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The Super Bowl last year ended with a bit of controversy. It was a good game, and for it to end the way it did was a bit of a disappointment. The Eagles were called for a penalty and the Kansas City Chiefs essentially iced the game, scored, and it was over. I can’t say I was disappointed. I like Patrick Mahomes and made money on the game. But, it was still a bit of a dud ending compared to the rest of the game. That was last year, now who should we bet on to win the Super Bowl this year?
The Contenders: Chiefs, Eagles, Bills, 49ers
I put the first four favorites as the preseason contenders. One injury can change the course of the entire season but each of these teams have at least one thing that is elite and can lead them to the Super Bowl and even to win it. The Chiefs have Mahomes and Andy Ried. They proved that even without a top receiver (wide receiver, at least) they can win a Super Bowl. This year they once again don’t have a receiver that you’d consider a WR1 for most teams. They do have Travis Kelce and that makes up for it, but their offense is so good they can win the Super Bowl again, their defense is usually good enough to manage. The Eagles have Jalen Hurts and one of the best offensive lines in all of football. I don’t think I’d bet on them to get back to the Super Bowl. The Patriots were the last team to make the Super Bowl the year after losing it, and that happened just a few years ago. The Bills have Josh Allen and a great offense. Even their defense is a pretty solid group when healthy. They always seem to choke, unfortunately. Finally, the 49ers have one of the best defenses in football and were basically playing without a quarterback in the NFC Championship game. They should have a solid enough offense, but their quarterback situation is a bit fluid so who knows if Brock Purdy will finish the season as the starter. Out of this whole group, the only one that I feel confident in is the Chiefs.
On the verge: Bengals, Dolphins, Chargers, Vikings
You’re getting good value on these teams. The Bengals have one big question mark for the season: just how hurt is Joe Burrow? If he is fully healthy, the Bengals may be the team to beat in the AFC. They’ve made it to at least the AFC Championship two years in a row, and last season were just a few plays away from punching their second consecutive Super Bowl ticket. At +1100, I think there is solid enough value on them to make it and win. The Dolphins offense was awesome last season and if they can find a way to improve their defense, they should have the chance to win. If injury is all that is preventing the Bengals, I should probably mention that for the Dolphins too considering last year was derailed a bit with Tua Tagovailioa getting injured during the season. The Chargers have all of the pieces, but also seem to make a ton of stupid mistakes both on the field and with coaching. They did lose in one of the most embarrassing ways possible last season, so maybe that proves to be a bit of motivation. Maybe the Vikings are higher on their list than they should be because I’ve been watching Quarterback on Netflix and like Kirk Cousins now. I do think they are solid enough though. They have a good team, but Cousins might not be the guy to lead a team to the Super Bowl. He isn’t quite a game manager, but he isn’t quite a superstar. It is a bit strange.
Not on my radar: Cowboys, Jets, Ravens, Lions, Saints
Some of these five teams have dominated headlines over the summer, but I don’t really think they have a chance even though they have some of the better odds listed to win the Super Bowl. The Cowboys are a team I don’t really want anything to do with. They really haven’t been relevant since the 90s in terms of actual Super Bowl potential. The window, to me at least, seems to be closed, but they are a public team, so maybe that is why they have the sixth favorite odds for the season. The Jets are not going to win just because Aaron Rodgers is there. If he really is this historically great of a quarterback, maybe there is potential that it works out for the Jets, but I don’t have much faith in it working out in one season. I’m not sure the offense is good enough. They do have a solid defense and should almost certainly be better. The Ravens are in a very tough division and have had too much drama with Lamar Jackson for me to be confident in tying money up with them this season. The Lions are good, but really? The 9th best odds in the NFL to win the Super Bowl? That seems like a bit of a stretch. Let me see them win the division before I put money on them to win a championship. The Saints have Derek Carr, but that doesn’t mean they will be Super Bowl contenders, it mostly means they are going to be somewhat better but very frustrating. Carr will win them some games but he also will lose them some with dumb decisions.
So, who do we bet on? I don’t think you get great value here with the Chiefs at +600, but I do think they are the safest play on the entire board. They have the least amount of questions in my opinion, and the best quarterback. I don’t think they will win it though. I think the best value is the Vikings at +3500 – I doubt they win, but the odds should be better. If Burrow wasn’t injured, I’d probably take the Bengals at +1100. My official play will be the Bills. I took them last year and they somewhat fell apart, but I think this year they can put it together and will win it. I’ll take them at +900.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024