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Super Bowl Favorites Seldom Win

In each of the past five NFL preseasons, either the Indianapolis Colts or the New England Patriots (and in 2009 it was both) have been the Super Bowl favorite.

History tells us that only once in those five seasons did the preseason favorite actually win (Super Bowl XLII, Colts over Bears). That means history tells us there should be value to be had betting Super Bowl futures.

Last year, the Packers entered the season at 10/1 odds, slightly behind the Colts at 8/1. So a $100 wager on the Packers last September would have paid $1,000 in February.

In 2009, the New Orleans Saints were 22/1 longshots. After their improbably win over the Vikings in the NFC title game, they won Super Bowl XLIV. A $100 risk on the Saints would have marched your bankroll ahead $2,200!

Pittsburgh was a 20/1 longshot on the eve of the 2008 season and they came through with a win over Arizona. And the Giants were a solid 10/1 pick in September 2007, but they needed the David Tyree catch to upend the then-perfect New England Patriots.

You have go back to the start of the 2006 season when the 5/1 Colts when a preseason favorite actually came through for bettors.

So what does this tell us about the current situation where the Patriots again lead the Super Bowl future odds parade at roughly 6/1 odds at Bovada and other online shops? Have their free agency and trade moves made their legitimate contenders?

What about the Packers, who had been favored just three weeks ago before the Pats and Eagles went crazy with trades and free agency? Are the Packers the ‘real’ favorites sitting at 7/1? How about the Eagles, always contending but never winning the big game? They are also 7/1 armed with more offensive weapons than any other team and with an improved defense.

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The past four Super Bowl winners were all at least 10/1 odds at start of season and two were 20/1. History demands that you look at the Chargers at 11/1, the Jets at 12/1 and the Steelers at 14/1.

The Falcons, Ravens, Colts, Cowboys and Saints are all between 15/1 and 20/1. It probably means the last-place Carolina Panthers may not be worth a 125/1 bet even with Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton at the controls.

And the longest shot on the board is Buffalo, currently the Super Bowl odds caboose at 150/1.

September 2010 - Packers were 10/1 – Colts led at 8/1
September 2009 - Saints were 21/1 - Colts/Pats were 7/1
September 2008 - Steelers were 20/1 - Patriots led 3/1
September 2007 - Giants were 10/1 – Patriots led 3-1
*September 2006 - Colts were 5/1 – Colts led 5/1