After a wild and crazy weekend that saw Baker Mayfield and the Browns win their first playoff game in a generation, Russell Wilson blowing it in the playoffs, again, and Lamar Jackson looking like MVP Lamar from two years ago, not underwhelming COVID-19 version of Lamar, we are now down to just eight teams left in the NFL playoffs. With an entire week to sit around and wait for more NFL action, we here at TheSportsGeek decided right now was a perfect time to take a look at the betting odds to win Super Bowl 55.
— NFL (@NFL) January 11, 2021
The Super Bowl is the most bet on event on the planet, and there is no need to wait until Super Sunday to get your action in on the Big Game. In this article, we are going to break down each of the remaining eight teams and tell you whether or not they show value at their current price to win the big one in 2021. First, we will get started with the favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs (+200)
The Kansas City Chiefs are deservingly the favorites to win Super Bowl 55, as they are the defending champions from last year, and they finished this season with the best record in the NFL at 14-2, locking up the top seed in the AFC along the way. Patrick Mahomes and company seem to be destined for a repeat, but when you look at just how hard it is to go back-to-back, it makes you wonder if KC is worth a play at these light odds.
We have played 54 Super Bowls, and only 12 teams have ever made it back to the Super Bowl after winning in the previous season. Of those 12 teams, only 7 of them actually completed the repeat and won the game. That means in the history of the league, only 13% of the time we have had repeat champions in the NFL. If the Chiefs are able to do it this year, it will put them in elite company with some of the best teams of all time.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 11, 2021
The Chiefs had the top offense in the league this year, but they are banged up as they attempt to make history. Starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered an injury at the end of the year and is expected to be back for the postseason, but has not played since December 20th. Edwards-Helaire saw his production fall off of a cliff when the Chiefs added Leveon Bell to the backfield, but Bell hasn’t been all that impressive, and he too is injured, as the Chiefs start the playoffs. It’s starting to look like adding Bell was a bad move, as both guys have been mediocre at best.
The best way to beat KC is to run the football, control the clock, and keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes hands. That’s how the Las Vegas Raiders upset the Chiefs earlier this year, as they dominated the time of possession by running the ball a whopping 35 times.
When you look at the rest of the AFC playoff picture, the Browns have one of the best rushing attacks in the game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and nobody runs the ball more than the Baltimore Ravens. While the Bills haven’t run the ball as much this season as they have in the past, Josh Allen is amongst the best scrambling QBs in the game, and Buffalo is 5th best in the league in time of possession.
The Browns are coming to Arrowhead. pic.twitter.com/2xmivxDWIq
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 11, 2021
As much as it feels like the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL right now, and I think that they probably are, it’s really hard to win the Super Bowl. And it’s even harder to go back-to-back. I love Patrick Mahomes, but the running game is a mess right now, and if you have to throw the ball 50 times to win a playoff game, you are going to struggle. Just ask Big Ben and the Steelers after they saw Roethlisberger throw the ball 68 times in their loss to the Cleveland Browns last weekend. The Chiefs will be a tough out, but they aren’t the team to back at this price.
The Bet: Pass
Green Bay Packers (+375)
If you look at these odds, it looks like the books see the Packers and the Chiefs squaring off in Tampa Bay for Super Bowl 55. But if you look back at the last several seasons, the books always seem to favor the Packers to win the Super Bowl, yet they haven’t won the Big Game since 2010. Despite making the playoffs nearly every season and being priced as the favorites in the NFC in most years, Green Bay has made just one trip to the Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
I am not going to lay the blame on Rodgers, as he regularly is amongst the top passers in the league, and the Packers again lead the league in points per game this season. But in the playoffs, defense wins championships, and Green Bay just doesn’t play elite D. Not this year, and not in many years in the past. That has limited their ability to win it all.
When I look at the Packer’s path to the Super Bowl, I see one huge roadblock in the way, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs and the Pack met up in Tampa in week five, with the Packers sitting at 4-0 and coming off of a bye week. Despite being -2-point road favorites in that one, Brady and his Bucs embarrassed Green Bay to the tune of a 38-10 blowout.
The league’s No. 1 scoring offense vs. the No. 1 scoring defense.
5️⃣ things to know about Saturday’s #LARvsGB playoff matchup ⤵️ https://t.co/ZbpnwnohYn
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 12, 2021
Rodgers had his worst game of the season against the Bucs, and after building an early 10-0 lead, the Green Bay defense got obliterated by Tampa, as the Bucs scored 38 unanswered points to finish out the game. That beatdown came without both Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette on the field, and with those two guys taking prominent roles in the offense down the stretch of the season, the Buccaneers are only looking even better.
