New England Patriots Top Las Vegas’s Super Bowl Odds

Super Bowl 52 Odds - NFL Playoff Odds

The New England Patriots and Houston Texans were top picks to begin the season, but their fortunes quickly diverged.

With the NFL playoff bracket set, Las Vegas sportsbooks released their Super Bowl futures odds for all 12 teams in the playoffs. As one would expect, the defending champion and No. 1 seed New England Patriots are the odds-on favorites to win Super Bowl LII, which will be held in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this year.

One mild surprise is the Minnesota Vikings’ status as the team with the second-best odds. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the National Football Conference, but are seen as the best team in the NFC, because they have the best defense and the most complete team.

The Philadelphia Eagles hold the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage, but lost MVP candidate and star quarterback Carson Wentz for the year in recent weeks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers fill out the top three. Many see a Patriots-Steelers AFC Championship Game showdown as an inevitability.

A glut of other teams are well behind the Patriots, Vikings, and Steelers in the list of odds. Of those teams, the New Orleans Saints appear to be the team with the best chance to win the Super Bowl, because they have a veteran Super Bowl winning quarterback and a solid defense.

2018 Super Bowl Favorites

New England Patriots: +240
Minnesota Vikings: +375
Pittsburgh Steelers: +475

New England Patriots Super Bowl Odds

The New England Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champion and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Patriots have won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls and were a favorite to advance the third year, when the Denver Broncos’ superior defense shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots Offense. In short, the Patriots remain the class of the NFL until someone dethrones them. Despite that, the Patriots Defense has had a wave of injuries, so much so that they signed James Harrison off waivers to give them a boost — a 37-year old James Harrison who has played 40 defensive snaps up to this point. The Patriots have vulnerability, but who has the talent to knock them off?

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Odds

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the obvious team to do it. If not for a decision by the referees to rule a late touchdown by tight end Jesse James a non-touchdown in a Week 15 contest, the Steelers would hold homefield advantage in a potential rematch with the Patriots — and be considered a much better option to beat New England. Also, the Steelers have to hope the all-world receive Antonio Brown returns from a calf injury in top form, because he suffered an injury early in that Week 15 game and hasn’t played since.

If he does, then veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger, veteran RB Le’Veon Bell, and rookie receive Juju Smith-Shuster give the Steelers an offense filled with difference makers. Perhaps more importantly, the Steelers’ retooled defense is better than it has been in recent years, though the lose of linebacker Ryan Shazier still haunts the team. Assuming the Steelers advance in the divisional round to play the New England Patriots in the AFC Title Game, one has to expect a tough, hardfought contest. Most people will like the Patriots at home in that hypothetical game, but if the ball bounces the Steelers way (or one or two calls go their way), I could see Pittsburgh as the team to knock off the Patriots.

Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl Odds

The Minnesota Vikings have the 2nd-best odds, despite being the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The reason for that optimism by Las Vegas oddsmakers is two-fold: the loss of Carson Wentz for the season and the stout play of the Minnesota Vikings Defense. Actually, you could say it’s three-fold, if you count Case Keenum’s play this season. Ironically, Case Keenum was the Vikings third option at QB entering the season, behind Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater (who was slated to return midseason). When Keenum became the starter, he led the Vikings to 11 wins. Keenum’s weapons included Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, alongside tight end Kyle Rudolph. The Vikings overcome injuries at the running back position, as rookie Daquan Cook went out for the year, though Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon have given Minnesota solid play at the position.

It is the Vikings Defense, designed by coach Mike Zimmer, which is the difference maker for Minnesota. The Vikings are the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense (15.2 ppgs) and total defense (276 ypgs). They hold the all-time record for 3rd Down efficiency, at 25.2%. Everson Griffin, Danielle Hunter, and Brian Robinson give the team skilled pass rushers from the edge, while Linval Joseph is a star on the inside of the defensive line. Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr are stars at linebacker, Harrison Smith is a star safety, and Xavier Rhodes is the NFL’s best cornerback at the moment. All put together, the Vikings Defense gives the Purple People Eaters the edge in the NFC Playoffs. As bizarre as it might have sounded at the start of the season that a team with Case Keenum at QB would be the No. 2 favorite to win the Super Bowl, the Vikings have a superior defense. Like the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012, defenses in this pass-happy era of the NFL have to dominate at the line of scrimmage and pressure quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees with a 4-man rush. The 2017-2018 Minnesota Vikings can do just that.

