Published on November 25th, 2015 | by Mark
Super Bowl 50 Sleepers Update for Week 12 of the 2015-16 NFL Season
Earlier this week, we tackled the three frontrunners for the Lombardi Trophy this February at Super Bowl 50. But as we all know, the NFL is never lacking of Cinderella stories and stunning upsets, be it in the postseason itself or the grueling gauntlet of the regular season.
11 weeks into this year’s campaign, we already pretty much have a sense of which teams are poised to make the playoffs and beyond. And even if we’re still just speculating to this point, it wouldn’t hurt to start banking on one of those dark horse candidates that’s making waves this regular season, especially with some enticing odds from the bookmakers still relatively working against them right now from ultimately becoming Super Bowl champs.
The three teams listed below are familiar faces from postseasons of recent memory, and they all have rather favorable schedules for the remainder of the season to boost not only their prospects of qualifying for the playoffs, but making a deep run in it as well. Don’t miss out on these sleeper picks, because they’re certainly not napping themselves on their respective manageable paths leading to Santa Clara.
NFL Week 12 Sleepers Update for Super Bowl 50 – The Lesser Roads About to be Traveled
The primetime jitters got the better of Marvin Lewis, Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals yet again after a crushing 34-31 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona on Monday night. For some reason, the Bengals’ claws and fangs retract in games played under the dark of night. Cincy still has two more night games on tap and both are on the road, but those look very winnable right now. One’s against lowly San Francisco, and the other versus Manning-less Denver. And with the Rams, Browns, Steelers and Ravens rounding out the rest of the slate, the Bengals’ odds of +1,000 sounds just about right, and could very well shorten once they start mauling their weaker prey up ahead.
Meanwhile, Eli Manning and the New York Giants (+1,400) may have missed out on going 4-0 lifetime against the Bill Belichick, Tom Brady-led New England Patriots earlier this season, but the team is still the only legitimate threat out in the NFC East that could truly shake things up come postseason. A soft schedule consisting of visits to Washington, Miami and Minnesota, together with home games against the Jets, Panthers and Eagles should be enough for the G-Men to pull away with the division title. And if they keep up their strong finish into the playoffs, they might even set themselves up for another date with the Pats in the Super Bowl for what should be another Manning vs. Brady classic.
And who could forget about the Seattle Seahawks? Russell Wilson and his boys had their eyes set on a third-consecutive NFC title, but that’s not going to happen given their sputtering start this season. The Seahawks aren’t playing like the Super Bowl champs that they were two seasons ago, yet they have a relatively weak six-game stretch that ends with a trip to Arizona (the only true test left for them from here on out). That should make their price of +1,800 at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in three years quite a steal as we speak.
Once Seattle manages to at least get a split from their upcoming matches against the Steelers and Vikings over the next couple of weeks, dispatching the dismal Ravens, Browns and Rams in succession before the finale against the Cards should get the team back a-boomin’ for another solid playoff push, even if just as a likely wild card entrant to the big dance.