Don’t let the Green Bay defense recent results fool you, this isn’t a strong unit. The Packers finished the year by playing offensively challenged teams like Carolina, Chicago, Detroit, Philly, and Jacksonville. They will get another one of those weak teams this week, with the LA Rams coming to town. But after that, the cakewalk ends as Green Bay faces potential matchups with Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Kansas City, Baltimore, Buffalo, and Cleveland, all teams that can absolutely score points. Another year, another disappointing end to the season for Rodgers and his Packers.
The Bet: Pass
Buffalo Bills (+600)
Let’s take a minute to reflect on how amazing Josh Allen was this year for Buffalo. While most of the mainstream media continued their love affair with Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers this year, if you ask me, Josh Allen is the real MVP. Let’s take a quick look below at the stats of Allen and Mahomes side by side.
|Passing Yards||Passing TDS||Completion %||QB Rating|
So, which one of those players is Mahomes, and which one is Allen? The answer is, it doesn’t matter, as they are nearly identical. The main take away that you should have here is that Allen is absolutely an elite QB, despite the lack of attention from the national media.
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2021
Buffalo finished the regular season on fire, as they haven’t lost a game since early November, and they are on a seven-game winning streak. Buffalo won each of their last six regular-season games by double-digit points, with an average margin of victory of nearly 20-points per game. The Bills didn’t look overly impressive in their playoff win over the Colts, but if you don’t think the Bills can win it all, you are crazy.
The Bills forced the 3rd most turnovers in the NFL this year, and they have the most turnovers forced of any team still playing. A huge majority of playoff games are decided by which team wins the turnover battle, and with the Bill’s nose for the football, they are going to find a way to make a big play when they need it. Beating the Chiefs is going to be a tough task, but if any team can do it, it’s these Bills. I love a speculative play of Buffalo at this price, and they are my pick to come out of the AFC.
The Bet: Back The Bills
New Orleans Saints (+600)
I am shocked that the New Orleans Saints are priced as highly as the Buffalo Bills are right now. No disrespect to New Orleans, but this team is in shambles right now. Drew Brees broke basically all of his ribs and missed a big chunk of the season, and since he has returned, he has shown that he is clearly playing in pain and isn’t at 100%. Similar to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Drew Brees and the Saints always seem to be a sexy pick to win the NFC, but they haven’t done so since 2009!
This is good! https://t.co/CaHTmgOixn
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) January 12, 2021
If this team was at full strength, I could get behind them making a deep playoff run. But with Brees 100 years old and banged up, and many of the skill position players missing time recently due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst the running backs, I think this team comes up just short this season.
History shows us that you don’t want to bet against home teams in the postseason, but it also tells us that you don’t want to bet against Tom Brady in the playoffs either. Somethings got to give in that game, and sadly I think it’s going to be Brees’ bruised ribs that come back to haunt New Orleans.
The Bet: Pass
Baltimore Ravens (+750)
Lamar Jackson was sleepwalking through much of the regular season before finally coming alive in the Ravens wild card win over the Tennessee Titans. Jackson was the MVP last year when he came out of nowhere to lead the Ravens to the top seed in the AFC. That season got stopped short, as Derick Henry ran roughshod through Baltimore, knocking the Ravens out in the divisional round. This year, the Ravens got their revenge, knocking off the Titans behind 136 rushing yards from Jackson.
Baltimore has a lot of momentum, as they have won 6 straight games, but they have completely abandoned the passing game at this point. Jackson has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in a game in six out of his last seven games, and if you can slow down the Ravens running attack, they really don’t have any way to beat you.
“You said you’d do it and you did it.”
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 12, 2021
We saw this early in the season when Baltimore hosted the Kansas City Chiefs and got promptly blown out by 14-points at home. In that one, Jackson threw for just 97 yards in the loss. When you look at the teams that Baltimore beat this year, there are lots of bad teams like Dallas, Jacksonville, the Giants, Cincinnati, and Houston.
I love Lamar Jackson, but this team is just too one dimensional to win in the playoffs. I don’t see any way that they get past the Bills in the divisional round, and if they do find a way to beat Buffalo, we have already seen what Kansas City will do to them. In a vacuum, I might buy that the Ravens are one of the best teams left in the postseason, but when I look at the path it’s going to take to get to the Super Bowl, I can’t back Baltimore.
The Bet: Pass
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+900)
There has never been a winner in the NFL like Tom Brady. The debate that raged on for nearly two decades was whether it was Brady or Patriots head coach Bill Belichick that was the driving force behind the Patriot’s reign of terror in the AFC East. But after seeing Brady flee New England and proceed to have one of the best seasons of his career in Tampa Bay at age 43, the debate is settled if you ask me.
