Most years, dominating the NFL Draft doesn’t necessarily equate to winning the Super Bowl that very season. It tends to work the same for free agency, too. One big draft pick here or one big free
agency addition there; sure, that can help. But teams completely overhauling a slew of positions or adding a new quarterback don’t typically go on title runs.
Then again, we can’t know what the future holds. All we can do is pay attention to how teams have changed their rosters and gauge how it may impact them looking ahead to the 2017 NFL regular
Will there be a team that makes a deep run or even wins it all because of 1-2 guys they added in this year’s draft, or will the Patriots just get back to the Super Bowl and win for the sixth
time? Maybe it’s not even the Patriots, though. Perhaps the draft boosts the Packers, Cowboys, Falcons, Steelers or another team that was close, but not close enough in 2016.
2017 Super Bowl Odds
Let’s take a look at the latest 2017 Super Bowl odds at Bovada and point out who experiences the most change of betting upside based on their current odds:
New England Patriots +350
Dallas Cowboys +1200
Green Bay Packers +1200
Seattle Seahawks +1200
Atlanta Falcons +1200
Oakland Raiders +1200
Pittsburgh Steelers +1600
Houston Texans +1600
Denver Broncos +1800
New York Giants +2000
Kansas City Chiefs +2500
Carolina Panthers +3300
Minnesota Vikings +3300
Indianapolis Colts +3300
Arizona Cardinals +3300
New Orleans Saints +3300
Tennessee Titans +4000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4000
Baltimore Ravens +4000
Cincinnati Bengals +5000
Miami Dolphins +5000
Washington Redskins +5000
Philadelphia Eagles +5000
Detroit Lions +6600
Los Angeles Chargers +7500
Buffalo Bills +10000
Jacksonville Jaguars +10000
Chicago Bears +10000
Los Angeles Rams +10000
New York Jets +15000
San Francisco 49ers +20000
Cleveland Browns +20000
Top Title Favorites
New England actually still has fun title odds despite being the clear favorite going into next year. Tom Brady remains at the top of his game and the Pats spend money and draft picks on getting
even better defensively. The Pats will get back a healthy Rob Gronkowski, added a burner in “first round pick”
Brandin Cooks and have a collection of capable running backs that could make the loss of LeGarrette Blount laughable.
Getting around the Pats as a title contender is impossible. They remain a very good bet to at least get back to the Super Bowl. It’s the other side we really need to concern ourselves with, as
the Falcons obviously have some unfinished business, while the Cowboys, Packers and Seahawks all can say the same and carry the same exact odds at the moment.
The true value rests there, but if Bovada and the other top Super Bowl betting sites can separate that pack a bit we might be able to find even better value as the season draws closer. That
four-pack is where we want to look for now, however:
Green Bay actually could stand out the most in this group, as they have arguably the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers are were fantastic offensively in the second half of last
season. Green Bay boosted that offense by adding Martellus Bennett in free agency, while they also may have solved their rushing woes by drafting three new rookie running backs. BYU’s Jamaal
Williams has the skill-set to take over their lead back roll and arguably turn out to be a massive steal out of round four.
The Packers really made strides on defense, though, as
they added two versatile and athletic defensive backs, a solid edge rusher and a serious defensive line value pick in Auburn’s Montravius Adams. Competition and depth will be the key for Green
Bay’s defense, which will get healthier and deeper heading into next year. Already ready to rock with a high level offense, an even moderate defense could make the Packers the NFC’s top team next
Dallas is up there, too, as they fought the Packers hard in the second round of the playoffs last year and obviously have two amazing offensive building blocks in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel
Elliott. Dez Bryant solidifies an elite offense that will be very tough for anyone to contain, while the ‘Boys added shifty slot man Ryan Switzer to make their passing game potentially even more
Like the Packers, Dallas made a strong effort in the 2017 NFL Draft to address their defense, as they beefed up their
pass rush with stout Michigan pass rusher Taco Charlton and also addressed a declining secondary with four defensive backs, including Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie. On paper, the Cowboys have
the offense to dominate any defense and may have added the necessary defensive pieces to be even better on the other side of the ball in 2017.
Atlanta was last year’s NFC representative for the Super Bowl, but they might rank third in this group for a few reasons. For one, they lost creative offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and after
blowing a 28-3 lead, could be in for a mental breakdown. The case for a Super Bowl hangover is pretty strong, but on paper the Falcons are as deep and as explosive as any other offense in the
If the Falcons can remain as deadly as they were last year offensively, they might turn into the favorite to make it back and finish what they started last year. The defense has already started
evolving into one of the most aggressive units in the league, but Dan Quinn added even more firepower via pass rusher Takkarist McKinley and linebacker Duke Riley. The Falcons probably didn’t
need to make any bold additions defensively, but through this draft they could be even better defensively than they were to end the year.
