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Bodog Super Bowl XLVI Future Odds – 2012 Picks

2011 NFL Top 10 Futures Odds

With the possibility of an NFL lockout diminishing, football season is quickly approaching, and fans and bettors alike will be trying to glean as much information as they can in order to make as many correct picks in the upcoming NFL season.

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So here’s a little help, as we look at the Top 10 NFL futures according to Bodog this week.

Green Bay Packers 7/1 – After last season’s impressive Super Bowl performance, the Green Bay Packers look like a dynasty in the making behind the leadership of QB Aaron Rodgers, who has proven himself to be one of the league’s elite players. Despite having the most players on the injured reserve list in the NFL in 2010, the Pack charged through the season finishing with a 10-6 overall record, while boasting the best scoring defense (15 PPG) in the NFC behind the efforts of linebacker Clay Matthews. With plenty of veterans out of last year’s lineup, backups and rookies gained some valuable experience that should help them make another championship run in 2011.

New England Patriots 7/1 – After starting the season 1-1, the Pats stormed to a 6-2 record by Week 6, and then finished the season with eight straight wins, including a 31-27 victory over the Super Bowl champion Packers in Week 15. An overall record of 14-2 was enough to win the AFC East, but New England would lose to the Jets for the second time, this time in the playoffs because of a weak defensive front seven. But it’s not just the defense that needs some adjusting; the Patriots also lack a real threat at wide receiver. However, even though they did not pick up one in this year’s draft, this team should still be able to outscore the rest of the teams in the division. And what they lack in team speed on offense, they make up with Tom Brady’s laser arm.

Pittsburgh Steelers 11/1 – Pittsburgh weathered a four-game suspension of QB Ben Roethlisberger to begin the 2010 season, and then overcame a suspect offensive line to win the AFC last year. But it all fell apart in their Super Bowl appearance against the beat up Packers. And despite their aging O-line, the Steelers used four of their first five draft picks on shoring up a defense that has been a mainstay at time when the offense has simply run out of gas. They did however pick up guard Marcus Gilbert from Florida, who may be able to upgrade the line sooner than expected.

San Diego Charger 12/1 – Despite being the AFC West preseason favorite in 2010, and rebuilding their running game after the departure of Landanian Tomlinson with rookie hopeful Ryan Matthews. The Bolts stumbled out of the starting gate losing five of their first seven regular season contests. Although they led the NFL in both total offense and total defense, San Diego finished with just a 9-7 record overall. With the emergence of a more competitive Kansas City Chiefs, and an improving Oakland Raiders, if the Chargers fail to shake their annual slow start under head coach Norv Turner, they could find themselves in the middle of an AFC West battleground. A quick start will not only be important in establishing the Bolts return to the top of the division, but could preserve Turner’s job.

Baltimore Ravens 14/1 – Baltimore was once again close to dethroning their division nemesis Pittsburgh, and despite mimicking the Steelers 12-4 regular season record, lost the head-to-head battle yet again. Pittsburgh’s Roethlisberger, who is now 6-0 all-time since knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs last season, again tarnished QB Joe Flacco’s heroic season, and It won’t get any easier for Flacco this season after quarterback coach after Jim Zorn was let go in the off-season. Zorn was a key ingredient to Flacco’s development and his departure could prove costly. The Ravens will once again need to rely on its defense, which did show signs of slowing, but finished the year with a No. 4 overall ranking.

New York Jets 14/1 – Can the Jets finally overthrow the Patriots? The answer to that question is as uncertain as the future of so many of New York’s unsigned free agents, including Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards. With the lockout situation improving but still looming, unsigned players are robbing the opportunity for younger players to practice with the team. Such as rookie Muhammad Wilkerson who could replace hold outs like veteran Shaun Ellis. Still, the Jets need to get busy in solidifying their roster, as even players like Wilkerson will have the usual rookie growing pains even if he starts immediately.

Atlanta Falcons 16/1 – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan led his team to an impressive 13-3 record in 2010, enough to win the division over 2010 Super Bowl Champs New Orleans. But things came undone in the first round of the playoffs when they were dismantled by the Packers 48-21. Atlanta ranked in the middle of the pack last season, 16th in total offense and in total defense, and benefited from stellar seasons from Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White. White solidified his position as arguably the best receiver in the league, after leading the NFL with 115 receptions for a second-best 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010-11.

Dallas Cowboys 16/1 – Once again, it was a late season meltdown, losing three of their final six games, as the Cowboys finished a shocking 6-10 last season, despite being loaded with a myriad of talent. Dallas extended its streak of not wining a playoff game to 14 seasons, and it’s seems to be a do or die situation in the Big D in 2011. It is difficult to think of the Cowboys as a division dark horse, but they could be just that in the sense that they are very capable of going from 6-10 to division champs this year. Whether or not they pull that off will probably come down to their two meetings with the Eagles.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, the Springfield Republican, the Sacramento Bee, and the San Diego Union Tribune. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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