Super Bowl 50 is next up for NFL teams following the New England Patriots thrilling win over the Seattle Seahawks. The win by New England was the latest milestone over a remarkable run of 14 seasons.
Since 2001, New England has won the AFC East title 12 times, reached the AFC Championship 9 times, made six appearances in the Super Bowl and won four Vince Lombardi trophies.
At one time however, the Pats were big underdogs. In fact, New England was the last real long shots to win the Super Bowl, a team that came from nowhere to claim a Super Bowl ring.
In 2001, New England won its first Super Bowl over St. Louis. The Rams were heavily favored to win Super Bowl 36. The Patriots that year however were the last NFL champions to have ended their previous season with a record below .500.
The past 12 Super champions, according to Bovada and betonline, including this year’s Pats, all had records of 8-8 or better the year preceding their NFL title. Overall, those same winners of the Super Bowl averaged 11 wins the previous year.
Of the past 25 winners of the Super Bowl, only the 2001 Patriots and the 1999 Rams had losing records in the season prior to their Super Bowl victories.
The Patriots paid out big in 2001 as they entered the season as 50 to 1 long shots to win the title that year.
Not since then has a Super Bowl long shot lifted the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Of the past 25 winners of the Super Bowl, 18 won 10 or more game the season prior to winning the NFL title. According to topbet and sportsbook.com, this just completed season had 12 teams that won 10 games or more including the two entrants in the Super Bowl.
Of those 12 teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens are the long shots on the Super Bowl 50 futures board with 30 to 1 odds. Others include Cincinnati at 25 to 1, Detroit at 22 to 1, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh at 20 to 1.
With those odds, Baltimore has the most appeal; they pushed the Patriots to their limit during the divisional playoffs and did that with significant injuries.
However, while a win in the Super Bowl by Baltimore would be a long shot, it would not be a stunning surprise. The Ravens have been perennial contenders and Super Bowl champions.
The biggest sleepers would be the Houston Texans at 50 to 1 and the Buffalo Bills at 60 to 1. Both finished over .500 at 9-7 last season, both have strong defenses and a positive point differential.