These are the types of articles that generally come back to haunt the author once the NFL season has drawn to a close, but with less than 3 months to go before kick-off, the time is now to start talking football. The Super Bowl odds have already been released for a while now, and it’s up to you to decide whether now is the time to get your pick in or whether you should wait a little while longer to see if there are going to be any injuries or contract hold-outs heading into the new season. For the purposes of this piece, I am going to surmise that all the teams have their players locked down, and that they are all going to head into Week 1 with a fully healthy line-up to choose from. I will break down each of the conferences, and then make an overall prediction as to who I think will win Super Bowl 51, keeping in mind that I may change that pick several times before the season actually begins.
Analyzing Who are the NFL Odds Favorites To Win Super Bowl 51
Who will win the AFC Conference
It was the Denver Broncos who represented the AFC last year, and who went on to become the champions at Super Bowl 50. They have lost some key personnel in the offseason, and also have SB50 MVP Von Miller stating that he will not play under the franchise tag. That’s a problem, and while the Broncos are a solid +1200 to win the Super Bowl, and +600 to win the AFC, I am not totally sold on them.
Similarly, I wonder how well the New England Patriots will do while starting the season with Tom Brady sitting for 4 games. Yes, Bellicheck always finds a way to win, but you have to feel that his luck is going to have to run out sometime. The Patriots are favorites to win the AFC at +350, and are +700 to win the Super Bowl, but I think they may be having to dig out from a slow start to the season.
The team that I like to win the AFC is the Pittsburgh Steelers (+900 SB) and (+425 AFC). They made it all the way to the AFC Championship last season, and came as close as it gets to knocking off the Broncos in Denver. All of that despite being without LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown for that game. If they can stay healthy, they win.
Who will win the NFC Conference
The Carolina Panthers (+800 SB) and (+400 NFC) made it all the way to the Super Bowl last season, only to perhaps play their worst game of the season. They will be coming into this season feeling as though they have something to prove, but I think they will fall short this time around.
The Seattle Seahawks (+700 SB) and (+400 NFC) are going to have to find a way to fill the very large gap left behind with the retirement of Marshawn Lynch at RB. This is still going to be a team that is one of the best on defense, but they are going to lose a step offensively, which will hurt them.
I like the Green Bay Packers (+900 SB) and (+500 NFC) to come out of the NFC Conference. They had some injury problems to contend with last season, and Aaron Rodgers had, by his standards, a bit of a down season. No way that happens twice in a row, so look for this team to be an offensive powerhouse this season.
My Expert Super Bowl 51 Prediction
I’m sure my NFL betting picks will change as injuries hit and teams rise and fall, but my early Super Bowl prediction sees the Pittsburgh Steelers win versus the Green Bay Packers.