NFL Picks: 2013-14 Super Bowl Futures

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, July 1, 2013 8:16 PM GMT

Monday, Jul. 1, 2013 8:16 PM GMT

It is never too early to look at the Super Bowl Futures Odds, up now at top sportsbooks. Here are ten teams that are worth an investment in Super Bowl XLVIII, including live longshots that offer hedge value.
While we may still be in the middle of the Major League Baseball season, it is never to early to think about the NFL, the king of American sports, with the preseason really only two months away and the regular season set to begin in three months. SBR has assembled a comparison guide of Super Bowl XLVIII Futures odds from many to today's top sportsbooks, helping to make price comparison a breeze.

The Super Bowl not only gets the highest rating of any entertainment event in the Unites States every year, it is also the most heavily bet single-game sporting event in North America by a wide margin. The betting volume and the ratings probably go hand in hand, and that is also a reason why so many sponsors pay millions of dollars per minute to debut their commercials during the game. And that is not to mention hundreds of Super Bowl props adding to the allure.

But back to the focus at hand, now may be the best time to lock into some nice Futures prices before the odds drop, as these odds will only get tighter as we get closer to the start of the season. Thus now is the time for the educated bettor to pounce on great value, while these odds are at their softest.

To that end, we present 10 of our NFL picks from the Sportsbook Review Super Bowl Futures Guide that we feel offer nice value right now but may not in as few as a couple of weeks. While many of these picks are legitimate threats to win the Lombardi Trophy at East Rutherford, NJ in February 2014, we also present a few super longshots that could provide excellent hedging opportunities late in the year by outperforming their current expectations based on these odds.

So without further ado, here are 10 teams that we feel offer value, along with their current Super Bowl XLVIII odds and the sportsbook offering those NFL odds.

Green Bay Packers (+1500 at BetOnline): The Packers can be as good as any team in the NFL when they bring their "A" game, and they addressed a couple of areas of concern in the draft by selecting running back Eddie Lacy out of Alabama and defensive end Datone Jones out of UCLA. The defense should get a further boost from the return of Nick Perry after having his rookie season cut short. The Packers' schedule is ranked sixth in the NFL this year, but in actually, Green Bay opens with three tough games and closes with four tough games, leaving a relatively easy nine week stretch in between where the Packers can open up some daylight in the division and improve their overall seeding.

New Orleans Saints (+2000 at Ladbrokes): The Saints have endured their one year serving Bounty-gate penalties, when they even made an improbable playoff run following an 0-4 start despite quite possibly having the worst defense in the league. The offense remains at elite level though, and the scary part is that it could actually be better now that head coach Sean Payton is back calling the plays for All-World Quarterback Drew Brees. Payton's play calling may also add a bit of offensive balance by better utilizing the talented trio of New Orleans running backs in Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles. How far the Saints go depends on the improvement of the defense. That unit is switching to a 3-4 alignment and may need a couple of high draft picks in nose tackle John Jenkins and Kenny Vaccarro to produce immediately, with the additions of linebacker Victor Butler and cornerback Keenan Lewis also helping.

Pittsburgh (+3200 at Pinnacle Sports): The Steelers had their worst season in ages and failed to make the playoffs last season, but that may make them greatly undervalued at this price this year, especially facing an easy schedule that is rated 22nd in the league based on opponents' 2012 win percentages. Yes they lost running back Rashard Mendenhall and wide receiver Mike Wallace, but those losses may be addition be subtraction attitude-wise. Emmanuel Sanders is ready to take over as the go-to receiver anyway and Pittsburgh has an abundance of running backs, which they added to by signing LaRod Stephens-Howling, who had some nice moments in Arizona last year. In a shrewd move, the Steelers even upgraded their backup quarterback by signing Bruce Gradkowski, providing nice insurance considering the health of Ben Roethlisberger.

Dallas Cowboys (+3700 at 5 Dimes): The Cowboys have had several straight disappointing seasons, but similar to the Steelers, that seems to have created some unexpected value here on a very popular team, where value is generally hard to come by. This team has one of the best rosters in the NFL yet has underachieved. On offense, the Tony Romo to Dez Brant connection was the highlight of the entire team last season, but now running back DeMarco Murray is back after an injury plagued season to add some balance after a terrific 2011 campaign. On defense, Dallas has a great pass rush thanks to great depth at defensive end, and it has one of the best cornerback tandems in the league in Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. Add in a 25th ranked schedule and the Cowboys have a great chance to win the NFC East, at which point these odds will look very attractive.

