When the 2018 NFL season started, there were plenty of storylines. Many observers were wondering if Tom Brady would get his jersey sold at Fenway Park, if the league’s reigning MVP would be able to lead his New England Patriots to another championship, and more importantly, would the Super Bowl be any good this year?
After a nail-biter of a season that saw the Denver Broncos defeat the New England Patriots in overtime, 20–18, the NFL odds board was kind enough to give us an answer.
Here’s what the NFL odds board had to say about Super Bowl 54.
Patriots Are Favorites
The Patriots are the clear-cut favorites to win Super Bowl 54, as they are listed at +200 odds to win the game. The underdog theme has been a long-time favorite of ours, since the 2015 season, when the Kansas City Chiefs were a +600 underdog to beat the Denver Broncos 31–27 in overtime. That was one of the best games we’ve ever produced, and the following season, when the Patriots faced the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl 52, we were on the other side of the betting spectrum, as the underdogs went down in defeat.
So, not only do the Patriots have history on their side, but they also have a formula that seems to work every year. When it comes to winning the Super Bowl, few teams have been as successful as New England. The only other team in the Super Bowl era to make it to at least three successive Super Bowls is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have made the playoffs in seven of the past eight seasons. In fact, the only other time the Patriots failed to make the playoffs in a non-strike year was in 2007, when they went 8–8.
New England is a team that seemingly gets better with age. Since their inception in September 1960, the Patriots have made the playoffs in every season but one (2012). They’ve also appeared in 15 consecutive AFC Championship games, winning eight of those contests. One of the prime reasons for their success is the presence of a Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady. The five-time NFL MVP ranks second all-time in both yards (63,533) and touchdowns (441) during his illustrious career. He’s only been sacked 296 times, which is the 8th-fewest in NFL history. So, not only is he a perfect passer, but he’s also a ballerina.
Broncos Are Second-Biggest Favorites
The biggest upset of the 2018 NFL season came when the underdog Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, 24–20. The following season, we saw an even bigger upset, as the Cincinnati Bengals knocked off the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC wild card round, 31–28. It’s fair to say that no one saw that game coming, as neither team scored an offensive touchdown in the entire contest. Although, the defending champion Steelers finished the season with a 13–3 record, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams, the 2018 season still produced its fair share of upsets.
The Broncos finished the season strong, winning three of their last four games, including the playoffs. Their only loss came in the second game of the season, when the Los Angeles Rams upset them, 28–24. However, their strong finish allowed them to regain their place as the second-favorite to win Super Bowl 54. Currently, the Broncos are listed at +150 odds to win the game.
The NFL is a game that’s always unpredictable. In the past five seasons, six different teams have won the Super Bowl: the New England Patriots (five times), San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles. Only the Patriots have appeared in every single Super Bowl since 2006, the year of their last championship. That speaks to the volatility of the game, as well as the fact that no team is truly a favorite to win the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl will likely have the same theme, as only the underdog can hope to shock the world and upset the favorite. As for this year’s game, only one thing is for sure – it’ll be another memorable contest between the Patriots and the Broncos.