Sure, these four teams have the best shot at competing for the Lombardi Trophy come February, but there are 28 other teams that share that same goal—some having a better chance than others. Crazier things have happened in football, so here are five Super Bowl 50 Sleepers in no particular order:
The Texans aren’t exactly the favorites to make it even on this list, but they do have one thing that no other team has—J.J. Watt. Despite the Texans basically non-existent offense in 2014, they still won nine games. A winning record in the NFL is no small task. The defense in Houston will only be more dominant this season after adding Vince Wilfork to the line and with the return of 2014 NFL Draft 1st overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. If Brian Hoyer has a good season, this team has a legitimate chance at upsetting one of the big name franchises in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-1 Odds
The Steelers are probably our least favorite team on the list, but according to Bovada they have the best chances. Sure, the Steelers are a good team, and they’ve been in three Super Bowls since 2005 and won two, but the defense is slipping. The Seattle Seahawks showed the world loud and clear in Super Bowl XLVIII that defense wins championships, so even as Ben Roethlisberger begins to play better, the team won’t improve without a sudden revitalization of that once-great defensive unit. If the defense starts clicking again in 2015 though, watch out.
Buffalo Bills, 16-1 Odds
That’s right, Rex Ryan has a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl this season. Ryan is one of the better defensive coaches in the NFL, and the Bills already have a great defense without him. The offense raises some eyebrows, but the team feels adequately prepared to win with the weapons they have. As long as this team’s offense is as good as the Seahawks’ 2013 offense, a championship run is not out of the question.
New Orleans Saints, 22-1 Odds
The Saints don’t have the best odds on the list, but what they do have is an experience coach in Sean Payton, a Super Bowl MVP in Drew Brees, and a rejuvenated defense thanks to the addition of Brandon Browner and the healing process of Jarius Byrd. For the first time since Super Bowl XLIV, this defense looks ready to play. The offense will probably be a little slow at first after trading away Jimmy Graham, but if Mark Ingram can stay healthy, he and C.J. Spiller will be quite the one-two punch coming out of the backfield. Then, of course, Brees can’t play like he did this past season. A little improvement in a lot of places could bring this team a long way this postseason.
New York Giants, 16-1 Odds
Here’s another team with a championship-experienced quarterback under center. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings right now, and both of them have come in similar situations—a couple of bad seasons, threats of Tom Coughlin being fired, and then a Super Bowl victory. It’s the Giants’ formula for success. On top of that, the Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz lining up on opposite sides of the field. Talk about a receiving core. The Giants, like the Saints, have the roster and know-how to go the distance. Let’s see how Eli responds.
*Odds are provided by the Bovada Sportsbook. Please note that these odds are to win the team's respected Conference Game only, not to win Super Bowl 50. To learn why Bovada is the best online sportsbook for betting on NFL Futures and ATS Underdogs, please see our Bovada Sportsbook Review.