Best Super Bowl XLIX bets

New Orleans among smart value picks to win it all this season

Updated: April 9, 2014, 11:45 AM ET
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider

Las VegasSaul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesWhich Super Bowl XLIX contenders offer the best values in Vegas?

LAS VEGAS -- The LVH SuperBook put up its Super Bowl XLIX futures odds even before Super Bowl XLVIII was played, with the Denver Broncos as the slight favorite ahead of the Seattle Seahawks, but after Seattle's 43-8 rout, the LVH made the two teams 5-1 co-favorites for next season's title. In the following days, the Seahawks were bet down to 9-2 favoritism and then to 4-1 and have stayed there the past two months.

Even though there has been daily NFL news about players re-signing with teams or free agents opting to join new teams, a look up and down the LVH's future-book odds shows very little change. For instance:

• On March 21, Michael Vick signed with the New York Jets, who were 60-1 back on Super Sunday night and are still offered at 60-1 (and that's also with adding wide receiver Eric Decker).

• The big news last week was former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson joining the Washington Redskins. The Eagles' odds are actually lower than they were two months ago, dropping from 30-1 to the current 25-1 even with the loss of Jackson. In contrast, the Redskins were 40-1 then and they're 40-1 now (though they had gone as high as 60-1 at the LVH, so there's been some adjustment after the Jackson acquisition, but the fact remains they're the same as they were Feb. 2).

• How about the running back signings of Ben Tate from Houston to Cleveland, Knowshon Moreno from Denver to Miami, Rashad Jennings from Oakland to the New York Giants and Maurice Jones-Drew from Jacksonville to Oakland? All of those teams -- both sides of each move -- have the exact same future-book odds they had two months ago. The reason for this lack of odds adjustment is mostly because the oddsmakers know what they're doing: They know that teams are going to address their needs, but they also know that most teams have multiple areas where they need improvement, so adding just one star player doesn't cause a big shift in odds, especially with football being the ultimate team sport.

The same thing goes for next month's NFL draft. The oddsmakers already know the worst teams are going to get the top draft picks, but it usually takes more players (or a few years of experience) to make a difference.

But my assignment here is to look at the future-book odds and see if I find any value, either in the teams that I picked in my ESPN Insider article that ran the day after the Super Bowl or other teams on the board, factoring any relevant offseason moves so far. Let's take a look.


New Orleans Saints (18-1 odds Feb. 2; now 20-1)

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.