The most common preseason wager among NFL bettors from casual types to near-sharps is certainly the “To Win the Next Super Bowl” proposition bet. The sheer numbers say that the overwhelming majority of those betting this prop are destined to lose – after all, only one team of the 32 will win – plus bettors annually fall prey to certain fallacies. Most NFL bettors playing this prop appear to believe that players never age, that repeat championships (or even recent conference championships) happen frequently and that the NFL draft and free agency will have next to zero effect on any team’s fortunes.
This month’s value bets are pretty obvious, then: Go with the Seattle Seahawks (20/1) and Green Bay Packers (25/1) – especially if you bet on Kansas City or Dallas a few months ago (yeesh)…
Another important factor to remember is that, since the original lines were released at latest the Monday following the Super Bowl, a lot of bets are required to shift any of the lines – actually affording an excellent opportunity for value betting a few games into the season.
The following are the current odds at three online sportsbooks in the prop “To Win Super Bowl LIV.” The favorites remain, as they have since the preseason, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens; all well and good, perhaps, but OL injuries will definitely impeded the Chiefs’ path to repeat whereas Baltimore looks to have two contenders within its own division in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.
Third on the table are the San Francisco 49ers, who may make a solid bet to miss the playoffs altogether; chasing the Niners are the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. Three of these are running with aging QBs any of whose arms could fall off by week 19, which may play in August at this rate; the Pats’ Cam Newton has gone from Great Story of 2020 to Another Covid Story; and the no-defense Cowboys have lost Dak Prescott for the season.
But who will be the winner in 2021?
The odds below on this page were updated after Week 6 on October 15, 2020:
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Super Bowl betting is the biggest NFL betting even of the year! Who doesn't want to bet on the Super Bowl this year? To make a winning bet, NFL Bets.com has all the latest betting odds, lines, point spreads and predictions that you'll ever need as well as a list of latest, best NFL betting sites to place your bets online.
How big is the Super Bowl betting? Big enough so that it’s impossible to hyperbolize. Check out these numbers: the NFL claims up to 1 billion viewers tune in annually, and running a TV commercial during the game’s U.S. broadcast costs a world-be advertiser $5 million (or $166,666.66 per second).
And while the product-hockers seek to appeal to that massive audience, said audience is chowing down lustily: Americans typically eat 30 million pounds of chips, 13.2 million pounds of avocado and 8 million pounds of popcorn.
The stunning popularity of betting on the Super Bowl
How popular is Super Bowl betting? Incredibly popular: Super Bowl betting is, for a large fraction of Americans, the only time to wager on professional sports all year. Super Bowl futures including “To Win MVP” and individual player props are played by hundreds of thousands of bettors who typically stick to point spreads and over/unders week to week.
Once-bizarre Super Bowl lines on game-unrelated matters like “Length of the National Anthem Rendition” and “Result of the Opening Coin Toss” have become traditional plays among even casual bettors, and Super Bowl spreads are debated by those who've actually literally played Super Bowl lines zero times in their life.
Betting on the Super Bowl draws more wagering than on any other event worldwide. NFLbets dares say that the fundamental Super Bowl futures bet, i.e. “To Win the Super Bowl”, is the world's single-most bet-upon prop during the year. While most Super Bowl betting is done in the United States and Canada, but gamblers in nations such as Australia and Great Britain are starting to discover the marvel of Super Bowl betting – kinda like the way Americans re-discover World Cup betting every four years…
Over $140 million was wagered on Super Bowl LII at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but lest you believe that figure is overly impressive, consider that unofficial estimates from the American Gaming Association (AGA) place the total number of bets at $4.76 billion. This means the ostensible gambling capital of the U.S. was covering less than 2.95% of the total take. That’s huge.
Despite that seemingly small sub-3% take in Las Vegas, the truth is that Super Bowl betting is significant enough to support some small- to mid-sized sportsbooks throughout the year. Pre-Supreme Court decision of 2018, an estimated 25% or more of *all* online bets were made on the Super Bowl. So, yes, people do bet on Super Bowl online.
On top of everything else great about betting on the NFL’s Super Bowl, the sheer amount of bets, lines, odds and proposition bets on the Super Bowl are absolutely wonderful. Scoring by quarter, player props, game MVP props, Will The First Score Be a Safety, Will Anyone Score a Safety, the opening coin flip – all this and so much more are available on the (long) two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl betting is easy, fun, maybe even lucrative
If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas (or soon in the future, your local betting shop or casino), you know how much fun, insanity and winnings may be had when betting the Super Bowl. Of course, if you think that’s nuts, just wait until the Las Vegas Raiders are playing in Super Bowl LV in 2021…
Betting on the Super Bowl is easy and you don't even have to go to Las Vegas to place your Super Bowl bets. All you have to do is find out about the best super bowl betting odds and NFL super bowl betting lines, here, on NFLBets.com, then register at one of the "NFL betting sites" in our list of approved NFL sports betting sites.
Always fun – if not nearly always lucrative – for NFL bettors in the preseason is the traditional “Super Bowl Exact Matchup” proposition bet. With the release of early odds in this prop, NFLbets takes a brief look at some of the lines and wonders once again just how seriously we should take wagering on this one…
Infuriatingly but utterly predictably, the shortest odds are on a Super Bowl LV rematch:
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs, 12/1
Among the rational, only time travelers would find this a fair offer. In 55 Super Bowls, we’ve seen exactly one matchup happen back-to-back: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills in XXVII and XXVIII. The 1992-93Cowboys were an all-time great team with top-3 offense and defense, while the Bills were offered the luxury of an extremely weak conference.
Neither conditions would appear to exist in 2021. While blessed with a point-a-minute offense, the Chiefs aren’t exactly world-beaters on defense. No disrespect to the KC D, but the truth is that over the past two AFC championship seasons, the Chiefs have allowed some 21.2 points per game – over 3½ more than did those Cowboys. This may seem like small potatoes, but it’s the difference between the average game coming out to a double-digit win or victory by a TD. In short, the 20s Chiefs may be awesome, but they ain’t no 90s Cowboys.
