2011 NFL Futures – Odds to win the NFC
Sportsinteraction.com has released the odds for all 32 teams in relation to their chance to win next season’s Super Bowl as well as their respective conference. Much of the rational that goes into setting these odds tends to focus more on a team’s past performance as opposed to future potential, especially given the current labor situation which has curtailed any free agent signings. This rational can provide some tremendous value for teams that are poised for a breakout season and a serious run at winning their conference.
It is no real surprise that in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers have been opened as the odds-on-favorite to repeat as conference champions at +350. Given the fact that since 1998, when the Packers won their second straight NFC title, there has been a different team at the top of the conference every single year, the odds are already stacked against Green Bay doing it again. The main reason everyone is so high on the Packers is the return of a wealth of talent that was on the injured reserve list during their Super Bowl run. As crazy as its sounds, this could actually work against Green Bay in 2011 as their return could end up being a disruptive force to team chemistry. The risk with this team appears to outweigh the minimal reward in the relation to the current odds.
Philadelphia and Atlanta are the second favorites to win the NFC at +650. The Eagles offer some tremendous value at these odds as they are due to return to the NFC Championship Game in 2011. Under head coach Andy Reid, Philadelphia has been to five conference title games in the past 10 seasons with the last appearance coming in 2008. If they can plug some holes on defense to go along with the most prolific offense in the NFC, the Eagles have an excellent chance to make it back to the conference title game.
The Falcons are another team that has all the necessary pieces to make a deep run next season. They have one of the most balanced offenses in the league and are a couple of players away from having one of the best defensive units as well. Atlanta will have to contend with New Orleans for the division title, which saps some of the value out of its odds, but remains a solid pick none the less.
The most intriguing team next season could be the Dallas Cowboys at +800. Jason Garrett should bring a whole new attitude in his first full season as head coach, and Tony Romo returns to his place behind center after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. This team still has a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball and could easily return to the form that led to an 11-5 record and NFC East title in 2009. At the very least, Dallas should definitely end up with a better record than last year’s 6-10 effort.
Chicago won the NFC North last season with the second-best record in the conference at 11-5 and made it all the way to the NFC title game, yet it has been opened a +1000 to win the NFC next season mainly because of having to get by Green Bay in the division. At first glance there appears to be some solid value in this pick, but under head coach Lovie Smith, consistency from one season to the next has been a problem with this team. The up and down tendencies of the past could point to a down year in 2011, making the value in this pick much less than what it appears to be.
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