Without Brady, Belichick and the Patriots were dreadfully bad with recent NFL MVP Cam Newton running the show, and I think we can all agree that if Brady were still under center for the Patriots, that they wouldn’t have gone 7-9. In his new home, Brady found the fountain of youth as he threw for 4,633 yards, the most he has thrown for since 2015, and his 40 TD passes were the second-most of his entire sure to be Hall of Fame career.
Our first playoff win from @tombrady‘s perspective 🙌
Full video ➡️ https://t.co/nXJvqBsKhh pic.twitter.com/ZnJmuZDPDL
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 12, 2021
With Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, and Rob Gronkowski all seeing their roles increase late in the season, Brady has been on an absolute tear. In the final three games of the regular season, Brady threw for 1,137 yards with 10 TDs and just 1 interception.
The Bucs averaged more than 40 points per game during that stretch, and they won all 3 games. In the playoff win over WFT, Brady threw for 381 yards and 2 scores without throwing a pick. This is quite literally as good as we have ever seen Tom Brady play, and that has to be petrifying for the rest of the NFC.
I think Tom Brady is going to take the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Super Bowl. The additions of Gronk, Fournette, and Antonio Brown all seemed controversial at the time, but now they look genius moves. Throw in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and Brady has the best group of skill position players surrounding him that he’s ever had. Brady knows he won’t have many chances at taking home another Lombardi trophy, and it would be a huge feather in his cap to win one without Belichick. I think that he gets it done.
The Bet: Back The Bucs
Los Angeles Rams (+2000)
These last two teams don’t really fit in with the rest. While I have my own personal opinions on which teams are going to win in the postseason, I could listen to a case for any of those top teams to win it all. It is a fairly tightly knit group at the top. The same cannot be said about the LA Rams and the Cleveland Browns.
Sean McVay is a great head coach, and Aaron Donald is the single best football player in the NFL on the defensive side of the football. But without a consistent running game, and Jared Goff out there trying to throw a football with a broken thumb, the Rams just won’t be able to hang with the rest of the NFC.
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2021
The defense is really good for the Rams, and I know I just said that defense wins championships, but what I really meant is that a team can’t win without a decent defense. Teams have to be able to score to win games, no matter how great their defense might be. The Rams did manage to score 30 points last week against Seattle, but nearly all of those points were set up by the defense, as they gained just 333 total yards.
In the Ram’s previous 4 games, they averaged just 17 points a game despite playing teams with bad defenses like New England, Seattle, Arizona, and the New York Jets. 17 points just isn’t going to get the job done next week at Lambeau Field, against a Packers team that leads the NFL in points per game. I am sure that Rams fans are content with seeing this mediocre season turn into a playoff appearance and a playoff game win, but that’s as far as the train is taking the Rams in 2020.
The Bet: Pass
Cleveland Browns (+3000)
When I first looked at this number and saw the Browns priced sky-high at 30-1, part of me wanted to back the Browns and hope for a miracle. Watching Baker Mayfield finally start to live up to his ample hype as the number one overall pick when he led Cleveland to 48 points in a beat down of their archrivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, I thought maybe, just maybe, the Browns were going to do something special this year.
But then, I snapped back to reality and remembered that the Browns are the Browns, and for the first time ever, I find myself agreeing with Chase Claypool, as the Browns are indeed going to get clapped by the Chiefs next weekend. Cleveland fans have to feel good about the direction the franchise is heading towards, and the backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is one of the best in the game and should be in place for years to come to surround Mayfield.
— Brad Stainbrook (BrownsWave) (@BrownsByBrad) January 11, 2021
But beating the Steelers was the Browns Super Bowl this year, and after not winning a playoff game since, get this, Bill Belichick led them to a win over the New England Patriots way back in 1994, there is no doubt this was a successful season for the Dawg Pound. Nobody is going to fault Cleveland when Patrick Mahomes scores 50 on them this weekend and ends their season, and that is what you can expect to happen.
The Bet: Pass
Well, there you have it, folks, my picks for the teams that show the most value to make it to and win, Super Bowl 55. For those of you that weren’t paying that close of attention, I see the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing the Big Game this year, and with Tom Brady being the single greatest winner in the history of the sport, and the Bucs also somehow getting to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, I think the stars have aligned for Brady and his Bucs to take home the title. Thanks for reading, and make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s NFL picks page, where we give you breakdown and analysis of the entire 2020 NFL postseason!