2013 Super Bowl XLVII Predictions
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
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Looking back on my 2012-2013 NFL preseason predictions it was another year full of near misses, as I hit a few divisional winners to get a little bit of money back and would have had a winning year if the Atlanta Falcons could have held on to the lead in the NFC Championship game and cash my 13-to-1 play on the Falcons in the preseason.
In the NFC, I correctly predicted three of the six, and won 2.25 units and 1.4 units when the Atlanta Falcons (NFC South) and San Francisco 49ers (NFC West) won their respective divisions.
In the AFC, I only had two of the six playoff qualifiers and only one correct divisional winner with the New England Patriots at 2.3 units.
Super Bowl XLVII Prediction
With a Baltimore-vs.-San Francisco matchup on the card and the opening point spread of 49ers minus -5-points already bet down -4 at most sportsbooks, the early value on the Ravens may have already run its course. You might be able to find value on the Ravens on the moneyline, when they are released later in the week, but if the point spread drops any more prior to kickoff in 13 days the best wager on Baltimore could already be gone.
If the point spread stays above the key number of 3 it should keep enough money on both sides throughout the lead-up to the game, but if you really want to take the chalk 49ers you might as well be prepared to watch the board every day to see if the point spread continues to drop in their favor.
If I would have hit my NFC Champions bet on Atlanta last week, and then in turn would have had a little more money to play with this week, I would consider a hefty wager on the 49ers. But with a tough year already hurting my bankroll, I don't see any reason to chase that bet right now as this is a pretty solid matchup.
Instead I'll take a look at the wide variety of Super Bowl 47 proposition bets and see if there's any value on those exotic wagers.
THE ARTICLE BELOW WAS WRITTEN PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEASON2013 Super Bowl XLVII Predictions
by Badger of Predictem.com
There’s no such thing as an offseason in the National Football League anymore.
There’s no offseason when it comes to NFL betting odds either. Since Bovada Sportsbook has already released its full plate of 2013 NFL Futures odds (before July … Sweet!), let’s waste no time in taking a look at the NFL Division winner odds, the AFC/NFC Championship odds and SuperBowl 47 odds too.
The NFL kicks off its 93rd season with it’s typical mid-week special telecast featuring the defending Super Bowl Champs, but this year’s game between the champion New York Giants and the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys will be shown on Wednesday Night September 5th. The year will culminate with Super Bowl 47 (XLVII) played at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013. It will be the 10th Super Bowl played in the Superdome, with the NFC holding a slim 5-4 edge all time. Also, three of the New England Patriots seven Super Bowl trips have been in New Orleans.
After a successful 2010-11 season (+15.6 units) where I picked three division winners, the AFC Champ and the Super Bowl Champ Packers, in 2011-12 I came back down to Earth and gave a little back. I still hit on three Division winners (+6.35), but my chances at breaking even or making another nice profit again died with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.
So without wasting any more time, here are my preseason predictions for this year’s division champs, wildcard winners and eventual playoff winners, complete with the Divisional futures odds. I will also offer up a short, middle and long shot winner using the current 2013 NFC/AFC Championship futures odds and 2013 Super Bowl 47 futures odds currently listed at Bovada.
NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (prediction: 11-5)
Odds to win NFC East – 2.35-to-1
Once again the NFC East will beat up on itself this season, but I think the Eagles are the best equipped to withstand a long season. Philly addressed their biggest needs on defense by signing Demeco Ryans to play middle linebacker and drafting some inside beef to keep blockers off of him in DT Fletcher Cox (Miss. St.). Plus, they still have all of the talent they stockpiled last year. They were the hottest team in the NFC the last four weeks of last season, once they stopped believing the hype and started playing football. With less of the spotlight on them, I’m hoping they figure it out sooner in 2013.
NFC North – Chicago Bears (10-6)
Odds to win NFC North - 6-to-1
I know the NFC North still has to go through Green Bay, but the lousy 1.3-to-1 odds on the Packers just don’t compel me to take the favorites. That means a choice between the two teams listed at 6-to-1, either the Chicago Bears or the Detroit Lions. In this instance I’m leaning toward the Bears, since they actually improved in the winter. For the first time in memory the Bears will actually have a weapon at receiver now that Brandon Marshall is reunited with Jay Cutler. If they can shore up their offensive line issues, the Bears offense could be dangerous with RB Michael Bush added to help take the pounding off of Matt Forte. What separates the Bears from the Lions is defense and the Devin Hester-led special teams, so I’ll take a shot at a bigger payday by throwing a flyer on the Bears in the North.
NFC South – Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Odds to win NFC South – 2.25-to-1
With all of the distractions in New Orleans these days regarding the bounty scandal, Drew Brees’ contract situation and the suspension of coach Sean Peyton for a year, if there ever was a year for the Falcons to take the throne of the NFC South it would be this year. Atlanta did address some needs by adding veteran corner Asante Samuel from the Eagles to help in the secondary before the draft, then drafted C Peter Konz in the to add depth in front of Matt Ryan. The Falcons won’t be the top seed like they were a few years ago, but they should win the South while the Saints try and deal with adversity.
NFC West – San Francisco 49ers (11-5)
Odds to win NFC West – 1.4-to-1
I passed on the Packers because of bad odds, but in the weak NFC West I just can’t do the same with the San Francisco 49ers. I don’t think anyone outside of 49ers headquarters envisioned a 13-3 season and a trip to the NFC title game last season, I sure didn’t. I’m still not sold on Alex Smith at QB, I’ve got week four on the “Randy Moss causes a locker-room distraction” over/under pool, and I know that after a breakout season last year there’s nowhere to go but down … but they’re still the class of the NFC South even if all of that comes true.
