Three underdogs pulled outright upsets in the Wild Card round. That runs the against the spread record to 10-0 since last year’s playoffs. The race to win the Vince Lombardi trophy looks wide open. As has been the case all year long, there’s been no, true front runner, but the oddsmakers have pushed the New Orleans Saints to the top of the pile by a strong margin. They are nearly half the price of the Kansas City Chiefs, who are sitting in second position. Here are the current odds to win Super Bowl LIII of the remaining eight teams and three bets to win the NFL championship:
Odds to win Super Bowl Llll
New Orleans Saints +225
Kansas City Chiefs +400
Los Angeles Rams +450
New England Patriots +600
Los Angeles Chargers +900
Indianapolis Colts +1200
Philadelphia Eagles +1600
Dallas Cowboys +2000
New Orleans Saints (+225 odds to win Super Bowl LIII) – The Saints are the most complete team in this year’s playoffs. New Orleans won 10-straight games on their way to a No. 1 NFC seed and 13-3 record. A late season 31-28 victory over the Steelers secured the Saints spot as the top team. A 30-20 road redemption win over the Vikings followed by a 45-35 victory over the Rams the following week in early November showed they were a team on rise. Two weeks later, the Saints crushed the Super Bowl champs 48-7, and now get a rematch with the Eagles in the divisional round. With a proven playoff and Super Bowl winning coach, and future Hall of Fame quarterback, the Saints are in good hands. Drew Brees had another exceptional season leading one of the leagues top offenses. And at age 39, Brees also posted the league’s No. 1 QB rating (115.7) while taking the fewest quarterback hits in the league. He was sacked the fewest times (20) in the NFC. The No. 1 run defense and best special teams according to Football Outsiders, along with the fewest penalties in the NFC, adds to the Saints’ outstanding profile as the team to bet on and beat. The Saints scored 43 points in a road victory over Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, host of Super Bowl Llll. No team looks more reliable, more complete or more devastating. Should they survive Philadelphia in the Divisional Round, these futures odds are going to be squeezed even tighter.
Kansas City Chiefs (+400 odds to win Super Bowl LIII)- In the new NFL where scoring is setting records and averaged 46.3 points per game this season, the Chiefs set the standard. Kansas City secured the No. 1 AFC seed thanks to a creative, dynamic offense with proven head coach Andy Reid calling the shots and league MVP Patrick Mahomes making the plays at quarterback. The Chiefs averaged 35.3 points per game and the 54-51 shootout loss to the Rams on Monday night football set records and will long be remembered as the game that changed the scoring expectations and future teams outlook in the NFL. It’s already shaping the profiles of the new head coaches being hired, and the expectation of delivering more offense and production.
Mahomes passed for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns with the league’s No. 2 QB rating (113.8). The Chiefs home field will need to hold up, but without a dominant defense to slow them down, this could be the year a Super Bowl winner emerges without a quality defense. The Chiefs deficient defense allowed 405.5 yards per game this season to rank No. 31 in the league. The scoring defense (26.9) and yards per play defense (5.9) ranked in the bottom third of the league. And the Chiefs were also the most penalized team bar none.
Kansas lost on the road this season to playoff teams New England, Seattle and the LA Rams. Quarterbacks playing in their first playoff game all lost last week going 0-3. Two of them were in the AFC and played poorly. Mitchell Trubisky (Chicago) played pretty well, but even with the Bears dominating on defense, it wasn’t enough as the “double-doink” kick and missed field goal showed there is a small margin between winning and losing, and that makes it hard to swallow these odds to win Super Bowl LIII at 4-to-1.
Patrick Mahomes will need to rise to the occasion in his first playoff season if the Chiefs hope to win it all and give Andy Reid his first Super Bowl title as one of the games top coaches. Plenty of concerns in the Chiefs profile, including the running game since releasing RB Kareem Hunt at the start of December. But with Mahomes and Pro Bowl receivers Tyreke Hill and TE Travis Kelce, the Chiefs certainly have a solid shot. Especially with the league’s No. 1 special teams according to Football Outsiders. Kansas City supporters have much optimism in their push through the playoffs towards a potential Super Bowl championship.
Los Angeles Chargers (+900 odds to win Super Bowl LIII) – The Chargers bolted out front at Baltimore last week harassing Ravens rookie QB Lamar Jackson while building a 23-3 lead. The 23-17 win was more impressive than the final score, and Los Angeles is the most complete team in the AFC as the playoffs continue into the divisional round. They showed it during the regular season winning 12 games. Despite many in the media and betting business questioning Anthony Lynn’s credentials as he calls plays for the first time in the playoffs, this team has the profile to win it all despite a lack of proven, championship winning experience.
It will be difficult to continue winning on the road, but no team was better at that this season than the Super Chargers, who went 8-1 SU/ATS as road warriors. That included a win at Kansas City in a remarkable rally finish. The Chargers won with balance and strength on both sides of the ball led by veteran QB Philip Rivers, who had one of his best seasons in his 15-year career. Along with a solid running game and receivers, Rivers delivers with confidence and is one of the games more fierce competitors. The defense is a top-10 unit with strong pass rushers and a pair of young Pro Bowl players in the secondary. If you missed betting the Chargers at longer odds to win Super Bowl LIII last week, you can still roll over a money line bet each week as they advance and make more money. That’s a better bet for a capable longshot.
Same with the Indianapolis Colts if you like the hottest team and a little Luck (QB) on your side. The Los Angeles Rams could be a consideration with +450 odds to win Super Bowl LII, and are a capable club with plenty of strengths. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here and saying that there’s not going to be a Super Bowl win for the Patriots or Cowboys. As for the defending champs, the long odds to win Super Bowl LIII for Philadelphia are that big for a reason.
You can bet on it.
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay. Check out the BetAmerica Sportswire for more NFL coverage!