Vegas favors Packers to win title

Updated: January 4, 2012, 2:31 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Casinos in Las Vegas think Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have a better shot at winning the Super Bowl than Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos have of getting past the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend.

Oddsmakers at Cantor Gaming have the Packers as 9-5 favorites to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, and the Broncos as 120-1 underdogs to win the NFL title.

But the Packers (15-1) are weak enough on defense to make it more likely that another team will prevent them from repeating as champions, Cantor Race & Sports director Mike Colbert said.

"Offense seems to rule the day right now in the NFL, but I'm not sure that defense will be able to hold up long enough to win it all," Colbert said.

Sports gambling expert RJ Bell of Pregame.com says that after adjusting for fees, sports books think the Packers, the top seed in the NFC, have a 32 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl.

"That, to me is the story: Not how prohibitive of a favorite they are, but the fact that they're being given less than a one in three chance," Bell said. "The Patriots and Saints combined have a better chance than the Packers."

The Patriots, the top seed in the AFC, are being given an 18 percent shot, while the Saints are being given a 15 percent chance, Bell said.

Cantor lines give the 49ers 12-1 title odds and the Giants a 20-1 shot, both contenders in the NFC.

Longtime oddsmaker Kenny White said the Packers are still generally considered a dominant team that bettors will like.

"I think they're the same as the Patriot team that went 16-0" during the 2007 regular season, said White, an analyst on cable sports betting show "The Linemakers."

"This year, with the Packers' dominance, they should be that big of a favorite," he said.

Bell said he thinks the long odds on Denver are an invitation to Tebow fans to back the popular Broncos quarterback more despite his struggles.

"You're going to have a naturally biased betting group that are going to want to bet the Broncos," he said.

Colbert said that while he expects plenty of Broncos bettors, they'll likely be disappointed if they expect Tebow to deliver a title.

"No chance -- absolutely no chance," Colbert said. "The Tim Tebow factor is a big deal -- no matter how he plays or whether he wins or loses."


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press