NFC Wildcards – Green Bay Packers (10-6) and Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
As I stated earlier, I still think the Packers will win the North, but if they do slide and the Bears cash in on the title the Packers won’t fall far. It seems like every year I pick Dallas to do something and every year they end up wasting my money. They spent almost their entire draft on defense, so hopefully they’ll have enough depth to slip past the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions for the sixth and final playoff spot.
AFC East – New England Patriots (12-4)
Odds to win AFC East – 2.35-to-1
You can count me among the many that think a Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow two-headed quarterback in New York is a recipe for disaster. Buffalo and Miami just aren’t good enough yet. Until one of these teams gets better or until Tom Brady retires from football I’ve no other choice but to take the chalk and the sure-thing New England Patriots in the East.
AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Odds of win AFC North – 2.3-to-1
The AFC North had three playoff teams last year and is certainly the most balanced division in the NFL, so this pick is always one of the hardest. But the injury to Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is huge in my opinion, a big enough blow to Baltimore that puts Pittsburgh back on top in 2012. The Steelers added another weapon on offense with Chris Rainey (Florida) and depth on the offensive line with David DeCastro and Mike Adams in the draft.
AFC South – Tennessee Titans (10-6)
Odds to win AFC South – 5.25-to-1
This is another case of where I don’t like the futures odds placed on the favorite to win the division, the Houston Texans (1.18-to-1). I do like the fact that the Titans got two solid veterans, guard Steve Hutchinson and LB Kamerion Wimbley, to help shore up weaknesses. Hutchinson will help RB Chris Johnson and the Titans improve their 31st-ranked rushing offense, which in turn should help Matt Hasselbeck in the passing game too. If the Texans regress a little, the Titans might be the only team capable of taking advantage of the slip.
AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
Odds to win AFC West – 4.5-to-1
Everyone seems to think the West will be a two-team race between Denver (2.7-to-1) and San Diego (2.75-to-1), in an expected quarterback duel for the title between Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. But in my eyes the team that improved the most in the division, quietly, was the Kansas City Chiefs. Not necessarily for who the picked up to help add depth (TE Kevin Boss, T Eric Winston, QB Brady Quinn), but for who they will have coming back from injury (SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki, QB Matt Cassel). Plus, a Chiefs defense that was already very good is getting arguably their best player back in Berry, making them tops in the division in my eyes. It could all come down to a week 17 matchup at Denver for the crown.
AFC Wildcards – New York Jets (10-6) and Houston Texans (9-7)
Since there is no money wagered on these two, I’m going to go with the New York Jets as one wildcard. The Tebow-Sanchez marriage at QB could become a circus sideshow, especially with the ringmaster Rex Ryan running the microphone. But they are still a good team, and an easier schedule (vs. NFC West … at Seattle, at St. Louis and Arizona) will help down the stretch. I have the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens both finishing 9-7, so I flipped a coin and it came up Texans for final wild card spot.
AFC/NFC Conference Championships Predictions
Using a short-middle-long approach to diversify and spread the risk, here are my picks for the NFC and AFC Championships.
Short Favorite – Philadelphia Eagles – 7.5-to-1
I had the Eagles in this same position last season, but this time I think their bruised egos will help change the locker room attitude in Philly. The Eagles are explosive on offense, and I think the addition of Ryans at LB is exactly what they need to finish their rebuilt defense. But as they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice …
Middle – Atlanta Falcons – 13-to-1
The Falcons are a great value here. They might not catch all the breaks the 13-3 team from 2010 got, but they’re still a very good team. Plus, they’re sort of lurking in the shadows and off the radar to coin not one but two clichés. I think Matt Ryan and the Falcons will play better when they go back to the role of chaser than they did with the target on their backs as the top dog.
Longshot – Chicago Bears – 17-to-1
If the Bears can figure out their offense line issues they truly are a championship caliber team. Jay Cutler FINALLY has a weapon on the outside in Brandon Marshall and they added Michael Bush to help rest Matt Forte and not make him have do be 70 percent of the offensive production. For the first time in a long time, the Bears might finally have an offense on the same level as their defense and special team (i.e. Hester).
Short Favorite – New England Patriots – 4.3-to-1
Every year I pass on picking the Patriots as my short team just because I’m not a big fan of taking the chalk. But in an AFC with only a few elite teams that have a legit shot, and then a bunch of also rans, I almost had of take the Patriots as my short favorite.
Middle of the Road – Pittsburgh Steelers – 8.5-to-1
Just like my middle pick in the NFC, I think the Steelers offer outstanding value here. Ben Roethlisberger and the offense are one of the few in the AFC that can score points with anyone, even Brady and the Patriots. The biggest difference is the Steelers defense, which is beginning to get a little long in the tooth but should still be championship caliber for a few more years.
Longshot – Kansas City Chiefs – 23-to-1
Remember when I mentioned a few elite teams and then also rans … well, the Chiefs are one of the dozen or so also rans. But by definition I have to take a long shot, so the Chiefs are my pick in the AFC.
Super Bowl 47 (SB XLVII) – February 3rd, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Using the current 2013 Super Bowl Futures Odds at BetOnline, here’s where I’ll be placing my short, middle and long shot bets for this season.
Short – Philadelphia Eagles – 13-to-1
Philly takes the crown in a battle of Pennsylvania, unless Andy Reid eats the play chart.
Middle – Pittsburgh Steelers – 17-to-1
Actually, if there’s any team that could give the Eagles a tough time it’s the Steelers. Maybe the Steelers are the pride of Pennsylvania, either way I’m covered.
Longshot – Chicago Bears - 29-to-1
Hey, they’re not the Cubs. So why not?
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