The Las Vegas Sports Consultants have put out their odds for the Super Bowl . . . in February 2010. Before I ramble on for 2,500 words I find the fact the odds are out already, pretty amazing. In college I was lucky to have my papers finished three days after the deadline and that was with collegiate distractions. The LVSC (Las Vegas Sports Consultants) have their 2010 odds out before I've become used to writing 2009 rather than 2008, and that is in Las Vegas where distractions would be ten fold. But I digress.
It should come as no surprise that the best odds they give, are to the Patriots, Steelers, Giants, and Colts. The worst odds are reserved for the Lions, Rams, Raiders, and Cheifs. Based on what has transpired this year, a 10-1 preseason Super Bowl odds Steeler team and a 1,000,000-1 (slightly exaggerated) Arizona Cardinal team meeting for the Lombardi. Who knows where you should lay your money? Because my 4-6 playoff record isn't the worst out there, I think I'm qualified to help you out:
*Ignore the fact that I picked Jacksonville and Dallas (neither made the playoffs) to meet in the Super Bowl in August. Hey, you can't win 'em all.
New England Patriots (6-1) At 11-5, the Patriots missed the playoffs in 2008. It's strange that no one is guaranteeing a Tom Brady complete health return in 2009 and they are the top dog favorites. Most clubs might not react well losing their offensive coordinator and director of player personnel. However, they are the New England Patriots and just ripped off an 11-win season with a quarterback who hadn't started since the 12th grade.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-1) Yes, they actually could win their third Super Bowl since 2006 by March of 2010. The #1 defense in the NFL will return James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. Breakout rookie, Rashard Mendenhall, will be back after missing 2008 with a shoulder injury. They play defense and then run the ball. Any questions about who the Steelers are now?
Indianapolis Colts (8-1) What, no one is considering the fact that the Colts forgot to show up in San Diego for the playoffs? Tony Dungy has retired and Marvin Harrison was pedestrian at best in 2008. I know, they do have the reigning MVP under center but I'm sorry, the Colts are getting old. Their last five wins of 2008 were against Cleveland, Cincy, Detroit, Jacksonville, and a Titan team that had already packed it in and started preparing for the playoffs. Unimpressed. Peyton can still win games, and he's still Peyton "Friggin" Manning.
Dallas Cowboys (9-1) Nope. I'm not going to get sucked in. T.O. needs to be cut, forget that he no longer gets seperation against top flight corners, he's affecting how Tony Romo attacks a secondary, and that's an issue. They got embarassed in Philly, finished 9-7, and the only improvements they've made in the offseason was cutting a corner that played in 9 of 16 games. Their coach is a sitting duck to take the hit for the debacle that is the last three years in Valley Ranch. What?!? You think I'm buying this?!!?!?
Baltimore Ravens (11-1) They'll miss Rex Ryan but they still have Ed Reed and that means something. While the Ravens defense was able to disguise some of the rookie mistakes from quarterback, Joe Flacco, 2009 will have to be his coming out. I have a suggestion that may help this; Go out and get Cardinal wideout, Anquan Boldin. Boldin would be a great target for Flacco and give him another option alongside Todd Heap and Derrick Mason. I'm okay with this.
Carolina Panthers (12-1) You think Panther fans are still down with Jake Delhomme? When I said that the Panthers go as far as Jake Delhomme can take them in the playoffs, and then he throws five interceptions, I think you get my point. A great defense, fantastic running backs, the Panthers are being held hostage by the play of Delhomme. When the Panthers have Super Bowl expectations, you need a quarterback who can put you in a place to win, Delhomme can't do that.
Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) Twelve to one odds to win the Super Bowl huh? 1-4 in NFC Championship Games. A coach that is more over rated than Brett Favre's career. A quarterback that goes from goat to hero in three weeks and then back to goat. A running back who is beginning to show the signs of wear and tear. A defense that does everything right, until it's time to play against Larry Fitzgerald. If I put $25 bucks on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl; I want more than a $300 payout.
Tennessee Titans (12-1) You didn't buy them when they were the only NFL team remaining undefeated heading into week 11. I don't expect you to attempt to buy them when you hear they want Kerry Collins to come back in 2009 either. The question remains, what are you going to do with Vince Young? If he's the starter come September, I'd be shocked to see the Titans still getting 12-1 odds. Titans fans, hold on to your coin.
San Diego Chargers (14-1) Sign me up. $100 bucks. That's right, I like the Chargers in 2009. The Raiders and Cheifs will still suck. The Josh McDaniels era in Denver will take a moment or two to get off the ground, so yes, the Chargers could go 8-8 with an injured LaDainian and still win the AFC West. Judging by the way Phil Rivers played in the regular season and postseason, he's coming into his own. In the NFL, you need a quarterback who can make plays and a defense who holds their own. That's the Chargers.
