All About The Futures: Super Bowl LVI
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I wanted to get the Divisional Odds done first, but the Cardinals signing of JJ Watt has changed up the game plan a bit. Free Agency is only a few weeks away, which means the Odds may have the best value now. For example, the Cards were at +700 to win the division prior to the Watt signing, and then they jumped to +600. With that said, I wanted to get this to all my fellow gamblers ASAP!
2021 SB Champ Odds per FanDuel as of March 3rd, 2021
KC +500 Browns +2200 Vikings +4400 NYJ +7000
Bucs +950 Colts +2400 Panthers +5000 Bengals +8000
Bills +1100 Titans +2700 Raiders +5000 Texans+8000
Packers +1100 Miami +2800 Falcons +6000 Jaguars +10000
Rams +1300 Dallas +2900 Bears +6000 Lions +13000
Ravens +1400 Chargers +3100 WFT +6000
Niners +1400 Steelers +3100 Broncos +6500
Saints +1800 Cardinals +4000 Philly +6500
Seattle +2000 Patriots +4000 Giants +7000
History on Kansas City's Side? KC: +500
I’m not going to talk about the “Super Bowl Curse”. You know, how the loser is due for a bad season after losing the big game? I don’t see the Chiefs having a bad season, so instead I’m looking at a different stat. Per TSN, only THREE teams have lost a SB, and then went on to win a title the following year: 71 Cowboys (SB V & VI), 72 Dolphins (SB VI & VII), and 18 Patriots (SB LII & SB LIII). Going to three straight Super Bowls for KC is hard enough, so I think I’m siding with history here.
Back to Back Champs: Tampa +950
Typically, I would say that it’s hard to bet on a repeat champ. That said, it’s harder to bet against Brady. With the Falcons and Panthers still in rebuild mode, and a declining Drew Brees coming back for one more year, it’s tough to imagine that the Bucs don’t win the Division. Another year under Arians, more experience as a unit, and Brady with another talented offense sets things up nicely for Tampa to make the playoffs. But...I don’t think Tampa has another easy playoff schedule. Yes, they did beat the Packers on the road in the conference title game, but they also took out a QB-less WFT, and a Brees led Saints team along the way. Additionally, Brady sometimes seems invincible, but will the over 40 QB make It thru the season? +950 gives you some great value before draft and FA. If you think Brady can continue to be elite, then I think it’s worth a play.
The Head Scratcher - San Francisco +1400
After a year filled with injury and Covid issues, the 49ers are sitting as the 7th best odds entering the season(+1400). I’m not really sure why though. Per DraftKings Nation, they are projected to have about 12.5 Million in cap space entering the season, and they do have some playmakers on both sides of the ball. I was personally a big fan of Aiyuk. That said, you really don’t have any concrete idea of how their QB play will be. From a betting point of view, if you’re looking to bet the Niners, you should probably do so sooner, rather than later. Once FA opens up, any significant move will only improve their odds. Additionally, considering the Niners are drafting 12th, they very well could land a nice prospect to boost their number. You may not get a better value on San Fran than you will today, but I'm just not buying into the hype as of now.
My Dark Horse - Arizona Cardinals +4000
I was big on Kyler Murray last year, and it’s a shame he was nursing a shoulder injury before the playoffs. That said, the Cards have promise on both sides of the ball. They also have a projected 11 million in cap space (per Draft Kings Nation) and the 16th pick in the draft. There is certainly the ability to add a few key pieces, and the NFC West isn’t a lock for any one team. On paper, the LA Rams are the favorite, but you can't predict how Stafford will play. Seattle and the Niners have work to do, so I think this may be a year where Arizona takes advantage of a favorable opportunity. This team has good value pre draft and FA, and I placed a small bet on them. Let's just hope they can clear up more cap space to build around Murray.
Phil Stiefel's "Eh, Why Not" Pick: Indianapolis Colts +2400 One of the things I love most about sports is the unpredictability. The Colts now have their QB, and they've proven to have a strong core already in place. Per pro-football-reference.com , the Colts were ranked 10th overall in defense last year. Additionally, Jonathan Taylor, Indy's intriguing running back, had 1,169 yards and 11 TDs last year on the ground. If Indy can provide Carson with weapons and protection, then maybe Coach Reich can bring the Colts back to their first Super Bowl since 2007. If Wentz returns to his 2017 form, then expect this number to climb significantly. Maybe Phil is on to something!
Where I Think the Money Will Go
If you're looking at where the money is going to go early on, I think you could make a claim for Buffalo (+1100) and LA Rams (+1300). Buffalo is very clearly on the rise, and will have more experience behind their young superstar QB. The Rams have also pushed all their chips into the pot, as bringing in Matt Stafford shows LA is in "win now" mode. I've never been a big fan of Goff, and Stafford really never had a strong squad in Detroit. Matt now has a promising running back in Akers, a strong pass attack, and the top-ranked D from the year prior. The NFC West will likely be the toughest division in the league, but on paper, the Rams certainly seem strong.
Hope this gives you a bit of insight before you predict next year's winner. With the Draft and Free Agency right around the corner, it's best to hop on these numbers now!
Mike Barrera @mbarrera1323 on Twitter