By: James Tillman
Happy Wednesday NFL fans. With everything that has been going on in the world over the past several months, I’m sure you more than happy that your favorite sport is in full swing. The 2019 NFL season concluded with the Kansas City Chiefs overcoming a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to win their first championship in 50 years.
As is the case when a team wins a championship, the media begins posing the question as to whether the champion can repeat next season. While one week is certainly too early to start that discussion, the defending champions did kick off their 2020 season on a high note (more on that in a bit) but there a few other teams that could make some noise this year as well.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the top three teams who are the odds-on favorites to win the 2021 Super Bowl (according to Unibet).
Third-Best Super Bowl Odds: New Orleans Saints (+1000)
The New Orleans Saints were coming off a season in which they went 13-3. This was the third straight season that they had won at least 11 games. Unfortunately, they were defeated by the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.
That said, you can imagine that this ball club was anxious to get the season off to a good start. The Saints’ opponent in Week 1 was none other than Tom Brady and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a matchup between the two leading passers in NFL history. Although the Buccaneers marched down the field on their first drive of the game, the Saints’ defense forced them to come up empty on their next five possessions.
And despite a somewhat mediocre outing from Drew Brees (18-for-30, 160 yards), the Saints scored 17 points off three Tampa Bay miscues en route to a 34-23 victory and they were the only team in their division (NFC South) to win its opening game.
Second-Best Super Bowl Odds: Baltimore Ravens (+500)
The Baltimore Ravens finished 2019 with the best record in the NFL, going 14-2. However, their postseason run was abruptly ended by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Looking to prove that their success from a year ago was not a fluke, the Ravens kicked off their season by whooping on the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 38-6. Reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards. He also ran for a team-leading 45 yards. So, for those of us who are tempted to crown the Chiefs as champs again, the Ravens are showing that it’s not wise to count them out.
Best Super-Bowl Odds: Kansas City Chiefs (+500)
On the heels of a season that saw them win their first title in five decades, the Kansas City Chiefs faced a familiar foe in Week 1 – the Houston Texans. These teams met in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. In that contest, the Texans jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the second quarter. Kansas City not only erased that 24-point deficit, but they also went on to win that game by a 51-31 margin.
So, what happened when these two teams faced off once again? Well, it was more of the same. The Texans jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the Chiefs rattled off 31 consecutive points. Houston added two late touchdowns to make the final margin respectable, but Kansas City came away with a 34-20 victory.
Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 32 passes for 211 yards and three scores. And on the defensive side of the ball, Kansas City sacked Deshaun Watson four times. Again, titles aren’t won in one game, but the Chiefs sure played like a team looking to successfully defend its title.