Dark Horses Set to Defy the 2016 NFL Betting Odds
The last four Super Bowl champions are the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens. Really no surprises there as they are four of the marquee franchises in the NFL and generally have been among the best teams in the league this decade. The most recent dark-horse team on NFL odds to win it all was the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots. Here are three teams who could be this year’s Giants with their Super Bowl odds. By dark-horse teams I mean with odds of +2000 or higher.
Taking a Closer Look at the Dark Horses Set to Defy the 2016 NFL Betting Odds
Indianapolis Colts (+2000)
It might be tough to remember now, but for a while last season, the Colts were the AFC favorites. That was back last winter when Tom Brady was originally suspended four games for the 2015 season, but of course that was originally overturned. The Colts didn’t even make the playoffs last year because quarterback Andrew Luck was totally battered. Just when it seemed like the Colts were on the verge of turning around their season with a 27-24 win over the then-undefeated Denver Broncos on Nov. 8, Luck suffered a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle in the victory. Luck wouldn’t play again. That pretty much ended Indy’s season. As long as Luck is fully healthy, Indy is good value at this price despite some other holes.
Baltimore Ravens (+3000)
The Ravens were a chic Super Bowl pick last year but were the most unlucky team in the NFL in terms of injuries and close losses. They finished 5-11, easily their worst record under Coach John Harbaugh. The lowest of many low points of the season came in Week 10 when a face-mask penalty against Elvis Dumervil handed the Jacksonville Jaguars a chance to kick a game-winning field goal with no time left. One season-ending injury the Ravens suffered was to top receiver Steve Smith. In a way, that was a good thing as Smith was planning to retire but is now playing in 2016. The Ravens also played all of 2015 without receiver and first-round pick Breshad Perriman. But the team got good news on him this week. The Ravens are cautiously optimistic that Perriman will return at some point during training camp after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday revealed no significant damage to his ACL. Perriman doesn’t need season-ending surgery after hurting his left knee last week and will need only treatment. But can this guy stay healthy?
Houston Texans (+4000)
If Indy doesn’t win the AFC South, then Houston should again. Last season, the Texans finished 9-7 and ended Indianapolis’ two-year reign as division champions. The Texans made the biggest free-agent splash this offseason in signing former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler. They also signed Dolphins free-agent running back Lamar Miller. Add those two to star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and suddenly that questionable Houston offense could be dynamic. The Texans already are a great defensive team. Playing for a defense that ranked third in the NFL, J.J. Watt was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year for a record-tying third time. Romeo Crennel’s defense could be even better this season because it returns 10 of 11 starters.