With less than a month to go until the start of the new NFL season, most franchises are well into their preparations, but NFL punters looking for early contenders will find a familiar name heading the odds.
Pats Domination to Continue?
The structure of the NFL is designed to ensure that no team can build a monopoly, but no-one has told the New England Patriots. They’ve reached four of the last five Super Bowls, winning three of them. In recent seasons, pundits have predicted their decline, only to be left eating humble pie, so despite the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the lack of depth at receiver and the fact that Tom Brady has just turned 42, it’s no surprise to see them quoted as 8/1 favourites for Super Bowl LIV.
Can Kansas Compensate Poor Defence?
The Kansas City Chiefs scored more points than any other team in the regular season last time and were good enough offensively to win the Super Bowl. But when they needed it most, in the AFC Championship game, their defence let them down. The sheer dynamism of the offense led by Patrick Mahomes might once again be enough to overcome their defensive inconsistencies, but if they want to justify odds of 10/1 they will have to find a way to get past the Patriots.
Fourth Time Lucky for Saints?
For the third season in a row, the New Orleans Saints were on the receiving end of bad luck in the play-offs, and this time it cost them a place in the Super Bowl, when a blatant pass interference call was missed in the NFC Championship game. Can they bounce back? If Drew is at his best, they have a great chance at odds of 11/1. If not, they could struggle.
Superbowl Hangover for Rams?
The LA Rams had a stellar season in 2019, but they were outplayed in the Super Bowl and with a number of key players leaving the franchise, they could struggle to get back to that level. They can be backed at 12/1, while there are a number of interesting contenders at bigger odds, including the 2017 winners Philadelphia Eagles (17/1) the resurgent Chicago Bears (21/1) and last year’s surprise package, the Cleveland Browns, who can also be backed at 12/1.