Confetti is still blowing around the cold streets of Baltimore, where the Ravens celebrated their Super Bowl XLVII championship this week. But for NFL bettors, it’s never too early to get a jump on next year’s Big Game.
Sportsbooks posted Super Bowl XLVIII futures odds in the weeks leading into last Sunday’s contest and have already taken action on some surprise contenders. Here’s a look at which teams early-bird Super Bowl bettors are siding with:
Seattle Seahawks +1,200
The Seahawks have been the most popular Super Bowl XLVIII bet both online and in Las Vegas. The MGM Mirage opened Seattle at +1,200 and moved all the way to +800, with early money banking on Russell Wilson to avoid the sophomore slump and get the Seahawks to MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2 in his second year in the league.
Washington Redskins +2,800
Another second-year QB is winning over Super Bowl XLVIII futures shoppers, even though Robert Griffin III’s status for 2013 is up in the air after shredding his knee. Washington won a competitive NFC East and who knows what would have happened if RG3 was healthy. The Redskins aren’t the only team in their division taking early action. Philadelphia (+3,000) and New York (+2,000) also have their backings.
New Orleans Saints +1,500
Depending on where you shop, the Saints bounce between +1,500 and +2,000 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. New Orleans was hampered by “Bounty Gate” this past season and struggled to stop teams on defense. They return head coach Sean Payton to the sideline and should be back in the mix in the NFC South, football’s toughest division.
Cleveland Browns +8,000
Believe it or not, there is a group of people who think Cleveland has more than a snowball’s chance of making the Big Game next year. According to Jay Rood, sportsbook director at the MGM Mirage, the Browns have moved from +10,000 to +6,000 since Super Bowl XLVIII odds went up three weeks ago. Some of that faith is based on rumors that Alex Smith may be headed to Cleveland this offseason.
Odds and information courtesy of BetOnline.ag, Bet365.com and MGM Mirage Las Vegas.