Super Bowl Sleepers?
We're in mid-November during the second half of the football season and it's time to take a look at the latest Super Bowl odds.
If you go back to August, Denver was the favorite at 5-1 and San Francisco was 6-1 to win this year's Super Bowl from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Although Denver is still the favorite at 10-3, things have changed elsewhere. Seattle has moved up to 15-4 in odds from Bovada to become the second favorite. Those are teams that should be favored in most of their games over the rest of the season. San Francisco has fallen to 10-1 after losing to the Carolina Panthers (10-9) at home last Sunday. The 49ers are still a team to watch because they should be getting wide receiver Michael Crabtree back from an Achilles' tendon injury very shortly. That should help their passing game, which has been anemic as of late.
But what about the Super Bowl sleepers? Are there any teams that we should consider laying some dough on this part of the season that are considered longshots?
The Detroit Lions at 20-1 are the team to watch. At first glance, this team still commits too many penalties and well, Detroit has never won a Super Bowl. But they have the best wide receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson, an strong-armed quarterback in Matthew Stafford and an improving defense. With Nate Burleson (arm) expected back shortly, the receiving corps gets better.
Detroit has won three of their last four games going into the Nov. 16 game against Pittsburgh. They have the edge now in the NFC North over Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers hurt and over Chicago, who has numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. They also have a running game now with Reggie Bush running for 623 yards and catching 34 passes for 343 yards.
Their defense is very strong against the run and while they aren't great against the pass, they have a strong front four led by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. This is a young team that is just reaching it's potential.
Carolina seems like the other obvious sleeper right at 14-1, but their biggest issues is that they are in the same division as New Orleans. If they can somehow beat New Orleans on Dec. 8 on the road, then they should be in the driver's seat. They have one of the best defenses in the NFL right now. Their front seven is loaded led by defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, who have combined for 14 sacks. This is a team I still want to watch because they are one of those "old school" teams that rely on defense and the running game. It's tough to win without a consistent passing game and until that improves, they'll be a borderline sleeper team.
Good luck the rest of the football season and keep an eye on those sleepers!