The Super Bowl champs head into training camp this week with a lot fewer starters from last year’s team. However they are still considered by many sportsbooks as the NFL Odds favorite, or co-favorite to win the Super Bowl. Are the champs being overvalued?
Super Bowl (+700)
Earlier in the offseason, the Seahawks were the outright favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champions at most sportsbooks. However after an offseason that saw them lose several key pieces on both sides of the ball, the Hawks have fallen behind the Broncos at Bovada Sportsbook, and their divisional rival, the 49ers are also threatening to climb at or above them. The Hawks aren’t going to be the same team they were last season. Their defensive line has lost a ton of depth with Chris Clemens and Red Bryant leaving for Jacksonville, and with Brandon Browner going to the Patriots, they don’t have a proven corner to go along with Richard Sherman. Along with their loss of defensive depth, the Seahawks have also lost some solid components on offense, and in light of recent events, may have another one in danger.
However even though they likely won’t win another 13 games this season in a very tough division, the Seahawks are still the NFL favorite betting pick at most shops to win the NFC again this season. Doing so will almost surely require them to win their division, however we’ll get to that in a second. First however we have to touch on the Hawks’ offense. They were unstoppable last season running the ball with Marshawn Lynch, and even though they were without Percy Harvin for most of the season, they still got some solid production when they needed to throw the ball from Golden Tate. However Tate is now in Detroit, and besides Harvin, the next best receiver they have is the aging Sidney Rice. If the oft-injured Harvin goes down with an injury for any length of time this season, teams are going to be able to load up on the Hawks and stop the run, and force Russell Wilson to beat people with his arm. Although he could do it, the Seahawks aren’t meant to be a team that throws the ball 35 times a game. They are built to pound the ball between the tackles, and that may also be an issue in light of recent news.
NFC West (+130)
It was reported yesterday that Lynch is holding out from training camp trying to have the team re-do his deal. He was apparently disillusioned by the short and successful holdout Jamaal Charles just got done with, where the Chiefs gave him an extra few years on the back end of his deal. Charles had an excellent season last year as well, and even though they didn’t win the Super Bowl, Charles was more integral in his team’s success that Lynch was. On top of that, Charles is younger, and does not have any young studs waiting in the wings behind him. Lynch on the other hand has more miles on his tires, already makes a solid amount of money next season, ($5 million with workout bonuses) and has Christine Michael behind him. He has zero leverage, so it surprised me to see him hold out. The Hawks are likely not going to cave with credible backups behind Lynch, and if this extends into the preseason, it would further my case that the Hawks are overvalued and not a great bet to win anything again. The Niners have the better team this year it seems, and the Hawks continue to give me more and more reasons not to like their NFL Odds this summer.