What Team Will be the Next Long Shot to Win the Super Bowl

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.

Bookmakers Win on Super Bowl Sunday Thanks to Props

The New England Patriots victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX hurt bookmakers. There were many ways the Super Bowl could have ended. However, the combination of New England winning and the OVER was not the one bookmakers were hoping for.

The line over the two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl kickoff fluctuated between Patriots -1 and pick ‘em. However, the comeback victory of 28-24 by New England complicated things for bookmakers at Bovada, betonline, topbet, sportbook.com as well as many other betting establishments.

For many of the books, the majority of cash was on New England and on the OVER. With more money coming in on New England, the books kept the line at -1 or even pick ‘em right up to kickoff.

Seattle had a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter. For books that looked nice – a Seattle cover and an UNDER. However, that did not happen and when the Seahawks had the opportunity to win, the Patriots intercepted on the goal line on a play that most called questionable that was called by Pete Carroll the Seattle head coach.

Carroll is liked and respected by many of the players on Seattle, but looking at quotes from some players, especially from the defense, it would make you think the Seahawks could implode next season.

Fading losers of Super Bowls the next season is usually a strong bet.

New England in late September was 12 to 1 to win the Super Bowl after losing to Kansas City and dropping to 2-2.

Seattle lost Sunday’s Super Bowl but is 13 t 2 to win next season’s, with New England at 8 to 1 just behind them.

The overall handle missed the record set last year of $119 million as it came in at just under the $116 million mark in Vegas.

One bookmaker took a million dollar bet on New England. The props saved the books from going in the red as they eked out just a $3.3 million win on the game due to the popularity of the props.

The books win of $3.3 million was their lowest since 2011 for a Super Bowl when they took in just $724,175 in the Packers win over the Steelers 31-25.

However, overall the $115.9 million taken in by the Vegas books show that betting on the NFL is as good as it has ever been.

Once the draft is held the books futures will change somewhat, but not as much as when say the NBA holds its draft. Then any trades or offseason free agent signings will have their affect on the futures board. Nevertheless, when next season rolls around in September you can be assured that Seattle and New England will be at or near the top of the futures board for Super Bowl 50.

Why New England Will Win Super Bowl XLIX

The New England Patriots will play against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX today in Arizona.

This is the sixth Super Bowl for New England in the past 14 year, which is the most in league history over a span f 15 or fewer years.

New England’s 12 wins during the regular season was the fifth consecutive season of 12 or more wins. The Pats claimed the AFC East division for the eleventh time in 12 seasons.

The offense for New England was No. 4 in scoring at 29.3 points per game. New England played 7 of the league’s top 10 passing defenses with impressive numbers.

Seattle is ranked No. 1 in pass defense. However, of late the Seahawks have played quarterbacks such as Colin Kaepernick, Drew Stanton, Mark Sanchez, Shaun Hill and Ryan Lindley not your lineup of All-Pros at quarterback.

Brady had plenty of time in the pocket this season with the fourth fewest sacks at 26. Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson by contrast was sacked 42 times.

Seattle has a strong defensive secondary, but the group is banged up. Earl Thomas one of the safeties, dislocated a shoulder against Green Bay in the NFC Championship and will not be 100%.

This season the Pats won six of its seven games versus playoff teams, with the only loss in Week 13 at Green Bay 26-21.

The Green Bay loss was the only one New England suffered against NFC opponents.

In its six wins against playoff teams, the Patriots scored 34 points or more in each game, including 42 points or more against three AFC teams Denver, Cincinnati and Indianapolis (twice).

Seattle has not played well during this postseason. Carolina was able to out gain them and the game was much closer than the final score. In Seattle’s win against Green Bay, it was more about what Green Bay did wrong to give away the NFC Championship. The Packers controlled the game from start to finish, but failed miserably on several occasions to put the game out of reach of Seattle.

Seattle cannot afford to start slow or turn the ball over against the potent offense of New England. Seattle will likely not score 16 points from special teams and its defense as it did in last season’s Super Bowl rout of Denver.

New England is 20-4 ATS in games with point spreads between -3 and +3.