2018 Super Bowl Contenders

New Orleans Saints: +1,000
Los Angeles Rams: +1,000
Philadelphia Eagles: +1,000
Jacksonville Jaguars: +1,400
Kansas City Chiefs: +1,800
Carolina Panthers: +1,800

The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles all receive $1000 on a $100 bet to win the Super Bowl. If you do not believe in an offense led by Case Keenum, then any of those bets make good sense.

2018 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Odds 

Of course, the Philadelphia Eagles would be the odds-on favorite to win the NFC, if Carson Wentz had not gone on IR a month ago. The Eagles have homefield advantage and have a solid defense, but the Eagles offense under Nick Foles has not looked so great. In Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles were shut out. About 3 quarters of that game, Nate Sudfield was the quarterback. Demarcus Lawrence was wreaking havoc in the Eagles backfield, so Doug Pederson decided to get Foles out of the game to avoid having a rookie start in the playoffs. Ultimately, it is hard to see Nick Foles beat the Minnesota Vikings defense, which is even better than the Eagles Defense. Case Keenum provides a much more compelling offensive threat.

Rams and Saints Super Bowl Odds

The Los Angeles Rams, led by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, have a young team ready to step forward. If the Rams beat the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, they are going to have some playoff experience under their belt and be a tough “Out”.

The New Orleans Saints are a compelling underdog pick, because they combine a veteran Super Bowl winning quarterback, dual running threat with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and much-improved defense. The Saints play the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans this week, then likely would face the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. That’s a winnable game, so the Saints are a good pick to move forward.

Jaguars and Chiefs Super Bowl Odds

In the AFC, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs have had stretches of the season when they looked dominante. The Jags are seen as a team a year away, despite a bruising running game behind Leonard Fournette and an excellent defense led by multiple skilled pass rushers. Quarterback Blake Bortles is the team’s weakness, though, and he would have to show suprising poise in the playoffs for Jacksonville to make a difference. Kansas City is an exciting team with offensive stars like Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, but their defense let them down as the season went on. Ultimately, the Jags or Chiefs would likely have to beat the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers back-to-back on the road — which hardly seems likely.

2018 Super Bowl Long Shots

Atlanta Falcons: +2,800
Tennessee Titans: +7,500
Buffalo Bills: +15,000

As one might suspect, the #5 and #6 seeds in the AFC and NFC are those with the longest odds of winning. This makes sense, as these teams were the last to make the playoffs. Also, they have to win 3 games on the road to play their way into the NFL’s championship game.

The three remaining teams with the longests odds of winning the Super Bowl are the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, and Buffalo Bills. The Falcons’ odds are much closer to those of the midstakes contenders than the major underdogs, with moneyline odds of +2800. It’s not a bad bet, since the Falcons are the defending NFC champions who almost defeated the champion Patriots last year. They would have to run the table on the road, but the Falcons have the recent experience.

The same cannot be said of the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. Both teams have missed the playoffs for many years, with the Bills especially having missed the playoffs every year for the past 17 seasons. 2000’s Music City Miracle was the last time Buffalo qualified for the postseason. It was the Titans who beat them in that game.

The Titans sit at +7500, led by young quarterback Marcus Mariota. Veterans like Demarco Murray and Delanie Walker help stabilize the offense, but the 2018 postseason is expected to be a learning season for the Titans — not a Super Bowl run. The Buffalo Bills were a miracle entrant into the playoffs, because it took the Bengals’ Andy Dalton tossing an improbably 40+ yard bomb to knock the Baltimore Ravens out of the playoffs with :44 seconds left on the clock.

If you plop down $100 on the Buffalo Bills to win the 2018 Super Bowl, if the Bills win, you’ll receive $15,000. Of course, the chances of the Bills pulling off that feat are very small.