How about Tom Brady and those Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to 2021, shall we?
It’s never too early to start thinking about next season, especially when you’re talking about Super Bowl futures bets. With this unpredictably wild 2020 campaign behind us, here’s hoping for a little more stability in the coming season.
That being said, predicting next season this early feels like even more of a crap shoot than usual. The quarterback carousel makes handicapping the 2021 season even more difficult than it typically is ? when doing so one day after the previous season ended.
However, there is always a potential for value. The morning after the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV a year ago, the Brady-less Bucs were as high as 66-1 to win the Super Bowl in some spots. Anyone who got in on that last February is doing some shopping this week.
So, we’re setting out to find the most value in the Super Bowl LVI odds. Here are the favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kansas City Chiefs +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +950
Green Bay Packers +1100
Los Angeles Rams +1200
San Francisco 49ers +1300
Baltimore Ravens +1400
New Orleans Saints +1900
Seattle Seahawks +2000
Cleveland Browns +2200
Tennessee Titans +2700
Here are some teams that could have the most value before the offseason kicks into gear.
San Francisco 49ers (+1300): This might be a slight reach, and 13-1 odds aren’t exactly life-changing if you hit the bet. But there’s reason to be bullish on the Niners for a bounce-back season across the board in 2021. Few teams were hamstrung as much as San Francisco by injuries and COVID-19, for starters. We’re also assuming the 49ers will actually get to play their entire season at home, which wasn’t the case in 2020 when they basically were kicked out of the county for COVID-19 reasons. The Niners unsurprisingly went 6-10, but they had a point differential of just minus-14, which is a field-goal difference from Cleveland, which went 11-5. The 49ers also are very much a QB carousel team. Maybe they move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and find an upgrade who perfectly fits Kyle Shanahan’s system and it all clicks. The path to a rebound is pretty clear.
Miami Dolphins (+2800): If the Dolphins trade for Deshaun Watson, good luck finding a number this good. Even if Miami doesn’t pluck the elite QB out of Houston, the Dolphins are set up for success in 2021. A very nice 10-6 season proved Brian Flores is taking the Fins in the right direction, and now his team has the No. 3 and 18 picks in the draft. That gives them a chance to add some premium talent, whether they keep the picks or move them. It’s a team trending up that is one or two big moves away from getting into the conversation.
Los Angeles Chargers (+3100): It’s the Rams who are getting the Super Bowl buzz after trading for Matthew Stafford, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see their SoFi Stadium roommates host Super Bowl LVI. If you’re a Justin Herbert believer after his 31-touchdown, 10-interception Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign, you might as well jump on this number while you can. Obviously, similar play from Herbert will go a long way to success in 2021. But the Chargers should have a healthy Derwin James and Joey Bosa back on a defense that will be a real problem for teams. If new head coach Brandon Staley could do with the Chargers what he did with the Rams defense as coordinator there, no one is going to want to see LA. The Chargers also have the 13th pick in the upcoming draft.
New England Patriots (+3700): Getting Bill Belichick at 37-1 seemed a lot more enticing before Brady went and won a Super Bowl without him. Regardless, the Patriots are among the many teams with tickets for the QB carousel, and Belichick has been known to pull a rabbit out of his hat before with offseason moves. No team had more important opt-outs in 2020, and if New England gets most of those players back, it should at least contend for a division title. The Patriots are also very well-positioned salary cap-wise, which could be an added benefit if other teams feel the COVID-19 cap crunch. Again, if they go out and find a quarterback, this long number will look like a bargain. Even if Cam Newton returns, there still might be some value in the Patriots — might be. Oh, and then there’s this: You think Belichick is motivated to get back to the summit after what Brady did?
Washington Football Team (+8000): Let’s get weird. While Washington cost itself roughly eight draft positions to make the playoffs only to lose to the Bucs, there’s reason for optimism in DC. The Football Team clearly needs a quarterback upgrade. Maybe it can get into the Watson conversation. Maybe it gets involved in the Teddy Bridgewater or Carson Wentz discussions. Understandably, those names won’t have you rushing to the betting window, but don’t sleep on Washington’s defense, either. Ron Rivera’s team finished third in defensive DVOA in 2020, ahead of teams like the Rams and Bucs. A lot has to fall their way, but with an elite defense like that, it won’t take much offensive improvement for Washington to be a much better team in 2021.