As the clock ticks toward the opening of NFL training camps in mid-July the race atop the Super Bowl 54 odds remains tight, with the New England Patriots narrowly edging the Kansas City Chiefs as +700 favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New England has made some notable additions during the offseason, but will be without a big part of last season’s Super Bowl winning squad when it opens the 2019 NFL schedule with a Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.

Five-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski called it a career following the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Other notable losses to the New England roster include defensive end Trey Flowers and tackle Trent Brown. However, the team has responded with the acquisitions of defensive end Michael Bennett and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

In addition, the Patriots have the shortest odds among favorites on the NFL divisional futures, set as a -550 wager to top the AFC East standings for an 11th straight year.

The Chiefs also have endured tough personnel losses during the offseason, most notably All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill, who will remain sidelined indefinitely following accusations of child abuse.  However, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes guiding last year’s NFL-leading offense, Kansas City has emerged as strong -155 favorite to once again lead the AFC West, and closely trails New England as a +400 bet to claim its first AFC conference title since 1970.

The New Orleans Saints lead all NFC squads as a +850 wager on the Super Bowl odds, ahead of the Rams at +900, while the Chicago Bears are joined by the Cleveland Browns at +1200 at sports betting sites.

Tops in the NFL with a 13-3 record last season, the Saints have a lot to prove after suffering a controversial 26-23 loss to the Rams in their first NFC Championship Game appearance since 2010, and remain solid -190 favorites to repeat as NFC South champions.

Following their first Super Bowl appearance since 2002, the biggest question dogging the Rams this offseason is the health of rusher Todd Gurley. The two-time defending NFL rushing touchdowns leader reportedly is battling arthritis in his oft-injured knee, which has done little to boost the Rams’ -130 odds of winning UNDER 10.5 games in 2019.

Winners of just 11 total games over the past four seasons, the Browns sit as a strong -125 bet on the NFL odds to win OVER 9 games this season, and have emerged as +125 favorites to claim their first divisional title since 1989.

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