2014 Super Bowl Odds: Breaking Down Favorites to Claim Lombardi Trophy
With the beginning of the 2013-14 NFL campaign inching closer and closer, teams are making the final push in the offseason to be ready for battle.
As we look ahead to the season opener between the defending champion Baltimore Ravens and Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos, there are still many starting spots up for grabs, whether it be under center or in the secondary.
Here's a look at the teams with the best odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
*Odds via Bovada
Seattle Seahawks (17/2)
Hmm, let's see, the Seahawks added electric receiver Percy Harvin and top defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett this offseason.
They also drafted former Texas A&M bulldozing running back Christine Michael and former Alabama run-stuffer Jesse Williams.
The Seahawks are coming off an 11-5 campaign in which they made it to the divisional round of the playoffs, knocking out Robert Griffin III's Washington Redskins in the process. They still have dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson, star running back Marshawn Lynch and lockdown cornerback Richard Sherman.
While Bovada has the Seahawks with the third-best odds, many throughout the NFL believe Seattle is the team to beat in 2013-14.
San Francisco 49ers (6/1)
The 49ers are still loaded after their Super Bowl run last season.
They have dual-threat sensation Colin Kaepernick; a backfield consisting of Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and potential draft-day steal Marcus Lattimore; defensive lineman Justin Smith; linebackers Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks; and plenty of competition at cornerback (Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eric Wright).
But one thing that could hold them back is the fact that 2012 No. 1 receiver Michael Crabtree is out for at least most of the 2013 campaign. Coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday that he was pleased with Crabtree's rehab from surgery on his right Achilles tendon, according to ESPN.com, but, barring a miracle, Crabtree should still miss most of the season.
The good news is that the 49ers did sign former Baltimore Ravens star receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason, but that No. 2 spot is going to be shaky. Receivers Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham are still rehabilitating from injury, which means it may be up to 2012 dud A.J. Jenkins and rookie Quinton Patton to produce at the spot.
Also, it's going to be interesting to see if rookie Eric Reid and veteran Craig Dahl will be able to make up for the departure of safety Dashon Goldson right away.
Denver Broncos (6/1)
Who will win Super Bowl XLVIII?
Adding former New England Patriots slot receiver Wes Welker to an already talented receiving corps this offseason was a boon for the Broncos. Peyton Manning will not have a shortage of targets to throw to.
Manning also will have more protection up front with the signing of former San Diego Chargers guard Louis Vasquez.
That being said, the loss of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil to the Baltimore Ravens hurt and Von Miller is facing a four-game substance abuse suspension by the NFL. In terms of the pass rush, there are certainly concerns about this unit.
In that sense, I am a bit surprised that the Broncos are the favored team to win the Super Bowl at this point. Perhaps if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie emerges from his shadow in Denver, the buzz about the Broncos this offseason will be legitimate.
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