Super Bowl 53 Early Odds: 49ers Getting Love

Jimmy Garoppolo with the 49ers
With Jimmy Garoppolo leading the way, the 49ers are being considered legitimate contenders in 2018. Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire.

While some sportsbooks are hesitant to open wagering on Super Bowl 53, since free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft will bring major changes, others have released their odds and welcome your bets. It may not come as a surprise to many that the Patriots opened as the Super Bowl 53 favorite at every site, but there are a handful of other odds that are headline-worthy. Let’s get into them.

The 49ers’ Super Bowl 53 odds are shorter than the Seahawks’

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call the “Jimmy Garoppolo Effect.” In five starts with the 49ers last year, after being traded by New England midseason, Garoppolo averaged 308 passing yards per game, and posted a 94.0 passer rating. But most importantly, he led the 1-10 Niners to five consecutive wins to close out the season, including a very impressive 44-33 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The result is surprisingly short odds to win Super Bowl 53: +2000, on average. San Francisco has opened as short as +1700 at MyBookie, and as long as +2500 at BetOnline. What really makes those odds stand out is the fact that they are shorter than perennial Super Bowl contender Seattle, whose average odds to win Super Bowl 53 are +2200.

Do not get sucked in by the hype; if you are fond of the 49ers, hold out for the better odds that lie ahead.

As excited as I am to watch Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers this season, they are not worth betting on at this price. Keep in mind that four of Garoppolo’s five wins came over the 5-11 Chicago Bears, the 4-12 Houston Texans, a Tennessee Titans squad that had no business being in the postseason, and the Los Angeles Rams’ B-team. Do not get sucked in by the hype; if you are fond of the 49ers, hold out for the better odds that lie ahead.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, are a team worth betting at their current odds. You can find Seattle as long as +2500 on Bovada, and I don’t suspect that will last long. In spite of playing nearly half the 2017 season without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus missing Earl Thomas for a couple games, the Seahawks still finished with a 9-7 record and their defense ranked in the top 13 in both scoring and yards allowed.

If [GM John] Schneider can effectively use free agency and the draft to find some help [on the offensive line], the Seahawks will be right back among the top contenders for Super Bowl 53.

General Manager John Schneider has one objective this offseason: provide Russell Wilson with some – any – protection. Duane Brown was a great addition ahead of the trade deadline last year, and he will be back, but they still have three glaring holes to fill up front. All of Luke Joeckel (LG), Ethan Pocic (RG), and Germain Ifedi (RT) received grades lower than 50 from PFF last season. If Schneider can effectively use free agency and the draft to find some help, the Seahawks will be right back among the top contenders for Super Bowl 53.

Who comes after the Patriots and Steelers in the AFC?

The New England Patriots (+470 average odds) have opened another season as the Super Bowl favorite, and you can find them as short as +400 on MyBookie. Yet again, the Pittsburgh Steelers (+1100 average odds) open as the AFC runner-up. But unlike the NFC, which has more than a handful of teams who could take the conference, there is a major drop-off after the AFC’s top pair.

The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars are next with average odds of +2100, followed by the Chiefs at +2700. No other team in the AFC has odds shorter than +3000, and a whopping seven squads opened at +4300 or longer.

[W]here does the value lie in the AFC? The Denver Broncos.

So where does the value lie in the AFC? The Denver Broncos. The Broncos are only two years removed from a championship, and most of the core of their Super Bowl 50 defense is still there. That unit surrendered the third-fewest yards in the NFL last year, and allowed a league-low 3.3 yards per carry. The issue was the offense, which couldn’t score (27th in points; 18.1 PPG) and had a real knack for turning the ball over (31st in turnovers; 34 total).

Kirk Cousins signalling a first down.
If Kirk Cousins wants to win, the Denver Broncos will be high on his wish list come free agency. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].

John Elway knows he needs a QB and a bit more help along the offensive line. If the GM can solve his quarterback issue with pending free agent Kirk Cousins, he’ll be able to use the fifth-overall pick on the best guard in the draft (Quenton Nelson), solidify their defense with another pass-rusher, or add Minkah Fitzpatrick/Derwin James to the backend. After seeing the way Elway lured Peyton Manning, it’s likely he can do the same with Cousins, putting Denver right back in Super Bowl contention.

You can head over to BetOnline to wager on the Broncos at +4000 to win Super Bowl 53.

Other Notable Super Bowl 53 Odds

Team Average Odds to Win Super Bowl 53
Dallas Cowboys +1800
Green Bay Packers +860
Los Angeles Rams +1700
New Orleans Saints +1800
New York Giants +4900
Philadelphia Eagles +740
Tennessee Titans +4600