Halfway through the NFL season, some clear truths have emerged. Aaron Rodgers has game. Curtis Painter doesn’t. And Bibi Jones’ buddy Rob Gronkowski is the undisputed master of the bye week. Also, there’s still plenty of money to be made betting the Super Bowl. So, for your viewing and gambling pleasure, we’ve asked the lovely X-Girls of sports prediction site Edgehogs.com to choose one favorite and one sleeper to win it all. (The site also has a college football expert, so we hit her up, too.) Yes, the ladies are leaning Green Bay, but there’s real value in their sleepers, and even if you don’t love their picks, you’ll love their pics. Enjoy.
Lauren Adams Favorite: Green Bay Packers (2.2-1, according to betonline.com). An obvious decision, but Aaron Rodgers is dominant. His passer rating is off the charts and although it is difficult for teams to win back-to-back Super Bowls, the Packers just don't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Sleeper: New York Giants (20-1). Eli Manning is hated but also very underrated. No one saw them beating New England, and if their defense can stay healthy they could quietly take their division while everyone continues to talk about the Eagles.
Meridith Bartman Favorite: San Francisco 49ers (12-1) Jim Harbaugh’s college fanatical coaching style is just what the Niners needed. Alex Smith has found his niche and the offense is stacked at running back and receiver. The D can stop the run and rush the passer. Watch out world, the Niners’ reign is beginning again! (Full disclosure: Meridith is a former 49ers cheerleader.)
Sleeper: Chicago Bears (33-1). Critics of Cutler’s toughness seem to be quiet these past few weeks, especially after the Bears dominated the Eagles on Monday Night Football. Chicago boasts an outstanding defense and running back Matt Forte is having the year of his life. Don't underestimate Lovie and Da Bears.
Sunny Reichert Favorite: Packers. Green Bay has all the components it needs to win another year. As long as the defense can pick their game up and everyone can stay healthy, the Pack will be a force to reckon with in the playoffs. Go Pack go!
Sleeper: New York Jets (16-1). Mark Sanchez has the receivers and running game to back him up. If Plaxico can keep making big plays at the right moments, and the defense stays strong, the Jets could be a tough team to beat. They may have to make the playoffs as a wild card, but they'll make it.
Emily Wilson Favorite: Packers. Aaron Rodgers is unstoppable, and the team is averaging over 34 points a game. As long as their defense can pull it together a bit, I say they may even end the season undefeated.
Sleeper: Cincinnati Bengals (60-1). The addition of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green has really contributed to their success, and this team has really learned how to play well together. Each week we are seeing a stronger team and even though they have a tough schedule ahead, they're my long shot to win the Super Bowl.
Beth Miller (college football) Favorite: Oklahoma State Cowboys (5.5-1, according to betvega.com). Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon are an explosive duo to watch on offense, and this team plays all four quarters. The Cowboys have a tough Big 12 game against Oklahoma, but I think they pull it off and head to New Orleans for a national title.
Sleeper: Oregon Ducks (26-1). I'm picking them to upset Stanford, and I like Oregon's chances to win out. This leaves the Ducks’ only loss to a tough LSU team. I have to believe that voters will put them ahead of Boise State due to strength of schedule. Plus, I don't want to see another LSU-Alabama matchup.