The last time the teams met head to head Seattle won 24-23, but New England held Marshawn Lynch to just 41 rushing yards. In five games against New England in his career, including while at Buffalo, Lynch is averaging just 53 yards per game.

The defense for Seattle has a hard time with tight ends. Can you say Rob Gronkowski?

Take New England 27-24.

Super Bowl XLIX– Early Bettors Hitting the UNDER

The betting action on the Super Bowl slowed during this past weekend and the most recent movement shows the New England Patriots as 1-point favorites, while the point total has been bet down from 49 to 48 and some online books such as Bovada and sportsbook.com have it as low as 47.5.

The UNDER has been coming in strong on the total and finally books have moved it down. As the game approaches, the number could go even low and sharp money is holding out until the end when they might jump in on the OVER, according to topbet and betonline.

Last season a record was set for Las Vegas with $119 million wagered on Super Bowl XLVIII. Thus far, the handle looks to be a bit less, but there are still five days before kickoff. The money is coming in at a rate of 2 to 1 on the Patriots.

The impact due of deflate-gate is not that big, but has caused some emotional bettors to move away from New England.

Last season not only did much of the public think Denver had the better team, but emotionally they liked Peyton Manning and wanted him to win.

In this Super Bowl, after watching New England destroy Indianapolis, most thought New England and coach Bill Belichick were untouchable, but nobody besides hardcore fans of New England are on their side at this point.

The handle will definitely pick up on Friday and into the weekend all the way up to Sunday’s late afternoon kick off.

The Seahawks are hoping that cornerback Richard Sherman will be healthy enough to play and be effective in the game.

New England is hoping the controversy over the deflated footballs will not be a distraction to players from the game, while Seattle is quietly hoping it will be.

Defensively, the Seahawks are not as good as last season, but have played well the past 8 games. They have allowed just 78 points in the past 8 games played and could make it hard for Tom Brady and the Patriots to put points on the board, unless the run game for New England can put the defense back on its heels. If Seattle is able to pressure Brady up the middle, it could be a long day for New England.

On the offense, bettors must decide which rushing attack will win the time of possession and have more rushing yards. Even with the NFL turning into more of a passing game on offense, teams that have rushed for more yards than their opponents and won the time of possession in the Super Bowl have been very successful.

Time of Possession and Rushing Yardage Key to Winning Super Bowls

The curtain will close on another NFL season on Sunday night in Arizona when the final whistle sounds to end Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

The Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to win the AFC Conference Championship, while Seattle needed a rally and overtime to win the NFC Conference Championship over Green Bay 28-22.

The Patriots have not played Seattle since October of 2012 when Seattle rallied from a deficit of 13 points to win 24-23 as a home dog of 4 points.

Both teams have gone to the ground attack over the last few weeks, and both will attempt to control the game’s tempo and clock.

Teams that win the battle of time of possession in Super Bowls have an outstanding record of 35-13 straight up and 34-11-3 against the spread. Teams that are able to rush for the most yards in the game are 37-11 straight up and 34-11-3 against the spread.

New England is 10-1 ATS versus offenses that gain 375 or more yards per game over the last three seasons. The Patriots are also 26-9 ATS when gaining 175 or more yards rushing in the previous game since 1993.

Seattle is 9-1 ATS after they have gained 6 yards or more per play in two straight games over the last three seasons. Seattle is also 13-4 ATS following a home win the last two seasons. The Seahawks are 14-3 ATS against defenses that allow 235 or more passing yards a game during the second half of a season, under Pete Carroll.

Bryan Stork the starting center for New England could miss the game due to a knee, while Justin Britt at OT and Jeron Johnson at safety are questionable.

Seattle’s Earl Thomas at safety and Richard Sherman at cornerback are probable.

The offense for New England is averaging 40 points per game in its two postseason games. Tom Brady has 6 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in the two games for New England.

Russell Wilson guided Seattle to an amazing win in the postseason against Green Bay. He had four picks on that game, but rushed for a touchdown and threw the game winning pass for a touchdown during overtime.

