2017-18 Super Bowl Odds: 5 Early Sleepers to Keep an Eye On

By Paul Wilson in Sports
| April 7, 2017 12:00 am PDT

The 2017 NFL season isn’t rolling around anytime soon. Heck, we’re not even into the 2017 NFL Draft yet. Still, it’s never too early to look ahead and think about which teams that currently don’t boast the best Super Bowls odds could make some noise later.

Teams like the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers weren’t among the top title favorites two years ago and few thought the Atlanta Falcons were a serious Super Bowl threat prior to last season. It is fairly rare for an NFL team to completely come out of nowhere to win it all, but fast turnarounds have happened and usually we can see the progress before it turns into a deep playoff run.

The Dallas Cowboys had laid the groundwork for a title run three seasons ago. Due to an elite offensive line and major changes in their running game, they quickly shot up the board last year even after Tony Romo got hurt. Foundation is key in pro football, and if we’re to believe that (and we do), there might be a few teams that have already flashed playoff upside that we should be paying a little more attention to.

Another key reason to pay even further attention to a team is long odds in April. Before a team comes together, before they add their final pieces in the draft or preseason, the oddsmakers still issues odds and make statements in the betting world on how each NFL team is perceived. Is there anyone worth placing a bet on in the bottom half of the league this year? Perhaps, and perhaps not.

Top Super Bowl 2017 Odds

Odds are, the top teams are actually the top teams this year. The favorites tend to be the favorites for a reason, and it’s hard to write off the teams with the best odds at the best Super Bowl betting sites like Bovada at the moment:

  • Patriots (+400)
  • Cowboys (+1000)
  • Packers (+1000)
  • Seahawks (+1000)
  • Falcons (+1200)
  • Steelers (+1400)
  • Raiders (+1600)

The Texans and Raiders also share +1800 Super Bowl odds, but as they stand, we can’t get excited about two teams that don’t have a reliable quarterback. If Tony Romo goes back on his recent retirement and latches on with one of those two, then we can revisit their odds.

For now, your best bets for Super Bowl 52 remain the key favorites. New England just won it all and got even better. Dallas looked like the best team in the league all year and could very well make a run to the top next year. Green Bay and Pittsburgh were both in their conference title game. Seattle is always a playoff staple. The Raiders proved last year they’re not just on the rise, but they aren’t a team to be trifled with. And how can we hate the Falcons, who had last year’s title in the bag and could be out for blood in 2017?

Best Super Bowl 52 Sleepers

Nobody is going to completely rule out any of those teams having a shot at this year’s Super Bowl. The foundation is there for those teams to continue where they left off a year ago. However, teams drop down all the time and there are either a handful of teams poised to rise up, or others that are being flat out disrespected.

Considering odds, talent and upside, here’s our five favorite 2017 Super Bowl sleepers:

Kansas City Chiefs (+2500)

Kansas City is among the teams being disrespected. They have the 11th best odds to win it all next year, which barely projects them as a playoff team. That’s fairly harsh, considering it’s probably them or the Raiders again atop the AFC West.

More importantly, the Chiefs have been very good lately, making the playoffs three out of the past four years under Andy Reid’s guidance. They’ve lost in the second round in each of the last two years but have a good defense and a balanced offense. If Alex Smith can make a few more plays in clutch situations or the defense can find a way to make up for his limitations, a mere playoff contender could quickly turn into a serious title threat.

Carolina Panthers (+3300)

Carolina’s fall from grace last season wasn’t pretty, as they lost a lot of the same close games that they won during a 15-1 run the year prior. A banged up Cam Newton didn’t help matters, while the Panthers also had to deal with life without star corner Josh Norman, among other issues on defense.

Now healthy, it’s not crazy to think the Panthers can bounce back and make another run to the title game. The Panthers looked unstoppable offensively just two seasons ago and for all of their struggles in 2016, they still fell six different times by a touchdown or less.

The Panthers will get healthy going into 2017 and if they can stay that way, should once again offer up a dangerous offense that can kill you on the ground or in the air, as well as a nasty defense. Because of that, their +3300 Super Bowl odds make them a legit sleeper candidate.

Arizona Cardinals (+3300)

Ditto for the Cardinals, who were regarded by many as a title contender last year after making it to the NFC title game the previous season. Much like the Panthers, the Cardinals regressed due to injuries and inconsistency and struggle to close a litany of tight games.

Arizona’s luck was even worse in 2016, as they fell at home to the Patriots in week one due to a late field goal and had a difficult time getting their feet settles from there. Losing late or by a small amount of points was the norm for AZ last year, as the Cards dropped five of their eight losses by a touchdown or less.

Few can forget a regrettable tie versus the Seahawks, too, where normally reliable kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed two crucial field goals to keep Arizona from exiting with a huge divisional win.

The good news is the injury David Johnson suffered late last year wasn’t as bad as it looked and the Cardinals regrouped enough late to end on a promising two-game winning streak. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are both scheduled to return for at least the 2017 season, providing hope that their veteran leadership will help this team finally finish the job.

Arizona could just as well regress further if Palmer can’t play better this year, but they’ve been title threats the past two years and should be able to get things back on track for 2017.

Baltimore Ravens (+4000)

The Ravens seem to always be on the cusp of a deep playoff run, but believe it or not, John Harbaugh’s bunch have made the playoffs just once in the four years since they won the league championship.

Harbaugh is still a championship level coach with a solid roster that is built under a strong foundation, while Joe Flacco proved during that 2012 run that he can step up and get things done in the playoffs. Baltimore does have some work to do around Flacco, though, as their running game has been severely lacking and their defense is getting long in the tooth.

They were still more than fine defensively in 2016, and adding Tony Jefferson to pair with Eric Weddle should only make them more formidable for 2017. Bringing in young blood to beef up the pass rush with Terrelle Suggs would be well advised, but the necessary makeup to go the distance still resides on this roster.

Baltimore seemed to be getting back to that in 2016, too, when they got off to a nice start and at one point looked like the team to beat in the AFC North. Road woes and a lethargic running game derailed them, but if they can correct those issues the Ravens could again fly high in 2017.

New Orleans Saints (+6600)

There are several teams to look at at the bottom, but the Saints are probably about as deep as we’d dive. This team still has the head coach and quarterback that won them their lone title back in 2009, and while that seems like forever away by now, that’s a key piece to a puzzle in New Orleans that is slowly maturing.

Offense really hasn’t been the issue for the Saints. Instead, it’s been an inability to consistently execute on the road, as well as a truly awful defense that has hindered them. New Orleans has only made it back to the playoffs twice in the seven years since they secured their only Lombardi Trophy, but they’ve also always remained in the mix, never dropping below 7-9.

That’s Sean Payton and Drew Brees routinely lifting this team up, and at some point their commitment to improving a sluggish defense will lead to a return to the playoffs. Once in, few teams are more dangerous offensively and/or on their own field. At these +6600 Super Bowl odds, the Saints are just enough of a sleeper – but also being disrespected enough – to both shock and make complete sense a as a title threat.

Love/hate our 2017 Super Bowl sleepers? Tell us your thoughts on each team or provide your own sleepers that could win it all next year!

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