Super Bowl 2014 Odds: Why Patriots Deserve to Be Favorites

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots makes an adjustment at the line against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Super Bowl 2014 odds are already released and the New England Patriots are the set to be the favorites.

At 6-1 odds, the Patriots have been established as the favorite for the next Super Bowl. 

That is the absolute correct decision by the oddsmakers.

While they didn't reach the Super Bowl this year, the Patriots will bring back mostly the same roster that got them so close to the big game.

Wes Welker is a free agent, but owner Robert Kraft has made it clear that the team wants him back:

"I'd love him to be around," Kraft said today. "He's a great guy. Like I've said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction. We have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us, and we want him here. It's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent."

Assuming they can sign Welker, the Patriots will bring back an offense that averaged 291.4 yards per game in the air.

They're also great in the run game, as both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen showed great promise. Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Patriots do need to improve their pass defense—their inability to stop Joe Flacco in the AFC Championship Game is a big reason they were sitting at home instead of playing in the Super Bowl. Re-signing Aqib Talib and perhaps drafting some players for the secondary will be a huge priority.

And, at last check, they still have Tom Brady, who threw for 4,827 yards, 34 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. With top tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Brady should still put up big numbers.

The Patriots haven't been able to get over the hump of the Super Bowl in recent years, but it seems like they are ready to do it next year. They bring back an incredibly talented team, and one that knows how to win in the postseason. 

The Patriots didn't get to the Super Bowl this year, but that does not prevent them from being the favorites next year. 

In fact, on paper, they have the most talented team in football. They have one of the best quarterbacks, two terrific young running backs, great wide receivers and tight ends. 

They have the best defensive tackle in football in Vince Wilfork and, with an upgrade to their secondary, their defense will be among the best in football.

They were so close this year and the talent and experience makes them the favorite for the 2014 Super Bowl. The oddsmakers got it right—the Patriots are the team to beat heading into next season. 

*odds provided by*