They’re still sweeping confetti off the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami after Kansas City’s epic comeback win over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV, but we’re already looking ahead to next season’s Big Game. We comb through the early odds to win Super Bowl LV, searching for NFL betting value as to who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy on February 7, 2021.
While it’s no surprise this year’s Big Game combatants top the 2021 Super Bowl odds, there are plenty of dark horses and sleeper candidates that could emerge between now and then. We analyze some of the best value bets to win Super Bowl LV.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – 20/1
Russell Wilson. That’s all you need to be a contender. The guy likely wins the NFL MVP this season if not for Lamar Jackson. Plus, he’s been a winner his entire NFL career. The Seahawks have made the playoffs in seven of his first eight years in Seattle, two culminating with Super Bowl appearances with one title.
Obviously, the days of the Legion of Boom are long gone, but even with a sub-par defense (it ranked 18th in DVOA and 26th against the pass) the Seahawks managed to win 11 games. Now, they’ll need to break the bank to keep DE Jadeveon Clowney, but he’ll be worth it. He spent his first season in Seattle reminding people just how dominant he can be. You can also expect Seattle to upgrade its secondary through free agency and the draft.
Young offensive weapons like WR D.K. Metcalf will have another year under their belt and running back Chris Carson should be healthy heading into next season. As long as Wilson is under center, the Seahawks are going to have a legit chance at the playoffs, and once you’re there, anything can happen.
TENNESSEE TITANS – 40/1
This number seems a little absurd when you consider the Titans were leading by 10 points in the AFC Championship Game just a few weeks ago. But Tennessee has a few big names to resign this offseason, most notably star running back Derrick Henry and Comeback Player of the Year QB Ryan Tannehill. Both are due for big pay days after their respective 2019-20 seasons.
First of all, Henry isn’t going anywhere. Once Tannehill took over the starting job from Marcus Mariota, Henry rushed for 1,124 yards at a clip of nearly six yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. He followed that up with another 446 yards and a pair of scores in three playoff games. There’s a pretty good case to keep Tannehill as well, who finished the season with the NFL’s best passer rating. That is, unless Tom Brady comes walking through the door to re-unite with his old buddy Mike Vrabel. But that’s what Vrabel seems to be building in Tennessee – New England Lite – with a “do your job” accountability that’s beginning to bare fruit.
The Titans also have a talented young receiving corps led by A.J. Brown and an underrated defense that could use a little upgrade in the secondary. The AFC South is a winnable division and once Tennessee gets to the playoffs, no one wants to tackle Henry in January.
CAROLINA PANTHERS – 100/1
Boy, Super Bowl 50 seems like a lifetime ago for the Carolina Panthers. After the retirement of LB Luke Kuechly, the departure of TE Greg Olsen and the firing of head coach Ron Rivera, there are just seven players remaining on the Panthers roster from that Super Bowl run.
And 2019 was a rough one for the Panthers. After starting the season 5-3, Carolina lost eight straight ball games thanks in part to several key injuries – the most important being Cam Newton. The former MVP was sidelined after Week 2 with a foot injury. The other big problem was the Panthers’ run defense, which ranked dead last in the NFL. Losing your two starting defensive tackles doesn’t help, as both Kawann Short and Dontari Poe were also lost for the season due to injury.
But on to 2021! Enter new head coach Matt Rhule, the man who turned around the disgraced Baylor program in just a few seasons: from 1-11 in 2017 to an 11-3 season and a Sugar Bowl appearance this past year.
With some enthusiasm injected by a new head coach and hopefully a healthy star quarterback, it wouldn’t be crazy to see the Panthers have a quick turnaround next year. Particularly when you consider the division. How much longer will Drew Brees be around (or effective)? Who knows what version of the Falcons we’ll see? And the Bucs. They also have this guy named Christian McCaffrey (Google him). And 100/1 is ridiculous. That’s the same as the Bengals and Dolphins. The Panthers are better than that.
Here are the complete Super Bowl LV odds courtesy the Superbook at Westgate:
SUPER BOWL ODDS (AS OF FEB. 7, 2020)
Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Jets
New York Giants
NFL odds for Super Bowl 2021: Titans highlight best value bets and long shots originally appeared on NBCSports.com