NFL preview: Best betting opportunities for new season with Sky Bet

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 06/09/13 9:05pm

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Who will lift the Super Bowl next February?

Who will lift the Super Bowl next February?

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

It's the start of another huge season of NFL and such is the manner of the league you're never quite sure if the hot favourite for the Super Bowl will actually be the last team standing come February.

Not many would have backed the Ravens at stages last season with them facing trips to Denver and New England just to get to the Super Bowl, but as often is the case the underdogs prevailed and took home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

There are a wealth of markets to get stuck into, not just the Super Bowl winners and weekly accumulators that are so popular amongst NFL fans.

After dismantling the champion Ravens on Thursday night the Denver Broncos are unsurprisingly the 6/1 favourites with Sky Bet to win the Super Bowl after going close last year and on paper having the easiest schedule in the NFL this season.

At better odds - the Atlanta Falcons could, and perhaps should, have gone to the Super Bowl last year, and they've added an upgrade at running back in Steven Jackson so at 16/1 they make better appeal.

Champs struggling

It's not often the reigning champions are 3/1 just to win their division but that's exactly what the Ravens are after their hammering and following the loss of eight starters from last season - with the up-and-coming Bengals the 13/8 favourites and rightly so given the strength of their roster.

The NFC East seems the most wide open so if you have a strong opinion that's the best market to delve into. It's very much dependent on Robert Griffin III's knee but 5/2 for the Redskins to take it looks the pick.

It's hard not to be impressed with Peyton Manning's record-equalling seven touchdown performance, so it's also not surprising to see him leading the MVP market as the 5/1 favourite to win the award for a fifth time.

Reigning MVP Adrian Peterson is 10/1 to retain his title but it's likely to be a QB getting the gong with the usual suspects of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady leading the way - Colin Kaepernick (12/1) and Russell Wilson (16/1) make interesting prospects if they lead their Super Bowl-ready teams all the way to the big game in New York.

Rookies are always hard to predict, but the hype surrounding St Louis' wide receiver Tavon Austin has seen him installed as the 7/2 favourite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year while Green Bay hope 11/2 shot Eddie Lacy will finally give them a running game to speak about.

Dark Horse

Denard Robinson is an interesting one in this market as a 40/1 outsider. Drafted by Jacksonville, he's listed simply as OW (offensive weapon) on their roster - and has been running the wildcat in practice and with their regular QB Blaine Gabbert not having shown much so far he could get more action than you'd expect.

So with Robinson able to throw, run, catch, and return kick-offs and punts, he could heavily involved and with the Jags woefully short on playmakers he could certainly make his mark during the season.

Also watch out for Kenbrell Thompkins - he may be an undrafted rookie but he looks to have played his way into a starting spot as receiver for the New England Patriots - and anyone getting regular service from Tom Brady could post very good numbers indeed.

Detroit's Ziggy Ansah is the 10/1 favourite to be the best defensive rookie, but Arizona's new safety Tyrann Mathieu - aka 'The Honey badger' - loves taking risks and making big plays, plus with his work on special teams he could produce enough highlight reel material to cash in at 20/1.

If you can't decide on your Super Bowl or divisional winner, you can take a stab at which teams will make the play-offs. Obviously the big-hitters come at prohibitive odds and there's always one big team that misses out, but there is some value around.

Minnesota have the reigning MVP and some improved receiving options for QB Christian Ponder to use, so 9/2 on them just making the play-offs, as they did last year, looks a decent bet despite them playing in such a tough division.

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