On the other side, the Buccaneers can hardly be expected to cakewalk their way to another Super Bowl against this NFC. Were all things equal at the bookmakers, the Los Angeles Rams might be considered conference favorites, that Washington Red Hogs defense could be as nasty a unit as we’ve seen this century, the specter of Aaron Rodgers returning to Green Bay still lurks, and who would want to face any NFC West team in the playoffs? Also recall that among the freakish feats the ’20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off was a string of three playoff road victories, followed by the Super Bowl at home. The point here: Tom Brady or no, the stars (so to speak) aligned for this title run.
So, no, NFLbets is not looking for a rematch in Super Bowl LVI. In fact, the best money in this prop are on matchups *not* involving a repeat: The shortest odds on a non-Tampa Bay/non-Kansas City ’Bowl are Rams vs Bills and 49ers vs Bills, each fetching 60/1.
Those looking for the Buccaneers to pull off the not-so-uncommon conference championship repeat – it’s been done 21 times – can consider the following oods.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Buffalo Bills, 28/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Baltimore Ravens, 33/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns, 40/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots, 45/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Indianapolis Colts, 50/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Tennessee Titans, 50/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Denver Broncos, 60/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Los Angeles Chargers, 60/1
Among this lot, NFLbets likes Bucs-Browns at 40/1 and Bucs-Chargers at 60/1, though the latter could well require far too close a parallel to Tampa Bay’s run of 2020 if we figure Kansas City to take the NFC West again. No matter, though: If we’re starting the betting with a 40/1 ticket, much room for hedging remains.
And for those of you considering Bucs-Patriots at 45/1, come on now! Picture-perfect all-time argument-settlers like this rarely, if ever, happen in sports, much less in NFL football.
By the sheer numbers, the Chiefs are looking at a more precipitous task. Three teams have gone to three straight Super Bowls: the 1970-72 Miami Dolphins, the aforementioned Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s, and You-Know-Who-All’s 2016-18 New England Patriots. Most NFL observers probably wouldn’t have trouble putting these Chiefs on a level with those three sides and so might consider betting on odds like…
• Los Angeles Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs, 28/1
• San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs, 28/1
• Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs, 33/1
• Seattle Seahawks vs Kansas City Chiefs, 45/1
• Dallas Cowboys vs Kansas City Chiefs, 55/1
• New Orleans Saints vs Kansas City Chiefs, 55/1
• Arizona Cardinals vs Kansas City Chiefs, 60/1
And from these, one can easily see the skewing caused by Buccaneers favoritism. As stated previously, the #2 and #3 favorites to take the NFC, the Rams and 49ers, are getting lines 2½ times longer than the Buccaneers. Concomitantly, this presents quite an interesting opportunity for the bettor who believes the Chiefs will the AFC.
Currently, the Chiefs are getting odds of +250 to +290 to win the AFC West – but these odds can be beaten with a combination of bets in this prop. Covering the Rams and 49ers plus seven other teams not named the Buccaneers would land a payout of at least +311 (i.e. 28/9) and quite possibly significantly more. A wager of Chiefs vs Rams, 49ers, Packers, Redwolves, Cowboys, Seahawks, Saints, Falcons or Cardinals? We’d probably make that bet.
Then again, the Cleveland Browns are getting mighty tempting 9/1 odds to win the AFC…
–written by Os Davis
Os Davis has been covering sports for longer than he’d care to admit. For personality, check his Twitter feed; for professional acumen, here’s his Linkedin profile.
So Bet Online has released some updated odds on popular preseason NFC proposition bets, e.g. “To Win Super Bowl LVI,” “To Win Conference Championship,” etc. NFLbets had originally presumed that the tweaked odds on the “To Win NFC Championship” prop would reflect the recently-dropped information that Tom Brady had played the entirety of the 2020 season on a torn MCL, but nope.
We must conclude, then, that either the sportsbooks are simply ignoring the wider implications of the sustained injury and the possibility of penalties due the Buccaneers or they’re seeking to cash in on the general credulity and susceptibility to hype of the NFL bettor. NFLbets assumes that bookmakers are no dummies and thus are strategically approaching this offering to reflect people’s frivolity.
Just look at this table and tell us you can’t visualize the lucrative opportunities here.
To Win NFC Championship 2021-22
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3/1
• Los Angeles Rams, 7/1
• San Francisco 49ers, 7/1
• Green Bay Packers, 8/1
• Seattle Seahawks, 11/1
• Dallas Cowboys, 14/1
• New Orleans Saints, 14/1
• Arizona Cardinals, 16/1
• Washington Football Team, 20/1
• Minnesota Vikings, 22/1
• Chicago Bears, 25/1
• New York Giants, 28/1
• Atlanta Falcons, 33/1
• Carolina Panthers, 33/1
• Philadelphia Eagles, 33/1
• Detroit Lions, 66/1
Now if NFLbets didn’t know that much of these lines are based in marketing, we’d feel pretty insulted by much of this table: Right off the top, the odds on Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans and Arizona are well too short; is it not conceivable that at least three of these four miss the playoffs altogether? The Saints could start Jameis “30 and 30” Winston; the Cardinals are running with Kyler “Mr. Inconsistency” Murray; the Cowboys return their stud quarterback, but with an increasingly weaker OL to protect him; and if Russell “One-Man Team” Wilson ever goes down to injury in Seattle, the Seahawks are doomed.
Then there are the Buccaneers and their own Mr. Immortal, who own odds dropped to 3/1 to return to the Super Bowl – and NFLbets just doesn’t get it.
Full disclosure: No actual medical staff are employed at NFLbets; perhaps as a result, this writer can’t help but consider the dark side of the spectrum. On one hand, MCL injuries have been come back from numerous times. This Indianapolis Star article of late 2019 recounted eight MCL injuries to quarterbacks (plus Jacoby Brissette’s of that season) between 2013 and ’19, as follows:
Eight right-handed throwing quarterbacks since 2013 have reportedly suffered a left MCL sprain in-season and returned to play: Joe Flacco (2013, didn't miss a game), Ben Roethlisberger (2015, missed four games), Tyrod Taylor (2015, two games), Marcus Mariota (2015, two games), Russell Wilson (2016, no games), Ryan Fitzpatrick (2016, one game), Aaron Rodgers (2018, also suffered a tibial plateau fracture, no games) and Tom Brady (2018, no games).
