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It seems like only a week or two has gone by since the new NFL regular season got started. Yet already, we are approaching the middle of the season. The standout performers, underachievers, and potential surprise packages are all starting to come into focus.

It doesn’t take a genius of sports analysis to identify Philadelphia and Tampa Bay as two teams falling into the first two categories, respectively. The third distinction, however, takes a little more examination and, perhaps, imagination. If you are considering a visit to to place a mid-season wager on a potential Super Bowl contender, here are some dark horses that deserve a place on your shortlist.

Tennessee Titans

Squeezed out by the Giants and then demolished by the Bills, the Titans had a stormy start to the regular season. But then, a four-game winning streak saw them catapult to the top of the AFC South. While there are some tough fixtures in the coming weeks, including Kansas and Green Bay, the bookmakers still have them odds on to win the division.

Granted, they will be an outside shot, but as we saw with Cincinnati last year, anything is possible if you can make the postseason. The Titans are a +4500 shot at winning the Super Bowl, and while that might be a step too far, it presents a highly tempting each-way bet.

Miami Dolphins

It’s been 38 years since the Dolphins’ last Super Bowl appearance, back in Super Bowl XIX when Dan Marino went up against Joe Montana. We all know how that turned out, but nobody would have guessed that the Sunshine State’s all-star team would spend so long out in the cold.

Given their recent three-game losing streak and the fact that they are currently third in the AFC East, the Dolphins might seem improbable Super Bowl candidates. But those three losses were against the Vikings, Bengals, and Chiefs. Prior to that, they had outgunned the Super Bowl favorites. To say they have had a tough opening schedule is an understatement, and their week seven win over Pittsburgh could signal things to come. There’s a sense that the Jets have flattered to deceive, so don’t be surprised to see Miami take their place second to Buffalo at the season’s end. The bookmakers have them at 30-1 to win their first Super Bowl in 49 years in February 2023.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl in the modern era and have not appeared in one since 1976. They went into the regular season, having lost all three preseason games, but since then have only lost once to the undefeated Eagles.

Green Bay’s domination of the NFC North was not expected to be challenged this year, and while the Vikings were always going to be a good shout for a wildcard berth, there’s been a growing sense around US Bank Stadium since their opening win against the Packers that they could finally achieve something really special this year and bookmaker odds are shortening by the moment. Most now have them at +1600 for the Super Bowl win. If you can find better, it is definitely worth a couple of dollars.