Three teams on the road to the Super Bowl

The big game is inching ever closer and closer

Super Bowl 54 is just around the bend and 2019 has shown us to be one of the most exciting seasons in a while for various reasons. First, the fact that injuries seemed to take over the league early one. Second, because the Patriots keep rolling, but suddenly are the stoutest defensive powerhouse we’ve seen in decades. Third, because we have so many bad teams, namely the Dolphins have been a pleasure to watch. Their intentional tanking is astonishing and in a freakshow, dumpster fire sort of way, delightfully entertaining.

The Division Leaders are the New England Patriots, the Kansas CityChiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Houston Texans in the AFC. And the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints in the NFC. But when we look at the NFL odds, who are the top teams on the short-list to win the Super Bowl and what do they have to do to get there?

The Patriots +250

Bew England is +250 to win Super Bowl 54. They lead the pack on the Las Vegas odds boards and also to the list in just about every predictive power ranking list. Team Rankings algorithms give the Pats a 31 percent to win the big game. This actually falls quite closely in line with the implied probability of their betting odds, which is 28.6%.

The Patriots are a veritable lock for the playoffs. So they don’t need to do much to get to the postseason at this point. Though they do have a few tough games coming back to back against the Eagles, the Cowboys, and then the Houston Texans. After that, the path is pretty much clear with the Bengals, Bills – who will actually provide some challenge–  and the Dolphins in Week 17. For the Pats to lose the division, they would have to lose at least two more games, including their head-to-head with the Bills, and the Bills would have to win out. Even still, they would most likely make a wild card spot.

New Orleans Saints +500

The Saints are second on the list to make it to the Super Bowl. Through the entire Drew Brees injury, the Saints managed to hold on and go 7-1. Then they suddenly drop a game to the Atlanta Falcon and in an amazingly bad fashion to move to 7-2. The Falcons are probably the league’s biggest disappointment this season. But that is the thing about division rivalry games, you can never count it ahead of time as a win … even if the rival has been playing terribly. 

Team Rankings has the Saints listed back at No. 7 on their power ranking charts, which is incongruent with the betting odds. The predictive algorithms show the Saints as only having a 7 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, which is much worse than the 16.7 percent probability that their Vegas odds imply. The Saints are likely to drop a game or two more. They have the Falcons on the schedule again, but also have the Bucs, the Titans (who just got a big win over the Chiefs), the 49ers who – going into Monday against the Seahawks– are still undefeated, and they close the season out against a tough Carolina Panthers squad.

The San Francisco 49ers +650

Many of the predictive algorithms show the 49ers to be the team that takes on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 54. They are undefeated for the first time going into Week 10 for the first time since 1990.

The 49ers have the Saints on their schedule, and this game could be the one that gives them a loss. That said, it isn’t necessarily a game that would keep either team out of the playoffs. But the Niners have a tough run of it before that. They have to face the Green Bay Packers – luckily in Levi Stadium because the snows have started to fall in Wisconsin– then the Baltimore Ravens, who are looking like they could be the ones in the AFC Championship game with the New England Patriots, then they get the Falcons who would love to play spoilers, before taking on the LA Rams and finally the Seattle Seahawks.

More in Other Sports