It’s time to check back in on the Super Bowl LVI odds, because a lot has happened since early February.
Most of the top unrestricted free agents have found homes after a flurry of activity since the official start of the 2021 season on March 17. The Chiefs are still the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season at +500 with the Bills behind them at +1200 in the AFC. In the NFC, the reigning champion Buccaneers saw their odds shrink to +850 after they managed to keep most of their nucleus together for next season. The Packers stayed quiet in free agency like they typically do, but they’re still the second favorites to win the Super Bowl in the NFC. Let’s see what teams saw their fortunes change the most through the first part of the off-season.
National Football Conference
The odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of March 31.
|Team||2020 Record (ATS)||SB Odds (3/31)||SB Odds (2/4)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11-5 (9-7)||+850||+950|
|Green Bay Packers||13-3 (10-6)||+1100||+1100|
|Los Angeles Rams||10-6 (9-7)||+1300||+1200|
|San Francisco 49ers||6-10 (7-9)||+1400||+1300|
|New Orleans Saints||12-4 (9-7)||+2300||+1900|
|Seattle Seahawks||12-4 (8-8)||+2300||+2000|
|Dallas Cowboys||6-10 (5-11)||+3000||+3300|
|Arizona Cardinals||8-8 (7-9)||+4000||+4100|
|Minnesota Vikings||7-9 (6-10)||+4600||+4400|
|Washington Football Team||7-9 (9-7)||+5000||+8000|
|Carolina Panthers||5-11 (9-7)||+5000||+5000|
|Chicago Bears||8-8 (8-8)||+5500||+6000|
|Atlanta Falcons||4-12 (7-9)||+6000||+5000|
|New York Giants||6-10 (9-7)||+6500||+7000|
|Philadelphia Eagles||4-11-1 (6-10)||+8000||+5000|
|Detroit Lions||5-11 (7-9)||+15000||+12000|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+850 from +950)
You don’t typically see the odds for the defending Super Bowl champions shrink during free agency, since it’s usually difficult for the organization to keep the team intact. The Buccaneers proved to be an exception this off-season by keeping most of their stars entering free agency including Chris Godwin, Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, Leonard Fournette, and Rob Gronkowski. The Buccaneers will use this year’s draft to bolster their depth chart as they became the first team to retain all 22 starters from their Super Bowl victory during the salary cap era, which began in 1994.
Washington Football Team (+5000 from +8000)
Washington was the biggest riser since early February, which warms my heart since I gave them out as a Best Bet in my initial Super Bowl odds article. The Football Team has a defense that’s built to contend next season, and the front office made three win-now moves to improve their chances of being in the mix in January. The most important move they made was to upgrade their secondary by landing top CB William Jackson, and they also bolstered their weak WR corps behind Terry McLaurin by signing the rising Curtis Samuel. GM Martin Mayhew and HC Ron Rivera didn’t have many options to upgrade their weak quarterback spot, but they did the best they could by signing the perennially underrated Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal to lead the offense. Washington still has the 10th-most cap space for 2021 so they still have some flexibility to bolster this roster more before the season kicks off.
New Orleans Saints (+2300 from +1900)
The Saints’ odds were always destined to fall around free agency with Drew Brees expected to retire and with New Orleans in salary cap hell. Brees did draw out the process some but he made his retirement official in mid-March, and the hits kept coming for New Orleans with the team losing Trey Hendrickson, Janoris Jenkins, Sheldon Rankins, Malcom Brown, Kwon Alexander, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jared Cook among others. Sean Payton and his coaching staff should never be underestimated, but I wouldn’t be surprised if New Orleans’ odds grow some more before we get to September since the Saints are in a bit of a transition phase.
Philadelphia Eagles (+8000 from +5000)
The Eagles may have been the most mispriced team in the initial Super Bowl odds, but they’ve settled into a more appropriate range following the trade of Carson Wentz. GM Howie Roseman is using this off-season to build for the future by collecting draft capital for the future, which he demonstrated again by trading down from No. 6 to No. 12 in this year’s draft to collect one of Miami’s first-round picks in 2022. Those two trades also gave the keys of the offense to Jalen Hurts, who will be a full-time starter after getting a taste as the team’s starter at the end of last season. The Eagles could certainly outperform their odds as the second-worst team in the NFC, but it’s clear this franchise has more of an eye toward the future than the present.
Detroit Lions (+15000 to +12000)
The oddsmakers already had the Lions as the clear favorites to be the worst team in the league after they traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams in late January. Detroit’s odds lengthened during free agency since rookie GM Brad Holmes has seemingly embraced the idea of tanking this season to set the franchise up for future success. They let Kenny Golladay walk in free agency without using their franchise tag, and they handed out mostly short-term deals to maintain cap flexibility for the future.