Seattle can’t be forgotten. The Seahawks still have a Super Bowl passer in Russell Wilson, who continues to have a solid corps of offensive weapons around him. Seattle even added bruising runner
Eddie Lacy to complement the passing game and has taken measures to improve their offensive line. Provided the o-line performs better than it did a year ago, the ‘Hawks could be right back in the
Super Bowl conversation.
Seattle’s defense wasn’t quite as elite as normal a year ago, but the Richard Sherman trade talk has died down and stud safety Earl Thomas will be back and healthy after breaking his leg last
season. The Seahawks also added a talented defensive lineman in Malik McDowell in this year’s draft, potentially spicing up their pass rush and run defense up front. They didn’t stop there,
either, as they boosted their defensive backfield depth and upside by snagging value picks in Shaquill Griffin and Delano Hill.
New England’s Biggest Threats
The NFC has a lot of teams that could pose problems for the AFC in the Super Bowl, but only one of them will be a problem if the Pats can make it back. New England has to worry about their own
conference, where the Steelers, Raiders, Broncos, Texans and Chiefs appear to be their most realistic threats.
Houston made a great move for the future by nabbing Deshaun Watson at quarterback, but rookie passers don’t win titles. The Texans are getting closer, but they might be a year away from making
serious championship noise.
KC also spent a first rounder on quarterback Patrick Mahomes, looking far into the future instead of addressing pressing needs for a would-be title contender. That might hold the Chiefs back from
being serious threats to New England.
Denver still doesn’t feel like a true Super Bowl threat, either. Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch figure to take over under center and neither will strike fear into the hearts of defenses. Denver
has even lost some luster defensively, so if that side of the ball continues to regress, they could fall further out of the playoff picture.
That leaves us with two obvious title threats beyond New England in the AFC:
Oakland has a strong narrative backing them, as Derek Carr returns with unfinished business on the brain after missing the playoffs due to a broken leg last year. The Raiders looked like a title
threat last year and Carr and co. could see this as the year to make a true push, seeing as the franchise will be relocating in 2018.
Beyond the emotional aspect, this is simply a very good football team. Jared Cook and Marshawn Lynch spice up an already elite offense, while Oakland’s defense was getting nastier with every
passing week last year. The Raiders made sure to add some nice pieces to a shaky secondary in this draft, too, bringing in elite cover man Gareon Conley and a value safety in round two in Obi
Melifonwu. Provided Conley’s rape allegations go
away, these two could play vital roles in a maturing Raiders defense in 2017.
All of that together could push the Raiders up to #2 in the AFC and with Lynch’s title experience backing them, they just might have enough to dethrone the Pats.
We also have to seriously consider the Steelers, who lost in the AFC title game a year ago and could be ready for that next logical step. A healthy Le’Veon Bell and the return of Martavis Bryant
(reinstated) will give the Steelers one of the most dynamic and explosive offenses in the entire league. That was really already the case, of course, so the real trick will be Pittsburgh’s
defense getting consistent enough to contain elite AFC offenses come playoff time.
Pittsburgh may have done enough on that side of the ball in this draft, too, as they added an athletic edge rusher in Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt in round one. The Steelers will need to be more
consistent in the back of their defense, but adding fresh blood to the pass rush could help even things out.
Super Bowl Sleepers
The Pats enter with the best Super Bowl odds, to nobody’s surprise. They very well could repeat in 2017 and if/when they do, few will be that shocked. They do have some stiff competition at the
top, but every single season a team rises out of nowhere to emerge as a legit title threat. Last year it was the Falcons and Cowboys for the NFC, while the Raiders returned to the playoffs and
looked like serious contenders in the AFC before losing Derek Carr to a broken leg.
Now these teams are favorites, though, so we need to consider the odds and which teams in the middle of the pack or deeper down that could be among those surprises for 2017.
There are a lot of teams with solid odds that could be viable title threats this year, but for true sleepers we’re starting the odds at +3300 and higher:
There are other teams within the +3300 to +5000 range but these are your best bets to rise up and make a real run at a title. Carolina just did that two years ago and boosted an already talented
offense with two versatile weapons in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. If they can help Cam Newton return to MVP form, the Panthers are easily one of the top sleepers with their current
+3300 Super Bowl odds.