Arizona Cardinals (15-1) No love, from the powers that be. Matt Leinart will put the clipboard (and beer bong) down and take the helm of the possible defending Super Bowl champs. The Cardinals stuff the Falcons, Panthers, and Eagles, but Las Vegas still remembers that 47-7 beatdown by the Patriots in December. The 49ers won't start off as bad as they did in 2008, making it all that much more important that the Cardinals continue their run into next season. Breaston will step into Boldin's spot, and I fully expect the Cardinals to change some of their makeup in '09. They are where they should be.
Atlanta Falcons (16-1) Vegas loves the drop off, the Falcons fit that mold. At 16-1 odds, the Falcons are where they ought to be. Two things could happen to Matt Ryan and Atlanta this next season: (1) They completely take a step back and go something like 9-7 or 8-8. (2) They make their move on Carolina. A defense that needs improving, and a more consistant threat from the tight end on offense. Their odds could be worse, but
New Orleans Saints (18-1) Exactly. Las Vegas is done trusting in Sean Payton and the Saints. They won't kill the Saints, but they won't save them either. I think the Vikings, Bears, and Packers all have a better shot at winning than the Saints do, but like a former lover, Las Vegas finds it hard to talk about their Saints (but still has a little something for them).
* None of the following are winning the Super Bowl in 2010, NONE!
Green Bay Packers (20-1) Didn't matter if Brett Favre was there or not, Ryan Grant didn't have the season like he did the season before, and the Packer defense got old in the tooth. Time to retool. I'm okay with 20-1.
Minnesota Vikings (22-1) Their defense is too good, and their running back is far too good, to go through another season with Tarvaris or Gus under center. They connect with Cassel, they shoot up the ladder, but I doubt they go out and do what it'll take to get him.
Miami Dolphins (25-1) Wow. Thats got to hurt. The Fish go out and win the AFC East in '08, then given 25-1 odds to win the Super Bowl the following season. Las Vegas might have something against The Tuna, but I don't.
Washington Redskins (25-1) Jim Zorn gets the ax folliwng the 2010 season. I'd put 6-1 odds on that. Should be worse.
New York Jets (28-1) The Jet defense immediately gets an upgrade adding Rex Ryan as their new HC. The Jet offense, the real problem, will retain their coordinator.
Chicago Bears (28-1) A defense that has lost their bite. The Kyle Orton factor, and a coach on his way out of town. 28-1 isn't a gift, it's all they are worth.
Jacksonville Jaguars (30-1) How the mighty have fallen. Start of 2008 season, they were "most likely to drop the Patriots," now you pick them, your a fool. Coach whose lost his team; The Jags are a season away from a top five draft pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (35-1) Fired their coach. Their famed defensive coordinator is with his son in Tennessee. A first year head coach coming in, quarterback in question. The way they finished 2008 gives little help for 2009.
Denver Broncos (35-1) Really?!? Okay, so they shouldn't have fired Mike Shanahan but got the most wanted guy, former Patriot coordinator, Josh McDaniels. They don't have a quarterback controversy. Spent the majority of the season recovering from injuries and still almost won the AFC West. I love the Broncos at 35-1, they should cleary be getting better odds.
Houston Texans (40-1)Wake me when the Texans have a legit shot at winning more than 8 games.
San Francisco 49ers (40-1) Mike Singletary knows what he's doing and the 49ers have the best shot at being this years Falcons or Dolphins.
Buffalo Bills (50-1) Their 5-0 2008 start was fradulent and they are in love with those two average quarterbacks. 50-1 suits them perfectly.
Seattle Seahawks (60-1) They'll turn it around, especially if they get big game Michael Crabtree in the draft. Keep in mind, they should have beaten the Patriots when they had Senaca Wallace under center just weeks before the season ended.
Cleveland Browns (60-1) Mangini bombed in New York, now he'll bomb away in Cleveland.
Cincinnati Bengals (75-1) Again, Marvin Lewis escapes the firing squad, How does he still have a job?
St. Louis Rams (100-1) They still have Stephen Jackson, but better get better on the offensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs (100-1) The Scott Pioli regime is coming in, you've got to wonder here. Of all the positions with all the teams this guy could have had, he chooses K.C.? He likes something. They'll be better than you think.
Oakland Raiders (100-1) No Comment. SOLD!
Detroit Lions (150-1) Can the odds get worse? How does 1,000,000-1 sound? You just hired the same guy who benched Marc Bulger for the corpse that was Trent Green as your offensive coordinator? SOLD!