2011 Super Bowl XLV Future Odds: Biggest Concerns for the Super Bowl Favorites

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Defense could be a problem for bettors taking Green Bay in the Super Bowl XLV Betting Odds

With the start of the NFL season less than 2 weeks away, it’s a good time to take a preliminary look at Super Bowl futures. Part of making a solid future pick is not only looking at what can go right, but also what can go wrong. We’ll look at some of the favorites, according to Bodog’s Super Bowl futures, to win it all this season, and look at some of the major obstacles they will/could face in the upcoming season.

Baltimore Ravens
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 11/1
Biggest concern: Passing offense, passing defense

After making a huge off-season move to pick up play-making wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth, the Ravens seem to have addressed the one major hole on their team. What remains to be seen is if Joe Flacco is indeed the franchise quarterback Baltimore thinks he is. Even with Boldin and Stallworth, the Ravens look like the same inconsistent and oftentimes ineffective offense. There are also questions about the usually dependable defense. Despite the 23-3 score line against Washington, the Ravens actually gave up more than 400 passing yards. This could continue to be a problem as Ed Reed continues to miss time due to injury, and Ray Lewis and the rest of the defense continue to get older.

Green Bay Packers
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 11/1
Biggest concern: Defense

Aaron Rodgers has been amazing since he took over for Brett Favre as Green Bay’s franchise quarterback, but the same problems that have hurt the Packer’s chances throughout Rodger’s entire time as the starter seem to still be present. Although the Rodgers-led Packers offense can put up a ton of points against any team in the league, they seem unable to stop anybody in the process. The trend has continued this pre-season, where they have given up 24 or more points in each game. If the Packers hope to make a serious push for the championship this season, it’s going to have to start with the defense. The Packers definitely have a Super Bowl-caliber offense, but the defense will have to at least approach that level if Green Bay wants to seriously contend.

Minnesota Vikings
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 11/1
Biggest concern: Passing offense

After going through so much to get Brett Favre back for one more year, the Vikings suddenly find themselves with no one for him to throw to. After having to undergo hip surgery, Sidney Rice will miss at least the first half of the season. Percy Harvin has continued to struggle with migraines, and there is no real way to tell when, or if, that problem will be completely resolved. Remember, Favre had the best statistical season of his career last year, and the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship game. It’s a long shot that he can repeat that performance, especially without completely healthy receivers, and it’s unclear if Minnesota can make it that far, or win it all, with anything less from their passing game.

San Diego Chargers
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 11/1
Biggest concern: Offensive continuity and big play capability

The Chargers seem on the verge of losing Vincent Jackson, their top receiving threat. That, coupled with the exit of LaDainian Tomlinson, will continue to negatively affect the continuity
for San Diego’s offense. Although they may have picked up the talent to replace those players, that does not mean they have replaced their presence or familiarity with the system. The Chargers need to be careful not to go down the rode so many other teams have gone down, which is to assume that all players are replaceable, and no single player is bigger that system. That could be true, but in the NFL, you still need playmakers. It remains to be seen whether or the Chargers have big play capability necessary to make push for the Super Bowl.

New York Jets
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 10/1
Biggest concern: Offense

While the Jets should be given credit for their playoff run last season, everyone seems to be confusing a team that got hot in the playoffs with a team that was consistently solid all year. They weren’t. The fact of the matter is that the Jets were a .500 team who needed 2 games against 2nd and 3rd stringers in their last 2 games of the regular season just to get into the post-season. In reality, the Jets have one of the best defenses in the league, but a below-average offense with a quarterback who, despite the hype, has yet to really prove himself as a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. The addition of Tomlinson could help, but there is a reason San Diego let him go. The Jets will have to be consistently effective on offense in order to be serious Super Bowl contenders.

New Orleans Saints
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 10/1
Biggest concern: Defense

The Saints will return most of the Super Bowl winning team from last year, which will be both a good thing and a bad thing. Led once again by Drew Brees, the Saints’ offense should be one of the best in the league again this year. However, the Saints’ defense will once again have questions to answer. New Orleans’ offense was great enough last year to cover up for a defense that gave up 20+ points in 12 out of 16 regular season games. Although they should be good on offense again, it’s asking a lot to hope for them to be that good again. It will be up to the defense to pick up the slack, and remains to be seen whether or the New Orleans is capable of doing that. If the Saints hope to repeat, they will need to be much improved defensively.

Dallas Cowboys
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 9/1
Biggest concern: Quarterback, offensive line

Dallas is entering yet another season as a Super Bowl favorite. The Cowboys have been a perennial underachieving team for years, and every time they don’t quite play up to their potential, it always seems to come down to same position: quarterback. Tony Romo has yet to prove that he can consistently win the big games. If a team hopes to win the Super Bowl, they’ll have to win a handful of big games, not just one. It also doesn’t help that the Cowboys’ offensive line has looked increasingly suspect with each passing pre-season game. Romo will have to finally find big-game consistency and the o-line will have to gel quickly for Dallas to make a serious playoff run.

Indianapolis Colts
Bodog odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 17/2
Biggest concern: Defense

The Colts have been the most consistent team of recent years, and with Peyton Manning still at quarterback, there is no reason for that to stop this season. The Colts’ real concerns will be on the defensive side of the ball. In 3 pre-season games, the Colts have given up 37, 34, and 59 points. Obviously, that is nowhere near good enough to win the Super Bowl. The Colts continue to struggle with injuries in the secondary, and are having a difficult time figuring out a solution. The Colts will have to figure out a way to make their defense at least respectable in order to contend for the Super Bowl. If they don’t, they’ll continue to see results similar to the ones they have been experiencing throughout the pre-season.

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