Indianapolis Colts (+4000 at William Hill): The Colts surprised the world by making the playoffs in Andrew Luck's rookie season last year, admittedly doing so by taking advantage of one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. Still, Indianapolis was very active in the off-season and seems to have addressed its areas of need. Luck was under constant pressure last season, so the Colts upgraded the offense line by adding an excellent pass blocker in Gosder Cherilus, as well as guard Donald Thomas. They could have used some better offensive balance, so they signed running back Ahmad Bradshaw. They even brought in another nice target for Luck in wide-out Darrius Hayward-Bey. Add in defensive help in the form of Greg Toler in the secondary and run-stuffer LaRon Landry up front and a return trip to the playoffs is very possible.

Cincinnati Bengals (+4500 at BetOnline): The Bengals made the playoffs last season with an underrated defense that was quietly one of the best in the league and with quarterback Andy Dalton efficiently running an offense that includes possibly the best wide receiver in the AFC in A.J Green. That defense should excel again this season, and the offense was improved via the draft, as the selection of tight end Tyler Eifert should mean the use of more two-tight-end alignments opposite of Jermaine Gresham, which is a good thing considering Dalton does not have the throwing arm to beat teams throwing deep, so two receiving tight ends running crossing patterns adds a nice touch. Also, running back Giovani Bernard was an excellent pick as a somewhat overrated BenJarvus Green-Ellis may no longer be asked to carry the entire load.

Detroit Lions (+5000 at Bet365): The Lions went from national darlings two years ago to a disastrous season last year that saw them lose their last eight games to finish at 4-12. However, the Lions have brought in running back Reggie Bush to add some balance to an offense that led the NFL in passing attempts per game, and the defense should be improved with Ezekiel Ansah fortifying the defensive line and Glover Quin now making a nice safety combination with incumbant Louis Delmas. If the Lions had those three new additions last season, they probably would not have blown so many second half leads like they did during their winless second half. This team has the potential to finish second in the NFC North and sneak a wild card berth, making 50/1 odds worth taking right now.

St. Louis Rams (+7000 at 5 Dimes): Speaking of odds worth taking, just ask the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers how tough the Rams can be while not beating St. Louis in two meetings last season, and that was the Rams' first season under Coach Jeff Fisher, meaning there should be some natural improvement this year. Now make no mistake, this is an extremely young team that got even younger with the defections of Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola, but there is enough young talent on both sides of the ball to suggest that nobody will want to face these guys in two or three years. But what about this year you ask? Well, thanks to early home games vs. Arizona and Jacksonville and a winnable road game at Carolina, it is entirely possible for the Rams to have a 4-3 record after seven games this season, maybe even 5-2 if they spring one upset. The downside is a tough second half schedule, but at the same time the youngsters should improve as the season goes on. Add in one of the best coaches in the game any why not take a chance at 70/1, especially if the early winning record comes to fruition to offer an early hedging opportunity.

San Diego Chargers (+6200 at Sports Interaction): The Chargers fired Coach Norv Turner. Can we end the rationale behind this selection right now? Well, in case you have been under a rock the last 10 years or so, Turner's teams have always underperformed, and he has had some very good Charger teams on paper in recent years that simply performed terribly on the field. That may serve as a perfect opportunity to now buy low at this bloated price under new Coach Mike McCoy. San Diego also brought in an offensive minded offensive coordinator (imagine that!) in Ken Whisenhunt, which may lead to a resurgent year for quarterback Philip Rivers, and the Chargers had a solid draft.

Kansas City Chiefs (+5095 at Pinnacle Sports): The Chiefs had the worst record in the NFL last season at 2-14. However, the defense always played hard and single-handedly kept the Chiefs in many games and Kansas City does have a star caliber running back in Jamaal Charles and a potentially electric wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe. The problem of course was that the Chiefs had the worst quarterback play you will ever see to go along with questionable play-calling. The Chiefs addressed those areas with two of the biggest moves in the entire NFL this off-season, bringing in Andy Reid as head coach and trading for quarterback Alex Smith. Considering Charles and Bowe are still in place and the defense remains solid, those two moves alone should be enough to show marked improvement this coming season, and considering the relative weakness of the AFC, even a playoff run may not be entirely impossible.
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