It has been a long time since the New England Patriots met the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LII. Many changes occurred over the offseason. The Patriots, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on the sidelines, humiliated the young guns of the Rams. The 13-3 win led to New England winning their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.
The Patriots put on a master class to fend off the Rams. But following an offseason of change, should either of these teams still be among the favorites to win the next Super Bowl? After all, there hasn’t been a repeat champion for 15 years.
Do the Patriots deserve to lead the Super Bowl odds?
It’s commonplace for the Super Bowl champions to heed the odds during the offseason unless a huge amount of change occurs within the team. If Belichick or Brady had retired this summer, the Patriots would have likely sunk in the eyes of the oddsmakers. As usual, New England allowed many from their Super Bowl roster walk for bigger paychecks. But as they’re so well-versed in this practice, the oddsmakers trust that they’ll come in as strong as ever at odds of +700.
Next in line are the Kansas City Chiefs. Led by the phenomenal Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the defense struggled. Over the offseason, the Chiefs lost many huge names from their once-formidable defense. The holes weren’t patched too well, so second-place odds of +850 are a bit of a reach. This is enhanced by the fact that Mahomes’ top target, Tyreek Hill, is set to miss a big chunk of time.
Next come the Super Bowl finalists, the Rams. Los Angeles hasn’t changed too much over the offseason, losing a bit of bite on the defensive line with Ndamukong Suh leaving. The biggest question mark, however, is over the fitness of Todd Gurley. The longevity of Gurley’s repaired ACL may be deciding factor for the Rams’ season. With a crop of mighty and hungry players, the Rams probably deserve their +1000 odds.
Just as they have been in the Super Bowl betting of the past, the Patriots deserve the lead the way again. There isn’t a better football brain in the business than Bill Belichick. The legendary coach can out-fox any opponent with any roster. It will take a lot for Mahomes to pull his team to victory every night.
The Rams will still be a leading team in the NFC, with the New Orleans Saints being their top opposition and also at +1000. In spite of the odds, the Chiefs likely won’t be New England’s biggest worry. Instead, the +1400 Indianapolis Colts and +1600 Los Angeles Charges look set to challenge for honors. There are also the dark horse contenders, the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns have given their fans an offseason to remember. Joining the team is Sheldon Richardson, Odell Beckham, Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon, Morgan Burnett, and Philip Gaines. After an unsteady offseason for the rest of the AFC North, Cleveland may just get into the playoffs.
As always, scandals and injuries will alter the course of the season for many teams. That said, the Patriots are so consistently strong. So, it’s hard to see past them getting to the Super Bowl. From the NFC, the Rams and Saints lead the way.