2017 NFL Odds: 5 Super Bowl 52 Sleepers to Monitor
Published on July 16, 2017
Going into the 2017 NFL season, things seem to be laid out before us in obvious fashion. The New England Patriots look like formidable defending champs after only getting better during the offseason, while the other top contenders aren’t difficult to find.
If we plan on betting who will win the 2017 NFL Super Bowl, our job is simple; find someone we believe can stop the Pats from repeating. New England is the clear favorite with +375 odds at Bovada. There are certainly several viable options, as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are inside the top-6 in terms of title odds and appeared in their respective conference’s championship games a year ago.
That doesn’t mean the Packers and Steelers are locks to return or get even further, but we can’t ignore the way Vegas views them, nor the talent they currently have. More important than noting the top contenders, of course, could be gauging viable Super Bowl sleepers that offer the best playability.
Whether the odds are long or not, we’ve found five viable sleepers that could be worth a bet before the 2017 NFL season begins:
I get that it’s not easy to get back to the Super Bowl and Atlanta is in danger of dealing with the Super Bowl “hangover”, but the odds are too good to pass up here. Matt Ryan careered en route to his first MVP award in 2016, while the Falcons remain absolutely loaded offensively with the ever-explosive Julio Jones leading the charge.
Atlanta did lose offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers this offseason, but what other logical reason is there to stray from at least a flier bet on the Falcons? This was the best team in the NFC and we arguably only saw the beginning stages of a nasty defense during their deep playoff run.
Dan Quinn could have that unit nastier than ever, while a focused Matt Ryan could again orchestrate an amazing offense. The NFC South should be a little better and the post-Super Bowl slump is a concern, but this is a viable title favorite at +1600. That’s tough to ignore.
The G-Men looked like a viable title threat for much of 2016, as they swept a seemingly superior Dallas Cowboys team and made the playoffs on the heels of a much-improved defense. That defense couldn’t get them past the Green Bay Packers in round one of the playoffs last year, but if that unit is as aggressive as they were a year ago and New York’s offense can be a little more explosive, this is going to be a team to fear.
Eli Manning has dealt with mild regression and the Giants have an unproven rushing attack, but Odell Beckham Jr. gives them one of the most dominant receivers in the game and the additions of veteran receiver Brandon Marshall and rookie tight end Evan Engram could very well give this offense the upside it was previously lacking.
Betting on the Giants to win it all doesn’t feel very safe, as they reside in the same division as the Cowboys and the same conference as three of the top four Super Bowl threats. That means the competition will be fierce, but they do have the experience, potential balance and stable defense to give it a go.
I’m personally not a huge believer in the Chiefs just because they continue to hinge their high-level success to Alex Smith’s wagon, but this is still a very dangerous team on paper. Kansas City continues to have a very balanced and methodical offense, as well as one of the more stacked defenses in the league. KC also won the AFC West last year and is led by a coach in Andy Reid that has years of success in getting to his conference title game.
Reid can’t necessarily be trusted to get the Chiefs over the hump, but he has been to a Super Bowl as head coach and anytime you have a team with an elite defense with +2500 Super Bowl odds, you need to pay attention. Kansas City doesn’t have the most enticing offense, but Alex Smith is a strong and accurate game manager that hypothetically could engineer enough offense to get a defensive-minded team to the promised land.
One of my favorite Super Bowl sleepers is without a doubt the Buccaneers, who flirted with a playoff run last year and made some big moves to get better over the offseason. Landing speedster DeSean Jackson and balanced rookie tight end O.J. Howard should provide nice boosts for an already strong offense, while the Bucs should also be deadlier on defense.
Tampa Bay already was doing a solid job of competing, which we saw right away in their upset of the Falcons in week one. The inconsistency we saw from there will eventually be ironed out and the Bucs could slowly prove themselves to be one of the more stable units in the entire league.
More than anything, though, I’m hanging my hat on the development of fiery leader, Jameis Winston. Winston is an odd personality, but he’s also a true gamer and a born leader. He was a title winner at Florida State and he seems too driven and too talented to take a step back at this point. If you agree the field-stretching talents of D-Jax could open things up as much as we do, the Bucs suddenly look like “super” steal with their +3300 title odds at Bovada.
One last team that we think could somewhat surprise in 2017 is the Ravens, who have underperformed lately but seem to always have the core needed to make a deep playoff run. John Harbaugh gives Baltimore a steady presence at head coach, Joe Flacco has a title under his belt and an aging Ravens defense added some fresh blood to spice up a veteran unit that still held their own for the most part in 2016.
The Ravens flirted with the playoffs last year, but could finally be ready for a return, and possibly even a title run. The Ravens continue to play solid defense, have a stable quarterback and if everything breaks right, should have a loaded offense that can stretch the field and pound the rock.
I think this is one of the best Super Bowl 52 sleepers to consider betting on, just because people tend to be prisoners of the moment all too often. Baltimore’s lack of playoff success lately will keep their odds low and people off of them, plus their presence in a tough AFC North division could complicate matters. That being said, this is a veteran roster with plenty of experience and we shouldn’t be completely sleeping on them with very playable +4000 title odds.