NFL Futures – Super Bowl 51

The 2016 NFL Draft (April 26 in Chicago) is going to shake-up the landscape of the league. Before the NCAA’s best prospects finally start earning some coin for their efforts, let’s check in on how things stand at the moment with updated odds for Super Bowl 51.

After a few key moves on the free-agent market – and some downgrading from their conference rivals – one team has its silver-tinted helmets a head above the rest. Coincidentally, that team doesn’t have a pick in the first round. (Spoiler alert!)

Super Bowl 51 Futures (as of April 18)

New England Patriots: 6/1

The Patriots were a missed extra-point away from potentially reaching Super Bowl 50. The team only got stronger in the offseason, adding veteran defenders Terrance Knighton (DT) and Chris Long (DE), along with wideouts Chris Hogan and Nate Washington to an already loaded offense.

With the Denver Broncos facing serious QB questions, the Pats look like the cream of the AFC crop by a pretty wide margin.

Green Bay Packers: 10/1

Let’s be honest, Packer QB Aaron Rodgers struggled last season, mostly because he lacked weapons. But he remains the best of the best and should have more free targets to hit this year. The front office brought in free agent TE Jared Cook, who will help Rodgers in the middle, and top WR Jordy Nelson returns from a knee injury that cost him the entire 2015 campaign. That should be enough to elevate the Green Bay offense back to elite levels. The defense still isn’t great, but it’s opportunistic and can do enough to win.

Seattle Seahawks: 10/1

The Seattle Seahawks remain one of the scariest teams in the NFC. The wisdom of signing an aging and fading CB Brandon Browner (reuniting the original Legion of Boom) is debatable, but the true question marks for this team come on offense.

It remains to be seen whether RB Thomas Rawls can repeat his rookie performance in year two now that Marshawn Lynch is out of the picture and he’s the feature back. If he can, and TE Jimmy Graham is integrated better in his second season as a Seahawk, the team will be a force once again.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 10/1

The Steelers have the personnel to rival the Patriots in the AFC if they can stay healthy. Immensely talented but oft-injured running back Le’Veon Bell probably won’t be at 100-percent when the season starts. Luckily backup DeAngelo Williams proved to be more than just a fill-in last year. Pittsburgh will also have to overcome the absence of WR2 Martavis Bryant, who’s suspended for the season.

As long as they have Ben Roethlisberger tossing to Antonio Brown, the offense will be a force, though. The addition of TE Ladarius Green should more than replace the production of retired Heath Miller.

Carolina Panthers: 11/1

The Panthers had a phenomenal regular season (15-1) and looked unbeatable in their first two playoff games last year, routing Seattle and Arizona. Then came the Super Bowl where Super Cam turned into Blooper Cam.

The Panthers will be strong again, but don’t expect another one-loss season. The offense still needs more playmakers, even with the return of garbage-time standout Kelvin Benjamin. Cam Newton overachieved last year given that he was throwing to the likes of Ted Ginn Jr. and Jericho Cotchery.

The Field:

  • Denver Broncos: 12/1
  • Indianapolis Colts: 18/1
  • Arizona Cardinals: 20/1
  • Dallas Cowboys: 20/1
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 20/1
  • Minnesota Vikings: 22/1
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 25/1
  • Houston Texans: 30/1
  • New York Giants: 32/1
  • Baltimore Ravens: 35/1
  • Oakland Raiders: 35/1
  • Buffalo Bills: 45/1
  • Atlanta Falcons: 50/1
  • New York Jets: 50/1
  • Chicago Bears: 55/1
  • New Orleans Saints: 55/1
  • Washington Redskins: 55/1
  • Los Angeles Rams: 60/1
  • Miami Dolphins: 60/1
  • San Diego Chargers: 60/1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 60/1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: 65/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 65/1
  • Detroit Lions: 70/1
  • Tennessee Titans: 75/1
  • San Francisco 49ers: 80/1
  • Cleveland Browns: 200/1

(Photo Credit: Keith Allison CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Frank Lorenzo

MTS co-founder Frank “Let It Ride” Lorenzo has been betting on sports since he was legally allowed to do so. (Did he do so before then, too? No comment.) He enjoys very strong coffee, neon lights, and passing on his wealth of betting knowledge to anyone who will listen.