These quarterbacks, on average, bottomed out with a four-point drop in completion percentage and a 10- to 15-point dip in passer rating. They actually tended to improve in their return (completion percentage jumped from .629 in the six games prior to .679 and passer rating increased from 94.0 to 100.7) then their play would fall off over the next three games before returning to form by Games 5 and 6.
Interesting that Brady makes the 2019 list, having injured his knee in ’18, which is probably what gave him the impetus to go through last season.
Everyone with the remotest awareness of the NFL has certainly heard more than enough about Brady’s impossible greatness, his legendary status, his seemingly infinite will to win – but the bettor would do a helluva lot better than to throw money at hype.
Yes, Brady had another killer season in 2020. Yes, Tampa Bay re-signed any important would-be strays before free agency and so returns all 22 Super Bowl starters for ’21. It seems to NFLbets, however, that Brady might have been better off taking time off rather than worsen an injury.
From a purely speculative angle, NFLbets would have to guess that Brady was given some kind of painkiller (likely, cortisone) prior to every game. While footage of Brady stumbling about like a septuagenarian after a celebratory boat trip was certainly amusing at the time…
…in light of this retroactive injury news, well, let’s just say that tequila makes a crummy analgesic for ligaments.
Post-injury announcement, many have speculated that punishment will be forthcoming to the Buccaneers; such penalties will likely not directly affect the Buccaneers’ 2021 season or current roster – i.e. no suspensions forthcoming a la Deflate-gate – and by all accounts, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. But while the 43-year-old may have the strength and stamina of a QB 20 years younger, his knee assuredly bears every minute of its existence to date, avocado smoothies be damned.
Tell you this: If it comes down to a choice of the Buccaneers becoming just the second NFC team to make a repeat trip to the Super Bowl this century with a quarterback with injury extent unknown or the Green Bay Packers with the defending MVP having recovered from his psychological issues, NFLbets’d cover the latter hastily. Then there are the Los Angeles Rams, hungry and bringing back two of the top, what, five defensive players in the NFL plus a stat-piling quarterback enjoying an all-too-rare (for him) winning team.
But Tampa Bay at 3/1? Terrible value. NFLbets would advise instead taking advantage of the hype: Take the Los Angeles Rams at 7/1, the Green Bay Packers (with Aaron Rodgers) at 7/1, the overlooked Washington Red Hogs at 20/1 – or even all three proportionately – in the “To Win NFC Championship” prop.
–written by Os Davis
Os Davis has been covering sports for longer than he’d care to admit. For personality, check his Twitter feed; for professional acumen, here’s his Linkedin profile.
NFLbets’ boss talks about it every summer, in between the NFL Draft and opening day – about how Trent Green was set to be teamed up with newly-acquired Marshall Faulk and #6 overall pick, WR Torry Holt of NC State, for at least an above-average St. Louis Rams offense. About how Green went out in the third preseason game, how some Arena League guy was coming in at quarterback and The Boss caught 100-1 odds on his beloved Rams in a Super Bowl proposition bet.
And about the punchline: The Boss’s beloved Rams morphed into Greatest Show on Turf, played to an average score of 33-15, won the Super Bowl dramatically, and ka-ching, winner winner chicken dinners enough for a small island nation.
For those fans who ritualistically throw a few dollars on their favorite team to win the Super Bowl as a sort of fandom tax – looking Cleveland and Detroit’s ways here – NFLbets considers whether any longshot in the “To Win Super Bowl LVI” proposition bet has a miracle’s chance to cash in.
At the bottom of the table at most sportsbooks are essentially this year’s seven consensus underdogs:
• New York Giants (75/1)
• Las Vegas Raiders (80/1)
• Jacksonville Jaguars (100/1)
• New York Jets (100/1)
• Cincinnati Bengals (100/1)
• Detroit Lions (150/1)
• Houston Texans (200/1)
Right off the top (bottom?), NFLbets removes the Jaguars, Jets and Lions based solely on expected starting quarterback. The truth is that no rookie QB has ever won a Super Bowl – and while this year’s draft class was quite the outlier vis-à-vis quarterback talent, we’re just playing the (long) numbers; would-be Jaguars and Jets backers should also note that no head coach has ever even gotten his team to the Super Bowl in his first season with the team, eliminating a Warner-for-Greenesque scenario as well.
The Lions enter the 2021 season with a first-year head coach as well plus Jared Goff at QB. Those who haven’t seen enough of Goff to surmise these Lions would be overrated at 500/1, consider that just two veteran quarterbacks have ever gotten to a ’Bowl in their first season with the new club: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. And one needn’t have been a Los Angeles Rams ticketholder for the past four years to realize that Goff is no Manning or Brady.
NFLbets will go ahead and remove the Texans from competition here as well. There’s no precedent for a team amidst a multi-year rebuilding scheme with a starting quarterback facing 23 lawsuits winning a Super Bowl, but the odds against should be a lot longer than 200/1.
Our remaining longshot Super Bowl possibilities thus come down to a manageable three:
• Cincinnati Bengals (100/1). As is typical, too many bettors will be blinded by history for several weeks of the 2021 NFL season, particularly with regard to the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, at 14/1 and 40/1 respectively, are already laughably short considering the real lack of offseason improvement through acquisition. By contrast, the Bengals can essentially completely reconstruct the offensive line that had Joe Burrow running for his life early and often in ’21 through adding former Minnesota Vikings OT Riley Reiff via free agency and drafting OG Jackson Carman (Clemson) in round two, OT D’Ante Smith (East Carolina) in four, and C Trey Hill (Georgia) in six.
