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Damn, it feels good to be the Patriots. With Spygate, Deflategate, and Stolenjerseygate clearly in the rearview mirror, the reigning Super Bowl champs are in full-throttle conquer the NFL in 2017 mode. It's only March, but six months out from the new season and oddsmakers have pretty much dropped the gauntlet by installing the Patriots as the clear-cut favorites to win Super Bowl LII.

After engineering a miraculous conspiracy theory level trade with the New Orleans Saints for dynamic wide receiver Brandin Cooks, resigning stud linebacker Dont’a Hightower, and kicking back with cigar in mouth while fielding offers for soon-to-be franchise quarterback bust Jimmy Garoppolo, the boys from Boston are sitting pretty with just over a month away from the 2017 NFL Draft.

While we all wait with baited breath for Lord Belichick to sign Tony Romo, then turn around and ship him to Cleveland for the number one overall pick, the other 31 pro football franchises are feverishly scrambling to pick up the scraps tossed away from New England's heavenly banquet table. Do any of these mere peasant teams pose a threat to usurping the Patriots' throne? Let's take a peek at the current Super Bowl odds provided by a sports betting site and further ponder this conundrum.

New England 5/1

It's a little surprising they aren't lower. Again, it's very early, but 3/1 sounds better.

Dallas Cowboys 11/1
Atlanta Falcons 12/1

Doesn't it seem like Vegas (along with much of the world) wants so hard to believe that the Cowboys are destined to hoist Lombardi? They lost almost their entire secondary in free agency and Dak Prescott is a prime candidate for a sophomore slump. As for the poor Falcons, putting behind the nightmare that was Super Bowl LI might take years, not months. Steer clear of them at this price.

Green Bay Packers 12/1
Seattle Seahawks 12/1
Denver Broncos 13/1

The Packers have Aaron Rodgers and…. uh… not much else. No thanks. Seattle added fat Eddie Lacy to their already bloated backfield, and All-Pro safety Earl Thomas is still recovering from that ghastly broken tibia. Not interested. The only reason the Broncos are at this number is because they are believed to be in the running for Romo. Okay, let’s hypothetically say the acquire Romo prior to the season. The guy has appeared in five games since the start of 2015, has broken his collar bone twice, injured his back multiple times, has a 2-4 career playoff record, and he turns 37 next month. Does that paint the picture of a caped savior riding into Mile High Stadium atop Thunder the mascot to buoy the Broncos Super Bowl aspirations? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Oakland Raiders 20/1
Houston Texans 25/1

Now, the Silver and Black are intriguing. And that has nothing to do with their impending relocation to Sin City. They are intriguing because Derek Carr is legit and their young defense is beginning to round into form, led by the frightening Khalil Mack. As for Houston, well, see Denver above. With or without would-be savior Tony Romo, Houston remains the most overrated and overhyped team in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40/1

Want a value price pick in 2017? It’s the Bucs. Finished 9-7 in 2016. Young, ascending quarterback. Defense ranked 15th in points allowed in 2016. Inked DeSean Jackson, Chris Baker, and JJ Wilcox in free agency. Hold the 19th pick in the upcoming Draft. Yes, please.

The bottom line here is simple: It’s New England and everyone else. Unless Tom Brady tears an ACL tripping over his UGG boots while dancing in his bedroom, the Pats are going to be in the Super Bowl, again.

Staff 3/27/2017 11:48:00 PM Edit
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