We’re past the midway point in the 2012 NFL football season and much has changed since the beginning of the year. The Atlanta Falcons are surprisingly undefeated. The Philadelphia Eagles–a preseason Super Bowl choice of some misguided prognosticators–are falling apart. And the Houston Texans are still the choice of oddsmakers to emerge as 2013 Super Bowl champions.
The current 2013 Super Bowl odds have the Texans installed as a +525 favorite. Houston is 7-1 on the season and will play the Chicago Bears in a big matchup of likely postseason contenders this Sunday night. Right behind Houston comes the New England Patriots priced at +575. Although there’s some concern about the Patriots’ less than stellar defense it’s not hard to support the entry of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
The third favorite at this point is the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are priced at +676 to win the NFL Championship. The Niners are 6-2 on the year and are led by what is arguably the league’s toughest defense. There is some concern about Alex Smith’s ability at quarterback but he has played well in recent games. The team the Niners eliminated from the playoffs last season, the Green Bay Packers, are the next betting selection priced at +675. Green Bay came out of the gate erratically but have been playing better of late. Injuries–particularly on the defensive side of the ball–are a major concern for this Packers team.
The only other teams priced at single digit odds are the aforementioned Atlanta Falcons at +800 and the Denver Broncos at +850. It may seem odd that the league’s only remaining undefeated team is getting relatively tepid support in the betting marketplace but there’s definitely a sense that the Falcons may not be ‘for real’. In the past couple of years they’ve been very good in the regular season but not in the playoffs. Until they demonstrate that they can play at a high level in the postseason it’s hard to consider them a serious Super Bowl contender. Finally, the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning are in the mix. Assuming Manning stays healthy they could be a factor this postseason.
At the other end of the spectrum, the two biggest longshots to win the Super Bowl are the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. Both are priced at +200000 to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.