The NFL’s playoff picture is beginning to shape up now that the season is entering its final four week stretch. The Super Bowl 55 odds offer some surprises when compared to pre-season betting lines, but there are a few contenders in tow that were not expected to make much of a splash in 2020-21.

Judging by the comparison of the preseason and current odds below, the most disappointing teams thus far in the 2020-21 NFL season are the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles.  

Alternatively, these Super Bowl futures also reveal a few teams that are performing well above the expectations that oddsmakers had placed on them before the season began, namely the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, and Miami Dolphins.

Super Bowl 55 Winner

*December 10, 2020 (vs. June 28, 2020) @Bovada

Kansas City Chiefs +200 (+600)
New Orleans Saints +500 (+1000)
Green Bay Packers +800 (+2400)
Pittsburgh Steelers +800 (+2200)
Los Angeles Rams +1400 (+6000)
Seattle Seahawks +1400
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1500
Buffalo Bills +1600
Baltimore Ravens +2500
Cleveland Browns +2800
Indianapolis Colts +2800
Tennessee Titans +2800
Miami Dolphins +5500 (+8000)
New York Giants +5500 (+9000)
Arizona Cardinals +6600
Washington Football Team +6600 (+150000)
Las Vegas Raiders +7500
Minnesota Vikings +7500
New England Patriots +10000 (+1200)
San Francisco 49ers +10000 (+900)
Philadelphia Eagles +15000 (+2000)
Chicago Bears +30000
Dallas Cowboys +30000 (+1600)
Detroit Lions +50000
Atlanta Falcons +75000
Carolina Panthers +75000
Denver Broncos +100000
Houston Texans +100000

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have suffered numerous injuries in 2020-21 but are still capable of qualifying for the playoffs this year. It isn’t likely to happen, but bettors should take note that San Francisco is a resilient organization that has a solid program in place.

That means their backups are expected to perform as well as the starters, and while that is an unreasonable expectation, it provides a consistent on-field product that remains competitive even when the team suffers a catastrophic injury or two.

New England Patriots

Don’t look now, but the Patriots are playing solid football and are alive in the AFC Wild Card chase. Their schedule is somewhat favorable over the coming weeks, and online NFL betting sites still feature them in the running, although toward the back end.

Still, New England represents a legit dark horse in the AFC and could prove a difficult out if they can get some momentum going – and it appears that they have.  

Dallas Cowboys

Whether Dallas is any good or not, they tend to get more focus than they deserve because of their standing as “America’s Team.” The NFC East is likely the weakest division in pro football, but because all of the teams are lousy, it is also one of the most competitive. Dubbed the NFC Least in 2020-21, Dallas figured to have the most talented roster and the easiest path to winning the division.

Flash forward six months and Dallas is 3-9, but somehow still alive in the NFL Playoff hunt. Despite the fact that they have not been eliminated from postseason contention, they are still being counted out by oddsmakers, as their +30000 money line odds equals a near impossibility of winning a title.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are also a member of the NFC Least, and because they are the most competently mediocre franchise among the four, they tend to win the division. Like the Cowboys, they have yet to be eliminated, but they are also being counted out at sportsbooks and have been disappointing across the board this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers just suffered their first loss of the season to the Washington Football Team, but perhaps that “L” will take the monkey off of their back and allow them to focus on Super Bowl LV. History suggests that they’ve got a strong shot at advancing to the championship game based on their current 11-1 record, and they’ve improved in the odds from +2200 to +800 over the past 6+ months.

All of the Super Bowl predictions we’ve calculated this week feature either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Steelers advancing to the final game.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have returned to routine championship form and that change took place when head coach Matt LaFleur took over in 2019. As long as coach LaFleur and Rodgers are present in Green Bay, we expect them to keep knocking on the door to another Super Bowl title.

For some reason, oddsmakers weren’t showing them that level of respect in the preseason, and that’s why we always suggest laying some action on some of those early season championship lines to take advantage of the potentially massive paydays.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins currently hold the #6 seed in the AFC Playoffs but that hasn’t translated to favorable SB LV odds. Still, they’ve improved from +8000 to +5500, and their 8-4 record implies that coach Flores has them on the right track after almost two full seasons in charge. Expect that trend to continue, and don’t be surprised if they indeed earn a spot in the playoffs this year – well ahead of schedule.

Los Angeles Rams

It seems like an eternity since the Rams blew Super Bowl 53 to the Patriots, but here they are, right back in the 2020-21 playoff hunt. Despite featuring much of the same roster and putting up good statistics, they can’t seem to get it together as a team and finish strong.

This year appears to be different, as they’ve taken the lead in the NFC West and now possess the #3 seed. The Rams have climbed the SB 55 odds, moving from +6000 to +1400 over the last six months.

If LA can manage to hold off the Seattle Seahawks for the remainder of the season, perhaps their odds for winning a title could be worth investigating, as their seeding would be advantageous and the payouts will be enormous at 14X.  

Source: NBC Sports