Marshawn Lynch will be featured as much or more rushing for Seattle against the Patriots defense.

On defense, the secondary for Seattle has a number of injuries, but are tough, with speed and size, which will make it tough for Brady.

The game should be close, high scoring with a late score determining the winner of this year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Broncos Need Secondary and Offensive Line Help in Draft

As the NFL Draft is just days away, NFL teams are racking their brains trying to come up with the picks that will best complement their team. The powers to be on each team are considering possible draft day trades to move up to draft the player or players they want or trade down and receive more overall picks in the draft.

One such team is the defending AFC Champions Denver Broncos.

The Broncos lost Eric Decker, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Knowshon Moreno, Shaun Phillips, Champ Bailey and others to free agency.

Denver was able to sign free agents Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, DeMarcus Ware, Will Montgomery and Emmanuel Sanders.

Denver’s strengths last season were many on offense thanks to Peyton Manning and his receiving corps. Many records were set offensively during the season.

However, on defense the team was weak against the pass and was ranked No. 25 in red zone efficiency on defense.

Thanks to the lack of a tough schedule the Broncos’ mediocre defense and its league leading offense were able to win the AFC West and reach the Super Bowl.

This season the Broncos however have non-division games that include Arizona, the New York Jets, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Offensively according to data pulled from Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com, the Broncos were No. 1 in the league averaging 8.9 yards per pass on first down. Denver converted 82% of their second and short plays into first downs, which was third best in the league.

One criticism of the offense was the team did not run the ball more often, but that criticism cannot be too harsh since they were so successful through the air.

The Broncos averaged -10 as a favorite in every game regardless if it was home or away. According to Bovada, Denver covered the double-digit point spread better than single digit ones. When the Broncos were favored by 10 points or more they were 6-0 SU while 5-1 ATS. When they were favored by 9 points or less they were just 1-3 both SU and ATS.

In the 2014 draft, the Broncos will need help in the secondary as Chris Harris their No. 2 man at corner tore an ACL last January. Free agent signing Aqib Talib will fill the shoes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but he can be injury prone.

Manning played exceptional last season, but if he had, had Ryan Clady he would have played even better. Clady returns this season from injury but the team needs another talented tackle and guard to complement what they already have.

Manning’s time is running out for another Super Bowl and the better the team can sure up their offensive line and defensive secondary will give Manning and his teammates a better chance of returning to the Super Bowl and having a more positive result.

NFL: Drafting a Quarterback Can Make or Break an NFL Franchise

The NFL Draft will be held on May 8-10 and as the date gets closer, a number of teams’ thoughts turn to the quarterback, the highest paid position on the NFL.

Drafting the right quarterback has a huge impact on the future of a franchise. However, the implications of making a mistake can even be bigger.

The quarterback in the NFL is paid the big bucks. That means that if a team drafts a great quarterback and pays them well it is a good investment on the team’s part, but if they habitually throw good money after bad and draft poorly performing signal callers each season, then it is a bad investment.

There are five teams in the past 10 seasons that have drafted from two to four quarterbacks who never played or were never even thought of other than playing a backup role.

The five teams Bears, Cowboys, Patriots, Saints and Texans all had talented quarterbacks in Cutler, Romo, Brady, Brees and Schaub thus never drafted a quarterback high enough in the past 10 seasons who played even sporadically.

In a recent study, researchers used a point system on every quarterback that was drafted in the past 10 seasons.

The teams that never drafted a quarterback correctly over that period were 702-1057 in the ten seasons. However, the teams that were successful in making good quarterback choices in their draft were 1024-732.

Winning means the playoffs, and the team that drafted poorly played just 25 postseason games during the 10 years or an average of just 0.2 games per team per season. Research Bovada, sportsbook.com, betonline and topbet shows those teams in their playoff appearances were just 9-16.

On the other hand, the teams that drafted well at quarterback played in 121 playoff games or 1.1 games per team per season and finished the playoffs 62-59.

The past 10 winners of the Super Bowl have all had play at quarterback that was solid.

New England and New Orleans along with the Cowboys, Bears and Texans were not part of the research due to their franchise quarterbacks.

