With the football season not too far off, we will look at NFL team or player futures betting odds each Monday. This week, I am looking at the initial Super Bowl odds and the teams with the best chance to win.
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
THE 2019-20 SUPER BOWL FAVORITESYet again, here we are. The Patriots (+700) are the Super Bowl favorites and it’s hard to deny them. There were rumors of the impending demise of Tom Brady starting 10 years ago when he suffered a brutal injury and he’s been questioned on and off ever since. It’s hard to say he’s still in his prime, but I won’t write him off until he retires and who knows when that will be. The biggest question I have is how will the offense adjust to life after Rob Gronkowski? Arguably the best tight end in NFL history, completely replacing his production won’t be possible, although I think New England made a great addition to its offense in the first round by selecting N’Keal Harry.
After winning the MVP in his first full season, Patrick Mahomes has the betting market extremely high on the Chiefs (+800). As of now, I am lower on Kansas City than most people. The rumors surrounding WR Tyreek Hill aren’t great. The situation is far from determined although a suspension seems inevitable. Hill is with the team for training camp, but this doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to play this season. The downfield threat he provides is a big part of what allowed Mahomes to breakout last season and a hit to this offense could be something KC can’t afford. As great as this team was last season, the defense ranked 26th in DVOA and the success was almost entirely on the shoulders of the offense.
The NFC Championship game between the Rams (+900) and Saints (+900) was one of the most controversial games in the history of the league. The missed pass interference call not only sent the Rams to the Super Bowl, but also caused a rule change allowing for the review of pass interference calls. One of the more interesting aspects of the Rams’ postseason run was the lack of impact from star running back Todd Gurley. We still don’t know all the details of his health or exactly what was going on last season, however reports indicate that the health of his knee will be an ongoing issue. Gurley has likely already peaked as a fantasy asset although I am not sure his health will have a massive impact on title hopes in Los Angeles. Adding fuel to the “running backs don’t matter” debate, a seemingly out of shape C.J. Anderson got up off his couch and succeeded in a high leverage role for the Rams. The strength of the run game comes from the Rams’ strong offensive line play and third-round pick Darrell Henderson is capable of filling the role of lead back should something go wrong with Gurley. Henderson is worth looking at in fantasy leagues due to question marks surrounding Gurley.
With Nick Foles gone, the Eagles (+1300) are going to be heavily reliant on the health of Carson Wentz. Philadelphia is clearly confident in Wentz after signing him to a six-year, $128 million contract extension last week. It includes $107 million in guarantees and in total is six years at $158 million, so the Eagles don’t have much of a safety net if this deal goes awry. I don’t doubt the ceiling of Wentz. He was in the MVP conversation prior to injuring his knee in the 2017-18 championship season, but his floor is fairly low. Following up his knee injury, he started last season late as he was still recovering and then his season ended early because of a back injury. I don’t trust him to stay healthy and Philly no longer has Foles as a backup to bail it out.
How quickly things have turned for the Browns (+1400). For years, this team was a laughing stock and the only thing we could expect from them were losses in bunches. Everything seemed to turn after they drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick last season. He looks like the guy who will break the curse of awful quarterbacks drafted by Cleveland and the oddsmakers are backing him. As soon as Mayfield took the field for the first time, the energy changed for the Browns. They finished with a competent 7-8-1 record, although that wasn’t totally indicative of the strides this team took. Cleveland was always competitive against tough teams and suffered from some close loses. They lost two overtime games and lost by a close margin in difficult games in New Orleans and Baltimore. The addition of Odell Beckham Jr. was the biggest splash of the offseason and the future is bright in Cleveland. I think the line might be a bit too optimistic and I want to see them grow a bit more before expecting them to compete for a Super Bowl, but it’s extremely impressive to go from 0-16 to contender in the span of two years.
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