Dan Favale | Fri 03/11/2017 - 08:06 EDT

Super Bowl 2018 Dark Horse Bets

All Super Bowl odds were culled from Bovada and are accurate as of Nov. 3, 2017. These dark horse bets will be ranked and presented in order of increasing appeal to bettors.

5. Carolina Panthers (+2800)

panthers

Now is a good time to strike with a smaller-scale Super Bowl bet on the Carolina Panthers. No one expects them to make any real playoff noise after shipping out wide receiver Travis Benjamin at the trade deadline. Some don't even expect them to make the postseason at all.

Look a little closer, though, and you'll see the skeleton of a serious weapon.

The defense, for one, ranks fifth in points allowed per game. That's a big deal in the playoffs, when so many contests devolve into slugfests. The Panthers will be excellently suited for ground-and-pound affairs that, come this December and January, prioritize stingy stands against possession time over everything else.

Plus, on some level, the offense makes them even more appealing. They still have the personnel to pop at any given moment, with passing options out of the backfield galore and one of the craftiest quarterbacks alive in Cam Newton.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (+750)

chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs almost don't qualify for this list. But the fact that they don't have top-three Super Bowl odds is a darn shame.

Well, not entirely a darn shame. Because it gives you an opportunity to game the system.

Indeed, the Chiefs always seem to come up short in the playoffs. They'll enter with a mediocre offense and lockdown defense, and then fail to generate enough big-yardage gains from scrimmage.

That won't be the case this year. The tables have turned. The Chiefs rank third in points scored per game and have one of the most dangerous air assaults out there thanks to the combination of quarterback Alex Smith and wideout Tyreek Hill. Their defense sniffs the bottom 10 in points allowed per game, but they've shown the ability to be better, having allowed 21 points or less through five of their first eight contests.

Anyway, the offense is so good at sapping through the clock when it counts most that a suboptimal defense might not matter. So jump on the Chiefs' bandwagon now, before it gets too full.

3. Denver Broncos (+6600)

broncos

This most definitely seems counterintuitive. Not only did the Denver Broncos just switch up things at quarterback, inserting Brock Osweiler as the starting body under center, but their defense has been maddeningly inconsistent and porous relative to previous years.

Even in an off year, though, the Broncos still place 13th in points allowed per game—a borderline elite mark.

Playing with Osweiler only makes them more lethal as well. He doesn't do much for the offense, per se, but he's an expert short-yardage passer. He will pick up a bunch of first downs and burn through plenty of clock, so even when the Broncos don't score or have to settle for a field goal, they win by keeping their defense fresh.

2. Seattle Seahawks (+1000)

seahawks

Doubt the Seattle Seahawks at your own risk. Their odds don't make any sense. Sportsbooks are treating them like a fringe playoff team, when they're nothing of the sort.

Sure, they've slogged through some rough games this year, but they still won five of their first seven tilts while posting top-10 marks on both sides of the ball. And though injuries have complicated their running game, Russell Wilson's chemistry with his receivers is nearing its usual late-season high as the Seahawks gear up for the stretch turn.

The NFC, remember, is wide-open. And the Seahawks, despite being treated as a dice roll on the futures front, are the closest it comes to an authentic powerhouse. 

1. New Orleans Saints (+2000)

saints

Two major things are different about the New Orleans Saints this season.

First, they're actually winning games. Second, and most importantly, their defense doesn't absolutely stink.

The Saints are 12th in points allowed per game through their first seven contests. Twelfth. Out of 32 teams. And they continue to deploy a top-six offense headlined by quarterback Drew Brees, the best one-two backfield punch in football and a talented cast of receivers.

Jam all this together, and you have one of the NFL's most balanced teams. And balance, kind friends, is what wins championships. Consider their +2000 a gift from the football gods.

Category : Sports Betting News

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