Six of the Super Bowl champions were near the top of the list in quarterback drafting including Pittsburgh twice, Seattle, Indianapolis, Green Bay and Baltimore.

The New York Giants were middle of the pack in their quarterback draft efficiency but still won two Super Bowls in that period.

Not a single team won a Super Bowl in the 10 seasons the study encompassed that drafted inefficiently at quarterback.

Because of this, it is so critical for a team to draft quarterback efficiently in the NFL draft.

The quarterback has the single most impact of any player in winning games in the NFL. With a league loaded with parity, it is hard for teams to win without good production at quarterback.

Super Bowl 48 Sets New Record in Vegas with $119 Million Handle

Super Bowl 48 is in the books, the Seattle Seahawks can now have bragging rights during the off-season and defend their title until the next Super Bowl.

Sports fans set a new record in Nevada for betting on a Super Bowl with a total handle of $119.4 million. The Nevada Gaming Control Board released its unaudited tally sheets for sports books showing a profit of $19.7 million on the action.

The game by the way, if you were one of the two or three people not to see it played, read about it or picked it up on the Internet, was won by the Seattle Seahawks by 35 points over the favored (-2.5) Broncos.

Books makers like Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com said they never before seen handle of $119.4 million was driven by Peyton Manning. In Vegas and other northern areas of the state, wagers of all sizes were put on Denver to win.

Many public bettors and some sharp money were waiting on a big game by Manning following his record setting 2013 regular season.

That of course never materialized as the Legion of Doom defense for the Seahawks shut down the Broncos prolific offense, holding Denver to a season low 8 points and Manning to just one touchdown pass.

The previous record in Nevada was set for the 2013 Super Bowl between Baltimore and San Francisco, when bettors created a total handle of $98.9 million.

Some of the casinos and online sites like Bovada lost on some of the prop bets, including the biggest one, which was the safety on the game’s first play. Some books had a safety as the game’s first score at 50 to 1, with one as high as 60 to 1.

Super Bowl 49 Futures

The futures have been released for Super Bowl 49, which will be played in Arizona. To no one’s surprise, the Seahawks are the co-favorites at 5 to 1 to repeat as the champions next year.

The San Francisco 49ers, the NFC West rivals of Seattle and their opponent in this year’s NFC Championship also opened at the same price of 5 to 1.

Seattle should return the majority of its roster from this season intact next season. Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, two talented wide receivers and Michael Bennett a defensive end might try the free agent route during the offseason, but those three players are not irreplaceable.

While the Broncos will have Peyton Manning back, they face the possibility of losing a number of top players in the free agency market.

Those players include Eric Decker at wide receiver, Knowshon Moreno at running back, Shaun Phillips at defensive end and Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all defensive backs.

The early futures line for Super Bowl 49 has the NFC favored by 3.5 points over the AFC, with a point total of 50.

Following the Seahawks and 49ers in the futures for Super Bowl are the Broncos at 11 to 2, Patriots 10 to 1, New Orleans and Green Bay at 15 to 1, Philadelphia and Carolina at 22 to 1 and Indianapolis and Kansas City at 25 to 1 to round out the top 10.

This Monday Really Sucks But There is a Silver Lining

Omaha
Omaha
The end of football season sucks but at least you don't have to hear "Omaha" for awhile.

For the vast majority of us in the workforce, few days are as bad as Monday. It’s the first day of the work week which means that after Monday, there are still four more days to get through. Even for those of us who enjoy our jobs we must admit that Monday is often very tough to get through.

Today is Monday. This particular Monday however is a little more excruciating than really any other Monday on the calendar for a decent percentage of us. Last night, the Super Bowl was played and I don’t yet know the winner because I’m writing this early so I can watch the game. Be that as it may, today we embark on a long journey of days without football.

Some of you will make the smooth transition into college basketball, the NBA or the NHL but some of you will loathe the next five to six months when you find yourself digging through old DVR recordings of games from this past season. Still, it isn’t the same.

