Super Bowl XLV Future Odds

Teams are in the process of preparing for training camp and rosters are shaping up. Nothing is set in stone yet, and injuries in camp can still change the look of a team for next season. However, we now have a good idea of what the teams will look like. On top of that, it is never too early to look at the Super Bowl futures, as there is some value to be found for the early bird.

Here is a look at which teams you should consider and which ones you might want to stay away from.  All odds are current from Bodog.


New Orleans Saints (9/1)

The Saints had a great run last year and Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. However, 9-to-1 odds are ridiculous for a repeat. Most defending champions struggle with the Super Bowl hangover in the following season. While Sean Payton is a great coach, he will have a tough time keeping his players focused. Media reports about his involvement in Vicodin theft from the team’s drug locker won’t help his cause.

The Saints also face tougher competition in the NFC South. Atlanta has improved their defense, Matt Ryan has another year of experience under his belt, and Michael Turner will bounce back from an injury plagued season. The addition of Sean Weatherspoon will improve their LB corps, and their secondary has improved as well. The Saints will have to fight the improved Falcons for the top spot in the division, and I don’t see Sean Payton’s team going anywhere near the Super Bowl.

Dallas Cowboys (12/1)

Yes, these are the same old Cowboys lead by Wade Phillips and Tony Romo. The team had a solid draft, snatching Dez Byant at 24 and adding CB/FS Akwai Owusu-Ansah at 126. They finally showed that they can win in December, and they defeated their first round demons. However, they fell apart in a second round matchup with Minnesota.

Dez Bryant could be a distraction to the locker room and Phillips is definitely not the type of leader the young receiver needs on and off the field. The Cowboys failed to pick up a left guard to help protect Romo, and the quarterback might find himself on his back a little more than he would like to. Romo still needs to prove that he can lead the team to a deep playoff run, and unless he can show me that, I would stay away from 12-to-1 odds for the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl.

Minnesota Vikings (12/1)

This might come as a shock to many of you, but yes, I would advise to stay away from the Vikings at 12-to-1. The situation at quarterback is just too uncertain. Even if Brett Favre comes back to play, it is unclear how good the 40-year-old will be coming off of ankle surgery. I realize he played one of his best seasons last year, not having to carry the offense by himself, but it is questionable whether he can repeat a season like that with the abuse his aging body will face.

If Favre doesn’t return, the Vikings are stuck with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels, neither of whom I can see leading a team. They had a chance to fix this issue in the draft and pick up Jimmy Clausen, but they passed up on the Notre Dame QB.

The suspensions to defensive linemen Pat and Kevin Williams are still on hold, and they could miss some time should the league be allowed to sit them for four games each. This issue has gone on way too long, and a decision needs to be reached.

Minnesota doesn’t face a really tough schedule, but it’s not an easy one either. The Vikings are not out of the race for the title, but in my opinion there are just too many uncertainties to pick them at 12/1.


San Diego Chargers (11/1)

I know 11-to-1 doesn’t look really juicy, but I think the Chargers have a good shot at winning it all this year. They came close to beating the Jets in the playoffs, and they would have advanced, had Nate Kaeding not missed three field goals.

They cut LaDainian Tomlinson, but his time in San Diego was just plain over. They addressed their biggest need in the draft and picked up a promising every-down running back in Ryan Mathews. They also had replace NT Jamal Williams whose age was starting to be a problem, The Chargers did so successfully, picking Cam Thomas at 146. Thomas has second-round talent, and it was surprising that he fell so far.

They got rid of lackluster Antonio Cromartie and replaced him with fellow cornerbacks Nathan Vasher and Donald Strickland. This should definitely be an upgrade in the secondary.

The Chargers kept the core of their team intact and will make their usual run late in the season. They start out with a relatively weak schedule, so they might clinch a playoff spot early. I can see them finally getting over the hump and winning the big one.

Philadelphia Eagles (18/1)

There, I said it. The Eagles are an interesting pick at 18-to-1, after they got rid of their former franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb and their former franchise running Brian Westbrook. They have a lot of young up-and-coming stars and might surprise in 2010.

LeSean McCoy is a strong weapon at RB. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two of the most electrifying wide receivers in the game and can tear up opposing defenses. Kevin Kolb has been in the waiting for four years and will finally get the nod. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts, and the Eagles are hoping he can give them that kind of production on a regular basis.

Philadelphia improved its defensive unit by drafting DE Brandon Graham and FS Nate Allen. Their only real concern is the offensive line, and I think they will be able to go deep this season.

San Francisco 49ers (30/1)

The Niners are a long shot, but they had a great offseason, and their odds are definitely better than 30-to-1. They addressed their needs on the offensive line by drafting OT Anthony Davis and underrated G Mike Iupati. I went to school at Boise State and saw Iupati play in person more than once and as much as I hate giving a University of Idaho player props, this guy is a beast. Davis’s work ethic has been questioned, but I have no doubt Mike Singletary will take care of that.

San Francisco picked up a hopeful safety in Taylor Mays and added depth at running back with Anthony Dixon at 173. I would have liked to see them do something more about their QB situation than picking up David Carr, but Singletary seems to believe in Alex Smith.

The Niners acquired Ted Ginn Jr. in a trade with the Dolphins, which will make their return game a lot more dangerous. Ginn will most likely act as the second option at WR behind Michael Crabtree.

With all the player-movement and changes going on in the NFC West, the 49ers are the mot stable team and they look to be a lock to win the division. The 30-to-1 price offers great value for a team that could surprise in 2010.

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