Sports Betting: 49ers displace Dallas

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The Independent Online
After their third Super Bowl victory in four years, it seemed inconceivable that the Dallas Cowboys would start the new NFL season as anything but firm favourites. After a summer of mishaps, however, it is San Francisco who have attracted all the money.

Ladbrokes laid a pounds 2,000 bet on the 49ers this weekend, and their quote of 7-2 is now the best you will find. Dallas are 5-1 (Stan James), with the Green Bay Packers (7-1) next. Pittsburgh, the first AFC side in the betting, are available at 12-1.

A favourite ploy of punters in seasons past has been to bet an AFC team each-way. This year, however, there are simply too many options, including Miami, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Oakland, yet there seems little chance that any of them could beat their NFC opponents in the Super Bowl.

Ultimately, it hard to escape the conclusion that the Pack are back. In Brett Favre, Green Bay have a quarterback to match any in the country, while they should be typically difficult to beat at home when the bitter Wisconsin winter starts to bite (this latter point would be particularly significant should they secure home-field advantage in the play-offs). The 7-1 must be taken.

SUPER BOWL XXXI (New Orleans, 26 January): 7-2 San Francisco (L), 5-1 Dallas (SJ), 7-1 Green Bay (SJ), 12-1 Pittsburgh (SJ), 16-1 Miami (C), 20-1 Detroit (SJ), Kansas City (L), Oakland (L,SJ), 25-1 Indianapolis (C,L,SJ), Buffalo (L), 33-1 San Diego (SJ), Denver (L,SJ), New England (L), Philadelphia (C), 40-1 Atlanta (C,SJ), 50-1 Chicago (C), Minnesota (C,SJ), Baltimore (SJ), 66-1 Cincinnati (L), 80-1 Houston (SJ), 100-1 New York Giants (SJ), Seattle (SJ), St Louis (SJ), New Orleans (SJ), Tampa Bay (SJ), Washington (SJ), 150-1 Arizona (SJ), Carolina (SJ), New York Jets (SJ), Jacksonville (L,SJ).

C Coral, L Ladbrokes, SJ Stan James.