A clear crop of betting favorites has developed through three weeks when it comes to the Super Bowl. When we last looked at the 2012 Super Bowl odds, there were just four teams with single-digit odds, and a chuck of teams after that in between 10/1 and 20/1. There's still a group trailing the leaders, but when you look at the top teams, it's clear that a) the Texans, 49ers, Falcons and Ravens are the top favorites to make it out of their respective conferences, and b) Vegas isn't crazy enough to give the Packers and Patriots double-digit odds.
Creeping up the odds rankings is the NFC West as well though. We saw a HUGE jump from the Cardinals (28/1), who clocked in at 60/1 last week. Hope you listened and jumped on board the bandwagon a week early. Holding a 60/1 ticket for a 3-0 team is a pretty good spot to be. You wouldn't be upset if you bet on the Seahawks (30/1 now) either. Despite the controversial call against the Packers, Seattle is still 2-1 with their only loss coming to Arizon in the opening week.
If you want to get ahead of the curve and chase the next version of Arizona, odds-wise, either the Bills or Bengals would be a good gamble.
Cincy and Buffalo are both 50/1 this week, which has them on the rise. Buffalo gets New England, San Francisco and Arizona over its next three games, which is terrifying. But if they win two of those games (totally possible), they're going to climb quickly. Cincy's a much safer investment, as they get the Dolphins, Jaguars and Browns over their next three games. They should be 5-1 when they meet the Steelers in Week 7 and possibly in first in their division.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Saints at 66/1. I'd love to tell you to speculate on the Saints at this point since it's good value, but it's actually not. Their defense is bad and New Orleans plays at Green Bay (a VERY angry team) and gets the Chargers at home over the next two weeks. They could be 0-5, easily. Just stunning.
The Browns aren't going to win the Super Bowl, but 750/1 kind of feels like a slap in Cleveland's face, doesn't it? The Vikings (200/1 to 75/1) took a huge jump with their upset over the 49ers last week. I'd kind of like them as a speculative bet, but that's a really tough division.
It's nice to see the Redskins (100/1) coming back to reality. Why are the Giants still 18/1? Aren't they 2-1 and looking kind of tough? I'd buy on them now. Same with the Cowboys at 25/1 -- Brandon Carr's looking like the type of addition that Johnathan Joseph was for the Texans in 2011.
Expert Super Bowl Picks
Will Brinson: Texans vs. Falcons -- Damn it feels good to be a gangster. It also feels good to be the guy whose original preseason Super Bowl teams hopped out to 3-0 starts while looking like the best teams in the league. But as we all know, no one knows anything. Which means this pick might be worthless in two weeks. But don't think I won't keep reminding you that I made it before the season as long as these teams look good.
Josh Katzowitz: Texans vs. Falcons -- I feel pretty resolute about the Texans continuing their march to their first AFC title, but I've knocked out the Packers from my NFC championship pick. They obviously have big concerns in the running game and with the offensive line, and with the way Atlanta went into San Diego and blasted the Chargers on Sunday, you've got like where the Falcons are headed.
Pete Prisco: Texans vs. Falcons -- The interesting thing about the Falcons is how well that defense is playing. My Assistant Coach of the Year so far might be Mike Nolan. I love what he has done. The Texans might be the best overall team. What can't they do?
Clark Judge: Texans vs. Packers -- I picked them before the season, and I see no reason to change now. The Packers' offense has struggled through three games, but that won't last. I don't pay too much attention to what happens the first three weeks; what happens the last three is what matters. I know, Atlanta looks as good as anyone out there, but until Matt Ryan wins a playoff game I'm not buying.
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