Add to the mix Ja’Marr Chase and you’ve got what could well be the league’s most improved team season-on-season – say from 4-11-1 to 9-8 or 10-7 – not to mention a bona fide playoff contender with seven teams in each conference’s postseason bracket.
• Las Vegas Raiders (80/1). Putting aside the possibility of Aaron Rodgers sneaking over to the Denver Broncos (an eventuality that drops in likelihood literally daily), the Raiders will need to contend with two expected 10-win teams in the Chiefs and Chargers. Atop this, the Raiders are an unimpressive 19-29 since Gruden re-took over in Oakland/Las Vegas and, while maximizing Derek Carr’s skills (the Raiders were top-10 in passing yards and points for the only the third time since Jerry Rice was on the team), the defense has degenerated to among the league’s worst.
On the other hand, check out Gruden & Co.’s draft selections: two OLs and five defenders; this marks the first NFL Draft of the seven-round era in which the Raiders did not pick any offensive “skill players.” If ol’ Chucky somehow pulls off a Lombardi Trophy win in 2022, 19 years will have passed since the last time his team played in the Super Bowl – This would tie the mark for longest gap between ’Bowls by a head coach set by who else but Dick Vermeil of the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles and the 1999 Rams.
• New York Giants (75/1). NFLbets knows: Daniel Jones will never be counted among the league’s elites. However, neither was two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning; on the other hand, Eli started with teams that had gone 8-8 and 10-6 in seasons previous to ’Bowl runs. As with the Bengals, the biggest plus for the Giants in 2021 could be their overrated division mates. NFLbets believes the Washington Football Team will be good for 10 wins minimum, but the Eagles are at least retooling their franchise and, really, is anyone depending on competitiveness from the Cowboys, to whom craziness always seems to cripple?
And while the offense ranked bottom-3 in points scored, overall yardage, passing yardage and first downs, the presumably still badass Saquon Barkley returns as does most of last season’s more than respectable defense.
The 2021 New York Giants winning Super Bowl LVI – Stranger things have happened in NFL football, after all. Likesay, some dude from the Arena League powering the greatest offensive season by an NFL team ever seen…
After yet another season as the weakest division cumulatively, the teams of the NFC East should be expected to be doing some roster shuffling and quarterback-carousel riding in offseason 2021. None of the four have made acquisitions enough to move the odds in the “To Win Super bowl LVI” and “To Win NFC East” significantly, though the two favorites are getting some action.
On Super Bowl Monday and the release of first lines in the Super Bowl 2022 proposition bet, odds on the four teams read as follows.
Dallas Cowboys: 30/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 50/1
Washington Football Team: 60/1
New York Giants: 66/1
You’d think that the serious fluctuations in the lines caused by the Los Angeles Rams’ acquisition of Matthew Stafford and the Chicago Bears’ of Andy “The Red Rifle” Dalton would ripple through this division after moves bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick to Washington, Joe Flacco (no, really) to Philadelphia and Mike Glennon to the Giants – and they have, to some extent: The Cowboys’ odds to win the ’Bowl may now carry odds as low as 25/1 after the ’Pokes re-signed Dak Prescott, apparently.
But here’s the crazy thing; someone – or someones – appear to be throwing serious cash at most of these teams. Current odds in the “To Win NFC East” proposition bet, according to My Bookies, are as follows with odds in the same prop from one month ago are in parentheses.
Dallas Cowboys: 10/11 (10/11) Washington Football Team: 7/2 (5/1) Philadelphia Eagles: 7/2 (5/1) New York Giants: 5/1 (10/1)
Brutal, eh? NFLbets supposes that taking one of the lower three listed is a decent enough value play, but even on winning will bettors kick themselves for not covering the given team sooner. As irrational as it sounds, NFLbets is considering wagering on Washington in this prop.
No, Fitzpatrick is no savior but all Washington truly needs to compete in 2021 is competence. In one of the biggest disparities since Kurt Warner’s St. Louis Rams were outscoring teams 41-37 every other week, the Washington defense ranked no. 3 (Just ahead of the Rams) in the DVOA metric, while the offense – which ran with three different starters in 2020, the first of which was released by years’s end – ranked no. 32 (just below the New York Jets).
Thus far in offseason 2021, the Football Team essentially swapped out CBs, giving up Ronald Darby (who signed with the Denver Broncos) for William Jackson (from the Cincinnati Bengals). Otherwise, every major player on the defense returns. Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio return, bgi plusses for a fairly young D.
Naturally, offense remains a serious issue with Washington: The FT will certainly be counting on turning the no. 19 overall pick in the draft into a viable option at left tackle to fill 11-year man Trent Williams’s spot there. Fitzpatrick surely hopes so.
And speaking of Fitzpatrick, somewhere post-Washington signing the Ryan-themed meme began circulating the internet, blowing virtual minds with the fact that the QB has never yet to play a playoff game. Fitz is 59-86-1 lifetime as a starter, has played for eight teams and has a .500-or-worse win-loss record lifetime with each.
Of course, an asterisk of two could be applied to these stats. For example, in seven of the 13 of the seasons in which Fitzpatrick tallied more than 2 starts at QB, he played for either Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins or New York Jets with an AFC East lorded over by the Belichick & Brady New England Patriots – not to mention, you know, being with the Bills, Dolphins or Jets. Additionally, in 2015, his last season as a bona fide opening day starter, Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 season and a no. 7 seed that would’ve earned a postseason bid in ’20 or ’21…
But any bettor who doubts that Fitzpatrick is a positive for Washington simply did not see enough Football Team games in 2020. If the dead-last DVOA stat doesn’t say enough, just look to the mundane statistics: starters Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith combined for 15 TDs against 16 interceptions and a ridiculous 49 sacks taken. Kyle Dwayne Smith, then, was “good” for a 79.35 QB rating, putting hims at 21st overall in the stat, right in between Daniel “Dimes” Jones and, well, Alex Smith.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, making the playoffs for the first time in his career at the age of 39? Well, why not? This is the NFC East, where 9-7 can be considered dominant…
In football, it has been observed, the quarterback has a disproportionate amount of influence on the outcome – apparently, this goes for proposition bet futures, as well. Case in point: The Chicago Bears and their spiffy new free-agent signing, Andy “The Red Rifle” Dalton.
