Now that one of the craziest NFL regular seasons in recent times is over, we finally know the record season with 14 teams. Only a few of these teams have a realistic chance of winning it all – and only a few are worth betting on doing.
Here are the updated odds on the Score bet to win the Super Bowl ahead of the playoffs, along with my three favorite bets to hoist this year’s Lombardi Trophy.
|Green Bay Packers||+380|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+450|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+800|
|Los Angeles Rams||+950|
|New England Patriots||+1600|
|San Francisco 49ers||+2500|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+5000|
Los Angeles Rams (+950)
The Rams were my pre-season pick to win it all, and even though it’s been a somewhat bumpy road to this point, they still go into the playoffs with the NFL’s third-best record (12-5) after winning five out of six games since the beginning of December.
Los Angeles ranks No. 1 in PFF grades and No. 2 in net yards per. games, and this list is as good as it has been all year since the addition of Odell Beckham and Von Miller during the campaign. It’s also among the healthiest in the entire postseason field – especially in the NFC, where the top two seeds have struggled with attrition all season.
Sean McVay is among the handful of coaches in this year’s field with Super Bowl experience and undoubtedly has his most talented roster this time around. Matthew Stafford’s latest turnover streak is disappointing, but he had one of his best performances of the season in a Week 14 win over the Cardinals, which he will face again this week. If he can take care of the ball in that game and then, this team has all the prerequisites for a title winner.
Dallas Cowboys (+1100)
It seems impossible for a team as nationally loved as the Cowboys to fly under the radar ahead of the off-season. Somehow this is the case with this squad, which leads the league in DVOA and is the only team with a top-six character in attack (sixth), defense (second), and special team (sixth).
Start with the offense, which has scored 50 points in two of the past three weeks with surprisingly little fanfare. Between 1990 and 2020, only five teams had scored 50 points twice in the same season; four of the five reached the conference title fight, and two of them – the 2007 Patriots and 2013 Broncos – came to the Super Bowl.
Dallas’ defense has somehow been even more impressive thanks to the productive play of rookie linebacker Micah Parsons and star cornerback Trevon Diggs, both of whom have the potential to become absolute game-wreckers in the playoffs. Yes, we’ve seen the Cowboys’ drawer in previous post-seasons, but this iteration is far too talented and productive to be priced as a second-rate challenger.
New England Patriots (+1600)
Do you remember the exclusive list of teams that score 50 points twice in a season? The Patriots added to it. They own the league’s top scoring offense (30.6 PPG) and top-scoring defense (16.0 PPG) since week 7. So how on earth are they priced at 16-1 here and as high as 22-1 in some stores?
Losses to the Bills and Colts in late December shook the market’s confidence, but this is still a top-five team after the most advanced measurements behind a stifling defense and offensive. The Patriots are particularly good against the pass – which is crucial in this year’s AFC – and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has found ways to plan Mac Jones for success in the quarterback’s rookie campaign.
They will be tested immediately against the Bills, who beat New England in Week 16 to equalize the season series and earn home ground in this competition. I would expect a better game plan against Josh Allen in what should be a low-scoring affair, and that’s how the Patriots will have to train through the AFC. For relatively long odds, I would like to bet that Bill Belichick and Co. will surprise.
C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at email@example.com.