'Robotic' Colts favored to win 2011 Super Bowl
"They're just a very steady, robotic-type organization, and barring any Peyton Manning injuries, they can be counted on for 12 to 13 wins again, which makes them a dangerous team in the playoffs," Rood told The Times on Monday.
The second choices are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys at 7-1. Both teams have a loyal betting audience.
"I don't know that Dallas deserves to be up there, but Pittsburgh, without as many injuries next year, will be right back," Rood said. "Cincinnati (30-1) will have to prove itself to be a contender again."
The Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints? They're 8-1 picks, along with another betting-public favorite, the Green Bay Packers.
"The Saints have quite a few free agents," Rood said. "I know their model is to go out and get veteran guys to fill the holes, but they might lose that 'jell' factor that they had this year."
The San Diego Chargers, which, like this year's Colts, play a softer nonconference schedule against the weak NFC West, and New England Patriots are both 10-1, while the NFC runner-up Minnesota Vikings, with major questions about Brett Favre's future, are at 12-1.
Bettors have flocked, Rood said, to the AFC runner-up New York Jets at 20-1, and Chicago Bears, which are at 35-1 and will get linebacker Brian Urlacher back next season.
The longest shot? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at 150-1.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field after the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game against the New Orleans Saints in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The Saints won 31-17. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)