As reported at ESPN online – one can almost hear the tsk-tsking underneath the prose – “The possibility of landing a marquee quarterback this offseason had caused the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl odds to improve slightly in recent weeks. But on Tuesday, after the reported signing of veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, Caesars sportsbook dropped the Bears' odds from 40-1 back to 50-1.
One takeaway from this odds seesaw: Apparently, mere optimistic speculation about Chicago landing, likesay, Russell Wilson, betters the Bears’ chances by 20%. Even if they lost a couple starters and their immediate future on draft day:
Takeaway #2: The sportsbooks are trying to tell us that the Green Bay Packers will win the division in a walk, with odds in My Bookie’s “To Win NFC North” prop currently as follows.
Green Bay Packers: -275
Minnesota Vikings: 4/1
Chicago Bears: 4/1
Detroit Lions: 25/1
Note the stinginess of the last three lines. At -275 (or 4/1), the implied probability of the Packers winning the NFC North in 2021 is 73.3% – yet the Vikings and Bears are each given a 20% (giggle) chance? This should indicate clearly what a sucker bet anyone except the Packers is here.
But back to Dalton: Is the pessimism of The Red Rifle’s viability as a starting quarterback warranted? (NFLbets excludes Bears fans here; any cynicism felt toward essentially any QB not named Russell Wilson is warranted for nearly 75 years of dead arms.) The short answer, based on stats, is yes. Bears backers, you have been given notice to skip the next several paragraphs.
In 10 years with the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys, Dalton went 74-66-2 as a starter, for an average season of 8-7-1. His personal stats include a 62.2% completion percentage, an average season of 22 TDs against 12½ interceptions and an average AV rating of 10.3.
Meanwhile, from the 2011-2020 span during which the Chicago QB was mostly Jay Culter or Mitch Trubisky, the Bears have managed an average win-loss record of slightly better than 7-9, based on a cumulative 73-87. Altogether, Chicago QBs threw a yearly average 24 TDs against 13½ TDs and completed more than 62.2% in six of the 10 years.
And then there’s this: Chicago is 0-2 in playoff games since the 2011 season, while Dalton is 0-5 and hasn’t seen a postseason since 2015 – NFLbets isn’t sure whether that makes matters even worse or should we just blame Marvin Lewis…
In other words, then, Andy Dalton is exactly the prototypical quarterback that the Bears have been rolling with since at the 1980s, if not the 1950s. As they say then, more bad news for the Bears.
You had to figure that the New England Patriots wouldn’t stay inferior for long, but who’d’ve guessed the domination Bill Belichick & Co. unleashed on the NFL in the opening days of free agency? The signings at wide receiver and tight end – Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Derrick Henry and Jonnu Smith – stole the headlines and with good reason: The Patriots are already looking at a roster with their best corps since 2008, their best 1-2 at tight end since Aaron Hernandez was playing, and Smith is now the highest-paid “skill player” Patriot ever.
Beyond this big four, New England also added DLs Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Henry Anderson; LBs Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy; and safter Jalen Mills, and acquired OT Trent Brown in a trade. Incidentally the Pats also re-signed Cam Newton; New England wasn’t even counted among the offerings in a previously offered “Team to Sign Cam Newton” proposition bet, but hold your tickets (if you were foolhardy enough to play the prop), as the conditions of the bet call for Cam to be listed onan Opening Day roster.
As a result of the moves, those ready to take a Buffalo Bills repeat division win for granted have been suddenly forced to rethink things.
Super Bowl odds have also been adjusted accordingly: On February 8, the New England Patriots were getting 55/1 odds to win the Super Bowl (and by inference about 25/1 to 28/1 to win the ARC). By Thursday morning this week, they were at 25/1 on My Bookie and listed at 30/1 on the Sports Betting Dime aggregator.
With the additions made already – not to mention the heretofore not undertaken acquisition of a viable starting QB – the 7-9 Patriots are suddenly among the best value bets in the AFC. And despite the rise of upstarts like the Bills, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns as well as the two-time defending conference champion Kansas City Chiefs. 12/1 to 15/1 to win the AFC no longer feels unreasonable at all. Remember, too, that these odds will only get shorter should the Pats indeed manage to bring over Jimmy Garappolo, long-rumored source of envy for Belichick.
Even more intriguing is the strong possibility that the AFC East will be highly competitive in 2021 – at least among the top 3 teams. Post-Patriots feeding frenzy, odds in the “To Win AFC East” prop bet read as follows.
Buffalo Bills: 4/5
Miami Dolphins: 14/5
New England Patriots: 4/1
New York Jets: 20/1
Using implied probability, the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets have a combined 50.1% chance of winning the division, thus betting “The Field” versus the Buffalo Bills should be worth 1/1 odds – quite an intriguing wager right now, if you can find a sportsbook with the offer. Alternatively, covering both the Dolphins and the Patriots would be worth a win paying out at either +140 or +200 – and again, that second figure will only decrease after a quarterback better than 2020 Cam Newton is aboard in Foxborough.
All in all, the Patriot spending spree should be seriously lucrative for NFL bettors. We think.
First, the disclaimer: Yes, NFLbets is well aware it’s too early to be making serious wagers on the “To Win Super Bowl LVI” proposition bet, but that’s not stopping the speculation nor the concomitant shifting of odds is response. And after a second big name-player transaction, the teams of the NFC West are seeing some action months before the NFL draft, even.
Odds on the four NFC West teams to win Super Bowl LVI are as follows, with the current line running first followed by the lines posted directly after the conclusion of LV:
Los Angeles Rams: 12/1, 15/1
San Francisco 49ers: 16/1, 14/1
Seattle Seahawks: 25/1, 22/1
Arizona Cardinals: 28/1, 40/1
Odds in the “To Win the NFC West” prop are:
Los Angeles Rams: +190
San Francisco 49ers: +200
Seattle Seahawks: +300
Arizona Cardinals: +475
Now NFLbets admits that we threw a few moneys at the Rams in the Super Bowl prop on the Monday following the Tampa Bay championship win, with the calculus that the team as is plus a better-than-Goff quarterback could well be enough to handle both the aging and the upstarts of the NFC. Within 48 hours, McVey ditched Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford and the prop-bet line underwent the appropriate shrinkage.
