With just 5 weeks left in the NFL season, the Postseason bracket is starting to take shape and we are getting our first looks at who may be taking the field this February in Super Bowl LVI. Last season’s Super Bowl champions
remain atop the rest of the league in terms of Super Bowl odds, as the Buccaneers are the resounding favorite to walk away with this year’s Lombardi Trophy at +500. Unfortunately for them, the Super Bowl favorite coming into Week 14 has only followed through with those expectations twice in the last 11 years. That is why I’m here to break down every team with a solid Super Bowl chance, and whether or not I think they’ll make a good future bet
. (If you want to check out my AFC Predictions and NFC Predictions beforehand, click HERE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Current Odds: +500)
Since 2010, Tom Brady has entered week 14 as the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl five times–and he can now make it six as he and the Buccaneers have been cruising through this season. I know it’s cliche but it is INCREDIBLY hard to bet against Tom Brady, which is why you’ll never catch me talking down on anyone that decides to do so. The Buccaneers’ offense is one of the best in the NFL, and that’s even taking into account their lackluster running game. They currently lead the NFL in total points scored, and seem to have big-time playmakers at every offensive position–except for at running back. With a duo consisting of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II, the Buccaneers rushing attack has only produced one 100 yard game on the entire season, coming from Fournette in week 12. In that same week, Fournette rushed for 3 touchdowns, which is almost half of the team’s total rushing scores.
There have only been 8 teams to win back-to-back Super Bowls, with Tom Brady and the 2003-2004 Patriots
being the last to do so; so despite a lackluster ground game, it’s hard to bet against the repeat seeing has Tom Brady has done it before. If you want to play it safe, the Buccaneers are most likely your best bet–but more often than not oddsmakers are wrong about these types of things, so maybe it’s best to look somewhere else as well.
Kansas City Chiefs (+650)
Despite their slow start to the season, and the below-average play they’ve been getting from Patrick Mahomes
, the Cheifs find themselves among the top of the list of Super Bowl favorites yet again. While the yardage is still there for Mahomes, the accuracy is not–connecting on just 64% of his passes while dipping below an 80 passer rating six times so far this season. Compare that to just last year where Mahomes’ completion percentage was 66% and his passer rating only dipped below 80 once, and the difference makes itself clear.
Despite Mahomes’ troubles, the Chiefs have been able to rebound from a tough start and currently stand atop the AFC West. Their defense was underperforming towards the start of the year, but the entire unit has seemed to have found its groove in the last few weeks, allowing just an average of 10.6 points per game in their last 5 games.
If their defense continues to find success, and if Patrick Mahomes can return to last year’s form, the Chiefs could very easily see themselves overtaking the Buccaneers as the sole favorite to win the Super Bowl. With a relatively weak AFC conference this year as well, the Chiefs may be a safe bet to go all the way.
New England Patriots (+700)
At the start of the season, the Patriots were a whopping +3000 to take home the Lombardi Trophy–and just three months later they are the third-most likely to win it all. A lot of that is due to the success rookie Quarterback Mac Jones has been having, leading the Patriots to a fantastic 9-3 start to the season. The Patriots defense also deserves a chunk of the credit, seeing as they’ve allowed the least touchdowns (both through the air and on the ground) this season, and currently lead the league in interceptions as well. Oh, and there’s Bill Belichick.
The only reserve I have with this Patriots Super Bowl bet is the historic success–or lack thereof–we’ve seen from rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs. No Rookie QB has ever led their team to the Super Bowl, and only a handful have even reached the Conference Championship (Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, and Big Ben to name a few). It does help that the main cornerstone of this Patriots offense has been the run game this year, so some pressure is released from Jones’ shoulders–but nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see how Bill Belichick can navigate these historically murky waters.
Arizona Cardinals (+750)
The Cardinals currently have the best record in all of the NFL and have one of the most productive offenses in the NFL–so why are they so low? Well to start, the Cardinals have only beaten two above-.500 teams so far this season. I get it, you can only beat the team that’s in front of you, but it’s hard to get a gauge on how good this Cardinals team truly is when they haven’t played a competitive team since Week 9. Regardless, winning 10 games in 13 weeks isn’t easy, so credit has to be given where credit is due.
Up until an injury threw a bit of a wrench into things, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was off to a great start, and was even an MVP favorite. He returned just last week with a nice return performance, and looks to get right back in the swing of things as the season comes to a close.
