Super Bowl 50 Betting: Dark Horses

Posted by Aaron . on January 8, 2016 in

When most people are guessing the Super Bowl 50 betting matchups, you hear them saying things like “New England-Carolina,” “New England-Arizona,” or “Pittsburgh-Seattle” in a wild card Super Bowl matchup. However, there are 12 teams in the playoffs — and some of them are true “dark horse” candidates. Teams that make their way to the Super Bowl against huge odds make for great stories. Think about the New York Jets, overcoming huge odds to win Super Bowl III and pave Joe Namath’s road to the Hall of Fame. When the Los Angeles Rams made it to Super Bowl XIV with a 9-7 record during the regular season, they were the first wild card team to advance to the title game. The New York Giants ended up beating the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII after David Tyree’s famous “helmet catch” moved the team down the field just in the nick of time. Let’s look at some of the potential “dark horse” candidates to appear in Super Bowl 50.

Super Bowl Betting: Houston

If the Houston Texans (+6600 to win Super Bowl 50) appear in the title game, that will be one of the most improbable stories in NFL history. Yes, the Texans won the AFC South, but the other three teams in their division either featured novice quarterbacks surrounded by little in the way of talent (the Jaguars and the Titans) while the other team (Indianapolis) lost one quarterback to a punctured kidney (Andrew Luck) and another to a shoulder injury (Matt Hasselbeck) and found themselves literally scouring the country for quarterbacks to help them finish the season. The Texans themselves had a ton of quarterback issues, benching Brian Hoyer in favor of Ryan Mallett before benching Mallett in favor of Hoyer (and releasing Mallett). When Hoyer went down with an injury, the team plucked T.J. Yates off his couch, only to see him lead them to a shocking win in Cincinnati. When Yates went down to injury, the Texans plucked Brandon Weeden off the reject heap — and he led the team to two victories. Brian Hoyer returns from the concussion protocol to start in the wild card round. It will be truly interesting to see what he can do against a motivated Kansas City Chiefs team in the opening round of the postseason.

If the Houston Texans appear in the title game, that will be one of the most improbable stories in NFL history.
It would be quite impressive to see Houston reach the title game.

Super Bowl Betting: Washington

The Washington Redskins (+4000) have been one of the scourges of the NFC for some time now. Their very arrival in town sparks protests among those who find the team’s nickname to be an offensive term for Native Americans. They have featured a war of personalities between coach Jay Gruden and one of the most talented quarterbacks to spend a season on an inactive list for no discernible reason in Robert Griffin III. Kirk Cousins has emerged from this brier patch of distractions to post one of the better seasons in recent years for a Washington quarterback. He has completed almost 75 percent of his passes at home, but the Redskins have fared much worse on the road, which means that even if the Redskins can knock off the visiting Packers in the wild card round, they will have a real struggle on their hands in the divisional round, when they would have to travel either to Arizona or Carolina.