FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tyrann Mathieu celebrate after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
- The Kansas City Chiefs continue to sit atop the Super Bowl 55 odds at +190
- The Green Bay Packers are second at +500
- See the odds for the field and the best bet entering the 2021 NFL Playoffs
The NFL went full steam ahead on the 2020 season and, despite Covid trying its best, completed the regular season.
Now the fun can begin.
For the first time, we get to see the NFL’s revamped playoff format. Seven teams, top seeds get a bye, and two triple-headers to open the playoffs.
Now, 14 teams have a chance to lift the Lombardi Trophy on February 7th. Here’s a look at the updated Super Bowl odds.
Super Bowl 55 Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||14-2||+190|
|Green Bay Packers||13-3||+500|
|New Orleans Saints||12-4||+750|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11-5||+1100|
|Los Angeles Rams||10-6||+2400|
|Washington Football Team||7-9||+8500|
Odds as of Jan 3rd from FanDuel
The Kansas City Chiefs have retained their spot atop the Super Bowl odds throughout the year. In fact, in the waning weeks of the season, only the Bills, Packers and Saints joined the Chiefs with odds shorter than +1000.
Now they get their chance to take a crack at the champs. Or the Chiefs can become the first repeat champions since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.
Top Seeds Hold Two Advantages
Crowds or not, homefield advantage is massive for the Chiefs and Packers. And having that bye week doesn’t hurt either.
Chiefs vs Packers Super Bowl. Would be fantastic
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) December 28, 2020
Lambeau Field is hallowed ground at all times, but in the playoffs it turns into something special. Aaron Rodgers has won four of his last five home playoff games, throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. They were 7-1 at home in 2020.
Kansas City wrapped up the regular season 6-2 at home, but one of those losses was the Chad Henne Week 17 extravaganza.
If Patrick Mahomes were to play today, there’s a very good chance this would be the 5th season that a QB had 5,000+ passing yards, 40+ TDs and a 100+ passer rating.
This would have been Mahomes SECOND such season of his career.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 3, 2021
In four non-Super Bowl playoff starts, Patrick Mahomes has never had to go on the road. He’s 3-1 at Arrowhead with at least 275 yards each game. He’s also thrown 11 touchdowns over that stretch to zero interceptions.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
NFC Field Carries Question Marks
When you look at the NFC’s long-term Super Bowl aspirations, most carry legitimate concerns.
The Saints are serious contenders. But what’s going on at running back? Yes a rejuvenated Drew Brees easily handled the Panthers, but it was without Alvin Kamara (and everyone else). Kamara is far from guaranteed to be back next weekend.
Alvin Kamara — OUT
Latavius Murray — OUT
Dwayne Washington — OUT
Michael Burton — OUT
Saints: 135 yards rushing with 13 minutes remaining to play
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) January 3, 2021
The yardage total is lofty, but Pro Football Focus has the Panthers listed as 28th against the run entering Week 17. The Bears were 8th against the run and 4th in total defense.
Chicago, of course, has their own questions on offense as they’ve been scoring, but it was against the Texans, Vikings and Jaguars. Russell Wilson’s first eight games saw him complete passes at a 71% clip with 28 touchdowns. His last eight? He threw multiple touchdowns three times and eclipsed 250 yards once.
I can confirm @JayGlazer’s report that Mike Evans’ MRI revealed no structural damage to his knee. I’m told that’s it’s too soon to tell whether he plays this week. They will wait and see as the week goes on. But they are hopeful.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) January 4, 2021
Meanwhile Tom Brady and the Bucs can likely breath a sigh of relief when it comes to Mike Evans, but they’ve battled consistency issues themselves. They’re a team that could easily make a run or get bounced next weekend, especially with that Washington pass rush.
Bills, Titans, Colts Provide AFC Intrigue
One of the lasting images of last year’s playoffs may be Derrick Henry destroying the NFL.
That carried over into 2020 as Henry became just the eighth 2,000 yard rusher in NFL history. The Ravens’ run defense has been middle-of-the-road, and while Lamar Jackson’s stat line was good, Tennessee embarrassed Baltimore at home last year.
Kings Stay Kings 👑
Derrick Henry is the first back-to-back @NFL rushing champion since @LT_21 (’06-’07). pic.twitter.com/WksoHtXfe8
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) January 3, 2021
There’s some real intrigue in the Bills/Colts match-up. Buffalo may be playing with the most confidence out of any team in the entire field. While they beat just one playoff team over their last six games, they didn’t play down to their competition. They demolished them.
Jonathan Taylor is a DUDE
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 3, 2021
But they’ll have to contain Jonathan Taylor. While it’s not an enviable task to spend your postseason on the road, the Colts have experience at quarterback in Philip Rivers, a powerful running game and a play-making defense. There are more than a few teams that have turned those ingredients into a Super Bowl run.
Stick With Favorites on Super Bowl Odds
While it may not be sexy, the favorites are where the safe money lies after Week 17.
After all, we know how crazy Wild Card weekend can be.
If the Saints survive the Bears, or their Covid picture clears up, they’re a worthy investment. But there’s some uncertainty there. If you want to look beyond the favorites, then ride the hot hand in the Buffalo Bills.
But the lack of a bye hurts both two seeds.
Ultimately Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs and the Packers and likely MVP Aaron Rodgers are the two best bets right now.