As the 2015/16 NFL season approaches, odds and predictions as to who could take the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 50 are leaning towards the Packers, the Seahawks, and the reigning champions, the Patriots.
When we last checked in on the odds and predictions for the winner of Super Bowl 50, the Seattle Seahawks, fresh off of their devastating loss to the New England Patriots, were our favorite to win it all. A few months later, and we’re seeing a new favorite to hoist the Lombardi trophy come February 2016. The Green Bay Packers are now Super Bowl 50 favorites, sitting at +600 heading into training camp.
It’s no surprise that the Packers are once again considered one of the better bets to win the Super Bowl. They were just one fumbled onside kick attempt away from playing in Super Bowl XLIX last year and have had almost no roster turnover in the offseason. They signed their biggest pending free-agent, Randall Cobb, to a long-term deal and secured offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga to give quarterback and reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers consistency on the offensive line. Consistency is the name of the game in Green Bay, as the Packers currently don’t have a single player on the roster that played for different NFL team last year.
The Seahawks, who made back-to-back appearances in the last two Super Bowls, are listed as +650 favorites to win Super Bowl 50. So why the betting odds shift? Seattle hasn’t made many waves in free agency and they lost some key members of their defense, including cornerback Byron Maxwell. The Seahawks did make some important moves including signing their workhorse running back and chronic media avoider Marshawn Lynch to a two-year contract extension, ensuring that the most important piece of their offense stays put. They also brought in Jimmy Graham on a trade with the New Orleans Saints to upgrade at the tight end position.
One of the reasons why oddsmakers might be shying away from Seattle as favorites could be due to quarterback Russel Wilson’s public and ongoing contract negotiations with the Seahawk’s front office. Wilson is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and expects to make the money that Super Bowl winning quarterbacks typically ink. He’s gone on to hint in media appearances that he’s looking for about $25 million per year and the Seahawks, rightfully, are a bit shy about giving Wilson that type of money.
Despite his success, several would argue that Wilson isn’t a prolific passer like the Rodgers’ and Brady’s of the league, but more of a game manager. It’s a debate that is constantly spinning right now, and it could prove to be a hindrance as the regular season approaches or until an agreement on a new contract is reached.
The Patriots odds are in flux as the appeal on quarterback Tom Brady‘s #deflategate suspension hangs in the balance. Brady was handed down a four game suspension after his role in the ball deflating scandal that broke after the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts last season. The odds could change should the league decide to reduce Brady’s suspension. But for now, the Patriots odds of winning Super Bowl 50 are +900.