American Football Conference
The odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of March 31.
|Team||2020 Record (ATS)||SB Odds (3/30)||SB Odds (2/4)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||14-2 (7-9)||+500||+500|
|Buffalo Bills||13-3 (11-5)||+1200||+1100|
|Baltimore Ravens||11-5 (10-6)||+1400||+1400|
|Cleveland Browns||11-5 (6-10)||+2200||+2200|
|Indianapolis Colts||11-5 (8-8)||+2300||+2900|
|New England Patriots||7-9 (7-9)||+3000||+3700|
|Tennessee Titans||11-5 (7-9)||+3000||+2700|
|Miami Dolphins||10-6 (11-5)||+3000||+2800|
|Los Angeles Chargers||7-9 (9-7)||+3100||+3100|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||12-4 (10-6)||+3200||+3100|
|Las Vegas Raiders||8-8 (8-8)||+5000||+5000|
|Denver Broncos||5-11 (9-7)||+5500||+8000|
|New York Jets||2-14 (6-10)||+8000||+6500|
|Cincinnati Bengals||4-11-1 (9-7)||+8000||+8000|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||1-15 (7-9)||+10000||+8000|
|Houston Texans||4-12 (6-10)||+13000||+7000|
Indianapolis Colts (+2300 from +2900)
I considered betting the Colts at +2900 in early February because I thought the Colts would address their quarterback situation in a meaningful way, and that’s exactly what they did by trading for Carson Wentz. They also had the second-most cap space at that time, but they’ve been focused on retaining key players on their current roster while preparing for upcoming extensions for Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, and Darius Leonard. The Colts still have a major hole at left tackle (or at left guard if they kick Nelson outside), but Wentz’s performance this season will determine if Indy’s odds are way off in either direction.
New England Patriots (+3000 from +3700)
I bet the Patriots at +5000 in my initial Super Bowl LVI odds article, and I was quite happy to see Bill Belichick and company so active to start the off-season. The one thing I didn’t anticipate was the team’s willingness to bring Cam Newton back after his miserable 2020 campaign, but they at least totally revamped his receiving corps by signing Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. New England is also going to get some major reinforcements from in-house in 2021 after they had an NFL-high eight players opt-out for the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns. They’ll be getting the likes of LB Dont’a Hightower and S Patrick Chung back this season to go along with free agent signees in OLB Matt Judon, CB Jalen Mills, and DT Davon Godchaux. The Patriots figure to be right back in the mix of things in the AFC if Cam can rebound as a passer.
Denver Broncos (+5500 from +8000)
The Broncos were mispriced when the odds first came out considering the overall talent on their roster. They ran into some bad luck last year when they lost key starters OLB Von Miller, WR Courtland Sutton, RT Ja’Wuan James, and DT Jurrell Casey before the calendar even flipped to October. Denver did well to keep safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson while also adding CBs Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller to defend Patrick Mahomes and other top passing games. The Broncos quarterback situation is still the team’s biggest question mark once again, which has been the case since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. They failed to bring in any competition for Drew Lock through a trade or free agency, and it’s getting more difficult for them to draft one of the top-five quarterbacks after the 49ers traded up to the No. 3.
New York Jets (+8000 from +6500)
The Jets made plenty of noise in free agency by signing WR Corey Davis, DE Carl Lawson, and DT Sheldon Rankins to big contracts. New York’s odds have still nosedived because it’s looking unlikely that Deshaun Watson will wear Gotham Green this season. It’s looking more likely that the Jets draft BYU’s Zach Wilson with the second overall pick, so this franchise will likely need at least a season or two to truly become contenders with Wilson at the helm.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10000 from +8000)
Urban Meyer and Trent Baalke have had a relatively disappointing first off-season in charge of the Jaguars. They failed to make a big splash in free agency despite owning the most cap space heading into the start of the new NFL season. They primarily focused on improving their defense by acquiring CB Shaquill Griffin, S Rayshawn Jenkins, DT Roy Robertson-Harris, and DT Malcom Brown. They also made some head-scratching moves like overpaying for TE Chris Manhertz and returner Jamal Agnew. Overall, it looks like the Jaguars have their sights set on contending in the near future instead of trying to build a winner in Year One with Meyer, Baalke, and Trevor Lawrence.
Houston Texans (+13000 from +7000)
What a complete s***show! What else is there to say about the state of this organization? Heck, they may not even have a chance to trade their former franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson, because of a growing number of accusations of sexual misconduct. New GM Nick Caserio has been busy filling out Houston’s already atrocious roster with a bunch of cast-offs to one-year deals, and they don’t have a pick in the first two rounds to improve their roster. The Texans will be challenging the Lions for the league’s worst season win total once those lines are released in the near future.