Coming off their second straight 11-win season, and the first postseason win of the new era, I thought the Colts would be higher on the list of Super Bowl XLIX hopefuls.   According to Bovada.lv who projects the odds, Indianapolis is just 28-to-1 to win next year’s championship.  That puts them in the 12th-place tie (with Kansas City) among the 32 NFL teams.

The top of the list is expected, with defending champion Seattle, San Francisco (who has made three straight NFC Title Games), Denver, and New England, but there are some surprises mixed in.  Despite playing in what looks like the far better conference, both Philadelphia and Chicago were listed with better odds at 25-to-1.  Even the Falcons, who bottomed out last season, are going off at that number.  We’ve seen plenty of worst-to-first stories (notably KC last year), but that’s an aggressive jump.

The Colts have some holes to fill – that’s obvious.  However, they play ithe worst division in football with Houston (23rd SB odds) and Jacksonville (32nd) in rebuild mode, while Tennessee (27th) sticks in their permanent cycle of mediocrity.  Both the Titans and Texans have new coaches, and all three of those teams could have new quarterbacks in 2014.  The rest of the AFC outside of Denver doesn’t look great, either.  Cincinnati keeps butting heads with their glass ceiling, the Patriots don’t have much around Tom Brady, and no one appears to be head and shoulders above Indianapolis in the conference.

Indy will enter 2014 as a heavy favorites in their division, and look to be about as close to a sure bet to make the playoffs as possible.  I'm not sure if that means they'll get to Glendale, but once you get on the dance floor, anyone can dance.

UPDATE: Bovada's latest odds have the Colts making a jump to 20-to-1 already (in a tie with Carolina and New Orleans), meaning that the bettors jumped on that low line.

DS