Then the Cardinals went and snagged J.J. Watt, who probably eschewed potentially better competitive situations in Cleveland and Buffalo to stay in warmer climes. And speaking of heading south, so too did Arizona’s odds, with bettors clearly crediting Watt with an outsized contribution in advance.
NFLbets realizes that over the past 10 seasons, J.J. has been the NFL’s top pass rusher statistically but pragmatically speaking, he’d’ve been hard pressed to find a division with better OLs top to bottom: A season-ending article at Pro Football Focus ranked all four NFC West lines between 3rd (the Rams) and 14th (Seattle). And since 2015, Watt’s played just two full seasons (2018 and 2020) with stats nowhere near his All-Pro levels in the first half of the 10s; he’s managed to top 7 points in the approximate value (AV) metric just once in the past five seasons.
The point: Maybe you like the chances of Murray-to-Hopkins becoming a top QB-WR battery or that Watt will help shore up an inconsistent Cardinals defense, but can one defensive lineman, particularly one maybe six years past his peak, realistically increase a team’s Super Bowl chances by 12%?
NFLbets would say Cardinals backers would be better advised to simply take ’em to win the NFC West at +475: Russell Wilson has intimated his dissatisfaction with his lack of support, which we’re taking as a harbinger of an underwhelming 2020 season for the Seahawks, while the 49ers may be giving up on giving up on Jimmy Garoppolo despite the confidence he’s not inspiring in San Francisco. With this many divisional question marks, Watt could indeed be juuuuuust enough to push Arizona past L.A. for a playoff home game – depending on what Stafford has to say about things…
Here’s the thing: Sentimentality and winning money in NFL betting are essentially mutually exclusive. NFLbets can say (write?) with confidence that no bettor ever became prosperous wagering on feelings and hunches. The proper bettor must place the emphasis on the numbers, the trends, the facts and information.
Yet for this Super Bowl, virtually every pregame show, ESPN gabfest or gambling-centered podcast since the conference championship games, the would-be Nostradami are pleased to inform that LV will be a great game, a close game and the Buccaneers might just win because Tom Brady. Get caught up in too much of the noise and the mantra of “Brady the GOAT, Brady the GOAT, Brady the GOAT” threatens to obfuscate rational thought about the point spread, which on Bowl Eve still reads
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 at Kansas City Chiefs
NFLbets implores bettors to stay sane, particularly as regards a certain player wearing the number 12 jersey. When considering how to bet the actual outcome of Super Bowl LV, we’d advise trying to strip away the names and labels. Consider:
• In getting to the final game, Kansas City first ran up a 19-3 lead against Cleveland before holding on for a win with a perennial backup at QB; they then smoked the Buffalo Bills, who had been looking like the AFC’s hottest team. Tampa Bay meanwhile let the 7-9 Washington FT stay within a score in the wild-card round, took care of business against a crippled New Orleans side and got past Green Bay because Matt LaFleur forgot how math works.
• In the NFC championship, Aaron Jones fumbled early in the 3rd quarter to allow the Bucs to earn a 28-10 lead after a single 8-yard TD pass. Thereafter, the Buccaneers starting quarterback went 6 for 13 for 70 yards – 29 yards of which came on a single reception to a guy considered the greatest TE ever to play the game – and 3 interceptions.
• The Chiefs are currently on a 31-6 SU (21-15-1 ATS) run since kickoff 2019; they’re also on a 25-2 SU run, with one of the two losses coming with second-stringers starting in week 17 of this season; the closest comparison in recent NFL history would be the 2003-04 New England Patriots’ mark of 34-4 SU (28-8-2 ATS). Further, in this two-year span, the Chiefs are 6-1 SU (5-2 ATS) when favored by 3½ points or less and are 28-4 SU (19-13-1 ATS) in all games when favored.
• And from the What Happened to this Statistic Department: For his career, Andy Reid-coached teams are now a ridiculous 24-4 SU after a bye week and 16-13 SU/18-11 ATS in the postseason. With the Chiefs, he’s 6-2 SU (5-3 ATS) including 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS since 2019..
You can see how NFLbets – or even those merely considering these general trends – would favor Kansas City in this game. Of course, there is the actual football to take into account. Putting aside the mystique of Touchdown Tom, the real advantage(s) Tampa Bay has in Super Bowl LV is all in the trenches.
The truth is that the Chiefs defense ranks 31st against the run by the DVOA metric and dead last in the red zone; not exactly the stats you want when facing the twosome of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, guys who have been damaging unprepared run Ds all 2020.
And then there’s the well-publicized shuffling of the K.C. offensive line, beginning with left tackle where Mike Remmers moves from RT in the wake of Eric Fisher’s injury and affecting four of the five spots. Center Austin Reiter is the sole starter in the same position from last year’s Super Bowl win. But recall that a) the Chiefs get a bye week, b) Reid himself played on the BYU OL, and c) Chiefs line coach Andy Heck is an 8-year veteran of the Chiefs and considered one of the NFL’s best. NFLbets believes Kansas City has time to formulate a plan, even one that entails stopping Jason Pierre-Paul and compadres.
But hey, forget the facts if you must. You want a compelling narrative? Try this: In Super Bowl LV, we’ve got a generational matchup of Hall of Fame-level quarterbacks that might only be compared to Namath vs. Unitas, Bradshaw vs. Staubach, Manning vs. Wilson – now recall whose team won those matchups. This very game may be the flashpoint moment, the turning point, the changing of the guard from the Brady/Roethlisberger/Rodgers lot (and peers like the Mannings, Brees and Rivers already gone) eclipsed by a surprisingly massive wave of exciting young QBs starting with two-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and including Josh Allen, DeShaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, etc.
