The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks just staged an instant classic in this past Sunday’s Super Bowl, with the Patriots sealing their fourth NFL title in franchise history with a dramatic 28-24 come-from-behind victory as one-point favorites.
While many NFL bettors are still trying to add up the wins (and the losses) from that game, Doc’s Sports already has an eye to next year’s big game with the release of the initial Super Bowl 50 futures odds for next season in the NFL.
It looks like Déjà Vu all over again
The Super Bowl 50 futures odds suggest that a rematch may be in order between the same two teams, with Seattle slightly favored to win this time around. The Seahawks have been opened as 5/1 favorites to win Super Bowl 50, and they are closely followed by the reigning world-champion Patriots at 7/1.
You would have to go all the way back to the 1996 and 1997 NFL seasons to find the last time the same two teams met in the Super Bowl two years in a row. The Green Bay Packers beat Denver 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI, and the following season the Broncos evened the score in Super Bowl XXXIV with a 31-24 victory over Green Bay.
The last time the same team won back-to-back Super Bowls was in 2003 and 2004 when New England posted its second and third world title runs with a 32-29 win against Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII and a 24-21 win over Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX. The one thing I like already about next season’s big game is the NFL’s decision to go with a real number for the title of the game.
Seattle should be able to retain all the key personnel it needs to get back to its third straight Super Bowl, so a rematch could very easily be in the works assuming that the Patriots are up to the task as well.
Contenders to the Throne
New England has made its way back on top of the football world amidst all the accusations that it may have bent the rules a bit to get there, and Seattle still has the makings of a modern-day football dynasty. However, we still need to go further down the list to take a closer look at a few other teams may be legitimate contenders to win it all next year.
The third-favorite on the list is the Green Bay Packers at 8/1. As long as Aaron Rodgers is the starting quarterback for Green Bay it will always have a chance to win a Super Bowl, but you still have to question the value in these lofty odds considering the long-term impact that the Packers’ epic collapse in this season’s NFC title game may have on this team. Losses like that are not easy to bounce back from. And while the talent for another deep run in the playoffs may remain, the mental trauma from that loss could easily linger into next season.
The Denver Broncos Super Bowl chances are directly tied to Peyton Manning’s decision to either return for another season or retire from the game. I would have to assume that Denver’s 10/1 betting odds to win Super Bowl 50 are predicated on Manning being back at the helm as the team’s starting quarterback. Keep an eye on these odds this week as Manning is expected to make an announcement about his future.
I have some issues with the value in these odds as well. Case in point was the rapid demise of San Francisco this season after making three straight trips to the NFC Championship that included an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. The Broncos could be following the same downward progression after getting blown out 43-8 by Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII only to get eliminated in this season’s Divisional Playoffs by Indianapolis in a stunning 24-13 loss.
Moving further down the list, you find the Dallas Cowboys listed as fifth-favorites along with the Colts at 14/1. Both San Francisco and Philadelphia are next on the board at 20/1 betting odds, and New Orleans (22/1) and Pittsburgh (25/1) round out the top 10.
Of these six teams, I am most bullish on the Saints’ chances to break through the pack next season assuming that their quarterback, Drew Brees, still has enough gas in the tank for another Super Bowl run. Sean Payton is still one of the top coaches in the NFL, and he has already gained a reputation for being able to quickly turn things around. His team should have little problem drawing motivation from a disappointing 7-9 record in 2014.
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