Now that the 2011 Super Bowl is over, it's not too early for the odds-makers to release their numbers for the next one, Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Bodog has already released their odds, and the Denver Broncos have a 60/1 chance at winning the Super Bowl. They are joined by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars in that odds group. Only the Jaguars finished without a sub-.500 record in 2011, going 8-8.
Denver's 60/1 odds are the worst among the AFC West teams, though the Oakland Raiders come in slightly better at 50/1. The Kansas City Chiefs, who won the division in 2010, are 35/1 favorites to win the 2012 Super Bowl. The San Diego Chargers have one of the best odds to win the game at 12/1.
Right now, these odds appear to be an accurate assessment of how the West could play out in 2011. The Broncos, coming off a 4-12 season, have a new coach in John Fox and in a top leadership position John Elway. The two will look to rebuild a once-dominant franchise. The Raiders will also have a new head coach, Hue Jackson, and look to improve from their 8-8 record. The Chargers at one point looked poised to make a late-season run at the playoffs, but they fell short by one game to the Chief, who finished 10-6. Philip Rivers and a strong defense give the Chargers an edge of the Chiefs here.
All this is moot if a lockout happens in one month's time and the sides struggle to negotiate at that point.