We’ll get a better look at this Cardinals team in the next couple of weeks, seeing as they play the Colts, Rams and Cowboys in the last five weeks of the season. If the Cardinals can win four out of these last five games they would comfortably come into the playoffs with the #1 overall seed, and can easily ride a hot wave all the way to the Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers (+750)
The Packers round out our top five and pose a real threat to the Lombardi Trophy after having rebounded off of a tough start to the year. Aaron Rodgers has been phenomenal this year, throwing only 4 interceptions and averaging a QBR of 105.5 throughout the entire season. The Packers have won some key games throughout the season, beating the Bengals, Cardinals, and Rams in the last 8 weeks, and always pose a threat in the playoffs ESPECIALLY when playing at home. The Packers have a giant lead on the rest of the NFC North as well, so a top-four playoff seed is almost guaranteed–and a few more wins could secure a huge home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
I love this Packers team, and could really see them upsetting the Buccanneers and coming out of the NFC Championship game as winners.
Buffalo Bills (+1000)
It pains me to say it, but I just don’t see it for the Bills this year. They have been way too inconsistent throughout the season, and have little to no run game to compliment Josh Allen’s offense. If Josh Allen is having a bad game, or if the opposing secondary is strong, then the Bills really have no offensive production which will prove brutal in a tight playoff environment. I will be avoiding the Bills this postseason.
Los Angeles Rams (+1200)
The Rams have to decide upon whether or not they’re a good team right this second. The Rams looked untouchable before their three-game skid (losses coming from the Titans, Niners, and Packers) and have to close out the season with some big games against the Cardinals, Vikings, Ravens, and Niners. If they can make it out of this stretch of games without skidding into a slump, I love the Rams this postseason. Matt Stafford has been making up for the time he spent in irrelevance on the Lions with spectacular play, and the Rams offense is a nightmare side to have to match up against in the playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys (+1300)
One of the biggest problems for this Cowboys team is their performance against good teams–and unfortunately for them, only good teams make the playoffs. The Cowboys are 3-3 against teams that are currently at or above .500, and two of thise wins came very early in the season against the Chargers and Patriots, which was before they were really able to figure themselves out. Regardless, it’s hard to ignore the Cowboys strength on offense, but their blaring defensive struggles are hard to look by. The Cowboys should worry about winning the East before they even consider winning the Super Bowl seeing as how they have 4 divisional games in their last 5 weeks.
Baltimore Ravens (+1600)
Don’t look now, but the Ravens are in a bit of trouble. If the Ravens want to stand a chance, they need Lamar Jackson
to spring back into midseason form because he has been borderline BAD recently. The Ravens have one of the worst passing defenses in the league, but follow it up with one of the best rushing defenses, so forcing opponents to throw the ball (and make mistakes) is never a bad idea in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2100)
I know it’s hard to place a Super Bowl future on a team that could miss the playoffs, but this Chargers offense is one of the scariest in the league. Justin Herbert appears the be the real deal, and has a handful of weapons to utilize between Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at receiver, and Austin Eckler at runningback. They have a very strong secondary but give up A LOT of yards on the ground, but they have the offense to back up a shaky defense. If the Chargers make the playoffs, it’s definitely a team I would keep my eye on.
Cincinnati Bengals (+3900)
Another team that may miss the playoffs, the Bengals are a deep sleeper that could really make a run towards the Super Bowl this year. Contrary to previous years, the Bengal’s defense has actually been pretty solid this year, and match that up with their explosive offense and you find yourself a contender for this year’s Lombardi Trophy.
AFC ROUND ONE:
#1 Kansas City Chiefs BYE
#2 Tenessee Titans over #7 Pittsburgh Steelers
#6 Los Angeles Chargers over #3 New England Patriots
#4 Cincinnati Bengals over #5 Buffalo Bills
AFC ROUND TWO:
#1 Kansas City Chiefs over #6 Los Angeles Chargers
#4 Cincinnati Bengals over #2 Tennesee Titans
AFC ROUND THREE: #1 Kansas City Chiefs over #4 Cincinnati Bengals
NFC ROUND ONE:
#1 Arizona Cardinals BYE
#2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers over #7 Philadelphia Eagles
#3 Green Bay Packers over #6 Washington Football Team
#5 Los Angeles Rams over #4 Dallas Cowboys
NFC ROUND 2:
#5 Los Angeles Rams over #1 Arizona Cardinals
#3 Green Bay Packers over #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC ROUND 3:
#3 Green Bay Packers over #5 Los Angeles Rams
Green Bay Packers over Kansas City Chiefs