Oh sure, there’s the NFL Combine coming later this month but how many fans really tune into that expecting it to take away their ‘no football blues?’ When the combine ends, the on campus workouts begin and free agency gets underway and it is often enough for us to be satisfied if ever so slightly for our taste in football.

NFL Draft
The NFL Draft will be here soon enough so don't dispair football fans.

As you comb over the multitude of mock drafts looking to see who your favorite team is interested in you start to get the itch but you can’t scratch it because training camp is still a couple of months away.

The draft comes and you comb over the players your team has selected and then you start to read about whether this guy is a ‘reach’ or that guy is a ‘bust’ or maybe that third-rounder is a real ‘gem.’ Regardless, it only satisfies you a little.

Eventually the summer rolls around and before you know it you’re setting off fireworks in the backyard to celebrate Independence Day. Now, just weeks away is the start of training camp and thought of your team being on the field once again brings a small tear to your eye as your long wait is over.

Football will be back.

Until then, take solace in the fact that there are a few things you won’t miss. These are the things that will make up your silver lining.

  • No more discussions about whether Richard Sherman or Bill Belichick is the ‘real thug.’
  • No longer have to hear half of ESPN’s NFL crew butcher the English language.
  • You won’t have to sit through reviews which are ‘reviewed’ purely so the NFL can get in another series of commercials.
  • You’ll no longer have to listen to the following question each week from your significant other; “What time do the (insert your team here) play?
  • You’ll get a substantial reprieve from seeing Jim Harbaugh pout like five-year old on the sidelines or in some cases on the field.
  • No more ‘Omaha!!!!’
  • No more ’12th man’
  • No more Cris Collinsworth
  • You can forget hearing about whether Tony Romo is a choker or not.
  • You can also forget hearing about what stupid thing Roger Goodell thinks up next.
  • You’ll be glad not to hear about Mike Shanahan and RGIII twelve times a day.
  • No more close-ups of Archie Manning whose fame is far greater as a father than it ever was a player.

These are but a few of the things you will be happy to be without for the next several months and today is only Monday. The worst Monday of them all.

Bookmakers Win Big in Super Bowl XLVIII Rout

Bookmakers cashed in big on Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday night with some expecting records for both the handle and the profit. One odds maker called it the busiest Super Bowl ever.

Indications from the different sports books such as Bovada, topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline are that the Super Bowl should be a record handle for them and it should be a huge profit for them as well.

The improbable Seattle Seahawks blowout of 43-8 over Denver sent huge shock waves through the gaming industry Sunday night helping the books to a huge win.

Many bookmakers in Vegas said the handle was 20% higher than last year’s Super Bowl and their holds on handles of between $90 million and $100 million were between 17% and 20%.

Despite the hype and talk of the best defense and the best offense bringing about a classic Super Bowl, the 48th Super Bowl was similar to the Super Bowls of the 1980s that were so one-sided including Denver being on the losing end of three of them.

This year, the public played most of its money on Denver, which was helped by the books not moving the line to Broncos -3. A few shops in Vegas did move their line to -3 but quickly shut that door after sharp money ran to the window for their bets.

Not only was it good for many books on the big win by Seattle, but also on the OVER (47.5) cashing with the point total hitting 51.

Many books offered odds of 50 to 1 on a safety being the first scoring play for Seattle and bettors taking that prop cashed in well, as that is just what happened when Denver’s center snapped the ball out of Peyton Manning’s reach and the ball went into the end zone for a safety.

It is the third consecutive Super Bowl that included a safety and the second in the past three years that the first score was a safety. Some books took a heavy loss on the prop.

Even though there were losses recorded by books on some props, overall the books did very well, recording another win on the Super Bowl. In Vegas, the Gaming Commission of Nevada starting keeping records on games in 1991, and since then, the books have only lost twice on Super Bowls.

Records and totals for the handle and profits in Vegas will be released on Monday with many expecting both the handle and profit to break all time records.

For many books, the high season on betting has come to a close, as the NFL represents up to 55% of total betting for some of them. However, with the NBA continuing, Major League Baseball preparing for its spring training and the World Cup scheduled for June of this year, the odds makers will continue to have their hands full.