Many NFL betting experts are already comparing the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles to the NBA’s Miami Heat after their flurry of moves during free agency this preseason. That isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Eagles considering the Heat fell short in their quest for the NBA championship this past June. But you can bet Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid and his team would be more than happy to be playing in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 5.
The Eagles have added more impact players than any other team, and sportsbooks in Las Vegas and around the world have certainly taken notice. They have gone from 12/1 to win the Super Bowl to one of the co-favorites at 6/1 along with the defending champion Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots. The Packers figure to be Philly’s biggest threat in the NFC, as both teams are +260 to win the conference title.
There has also been plenty of betting action on NFL season win totals, with the Eagles jumping to 10.5 OVER (-145) from 10 after picking up CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Jason Babin, DT Cullen Jenkins, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and RB Ronnie Brown within the past two weeks. Rodgers-Cromartie was acquired in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals for quarterback Kevin Kolb, who has also had a major impact on his new team already. The Cardinals have a win total of 7 and Super Bowl odds of 50/1 after opening around 5.5 and 100/1, respectively.
Green Bay and New England both have the highest win totals at 11.5, but the UNDER is favored for both of them. The Patriots have won 10 games or more eight straight seasons, and only the Indianapolis Colts are better with nine years in a row of 10 or more. The Colts have some question marks heading into the season with All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning recovering from neck surgery for the second time in 15 months, giving them a somewhat conservative win total of 9.5 OVER (-145). Indy has won the AFC South seven of the past eight years but figures to finally get some serious competition from the Houston Texans in 2011.
The Texans (30/1 to win the Super Bowl) have been an annual disappointment as a popular sleeper pick in the NFL over the last few seasons, so football bettors must carefully decide whether or not it is worth wagering OVER or UNDER on their win total of 8.5. Will this be the year their defense finally steps up to complement their high-scoring offense? Houston has improved its secondary with the additions of CB Johnathan Joseph and S Danieal Manning, which was the team’s biggest weakness.
Among last year’s playoff teams who might be in danger of repeating a run to the postseason in 2011 are the Chicago Bears, who won the NFC North with an 11-5 mark before losing to the Packers 21-14 at home in the conference championship game. The Bears have posted consecutive winning seasons only once since 1995 and clearly overachieved last year.
Chicago’s win total sits at 8.5 UNDER (-155) due mostly to the fact that history suggests a letdown combined with the rise of Green Bay and the Detroit Lions in the divisional race. The Packers were the NFL’s best team last season despite several key injuries while the Lions are projected by many to be the most improved team in the league. While Detroit’s win total is 8 UNDER (-155), the team’s Super Bowl odds are listed at 20/1 compared to 40/1 for the Bears.