Minnesota had an amazing defense and looked like a true title threat after a 5-0 start last year, but then they fizzled offensively and their defense couldn’t keep them afloat. There is still a
lot to like about this team, as Sam Bradford proved to be a stable presence under center and the Vikes may have fixed their running woes by signing Latavius Murray and drafting Dalvin Cook in
Right there, the Vikings go from a pedestrian, one-dimensional offense to a potential lethal and balanced attack. The upside of second-year wide receiver Laquon Treadwell could also open the
passing game up. Defensively, the Vikings remain stout, while they added solid depth in the draft, nabbing defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson and linebacker Ben Gedeon round four.
The Vikes are tough to really get behind with them being in the same division as the Packers, but it’d be so fitting for them to march their way to the franchise’s first title the very year
Adrian Peterson exits the organization.
Other NFC teams we need to pay mind to are Peterson’s new team (Saints) and the Arizona Cardinals. New Orleans obviously brought on Peterson to bolster their rushing attack, while they’ve been
rehabbing their atrocious defense all offseason. They’ve made solid moves in free agency, but they got even more competent bodies in the draft, nabbing one of the top corners in Marshon
Lattimore, as well as a talented safety in Marcus Williams.
New Orleans might be an even sneakier NFC threat than Minnesota or Carolina. Drew Brees can still ball and the Saints now have the tools to have as balanced of an offensive attack as ever, while
the defense has added enough pieces to improve markedly. If the latter happens, this team could be a real title threat.
There’s also the Cardinals, who got to the NFC title game two years ago and return veteran leaders in Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. It’s anyone’s guess what they have left, but Arizona
endured a ton of bad luck last year and also have their offense revolving around elite rusher David Johnson these days. If the passing game can come back around and be more consistent, AZ could
be a dangerous offensive threat.
The Cardinals should also again be a team to fear defensively, as they nabbed killer additions in the draft, taking explosive linebacker Haason Reddick in round one and snatching up serious value
in safety Budda Baker in round two. Just those two picks alone boost an already stacked defense, while pass rusher Chandler Jones could be in for big things as he enters his second season with
Tampa Bay has even longer odds and could be a team to watch, as Jameis Winston could be ready to take the next step in year three. He certainly has the offense around him to make some noise,
while his supporting cast got even better after the Bucs signed DeSean Jackson and drafted tight end O.J. Howard. The only question will be defensively, as the Bucs need to get more consistent
there to escape a competitive NFC South division.
Over in the AFC we have some very interesting sleepers. Indy has been a repeat title threat in the not too distant past, while the Ravens and Bengals seem to be on the verge of a title run almost
every year lately.
The Colts have all the tools to make a move offensively, but they’ll need their defense to rise up to make any real noise in 2017. They could very well do that, though, as they added elite rookie
help via stud safety Malik Hooker and talented cover man, Quincy Wilson. With those two moves, Indy’s secondary could transform into an elite unit and finally deliver a strong defense, overall.
The Ravens and Bengals already have talented defenses, but both could be even better. The Ravens added major corner help in stud defensive back Marlon Humphrey, while they added some pass rushing
youth via Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, as well. Defense will not be a problem for the Ravens, who now just need to find a steady running back to fuel a more balanced offensive attack.
The Bengals won’t have to worry about their running game, as they have Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard and just got a steal when they nabbed uber talented rusher Joe Mixon in this year’s draft.
Cincy got better on both sides of the ball in the 2017 NFL Draft, also boosting their passing game with burner John Ross and adding stout pass rushing help via Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis.
Baltimore and Cincinnati wouldn’t be shocking movers, but the Titans are a realistic sleeper that could actually deliver. Marcus Mariota looked ready for the next step last year before going down
with a leg injury and he’ll have even more help after the Titans brought in playmakers in Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith. Already blessed with an established rushing attack, Mariota now has a full
arsenal to attack even the best defenses.
The defensive side of the ball should be better for the Titans, too, as Tennessee added a solid corner prospect in Adoree’ Jackson and made sound free agency moves by bringing in Logan Ryan and
Jonathan Cyprien. The Titans could still be another year from making serious noise, but on paper they may have enough for a solid playoff run.
Rising Bottom Feeders
There are always going to be viable sleepers to consider tossing some bets on, but what about the truly awful teams from last year? One or two are bound to improve enough to sniff the playoffs,
while it’s always possible one could get so much better that they even make the playoffs.
We still can’t project that for the Rams, Jets, Browns and 49ers. All of these teams have extremely playable odds and made some awesome picks in the draft, but it won’t be enough to make them
viable title threats. All four got better, but still have serious question marks at the game’s most important position – quarterback.
