We’re all about finding betting value at Bang the Book, and we are going to be searching for a bunch of it when we look at the Super Bowl odds for this year. Check out the five teams that we think are the ones most worth investing in on the eve of the season.
1: Green Bay Packers (+1200) – The Packers are clearly the best team in the NFC North as we see it. We don’t really think that the Detroit Lions are all that Reggie Bush thinks they are cracked up to be, the Minnesota Vikings clearly aren’t going to be as strong as they were last season. As far as the Chicago Bears are concerned? We’re not sure that QB Jay Cutler will ever really have it in him. That said, Green Bay is the safest team in the division. QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,295 yards and 39 TDs last season, and he did all of that without any running game whatsoever. If there could be any production whatsoever out of RB Alex Green or either of the rookies that the team drafted this year, the offense is going to be even more lethal. Add in there the fact that the team is clearly going to be favored by at least a touchdown in each of its home games until December when the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers come to town, and the argument could be made that this should be at least an 11-win team when push comes to shove. That’s the recipe to take +1200 odds for sure for a team that has a good pedigree of playing in the postseason.
2: New York Giants (+2700) – The Giants are playing a second place schedule this year out of the NFC East, meaning they’re playing the AFC West and the NFC North, and both of last year’s playoff teams in the North, the Vikings and the Packers are coming to Snoopy Stadium. The Super Bowl is, of course, going to be at home for the G-Men, and that could be a big time advantage if they can get there. Remember that QB Eli Manning is one of the rare players in the history of this league that can say they have won two Super Bowl titles. He didn’t have the best of years last season, throwing for 3,948 yards and 26 TDs against five picks, but he had a lot of problems last year with the ground game and keeping his receivers healthy. WR Victor Cruz is happy with a new contract, and that should help matters out quite a bit. The issue is whether the defense is going to ultimately not be the 31st best unit in the league. If that’s the case again, New York doesn’t stand a chance. But just the fact that the team won nine games last season with that horrid of a defense on a down year from Manning makes us think that the Giants have some value this year. Remember that the Washington Redskins are dealing with injury issues for QB Robert Griffin III and the Philadelphia Eagles are trying to get used to life with Head Coach Chip Kelly. New York has a real chance to win the NFC East.
3: Denver Broncos (+700) – The Broncos don’t have the best value on the board to us right now, knowing that they are the favorites on the Super Bowl odds. However, the bottom line is that Denver really is this good. There isn’t a team in the AFC West that we think is going to ultimately finish above .500 aside from the Broncos, and in the end, with the way the schedule pans out, it would be tough to see the club finishing any worse than at least 11-5, which should, at minimum, produce a bye in the first round of the playoff. The New England Patriots are down, the Houston Texans have proven that they can’t be trusted, and the whole AFC North is up in the air. There is no doubt that the Broncos are awesome, and for as long as they are healthy (and specifically, as long as Manning is healthy), they are going to be the best team in the AFC and deserving of the
4: Cincinnati Bengals (+3100) – Last season, we saw QB Joe Flacco take the Baltimore Ravens all the way to the Lombardi Trophy. Could this be the year that QB Andy Dalton is able to do the same thing? Cincinnati isn’t looked upon as one of the best teams in the league, but few teams have won 20 games and made the playoffs over the course of the last two seasons. The Bengals are one of them. Dalton quietly posted a good season, throwing for 3,669 yards and 27 scores, and his rapport with WR AJ Green was fantastic. Green had 97 catches, 1,350 yards, and 11 TDs. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn’t have a great year, but the defense was what really surprised. DT Geno Atkins had 12.5 sacks, while DE Michael Johnson had 11.5 sacks. DE Carlos Dunlap had six sacks as well. Now, LB James Harrison is joining this crew as well, and that’s only going to help a defense which is one of the most underrated in the league. Head Coach Marvin Lewis could be set to take the jump from a man who probably should have been fired to a man who might ultimately be the Coach of the Year this season.
5: Carolina Panthers (+7000) – Carolina might not ultimately end up being a playoff team when push comes to shove, but Head Coach Ron Rivera has been leading his team in the right direction. QB Cam Newton threw for 3,869 yards and 19 TDs, but most importantly, he rushed for 741 yards and a team-high eight scores last year. This is a man who is in his third year in the league, and this is the time that he should really start to shine. Remember that the Panthers won their last four games of the season last year, and they scored at least 21 points in all of their road games beyond Week 1. The defense held two of the last three foes under 10 points, and that’s where this team really could be improving this year. Carolina might be for real when push comes to shove, and we think that the rest of the teams in the NFC South are significantly overrated.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.