Is Super Bowl 54 the Patriots’ to Lose?
Even though the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots didn’t have the most impactful offseason, they remain the Super Bowl 54 favorites.
According to MyTopSportsbooks.com, the Pats are between +600 (6/1) and +700 (7/1) to hoist a second straight Lombardi Trophy, depending on which sportsbook you’re looking at here.
No other team in the league is shorter than +800 (8/1) at this point.
Why are the Pats such big favorites?
New England is a big step ahead for two main reasons.
The first is track record. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have led this team to six Super Bowl titles with a rotating cast of characters. No other QB/coach combo in the league, active or retired, has come anywhere close. The best predictor of future results is past performance, as pundits often say.
The second is quality of competition. The Patriots still play in the AFC East, and the AFC East is still filled with three other miserable franchises.
Competing against the rebuilding Jets, Bills, and Dolphins means New England is highly likely to win the division again (for the 11th straight time!) and also earn a first-round bye. No other team in the NFL has as clear a path to the divisional round as New England, and teams with a first-round bye have won five straight Super Bowls.
Who are New England’s biggest threats?
While New England remains the favorite for sensible reasons, it’s still far more likely that another team wins Super Bowl 54.
When it comes to Super Bowl chances, quantity trumps quality most years.
According to the odds, the strongest contenders from the field in 2019-20 are:
- Kansas City Chiefs (+800)
- New Orleans Saints (+1000)
- LA Rams (+1000)
- Cleveland Browns (+1400)
If sportsbooks were merely setting odds on who would win a game between the Patriots and any of those four teams on a neutral field, there’s a good argument that the Chiefs, Saints, and Rams would all be small favorites.
They are generally younger, more explosive teams with more depth on the roster, as a whole.
But unlike New England, each one faces stiff competition within its own division, hence the longer Super Bowl 54 odds.
The Chiefs are grouped with the LA Chargers in the AFC West; the Saints have to deal with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers in the NFC South; the Rams will be battling the Seattle Seahawks and now-healthy San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West; and the Browns may have it toughest of all, needing to beat out both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in the grueling AFC North.
So it’s certainly true that New England will face stiff competition on the way to a potential Super Bowl 54 title, it’s just not certain which team from the deep field of contenders will wind up emerging.