And with a win, the fledgling would-be GOAT will have led his team to this first Super Bowl championship repeat since who else but those 2003-04 Patriots. Who, except for maybe Gisele Bundchen, not appreciate such a narrative? Take the Kansas City Chiefs -3 vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and enjoy the history of the moment.
NFLbets’ favorite Super Bowl proposition bet is certainly the good old “Super Bowl MVP” market: Winning this prop on a perceived longshot can save your Super Bowl or can recoup lotsa losses on a well-played hedge. With two ultra-hyped quarterbacks drawing most of the action, Super Bowl LV has a number of scintillating opportunities for the wagering. We’ll start with the obvious, namely…
• Patrick Mahomes, 20/23
• Tom Brady, 2/1. At 2/1, Brady is getting longer odds in this prop than in any Super Bowl he’s played in after 2002; he’s therefore an excellent double-down bet if you’re backing Tampa Bay as well as a great loss-recouping hedge for Kansas City bettors. The danger in betting Brady for MVP is if he more closely resembles the game-managing, defense-dependent Peyton Manning of Super Bowl 50 rather than the unafraid airing-it-out Peyton manning of Super Bowl XLI – though we have the former possibility covered as well; see below.
By contrast, Mahomes at lower than 1/1 really only makes a decent hedge if you’re firmly in the Buccaneers camp. Given that the next-nearest Chief in the MVP prop opened at 10/1 odds, the sportsbooks are essentially telegraphing that a Kansas City win most likely results in a second straight Mahomes MVP title. With Chiefs -3½ at -105 and Chiefs ML at -170, if you believe in a last-second 3-point or less win by his team, the Mahomes MVP bet is a great play. Even better for Chiefs backers, though, are the other two studs K.C. is bringing…
• Tyreek Hill, 17/2 (down from 10/1) • Travis Kelce, 21/2 (up from 10/1). Considering the stats these two have put up in the playoffs, in week 11 versus these Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, and essentially all season, these odds are well too long.
The betting reflets this take; the odds posted herein are courtesy My Bookie. Certainly not too many other sportsbooks are seeing a swing of -150, but Hill is clearly getting some love from the betting public. Hill is a decent value bet here based on his record-breaking performance in the week 11 game, but one can’t help imagine that Bruce Arians will cook up double teams and serious coverage on Tyreek, particularly in the first half so as to remove that part of the playbook for Kansas City.
But then there’s Kelce who spent the entire AFC Championship Game against Buffalo burning double- and even triple-coverages to the tune of 13 receptions, 118 yards receiving and two TDs; Hill meanwhile was good for 152 yards on 8 catches versus Buffalo. For the Super Bowl, the return of Sammy Watkins can only make things more difficult.
So if Kelce is such a great bet in the Super Bowl MVP prop, why are his odds increasing? Common wisdom seems to be that, with the Chiefs having to rejigger the offensive line somewhat for this game, Kelce will be deployed as a blocker. After his 2020 season as essentially the NFL’s most productive receiver plus Andy Reid’s point-a-minute philosophy since coaching Mahomes, this doesn’t feel like the most plausible scenario – nor does Kelce becoming the first-ever TE to win this MVP seem far-fetched at all.
• Devon White, 25/1 to 30/1
• Jason Pierre-Paul, 30/1 to 80/1. So say Brady does throw a game akin to Peyton Manning’s in Super Bowl 50, and say the Chiefs’ stapled together offensive line succumbs to Tampa Bay’s relentless pass rush early and often. With Brady likely to divide up targets as per normal with these Bucs while Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones similarly split the bulk of the carries in a, likesay, 20-17 win, two or three key plays from a defender could win him the award.
Pierre-Paul will certainly receive much of the media’s and Kansas City OL’s attention throughout the first half in lining up against Mike Remmers, who moves from RT to LT in the wake of Eric Fisher’s injury. Early into the Bowl, we should see quite clearly the effect this matchup will have on the game’s complexion. A couple of sacks on Mahomes to go with a turnover or even a forced turnover will certainly win some MVP voters over after a low-scoring game.
Devon White has meanwhile been on a Von Milleresque trajectory in the season’s second half and straight through three playoff games. And while statistically the Buccaneers D has been average, at this point in the season, Tampa Bay may even be considered a defense-first team. White’s main competition here in a Bucs win – even a low-scoring win – would, ironically, be Brady.
Only 10 defensive players have won the Super Bowl MVP award, and only four in the 21st century. Of these four, only one (Malcolm Smith in Super Bowl XLVIII) had a top-10 quarterback (Russell Wilson) at his team’s helm. Smith’s Seahawks turned in perhaps the most dominant performance by a defense in the ’Bowl, however, in shutting out the Denver Broncos for the game’s first 45 minutes. Figure the Chiefs will be good even on their worst Sunday for at least 9 points; after all, with Mahomes at quarterback, these Chiefs have scored fewer than 21 points just twice – and average 35.2 points per postseason game. Brady might not have to do more than throw a TD pass and make no mistakes, even in another 13-3 snoozer…
Yesterday NFLbets confidently asserted that our favorite bet for Super Bowl LV is the over, despite the quite high 56½-point offering. In fact, just once has the over been higher at Super Bowl kickoff time: For Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.
Nevertheless we’re sticking to our over bet if only for the sake of cheering for scoring. As much fun as betting on the under can be, a 13-3 Super Bowl or even a jittery first half ending in 10-10 usually makes for a bummer of a Super Bowl unless you’re talking about two killer defenses, which neither the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nor Kansas City Chiefs truly bring to this game.
So NFLbets is expecting touchdowns, many touchdowns indeed – we’re looking for so many TDs that we’re concentrating our player proposition betting on “Anytime Touchdown” props. The best thing about these bets is that they’re utterly independent of pointspread and money line betting; in our case, it doesn’t matter much who wins (remember, you can tease both teams with either over or under and have both teams getting points: The Chiefs go to +2½ or +3 and the Bucs to +9 or +9½.
