It’s never too early to start thinking about football. With the season right around the corner I figured we could take a look ahead at the top teams going into the season. I scoured a handful of sports betting sites and came up with some odds on the top five teams predicted to have the best chance at bringing home the title this season.
To break them down I enlisted the help of the Tailgate365 Radio boys. Here is what they had to work with:
New England Patriots 9/2
Green Bay Packers 6/1
San Francisco 49ers 8/1
Philadelphia Eagles 10/1
Houston Texans 12/1
John – The Patriots are the perennial favorite to make the Super Bowl. The pieces are there, but the question remains; can they get over the hump again? It’s been 7 years since they’ve won a Super Bowl, and they’re probably sick of facing the Giants there.
Steve – Hard to go against the Pats as a pick every year with Brady at the helm but people tend to forget it has been a while since they held up the trophy. They are still the class of the AFC East and I don’t see anyone taking the throne from them. I wonder if Brady has nightmares about Eli Manning who is now his archenemy.
Mike – This seems about right to me although I am still not sold on their defense. If they shored things up on the defensive side of the ball through the draft like it looks like they may have then this could be a solid chance to once again reach the big dance. Barring injuries, the offense won’t skip a beat.
John – The key to the Packers returning to the Super Bowl is improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Rodgers is the best in the league, but that Defense negated everything he could do when it mattered most. Without better play from the defense, they will exit early in the playoffs again.
Steve – The Packers rolled though the regular season last year before learning the hard way how tough the NFL can be. Rodgers has mentioned that he thought 15 – 1 hurt them last year as they brushed off minor problems they were having. Offense will not be the worry here; the question will be if the defense can step to the plate.
Mike – I think an argument could have been made for Green Bay as the favorite to win it all for sure. Much like the Patriots, they have to shore up their defense even with an offense that can outscore just about anyone. Can Rodgers continue the season he had last year? The other concern for this team is at running back, they have to get some sort of balance or eventually teams will figure them out.
John – The Defense is legit. The running backs are legit. One question remains – was last year a fluke for Alex Smith, or has he turned the corner? If he has – and can remain a good game manager – then this team has what it takes to be the NFC favorite.
Steve – The 49ers were a surprise force last season. While the defense is phenomenal, I am not sold that Alex Smith has figured it out and become a top tier quarterback. The benefit for the Niners is they are in a very weak division so they likely will make the playoffs even if they drop back to earth. While the playoffs will happen, winning the Super Bowl? Not likely.
Mike – This is a team that probably belongs in the 3rd spot overall but may be the biggest overall risk as well. The defense is second to none right now and they are very well coached. The key will be how well Smith can build on last year and if they can get production out of a questionable group of receivers. Had they landed Manning in the off season (allegedly), we wouldn’t be arguing about who is the top team.
John – I’m surprised they’re top 5 in odds, frankly. The talent is there, but there’s also a problem with the mentality of this team, causing the underachieving season they had last year. Also, this better be the make or break season for Andy Reid – he’s gotten by on the past for way too long.
Steve – Ok, even as an Eagles fan I am not buying this for a second. The defense has been greatly improved and the offense is certainly explosive. But the big part of that is when Vick is on the field and we all know he will be hurt at some point. 20/1 with the Giants would be the right odds for me here.
Mike – Simply put, this is too high of a ranking and one that is largely built on reputation versus results. They have a lot of nice pieces on both sides of the ball but I hate the cockiness of the team and inability for Reid to seal the deal. The ultimate boom or bust team for me this year.
John – Here’s another team that’s overrated, in my opinion. Schaub is inconsistent at best late in the season, when he’s healthy, and Johnson is already nursing injuries. Add in the losses on defense in the offseason, and this team has no business being in the Super Bowl discussion, much less top 5.
Steve – I root for the Texans as Schaub came from the area I lived in but these odds are crazy. I just don’t see what they have done to merit being in the top five odds for the Super Bowl. Schaub is coming off injury and we all know Johnson will be hurt plus they lost Mario Williams to free agency. I think they are a playoff team but would be shocked to see them win it all.
Mike – This one is a downright shocker to me, and as I tried to convince my good friend Lee in the forums way before we decided to analyze the odds…they aren’t even the best team in that division right now in my opinion. Houston has so many injury concerns with Schaub and Johnson that by itself I cannot see a top 5 ranking. Add to that the loss of Williams in free agency and Foster picking the worst possible time to switch to a vegan diet and you have a team that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.