the NFL circuit year in and year out we start to wonder just how likely it is for a team to hoist hardware without an ace under center.
The reigning champion Baltimore Ravens managed to win a title with an imposing defensive unit anchored by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, but their quarterback Joe Flacco raised his own game to new heights while they did it – earning a well-deserved superstar-quarterback contract in the process.
Previously it was Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers, each esteemed play-callers, at the helm during their own teams’ run to a title. This year, however, we have a number of legitimate NFL favorites whose best players play somewhere other than at QB.
For instance, while Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos top the Superbowl odds, they’re trailed by a Seattle Seahawks team that relies on not only second-year man Russell Wilson, but a standout defensive unit and the always formidable Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.
While Wilson’s ability to run the ball keeps opponents honest, it’s safe to say that he isn’t the vital cog for the franchise that, say, Brady is to the New England Patriots.
No Arm, No Foul in NFL Superbowl Betting
At this point in the season, while Manning and the Broncos lead the Superbowl online betting world with 10/3 odds on the NFL futures, three of the top five teams on that same list sport a quarterback who’s never so much as been named to a Pro Bowl.
Wilson’s Seahawks have managed to establish themselves as one of the sexiest bet options in football, but more so thanks to the contributions of Lynch, a well-rounded defensive platoon and the masterful guidance of Pete Carroll than anything else.
The San Francisco 49ers, too, have made a case for themselves as card-carrying members of the NFL elite without a consistently reliable quarterback leading the way. You don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid on Colin Kaepenrick, however, in order to acknowledge the Jim Harbaugh-led club as a favorite on the Super Bowl lines.
Armed and Dangerous
But while Wilson’s Seahawks, Kaepernick’s 49ers and even Alex Smith’s Kansas City Chiefs have taken the NFL wagering world by storm, one can’t bet on the Super Bowl without taking a good long look at the veteran superstars who have guided their franchises over the course of lengthy reigns atop the moneyline.
Peyton Manning may not have won a title with the Broncos last year, but is on the fast track to do so in 2014. Brady may be several years removed from his last title in New England, but don’t hold your breath trying to find somebody who has ruled them out heading forward.
Even Drew Brees can be credited with the lingering presence of the New Orleans Saints atop the sportsbook, while the once lowly Cincinnati Bengals have only risen to the forefront of national attention on the heels of Andy Dalton’s vast improvement.
Will this fall mark the changing of the guard in the NFL, or when all is said and done will Super Bowl XLVIII be awarded to a team with a go-to quarterback?