Early look at NFL futures

While we’re still months away from even talking about the start of the 2010 NFL season, and things are certain to keep changing with trades, injuries and quarterback controversies, here’s an early look at the 2011 Super Bowl futures.

The money odds I’ve been seeing have been somewhat baffling. The Colts have the lowest payoff right now at 6:1, followed by, the Saints? Nope, the Chargers, at 8:1. The Saints follow close behind at 9:1. Now, I can understand the defending champs not getting the respect the title commands this year, because the bottom line is the gambling community just doesn’t believe they’re the best team in the league, this year or last. And while I won’t get into the argument over whether they were handed a ticket out of the NFC championship game by the refs (they were), the Colts are still the safer bet.

But the Chargers? Please. That’s a suckers bet. Currently, the ground game revolves around an erratic player in Sproles, and while Phillip Rivers has quickly risen to the cream of the QB crop, he hasn’t led his team to anything when it’s mattered. So, those are poor risk/return odds on the Chargers, and if they stay that low, I’d avoid betting on them.

The Cowboys Patriots and Steelers are all at 10:1, which is a sure sign, at least for two of these teams, that the oddsmakers are living a little bit in the past. Those AFC powerhouses of a few years ago have much, much work to do before they can stand toe-to-toe with the new hotshots. The Cowboys, OK I’ll buy that. Another year of experiences, the core still together, Miles Austin ready to bust out as a superstar…bring it on. In fact, I’m sure halfway through the season the Cowboys will be running side-by-side with the Saints and all the sports media will be clinging to the bandwagon coattails.

I wouldn’t bet the Patriots (you think Moss in his “last year with New England” won’t be a distraction?) or the Steelers (where to begin) until those odds go up to about 16, 17:1.

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