Last season, the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 to give all-time great Peyton Manning a swan song for the ages. But enough talk about what has happened in the recent past because the 2016 NFL regular season is just a few days away, ready to dish out even more hard-hitting football action with some very intriguing storylines to boot.
As such, now would be a wise time to place some early stakes on who would likely end up with the Lombardi Trophy in hand come Super Bowl 51. Are the Broncos favored to repeat as league champs? Let’s find out exactly which teams are worth considering for your futures betting needs below.
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NFL Team Futures and Odds Super Bowl 51
New England Patriots (+650)
Well, the Pats have won seven-consecutive division titles and 13 of the last 15 since Brady and head coach Bill Belichick won their first Super Bowl together in 2001. The AFC East appears to be theirs for the taking again, so that’s already another automatic playoff berth.
New England has also lost no more than four regular-season games since 2010, has not entered the postseason via the Wild Card round and has also managed to at least advance to the Conference Championship stage in five of those six opportunities.
If the Patriots go 2-2 through the first four games without Brady leading the offense, you can pretty much put them as a lock for another Super Bowl-worthy run. Heck, their defense alone is enough reason for that to become a reality, too. And for as long as the Brady-Belichick marriage is intact, there’s really no stopping New England from seriously contending for its fourth Lombardi Trophy since the start of the new millennium.
Green Bay Packers (+850)
The Green Bay Packers are always on the radar when it comes to preseason Super Bowl predictions, and with good reason. They’ve made it to the playoffs for seven-straight seasons now and have finished no worse than second place in the NFC North at that.
Granted, Green Bay has had mixed results come the playoff time during that same stretch, but the team still won it all back in 2010 to solidify Aaron Rodgers as an elite quarterback and future legend of the game. Rodgers is still running the show in Wisconsin and he doesn’t seem to have lost his magic yet in spite of a rather down 2015 campaign. He’ll once again have a healthy bunch of role players to start out this season, leaving plenty of optimism that Green Bay is not just one-and-done Super Bowl-winning team with Rodgers at the helm.
Denver Broncos (+1,500)
As the reigning Super Bowl champions, it’s quite disheartening to see that the Denver Broncos are mere sleeper candidates to repeat as league champs this season. Then again, there were a lot of changes (for the worse) during the offseason that Denver endured in support of its title defense.
No longer will soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning lead the charge for the Broncos, and the team’s quarterback situation in his wake leaves nothing to be desired about. Just ask yourself this: can the team really win with Mark Sanchez as its starting signal-caller?
Still, Denver’s defense is where the firepower’s at, with Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller along with standout defenders DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. all eager to prove their naysayers wrong. There’s just one pretty glaring stat that you should know if you plan to back the Broncos this year: no team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did it in 2004 to 2005.
Dallas Cowboys (+1,600)
It’s been a long time since we’ve had some measure of respectable confidence in the Dallas Cowboys, but 2016 could very well be the year for them to be widely-touted as America’s Favorite Team once more.
The Cowboys have the privilege of residing in the volatile NFC East, where their three division rivals don’t look to be in as good of a form than the ‘Boys are in. Apart from that, Dallas’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, running back Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State, appears able to make a huge splash in just his rookie season with the help of the team’s already formidable offensive line.
Elliott’s addition will do wonders to relieve the pressure off often-underrated, always-derided QB Tony Romo and the passing game at last. And with that, the Cowboys are a very trendy pick this offseason indeed as they try to bring back the prestige and glory of The Big D.
San Francisco 49ers (+10,000)
It wasn’t that long ago that the San Francisco 49ers were considered to be the gold standard (pun intended) of the NFL. But then things started to crumble at such a rapid pace over the past couple of seasons that there’s basically no remnant of the once-daunting Jim Harbaugh regime to this date.
You would think that with over $49 million in cap space during the offseason, San Francisco would spend a significant portion of it to bolster its roster. Nope! Instead, they hired madman of a head coach, Chip Kelly, in hopes of yet another significant turnaround by the fabled collegiate guru, but with little to no real weapons at his disposal this time around. Nothing says “mediocre season at best” for the Niners than the on-going QB saga between underachievers Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick.
You’ve been warned: avoid the 49ers as your Super Bowl LI pick at all costs.
The Green Bay Packers (+850) win their fifth-ever Super Bowl title for the proud and rabid Cheesehead fanbase.
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