With the NBA and NHL seasons soon drawing to a close a lot of attention will now be shifting to the 2013 NFL season which kicks off in September. This article takes a look at some of the main contenders in the 2013 Super Bowl market. Players with a love for the game can catch all the latest news, articles and reviews about NFL at 888sport bet.
Denver Broncos – 8.20 odds
Denver will have veteran quarterback Peyton Manning back for his second season with the franchise. After starting with two wins in their first five games last year they went on to win eleven in a row. It took eventual Super Bowl winners the Baltimore Ravens two overtimes to get over Denver in the playoffs which goes to show how good a chance Denver were of winning last season. Denver have since made a great acquisition in the off-season with slot received Wes Welker. Welker had five 100+ reception seasons with the Patriots and should be a good fit for the Manning-led offence. Denver are tough to beat at altitude so if they can secure home advantage going into the playoffs again it will be tough getting by them.
San Francisco 49ers – 9.40 odds
The 49ers were last year’s Super Bowl losers, with their second half comeback falling just short against the Ravens. They have an excellent coach in Jim Harbaugh and they picked up a whopping 11 players in the 2013 draft. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be that much better for having last season under his belt and I like the acquisition of Colt McCoy as a backup. McCoy had an excellent college career with the Texas Longhorns and it was always going to be difficult for him to excel with Cleveland. Jim Harbaugh is a former NFL quarterback himself and has already shown he is a shrewd recruiter in this position, not to mention a good coach. I also like their acquisition of Anquan Boldin from the Ravens during the off-season. He adds another dimension to an already potent offence. A slow start cost the 49ers the Super Bowl last year so it’s likely that only injuries stand in the way of them and another good playoff run in 2013.
New England Patriots – 10.00 odds
I think New England are too short at 10.00 odds. They relied heavily on slot receiver Wes Welker last year after injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, however he has since joined the Broncos. Welker’s replacement is Danny Amendola, who looks good, but has had his fair share of injuries in his career. The word from training camp is that Amendola is playing well but there’s a big drop off after him. They have eleven receivers in camp at the moment, with no one else really putting their hand up for a roster spot. The biggest issue for them at the moment, however, is the tight end position, which their offence in particular relies heavily on. Gronkowski is still out having undergone surgery and Hernandez is in some trouble with the law so their offence may struggle early on this season.
Seattle Seahawks – 10.50 odds
Seattle are a really tough team to beat at home and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had a fantastic season last year, picking up the Pepsi Max Rookie of the Year award. You often see rookie quarterbacks dip in their second season but a lot of pressure is taken off Wilson by the presence of brilliant running back Marshawn Lynch. On the defensive front the Seahawks secondary is one of the best in the business. The Seahawks should have another good season in 2013.
Other teams worth mentioning
Green Bay (14.50) should again dominate the NFC North. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the business. Tight end Jermichael Finley is coming off a career-best 61 receptions in 2012 however there will be adjustments made in the off-season after the departures of wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings.
Houston (19.00) don’t have the best quarterback in the league in Matt Schaub, but they have a great running back in Arian Foster and a great wide receiver in Andre Johnson, who’s coming off a 112-reception season in 2012. Their defence is quite simply scary with J.J. Watt being a stand out for them last year. They will also benefit from having linebacker Brian Cushing back to health after tearing his ACL in 2012.
New Orleans (19.50) can now move on from last season with head coach Sean Payton returning to the team after serving a one-year suspension for his involvement in the team’s 2012 bounty scandal. They have a fantastic quarterback in Drew Brees and they are incredibly tough to beat at home inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. You’d have to be bold to rule them out.
Atlanta (23.00) got the monkey off their back with a post season win last year. They will be wary of their resurgent NFC South rivals New Orleans but they should have another solid season with quarterback Matt Ryan entering his 6th season. They had a 13-3 regular season record last year and are maybe this year’s dark horse for the title much like Baltimore were last year.
Baltimore (27.00) will be hard pressed to back up after last season’s win. It’s been something like 10 years since a team won back-to-back Super Bowls. Quarterback Joe Flacco is now on a massive salary package which will impact their salary cap situation down the stretch. They released receiver Anquan Boldin during the off season which I feel is a big loss.
The NY Giants (30.0) are a mercurial team. When they’re playing at their best they look like they can beat anyone, but they are often inconsistent. If they can limp into the playoffs then you can’t rule them out. Quarterback Eli Manning is one of the greatest clutch players in the game.
Washington (40.0) could feature, however they will be heavily reliant on the health of quarterback RGIII. His playing style puts him at risk and they are a much weaker team when he’s on the sideline.
I don’t think Indianapolis (44.0) will be a title threat this season, but they are an excellent chance of making the playoffs. I rate their quarterback Andrew Luck very highly. As a rookie he took Indianapolis to the playoffs with a 11-5 regular season record last year after they went 2-14 the season before. Some observers say he’s like Peyton Manning before the snap and Ben Roethlisberger after the snap, which is a huge compliment. I expect him to have a great career and he should benefit from having a year under his belt after coming into a new-look Colts side last season.