Chicago has better odds than these options and might be worse off than anyone. They went all in on Mitchell Trubisky after signing Mike Glennon to a big deal. They also still don’t have a good
defense or a really explosive offense. They don’t deserve the time of day in the betting realm.
That may not be the case for deep sleepers like the Jaguars, Chargers and Bills.
Tom Coughlin took over the decision-making in Jacksonville and so far, so good, as he landed an elite franchise rusher in Leonard Fournette and beefed up an already stout defense by signing A.J.
Boure and Barry Church, among others. Dede Westbrook was also a nice third round pick for the offense, while speedy cover man Jalen Myrick was a sweet value pick all the way in round seven.
By all accounts, the Jags got way better on both sides of the ball, leaving Blake Bortles’ continued development as their lone
obstacle between them and true success going into 2017. He’s impossible to trust, but the Jags have everything else they need to take over a weak AFC South division and rise up the ranks.
With intriguing +1000 Super Bowl odds, they might be the best flier bet of all.
We shouldn’t ignore the Chargers or Bills, though. Both teams are arguably in better starting positions than the Jags, as Philip Rivers continues to ball out and Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy
give Buffalo a nice dynamic duo on offense.
L.A. might be a fun sleeper to consider betting on, as the veteran Rivers got a new toy to play with in stud receiver Mike Williams, while the return of Keenan Allen and continued development of
Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry could make this offense a tough one to handle in 2017. The Chargers still need to get better defensively, of course, but they did attack their secondary in the
draft, while Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram give the Bolts an interesting pass rush. Rivers and co. just might finally have the group to make a deep run on offense, while an improved Chargers
defense could make this a team to watch.
Ditto for Buffalo, who moved on from the Rex Ryan fiasco and could be much better if they can stay healthy in 2017. The Bills have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, while they added
secondary help in talented corner, Tre’Davious White. The Bills don’t scream “title contender”, but they look to be very stable on both sides of the ball. If Shady McCoy can again dominate on the
ground and Sammy Watkins can stay healthy, this isn’t the worst Super Bowl sleeper out there.
Who Will Win Super Bowl 52?
It’s still probably too early to make a bold Super Bowl 52 prediction, but that’s kind of the point of taking the time to break this all down. On the surface, the Patriots are without a doubt
again the team to beat. Vegas knows it and after adding Brandin Cooks, beefing up their defense and also getting a healthy Gronk back, it’s tough to bet against the Patriots repeating.
The Falcons will probably drop off and if there is a real threat in the AFC, it seems to be the Raiders. They’re younger, faster and adding Lynch might just push them over the top.
In the NFC, it’s probably between the Cowboys or Packers. Seattle is also a threat, but Green Bay made all the right moves to improve defensively and teams tend to take that next step, provided
they don’t crater and fall backwards. When you have Aaron Rodgers and a slew of moves to address problem areas, the latter isn’t going to make much sense.
Ultimately, the best teams in the league are without a doubt New England, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Dallas and Atlanta. We should pay some mind to a few sleepers we touched on, but the odds
are relatively good that your Super Bowl 52 winner comes from this pack.
The Falcons don’t feel right and will likely struggle after imploding in the Super Bowl. Last year looked like their year and then it wasn’t, so with a loaded NFC, we don’t buy them returning to
the big game. It gets even harder when you look at their division, as the Bucs, Saints and Panthers are already all solid and should be better. It wouldn’t be shocking at all to see the Falcons
regress and miss the playoffs, but we still think they sneak in to get knocked out early.
The Cowboys and Packers will likely vie for the NFC’s spot in this year’s Super Bowl, with Green Bay’s solid defensive moves in the draft giving them the edge they need. Dallas also lost some key
defensive pieces in free agency and it’s arguable that unit isn’t nearly as stable in 2017. That will end up being bad news when they have to go to Lambeau Field for a chance to get to the title
The Packers could get a rematch with the Steelers in Super Bowl 52, but it’s more likely we see the Patriots back in the big game or Oakland make their final push. There is something about the
Raiders that we can’t ignore this year, as they’ve made all the right moves and are only getting better with an aggressive Khalil Mack leading a rising defense.
The Packers and Raiders are a very interesting matchup, but if we get here I don’t see Oakland’s fun narrative ending quite as they hope.
Pick: Packers 30, Raiders 27
Keep in mind it is early May and things could change dramatically to impact odds and predictions ahead of the 2017 NFL regular season, which is still four months away. For now, we’re high on both
Green Bay and Oakland, and both teams present fun, playable odds, as well as realistic title hopes.
Think the Raiders and Packers are bad title picks? Think the Pats will repeat or someone else is a lock to win Super Bowl 52? Tell us your side in the comments below!