Conor McGregor is a legendary UFC fighter. Not many combatants can take a year off from fighting, announce their next bout, and instantly be established as the overwhelming odds-on favorite in the UFC 257 picks. Yet that's exactly how The Notorious one rolls. He will headline UFC 257 on Jan. 23, facing Dustin Poirier in a rematch of former UFC world lightweight champs. McGregor is the -235 favorite in the bout.
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Who Will Win Super Bowl 2017
Who will win Super Bowl 2017 predictions
4. Dallas Cowboys (+375)
It seems disingenuous to have the team with the second-best record in football check in at fourth, but this is the most sensible choice. And that’s not a knock against the Dallas Cowboys.
To the contrary, they had a fantastic regular season, finishing 13-3, with a top-five offense and defense, despite leaning heavily on a rookie quarterback, in Dak Prescott, and rookie running back, in Ezekiel Elliott.
Here’s the thing: That lack of experience could come back to haunt the Cowboys. Their offense is fantastic, and they have a bunch of veterans on the defensive end, but neither Prescott nor Elliott has been here before, with the stakes this high, and the lights this bright.
Make no mistake, the Cowboys, thanks in part to a first-round buy, are one of the top-four favorites. They’re just not the most appealing option in the NFC.
One day, with this core, they just might be. In the meantime, this foray into the playoffs more part of the maturation process than anything else. So with their odds being this low, you should only be betting on them if you’re in love with their matchups. The return on Cowboys-centric wagers won’t be lucrative enough to justify the long-shot, albeit still appealing, play they actually are.
3. New York Giants (+1400)
This placement for the New York Giants is going to catch some people off-guard, even though it shouldn’t.
Big Blue enters the playoffs with the second-best defense in the NFL. Traveling to Green Bay for the Wild Card Round isn’t ideal, but the Giants handed the Cowboys two of their three losses.
Strong defenses are tailor-made for playoff success, and New York’s offense, while just 26th in points scored per contest, has a higher ceiling than its regular-season standing. Eli Manning knows how to play at a high level during the postseason, and star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. can change the course of the game with one big play.
It’ll be a tough road for the Giants to even get to the Super Bowl, but don’t count them out. If nothing else, their incredible defense warrants this third-place selection.
2. Seattle Seahawks (+1000)
There is clear risk involved in selecting the Seattle Seahawks as our second-most likely Super Bowl champion. Most of it lies on the offensive side.
The Seahawks rank 18th in points scored per game, their passing scheme isn’t particularly strong, and they place inside the bottom 16 or bottom 10 in just about every rushing category imaginable.
Still, the defense is third in points allowed per game and has the ability to slow down any kind of offensive play style–run- or pass-heavy. Plus, the offense has big-play potential.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is banged up, and it doesn’t help that Seattle’s offensive line is blah and he doesn’t have a ground game on which to fall back. But despite the Seahawks’ absence of passing touchdowns, they rank 10th in total yards through the air—proof that they have another level they have yet to reach.
And should they reach it in the playoffs, achieving balance few other teams in the league enjoy, then watch out.
1. New England Patriots (+175)
Because who else?
The New England Patriots have the best Super Bowl odds possible, and they’re also our top pick to win it all.
You’ll notice that they are the only AFC team listed as well. That’s not an accident. There is no other squad in the conference capable of beating them, not even in these one-game, any-given-Sunday playoffs.
Could we envision a scenario in which the Pittsburgh Steelers or Kansas Chiefs take down the Patriots? Sure. It’s totally possible.
But Tom Brady is once again under center for a top-three offense, and New England enters its first-round bye with the NFL’s best defense, in terms of points per game, bar none.
Defense matters in the postseason, but balance is always better.
And the Patriots are balanced in the scariest way imaginable: They’re almost weakness-free.
Super Bowl Odds of Remaining Teams
Houston Texans (+8000)
Oakland Raiders (+8000)
Miami Dolphins (+8000)
Detroit Lions (+8000)
Atlanta Falcons (+950)
Kansas City Chiefs (+850)
Green Bay Packers (+800)
Pittsburgh Steelers (+800)
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