2014 Super Bowl: Ranking the 5 Best Bets for Next Year's Big Game
Another Super Bowl has come and gone, but it's never too early to look ahead to next year's big game, especially in Las Vegas.
The MGM Grand has released their 2014 Super Bowl odds and the Denver Broncos are listed as 5-1 co-favorites to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. The San Francisco 49ers are the other favorites listed at 5-1 as they will attempt to reach the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
While the Broncos and Niners are expected to have a strong chance of playing in East Rutherford next February, the Jacksonville Jaguars are lowly 200-1 underdogs.
It's easy to bet on the big favorites, but which teams could get you the most bang for your buck next season?
Here is a look at the five teams that could make a run and help you score big next year.
5. Chicago Bears: 20-1
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The Chicago Bears are my pick to go from good to great next season, as their offense should get a boost from new head coach Marc Trestman.
While former coach Lovie Smith was a defensive guru, Trestman should bring some scoring to the Windy City next season.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is a similar quarterback to Joe Flacco (except for all of those playoff wins and umm...a Super Bowl ring) in terms of arm strength and throwing ability, but he will need to find the "it" factor if his Bears are to take the next step with him at the helm.
An era could be coming to an end with the possible departure of Brian Urlacher at middle linebacker, but the Bears defense should still be solid with Charles Tillman and Co. next season.
The Bears' 20-1 Super Bowl odds aren't terrific, but they could be worth a look given their potential to make the playoffs next season.
4. St. Louis Rams: 100-1
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
The St. Louis Rams?
Yes, the St. Louis Rams could be worth a gamble at 100-1 next season.
Jeff Fisher is quietly building a good team in "The Show Me State"—one that went 1-0-1 against the Niners this season, in fact.
The biggest issue facing the Rams next season might be the fact that they play in the NFC West (who would've thought that three years ago?), a division containing two of the best teams in the conference.
The Rams were 14th in total defense and scoring defense last season, and they should be even better next year with many talented young players on their roster.
If Sam Bradford and the offense can continue to improve then they could be a surprise team to watch next season.
The Rams are a long shot to win the Super Bowl, as their odds suggest, but I'm saying there's a chance.
3. Seattle Seahawks: 10-1
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Seahawks don't give you as great of odds as the other four teams in my rankings but they should have a pretty good chance of making a deep run in the NFC playoffs next season.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is the real deal and should only get better in his sophomore season. Wilson's leadership skills are already elite and his ability to move in the pocket makes him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league.
Seattle doesn't have many glaring weaknesses and if it can improve the interior of its defensive line this offseason, then it could very well make the jump to an elite defense next year.
A strong running game, elite defense, and above-average quarterback play is a pretty good recipe for success, which is why the Seahawks could be one of the trendier Super Bowl picks heading into next season.
2. New York Giants: 20-1
Rob Carr/Getty Images
The NFC East might be the most unpredictable division in football next season (along with the NFC West), but you can count on the New York Giants finding a way to bounce back.
At 20-1, the Giants are tied with the Bears for the 13th best odds to win the Super Bowl next season.
Those are pretty good odds for a team that still has two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning at the helm, as well as plenty of other players with experience winning the NFL's biggest game.
It's extremely hard to predict what the Redskins might look like next year given the state of RG3's knee or what Chip Kelly will bring to the table in Philly. The Cowboys are still the Cowboys (no, not Troy Aikman's Cowboys—Tony Romo's Cowboys) so it's hard to view them as top contenders at this point.
That leaves the Giants with a good shot of heading back to the playoffs next season. As we have seen in the past, anything can happen once they get in.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: 150-1
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
It's hard to project a team coming off of only two wins the previous season to make a run to the Super Bowl the following year, but if there was ever a team that could do it, it just might be this Chiefs team.
Well, not this Chiefs team, but one that is similarly constructed with a better quarterback and coaching staff.
At 150-1, the Chiefs are the second-biggest long shot to see their season continue into February next year. With six Pro Bowlers on this year's roster the Chiefs certainly underperformed this year and should be a lock to win more than two games next season.
Obviously a lot will depend on the quarterback position. With no Andrew Luck available in this year's NFL Draft, finding a top-notch signal-caller could be a tricky proposition for new head coach Andy Reid and Co.
Even if the Chiefs are unable to land a difference-maker at quarterback this season, they should be improved at the position assuming Tyler Palko and Brady Quinn don't find their way under center again.
Despite the most miserable year in Chiefs history, Kansas City managed to come within a Matt Cassel goal-line fumble from beating the Super Bowl champs this season.
A new quarterback and improved coaching staff could give the Chiefs a shot at shocking the world next season. If they don't, at least you were getting great odds.