2016 NFL Super Bowl Betting Odds: Your 5 Best Bets to Win it All
The best part of the NFL season is often making Super Bowl predictions before the season even gets going. Whether it’s your favorite team or the team you love to hate, you usually have a pretty good idea which teams you think have the best chance to make a deep playoff run.
Last year was a change of pace, with Denver and Carolina truly surprising as representatives from their respective conferences, but both had previously at least been on the Super Bowl radar. While they were mild shocks in 2015, the Broncos had one of the best defenses we’ve ever seen and were in the Super Bowl just two years prior.
In other words, even though we didn’t specifically see that title game coming a year ago, it wasn’t completely out of nowhere.
Perhaps that logic should have us double-dipping into some top contenders we’ve held in high regard in recent years. In fact, a quick glance at the 2016 Super Bowl odds over at Bovada seem to map things out relatively easily. Even though the #1 team isn’t quite so clear-cut, it at least feels relatively obvious who the top Super Bowl threats are.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) September 6, 2016
That’s the case in our minds, at least. Your opinion and NFL betting decisions may differ, but before you make your final Super Bowl bets for this year, at least take a look at our top five title contenders:
Arizona Cardinals (+1100)
Arizona leads the way for us, for a variety of reasons. Of this group of what we perceive to be the five best bets to win this year’s Super Bowl, they’re tied with the most playable odds, sports one of the best offenses in the league, have one of the best defenses in the league and were also in the NFC title game a year ago.
The only legit argument against Arizona is the fact that quarterback Carson Palmer bombed badly in the NFC Championship game last year. One could say he won’t recover from that thrashing, and even if he does, he may just be setting himself up for something similar in this year’s NFC title game. Maybe, and maybe not. We lean toward the latter, as Palmer is still a borderline elite quarterback and he’s going to want to shake off that horrific showing from a year ago.
Palmer can’t help but shake it off, either. David Johnson gives the Cards an awesome running game, their defense should be as nasty as ever and they remain a brutal out at home. Bruce Arians leading the way with his “don’t give a crap” attitude tops the cake. If the Cards don’t win it all, they’ll at least once again come quite close.
New England Patriots (+650)
The team we think Arizona faces and ultimately beats in Super Bowl 51 is without a doubt the class of the AFC – the New England Patriots. It’s true they traded away Chandler Jones, don’t have Tom Brady for the first four weeks due to suspension and lost some key bodies to suspension or injury, but this is the New England Patriots we’re talking about.
New England owns the AFC East, won the Super Bowl two years ago and even played a tight game in the AFC title game just last season. With the Denver Broncos likely taking a step back, there just isn’t a viable contender outside of the Pats inside the AFC. If there is one, it’ll be a surprise. That isn’t to say the Pats win their fifth NFL title, but they’re probably at least getting to Super Bowl 51.
Carolina Panthers (+1100)
Much like Arizona, Carolina not only has extremely playable Super Bowl odds, but they also are a very strong title contender again. They lost two games all season a year ago and got to the promised land, so while there is a “Super Bowl hangover” argument, you could also say they have unfinished business to attend to.
Kelvin Benjamin returns to the league’s best offense of a year ago and as long as the Panthers can make up for the loss of stud corner Josh Norman, their defense should also be pretty nasty. They absolutely could regress with a pretty loaded NFC, but the Panthers still look to be one of the best teams that make the NFC just that loaded.
Green Bay Packers (+600)
Green Bay is another reason why the NFC is stacked, and the more elite teams you have in a conference, the tougher that makes the team that gets through that side’s tourney to enjoy the Super Bowl. The Packers are an especially interesting Super Bowl threat, seeing as they’ve been among the top contenders for years and were the favorites by many again in 2015.
An injury to Jordy Nelson really killed their title hopes before 2015 started, but Aaron Rodgers is so good that he still got Green Bay to the playoffs, where they were one bad overtime play away from possibly advancing to the NFC title game. Last year wasn’t their year, but the Packers are healthy again and on paper look like as good a threat as anyone. Bovada pegs them as the top overall favorite to win it all, but they come in fourth in out best five Super Bowl bets.
Seattle Seahawks (+900)
There isn’t a top five Super Bowl contender list without the Seattle Seahawks. Not only does their inclusion here once again suggest they are a legit title contender that is to be feared, but it furthers the argument that the NFC is as dangerous (and loaded) as ever. We saw last year that doesn’t necessarily mean the NFC team will win in the end, but if the Seahawks can get to the title game, logic suggests they just might issue some payback to the Patriots.
Marshawn Lynch is retired and the Legion of Boom had some weak moments a year ago, but the ‘Hawks promise to be at full strength and as explosive as ever. They still have some questions to answer, but there is plenty of reason to believe they’re capable of another deep playoff run. Bovada gives them strong Super Bowl odds, and even picks them to win the NFC West. We still prefer Arizona of the two, but we’ve learned that betting against Russell Wilson (or the Seahawks in general) doesn’t come without serious risk.
Ultimately, Arizona and New England form our Super Bowl 51 vision, but all five of these teams make for fantastic Super Bowl bets. In the end, we’d be truly shocked if one of these teams didn’t end up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this year. For betting purposes, the Cardinals and Panthers make for the best upside picks, but if you’re looking for the winner, we advise picking either the Cardinals or Patriots.
Got a different take on the top Super Bowl contenders for 2016? Tell us all about it in the comments below!