Las Vegas sportsbooks installed the New Orleans Saints as the favorites to win Super Bowl LIII. The Saints, led by all-time leading NFL passer Drew Brees and All-Pro offensive stars Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, have +225 odds of winning the Super Bowl at to the Westgate SuperBook.
The Kansas City Chiefs, led by NFL MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes, have the second-best odds of winning the Big Game at +400. The Los Angeles Rams, led by Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald, are +500. The New England Patriots, who lost Super Bowl LII last year, are +600.
The Saints began the year with a stunning loss to the Buccaneers, then reeled off a 10-game winning streak which saw them defeat the playoff teams like the Rams, Ravens, and Eagles, ended the year at 13-3.
The Saints’ only meaningful loss in the last 15 games was to the Dallas Cowboys, because the Saints dumped a game to the Panthers in Week 17 while resting Brees and Kamara.
New Orleans Saints +225 to Win Super Bowl
In certain parts of the country, the New Orleans Saints have odds as low as +160. That’s especially true at the Mississippi Gulf Coast sportsbooks in Gulfport and Biloxi, which are 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes from New Orleans, respectively.
Jeff Stoneback, MGM sportsbook director, suggested on Sunday that Saints fans have bet heavy on the NFC favorite all year. Stoneback said, “The Saints are a loser for us. We’ve taken a ton of money on the Saints down in Mississippi [Beau Rivage, Gold Strike Tunica]. The Bears, of course, are a bad situation for us, too.”
Chicago Bears +900 to Win Super Bowl
Stoneback was referring to a Chicago Bears team which was coming off a 5-11 season coming into the NFL regular season. Days before the season started — and after many futures wagers were placed at 100 to 1 odds on the Bears — Chicago traded for Khalil Mack, who is considered the best edge rusher in the NFL at present.
The move transformed a Bears defense, which in turn took pressure off second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, showed significant progress under first-year head coach Matt Nagy’s direction.
The Chicago Bears finished the year 12-4 and have the 3rd seed in the NFC. They are +900 to win the 2019 Super Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
The Bears host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, who made it into the playoffs after the Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. The Eagles beat the Washington Redskins, but lost all-world backup Nick Foles to a concussion.
Philadelphia enters the postseason without starter Carson Wentz for the second straight year. With Nick Foles questionable to play versus the Bears, American sportsbooks are hesitant to post odds for the Bears-Eagles wildcard round match-up.
Dallas Cowboys 2.5-pt Favorites over Seattle Seahawks
The Dallas Cowboys were installed as 2.5 point favorites to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the other NFC Wild Card game, which takes place on Saturday night. The Cowboys enter the playoffs behind the stellar play of NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott and a stout defense. Their x-factor is Dak Prescott, who is dogged with inaccuracy issues, but whose outlook became brighter after the midseason trade to the team of Amari Cooper.
The Seattle Seahawks entered the season expected to fall from prominence, due to the departure of many star players like Richard Sherman, Jimmy Graham, and Michael Bennett. Instead, they redoubled their efforts at the running game behind Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, which took some of the pressure off Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks enter Saturday’s game at AT&T Stadium with the same 10-6 record that the Cowboys have. It should be noted that oddsmakers tend to give a home team a +3 due to home field advantage, so the Seahawks probably would be a 0.5-point favorite at a neutral site.
Baltimore Ravens 2.5-pt Favorites over Los Angeles Chargers
The Baltimore Ravens, led by rookie QB Lamar Jackson, are also +2.5 favorites over the Los Angeles Chargers. Lamar Jackson took over for an injured Joe Flacco midway through the season and led a Ravens rushing attack which presents with NFL defenses a different sort of challenge than they face most weeks.
Experts are split on whether Lamar Jackson’s regular season success can be replicated in the playoffs, where defensive football becomes more prominent. The Chargers have top pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but one wonders whether their pass rushing talents will be as useful against a run-heavy team.
The question might come down to whether the Ravens defense can stop veteran passer Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense. With running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen back to full health, the Chargers present a challenge for any NFL defense. The Chargers’ Mike Williams, a 3rd receiver or even 4th receiver at times this year, flashed star potential while Keenan Allen missed time, while Hunter Henry (on temporary IR all year) could be back for the playoffs.
If the Chargers get a lead, it could force Lamar Jackson into a comeback scenario. The Ravens defense has kept the team in games for the past two months — even against the Chiefs — so it should be a tough wild card match-up between the 10-6 Ravens and the 12-4 Chargers.
Houston Texans 2.5-pt Favorites over Indianapolis Colts
The Houston Texans host the final AFC Wild Card game next weekend. The Texans overcame an 0-3 start to win the AFC South division with an 11-5 record. Deshaun Watson returned from an ACL injury to lead a rejuvenated Texans offense in 2018, usually with the help of perennial Pro Bowl wideout Deandre Hopkins. The equally rejuvenated Texans defense is led by J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus (who were IR players last years), as well as the ever-disruptive Jadaveon Clowney.
All together, the Texans have the talent on both sides of the ball to make a Super Bowl run. They have to get past Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, who are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now.
After getting off to a 1-5 start, the Colts reeled off 9 wins in 10 games to finish 10-6. They won a virtual playoff game versus the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night to secure the final AFC playoff spot. Whichever team won would have collected the final spot.
Andrew Luck is a Comeback Player of the Year candidate after missing significant time the past two seasons with a shoulder injury. In fact, many wondered if Luck would ever return to form after he experienced shoulder issues coming into the regular season. Andrew Luck is now back to his Pro Bowl form — and he has a set of weapons both old and new.
T.Y. Hilton, who himself fought through injury concerns all year, is Luck’s favorite receiver. Eric Ebron, who was always something of a disappointment with the Detroit Lions, blossomed into a top target for Luck as the season worn on. Marlon Mack overcame injuries to become a credible threat in the ground game. Meanwhile, Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Darius Leonard led the Colts defense back to respectability.
Who Will Win Super Bowl LIII?
Each of the four wild card playoff games feature home favorites hosting teams that bettors should like. While home teams tend to win about 75% of playoff games historically, the past ten years have had a number of long playoff runs by wild card teams. With perennial playoff quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton missing the big show this year, there’s a feeling that the NFL playoffs are wide open like they haven’t been in years.
For those interested in placing a futures bet on the 2019 Super Bowl winner, here is a snapshot of the Superbowl odds at the SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas.
- New Orleans Saints +225
- Kansas City Chiefs +400
- Los Angeles Rams +500
- New England Patriots +600
- Chicago Bears +900
- Los Angeles Chargers +1,600
- Baltimore Ravens +2,000
- Dallas Cowboys +2,500
- Houston Texans +2,500
- Indianapolis Colts +2,500
- Seattle Seahawks +2,500
- Philadelphia Eagles +3,000
How Money-Line Bets Work
A +225 money-line bet pays $225 for a winning bet with a stake of $100. If you bet $100 on the Saints, you would collect your $100 stake plus $225 if the Saints won the Super Bowl. -225 would mean you have to wager $225 to win $100. Many bettors prefer money-line bets, because they don’t have to worry about point spreads. Your team either wins the bet or not, without concerns about winning by 1 point or 50 points.