The Kansas City Chiefs are the early favorites to win Super Bowl 54, as Las Vegas sports bettors placed enough wagers on the Chiefs to move their odds to 6-1 to win next year’s NFL championship. Kansas City is led by Patrick Mahomes, who this weekend became the second-youngest NFL MVP at the age of 23.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, like several Las Vegas oddsmakers, installed the Kansas City Chiefs with 7-1 odds to win Super Bowl LIV.
The Los Angeles Rams, fresh off defeat in Super Bowl LIII, were installed as the favorites at 6-1 by Vegas sportsbooks. The New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints received 8-1 odds, while the L.A. Rams’ odds shifted to 8-1.
No other team had odds in the single digits.
Kansas City Chiefs 6-1 to Win Super Bowl LIV
Bettors quickly began to bet on the Chiefs, who had the No. 1 offense in the NFL this past season. Patrick Mahomes, who won 41 of 50 votes to become NFL MVP, is expected to improve in his second season as the Chiefs’ starter. Targets like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will return, while the rest of the team can retool under veteran coach Andy Reid.
The Kansas City Chiefs need to retool certain parts of the game. While their offense was special, the Chiefs defense was 31st against the run when it came to yards-per-carry. While Dee Ford, Justin Houston, and Chris Jones got after the quarterback quite well in games that the Chiefs got into a lead (which was often), the unit proved weak in stopping the run enough to win the tough games. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was fired in the days after an AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs may seek to find a replacement for departed starting running back Kareem Hunt. While Spencer Ware was supposed to start in 2017 in front of Hunt and Damien Williams filled in well for Kareem Hunt in the latter part of the season, the Chiefs might look for a difference maker to keep NFL defenses off-balance. Every NFL defensive coordinator who faces the Chiefs in 2019-20 will spend the offseason planning to stop Mahomes.
L.A. Rams 8-1 Odds to Win 2020 Super Bowl
Coming off a game in which the Patriots’ shut down the NFL’s No. 2 rated offense, it is little surprise that Las Vegas bettors would stay around from the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams, led by Sean McVay and Jared Goff, looked awful in Super Bowl 53. They scored only 3 points after Bill Belichick’s defense blitzed Jared Goff 41% of the time — and Goff looked dumbfounded.
Headlines suggested this looked like Jeff Fisher’s final 7-9 offense with the Rams (when people questioned whether Goff could become a good NFL quarterback). Other headlines questioned whether the Rams could ever get back to a Super Bowl with Goff, or whether he was good enough to be the team’s starter moving ahead.
It’s a bit of an overreaction. Smart NFL viewers who watched the Rams early in the season know that something is wrong with Todd Gurley, the team’s All-World running back. Until a December knee injury, Gurley was one of a handful of players considered for the NFL MVP role. In the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, Gurley was reduced to being second fiddle to waiver wire addition CJ Anderson. (For his part, Gurley maintains he was healthy, but we’ll learn the truth in the offseason.)
The Patriots’ recognition that Todd Gurley wasn’t healthy allowed Belichick’s defensive unit to aggressively go after Jared Goff, who is best as a play-action quarterback. Next year, if Todd Gurley is healthy and Jared Goff has grown as a quarterback, the Rams might not be as stoppable by a team like the Patriots. The big question will be whether the Rams can keep together their defense, which played at a championship level on Sunday.
New England Patriots 8-1 Odds – Super Bowl 54
Given the fact the New England Patriots have been to the last 3 Super Bowls and won 3 of the past 5 NFL championships, it might surprise some that the Patriots are not the odds-on favorites to win next year. Tom Brady will be 42 in a game where even the best and most long-dominant quarterbacks decline at age 39 or 40. Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski is contemplating retirement due to chronic injuries. Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman will be 34, while Bill Belichick will be 67 and his staff will be raided again of talent.
In short, Las Vegas oddsmakers realize that dynasties have to fall apart at some point — and NFL sports bettors realize the same thing. Plus, oddsmakers are not setting odds on what they think will happen, but how they think bettors will bet. Patriot hate is at an all-time high and mass market bettors often wager on their gut instinct or team loyalties. It makes sense that many bettors would think (or hope) the Patriots fall off.
Plus, Tom Brady appeared to show decline through much of this past season. If he shows more decline next year, then it could be the time when the Patriots finally show their age.
New Orleans Saints 8-1 Odds in Super Bowl 2020
No fan base faces more angst than the Saints fandom this offseason. In addition to the usual recriminations about what might have been in the 2019 NFL Playoffs, the Saints fans feel like they were one blown call from competing in the Super Bowl. And given the Rams’ offenses’ lackluster performance, most believe in their heart-of-hearts that Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas would have produced a better effort than the Rams. They believe the were robbed of a chance at a Super Bowl — if not the Super Bowl itself.
Beneath the surface, the New Orleans Saints have reasons for doubt. Drew Brees is 40+ now, too. Also, the Saints won the toss in overtime and only had to drive the field for a touchdown to get into the Super Bowl, but Drew Brees threw an untimely interception. And the Saints Defense was not in the Top 10, so a key unit has to find a way to improve to win a second Super Bowl for Drew Brees. The only other time the Saints had a Top 10 defense in the Brees era, they won the world title.
So it makes sense that the Kansas City Chiefs are the odds-on favorites to win Super Bowl LIV. The Chiefs were the No. 1 seed and lost two close games against the World Champion Patriots, so if the aging Patriots decline a bit and the youthful Chiefs improve, it only makes sense they would be the favorites. And Patrick Mahomes appears to be the best player with tons of room for improvement, so NFL sports bettors naturally would tend to wager on the Chiefs.
Of course, injuries are such a key part of NFL football that it is next to impossible to predict next year’s champion. A couple of the contenders will have zero chance to win because several stars will be on Injured Reserve. A couple of teams will exceed the predictions because they’ll have unnatural good health. Teams get old quickly in the NFL, while young teams become contenders out of nowhere. Making NFL futures bets is fraught with peril, so choose wisely.