Super Bowl LIII couldn’t have ended quickly enough for me. Between the missed kicks, misfired passes, dropped balls, and general boredom, I was looking forward to next year’s shindig midway through the third quarter.
Shortly after the Patriots locked in their championship victory against the Rams, odds for next year’s big game made their way to the public. Here is a way-too-early look from a few oddsmakers:
NFL Super Bowl LIV (2020) updated
LAR, NO, NE 8/1
LAC, Chi, Pit 14/1
Min, GB, Dal 16/1
Phi, Bal, Ind, Cle, Hou 20/1
Atl, Jax, NYG 40/1
Car, Ten, Den 60/1
TB, NYJ 80/1
Wsh, Det, Buf, Cin, Oak, Ari 100/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) February 4, 2019
Unlike most seasons where the reigning Super Bowl champion is set as the favorite, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs – who lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game – who will start 2019 as the team to beat (6/1) in the football season to come. The Rams, Saints, and Patriots (8/1) are on that next level of contenders, while the Chargers, Steelers, and BEARS (14/1) find themselves in the next tier. To put that in perspective, the Bears were 150/1 in some places at this time last year. Time flies!
Over at Bovada, the Rams and Patriots are viewed as co-favorites at +700 (or 7/1). Following behind Super Bowl LIII’s contestants are the Chargers and Chiefs (+800), as well as the Colts and Saints (+1000) before getting to the Bears (+1300). Before you pull the disrespect card on the Bears being behind five other teams, it would be wise to take note of the potential value here.
Gilles Gallant of Oddshark.com views the Bears as a team with great value. Gallant writes the Bears are one of the two best values on the board as he cites a defense that allowed the fewest points, a quarterback on his rookie deal, and an “offensive guru” leading the way at head coach, there is plenty of reason to believe Chicago could conceivably win the whole freakin’ thing next year. Sure, Cody Parkey and the kicking game turned out to be the team’s undoing this year, but moving on from him should boost the Bears’ odds. What’s not to love about this?
On the other end of the spectrum, the Vikings (+2000) are one of the teams bettors should avoid:
“Where to begin? Cap issues, a quarterback who shrinks in big games, a running game in shambles. These are just some of the concerns for why I think the Vikings’ Super Bowl window has closed but the main reason is playing in the NFC. There is just so much competition for the six playoff spots that I just can’t see how this team can improve based on the lack of cap space. … This bet hinges on Kirk Cousins and I think you’re a fool if you think the Vikings win Super Bowl 54.”
Championship windows can close quickly, but it’s evident that there is a growing consensus about two NFC North rivals going in opposite directions. And for once, the Bears are going the right way.