Sports

Titans, Patriots among Super Bowl underdogs that have intriguing value

VSiN’s NFL experts identify their favorite Super Bowl long shots that are 30/1 or higher in the futures markets across the U.S. 

Titans (30/1, DraftKings) 

Marshall: Given that the Titans have qualified for the playoffs the last two years, reached the AFC title game in 2019 and seem to have a clear path to another AFC South crown, this price is definitely intriguing. 

Mike Vrabel squeezed 11 wins out of last year’s team without much help from the defense, which ranked among the NFL’s worst in third-down conversions and sacks, prompting GM Jon Robinson to clean house. He prioritized pass rushers in free agency, notably getting ex-Steelers OLB Bud Dupree, and added defensive depth in the draft. 

Improvement from that unit will be welcomed by a potent offense that averaged better than 30 ppg and has added WR Julio Jones to team with playmaking WR A.J. Brown and still features chops-busting RB Derrick Henry, off back-to-back rushing titles. This will make life easier for QB Ryan Tannehill, who tossed 33 TD passes against just seven picks in 2020. Vrabel has established his credentials as a top-level coach who has molded a Super Bowl-caliber offense the last two years. The simple fact the revamped defense can’t be any worse in 2021 should be enough to make other contenders very wary of the Titans. 

Ryan Tannehill
Jason Behnken/AP

Chargers (30/1, BetMGM) 

Hill: Justin Herbert had a record-breaking rookie campaign, yet wasn’t even the Week 1 starter. He already looked like an elite player as a neophyte. The Chargers are a good candidate to make a leap this year, as they have been plagued by more close losses in the last two years than any team in the NFL. 

Brandon Staley is a quick riser in the coaching world and takes over looking to reverse some of the Chargers’ late-game misfortunes. This team was plagued by poor coaching and a lack of aggressiveness when playing with a lead. And don’t forget that Derwin James is back for this defense. Any future bet cashing goes through the Chiefs, but we’ve seen the Super Bowl hangover plague teams, and we’ve seen Patrick Mahomes miss time with injuries. It’s the NFL; crazy stuff happens. 

Grabbing 30/1 with an elite talent like Herbert at the most important position is good value. 

Patriots (35/1, DraftKings) 

Youmans: Betting on Bill Belichick is never a bad idea. Belichick, still by far the sharpest coach and game-planner in the NFL, is primed for a bounce-back year. The Patriots are coming off a 7-9 finish, Belichick’s first losing season since 2000. The New England defense was decimated last year, and the quarterback situation was chaotic. There is a lot more to like about this rebuilt roster, beginning with the strength on the offensive and defensive lines. The Patriots were big spenders in free agency and were fortunate to get former Alabama QB Mac Jones with the 15th pick in the draft. 

This team will be physically tough on both sides of the ball. It’s a lot to ask of the Patriots to be Super Bowl contenders, but they have much of what you look for in a long shot, and the 35/1 odds are attractive enough to take a shot. Who else is up for a Belichick-Tom Brady Super Bowl showdown?

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