Who will score touchdowns in Super Bowl LV? NFLbets likes…
Travis Kelce, -175
In the last 10 games, Kelce’s averaging 8.6 receptions and 112.4 yards per to go with 9 TDs; against Buffalo in the AFC Championship game, the TE put on a crazy show with 13 catches on 15 targets for 118 yards and 2 TDs – while drawing double coverage on most plays. Kelce is enjoying a run at TE that perhaps no one other than possibly, well … Rob Gronkowski has ever pulled off. The Buccaneers statistically are reasonably decent against TEs at 12th overall in fantasy points surrendered and Kelce turned in an average performance – for him – against Tampa Bay in week 12 with eight catches for 80 yards, but the return of Sammy Watkins opens up the deep ball opportunities, good news for Kelce as well as…
Tyreek Hill, -175
As fantastic as Hill has been in 2020, he enjoyed a career day in the week 12 game with 13 receptions for an incredible 269 yards and 3 TDs, the latter as many as the Buccaneers entire offense managed in the game. We absolutely cannot expect Hill to produce anything like that – half as many yards plus 1 touchdown would be impressive enough in a ’Bowl – but Hill went for 172 yards against Buffalo when Kelce and he were essentially the sole options against a top-10 passing defense. With Watkins back, the Bucs D is forced to chose their poison, and Tyreek has looked deadly in two playoff games thus far.
Leonard Fournette, +120
For a guy who appears untacklable at times, Fourneette hasn’t exactly blown stat junkies’ minds in his first season with Tampa Bay. He’s topped 100 total yards just thrice this season (albeit in two of the past three games), but NFLbets likes Fournette to score here for three reasons: Sheer volume of carries, i.e. he’s had 12 or more carries in four of the past six games; his 6 TDs in the past six games; and, most compellingly, the Kansas City D’s league-worst performance in the red zone. How difficult is it to imagine a scenario in which Brady benefits from a questionable pass-interference call in the end zone, followed by a 1-yard plunge by Fournette? Right.
Rob Gronkowski, +260
In weeks 6 through 16 in his reunification with Brady, Gronkowski was good for 3 catches on just under 6 targets per game with 7 TDs to boot. In the past four games, however, he’s totaled just 4 catches. So why does NFLbets like this bet so much? Here’s the theory: At this point in his career, Cameron Brate is a well better receiving TE but few still block as well as Gronk. In the NFC Championship game, he played four snaps, threw three killer blocks and caught one key pass for 29 yards. We believe that there is a special part of the playbook earmarked for Gronkowski and that Brady will be looking for the safety valve, possibly early and probably late. After all, the man was Brady’s best receiver – with 106 yards on 8 receptions – the last time these teams met…
As stated above, the “To Win the Super Bowl” futures bet is ultra-popular, particularly amid the hype of preseason games and predictions cluttering the internet. Obviously no magic formula for choosing the Super Bowl champion exists because Las Vegas would be bankrupt otherwise. However, remembering a few simple facts ‘n’ stats can certainly help in betting Super Bowl spreads and props.
Directly below, NFLbets answers a handful of the more commonly-asked FAQs about Super Bowl odds and betting online…
Who is going to win the Super Bowl?
It’s impossible to make generalizations here, but NFL Bets can tell you which team is probably *not* going to win the Super Bowl: The team with the shortest odds to do so when the season starts. Since the 2001 season, only 10 of 24 preseason favorites or co-favorites even made the Super Bowl; five of these were New England Patriots teams. Those 10 teams went just 3-7. By sheer numbers, then, the preseason Super Bowl odds-on favorite ultimately wins the title just 1 in 8 times.
Who is going to win the Super Bowl ATS?
The outright winner of the Super Bowl through number LIII is 44-6-2, not including the New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks ’Bowl, which went off as a “pick ’em.” In fact, on a single 20-year run between Super Bowls XXII and XLIV, the SU winner was a relatively poor 13-5-2 ATS. So if you want to make ML bet, you might as well bet the team you’ve got ATS – and vice versa.
How many Super Bowls has each NFL team won ATS?
The all-time leaders in amassing Super Bowl wins are the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots (with six each); the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys (five each); and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants (four each). However, at 6-5 SU, the Patriots are only 4-7 ATS. The best bet in the Super Bowl historically has got to be the 49ers at 5-1 ATS; too bad they haven’t won one since Super Bowl XXIX…
Who has more Super Bowl wins, AFC or NFC? And against the spread?
Going into Super Bowl LIV, the NFC/NFL has a 27-26 edge over the AFC/AFL in straight-up wins. Against the Spread (ATS), the NFC does slightly better, at 27-24-2.
Where can I legally bet on the Super Bowl?
For US bettors, this depends on your state of residence to some extent. Early legalizers/decriminalizers of sports and NFL betting such as New Jersey, Delaware, New Mexico and others had physical locations for betting in place when new laws went into effect. As for online football betting, check out our partnering sportsbooks, which are all legal to play on in the United States.
Where can I bet on the Super Bowl online?
Nowadays, those sports sites owned or managed by companies which publicly trade in New York or London will block folks residing in certain states from even *seeing* odds on NFL games. All other sites are fine to play on. Naturally, NFLbets recommends wagering on our partnering casinos; see our pages for great sportsbooks accepting US players.
How do you bet on Super Bowl props?
Once you’ve registered at an NFL betting website or arrive at a “real life” sportsbook, Super Bowl props should be well-publicized and thus super easy to find. In both instances, betting on a Super Bowl proposition bet is the same as doing so for any other bet. Important note: Virtually every sportsbook online or off- offers a handful of weird crossover multi-sport props which are a heck of a lot of fun.
Does Vegas lose money on the Super Bowl?
Because of the nature of the point spread, the money line and the odds offered on other bets, it is extremely rare for Las Vegas and all bookmakers to lose money on any sporting event, never mind the Super Bowl. As an example, Las Vegas was said to take a major hit on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, with 65%-plus of bets on the Patriots minus the points, but more than made of for this loss on the over/under, which had 68& of bettors taking the over, which did not hit.