Just over a quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL season, the odds to win Super Bowl 54 look considerably different compared to the preseason.
The same three teams remain the top-three favorites, but the odds at the top are much shorter now than they used to be, especially for the outright favorites, the New England Patriots.
Here’s a comparison of the preseason top-five contenders and the current top-five contenders.
|Preseason Favorites||Current Favorites|
|New England Patriots: +700||New England Patriots: +300|
|Kansas City Chiefs: +800||Kansas City Chiefs: +600|
|New Orleans Saints: +850||New Orleans Saints: +850|
|LA Rams: +900||Green Bay Packers: +1200|
|Cleveland Browns: +1200||Philadelphia Eagles: +1200|
All of these current Super Bowl prices are available – Bovada is still the top-rated sportsbook on this list, due to their fast payouts and best mobile betting, hands down which is essential for game day betting on the go. In a league defined by parity, it’s rare to see any team as short as +300 at this stage of the season. But this year is not any old year. The 2019 season is replete with downright terrible teams. The Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Jets are a combined 0-18. The Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals all have just one win, apiece.
In effect, just five weeks into the year, a full quarter of the league (8 of 32 teams) has about a zero-percent chance (give or take) of winning the Lombardi Trophy.
In turn, the chances for the teams at the top have gotten better, led by the New England Patriots. The Pats’ odds are nearly twice as good as any other team, and at least three-times better than 29 teams.
It’s not that the 5-0 Patriots appear to be head-and-shoulders above the other quality teams this year; they are actually second in efficiency behind the 4-0 San Francisco 49ers, per FootballOutsiders.com.
But there are certain practicalities that weigh heavily in the Pats’ favor.
New England plays in the weakest division in football, the AFC East, a division they have won ten straight years. They are virtually assured of making it 11; they’re one game up on the Buffalo Bills and already won in upstate New York. The other two teams in the division (Dolphins and Jets) are, as mentioned, winless.
In addition, the Patriots are at least two games up on every team in the AFC except Buffalo and Kansas City (both 4-1). That means New England is highly likely to earn a top-two seed in the conference, which would give them a bye to the divisional round.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Chiefs, who have long been considered the Pats’ biggest threat in the AFC, just lost at home to Indianapolis after reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes suffered a mid-game ankle injury. Mahomes should be fine, but the loss gives New England the inside track on the #1 seed in the AFC, which would guarantee homefield advantage until the neutral-site Super Bowl in Miami.
The Chiefs and Patriots play later in the year (Week 14), which gives KC a perfect chance to make up that game in the standings, except the game is in Foxborough, where the Patriots are 35-5 in the regular season since 2013. They went a perfect 8-0 at Gillette Stadium last year.
So, even at this early stage of the season, it looks like a near certainty that the AFC’s road to Super Bowl 54 will run through Foxborough. And with New England’s prowess at home coupled with the playoff track record of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (six Super Bowl titles), it suddenly becomes very easy to see why oddsmakers have positioned New England firmly atop the odds.