2019 Super Bowl odds: Chiefs' odds climb over Rams despite loss in Monday night's classic
The Rams suffered by virtue of playing in the NFC
Week 11 gave us an instant classic, with the Rams emerging victorious against the Chiefs in a 54-51 shootout that saw more than 1,000 yards of offense. While it was everything the NFL world wanted and more, simulations don't care how good a game is. They just care about how good teams look. And while the Rams and Chiefs offenses looked incredible, the defenses are a real concern coming out of the game.
The Rams had a pair of defensive touchdowns in this game, plus a touchdown off another turnover. In spite of all of this and the Rams coming out on top in a head-to-head matchup, simulations now actually favor the Chiefs as having a better chance to win the Super Bowl than the Rams. Patrick Mahomes looked incredible for Kansas City, and even with five total turnovers, this loss doesn't devastate his MVP run. However, there's another team in the NFC the Chiefs need to be wary of.
The New Orleans Saints absolutely obliterated the Eagles on Sunday 48-7, with Drew Brees surgically destroying the Philly defense as he has to every defense before it. The Saints are now up over 25 percent odds in SportsLine's simulation, and they don't seem to be slowing down. The Saints aren't beating teams right now; they're throttling them. Even with the Rams holding the NFC's best record after Monday night's classic, the Saints are the clear team to beat.
The Saints, Rams and Chargers are clearly in a class of their own right now. The Patriots, coming off a bye, are actually above the Rams in our simulation. The Chargers took a hit with their loss to the Broncos, while the Steelers continued their win streak and saw their odds increase. The Texans are another dark horse in the AFC, but they're a ways out from competing with the league's best, even with a seven-game winning streak.
Super Bowl LIII odds
|New Orleans Saints||2/1||25.33%||43.92%||98.6%||99%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||3/1||17.36%||33.26%||90.3%||100%|
|New England Patriots||8/1||16.24%||30.33%||99%||99%|
|Los Angeles Rams||3/1||16.16%||32.75%||100%||100%|
|Los Angeles Chargers||20/1||4.91%||10.63%||9.7%||92.2%|
|Green Bay Packers||50/1||0.45%||1.19%||7.4%||29.9%|
|New York Giants||500/1||0%||0.01%||0.3%||0.4%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2,000/1||0%||0.01%||0%||0.2%|
|New York Jets||10,000/1||0%||0%||0%||0.1%|
|San Francisco 49ers||10,000/1||0%||0%||0%||0%|
As mentioned above, the Saints just look completely unstoppable right now. Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season, Mark Ingram has back-to-back 100-yard games and Michael Thomas is a top level receiver in the NFL. Against the Eagles, however, the role players made a difference. Austin Carr had a touchdown catch, Keith Kirkwood had a nice day and Tre'Quan Smith absolutely lit it up.
The offense is a well-oiled machine, but the defense also deserves some credit. Carson Wentz threw three picks against the Saints Sunday, with Marshon Lattimore getting his first pick of the season. The pass rush has been solid, and Marcus Davenport may return to the fold soon. Speaking of injuries, the Saints put up 48 points on the Eagles without elite left tackle Terron Armstead, so that offense isn't even at full strength right now.
Brandon Marshall may or may not end up having an impact in this Saints offense, but Brees has proven time and time again: It doesn't matter who he's throwing to. If you have hands, he'll make you look good. With three straight weeks of 45 or more points, the Saints don't want for weapons. If Marshall comes in and plays at a high level, that's just a bonus for this offense.
The other contenders
Nothing has changed as far as other contenders go except for the order. The Chiefs obviously jumped the Rams in spite of their loss, and the Patriots lost the bye week in terms of simulation odds (when the other three top-four teams play as the Saints, Chiefs and Rams did, that's to be expected), but otherwise things are pretty consistent up top. The biggest reason for the Rams' hit is the Saints' jump -- those points had to come from somewhere, and it only makes sense it would come in conference.
The biggest issue for the Chiefs, of course, is the Chargers. Their loss keeps the Chargers just a game and a half back in the AFC West, well within striking distance. The two teams meet again Dec. 13, and that game could well decide the division. Mahomes is still playing incredible football, and the praise heaped on him is well-deserved. Moving forward, all the Chiefs can do is continue to win games. With a bye this week, their remaining schedule favors them. All they have to do is take care of business.
Still in the mix
The NFC really feels like it's down to a two-team race. The Saints and the Rams are dominating simulations, with the Bears looking like the only dark horse there. Khalil Mack is continuing to look like an animal, and their 7-3 record can't be dismissed as a mirage -- the Bears are for real.
The AFC is far more open. The Steelers won yet again on Sunday, powering back to beat the Jaguars for their sixth straight win. Antonio Brown looks as good as ever this season, and he broke 100 yards yet again on Sunday. The aforementioned Chargers lost to the Broncos, but the Chiefs' loss keeps them well alive for not only the AFC West, but the AFC No. 1 seed. Philip Rivers still looks great for L.A., and Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler are a top-tier running back duo. Rivers threw for 400 yards on Sunday, and the Chargers were only beaten by a last-second field goal.
The long shots
The Houston Texans suddenly have some competition in the AFC South, with the Colts roaring back behind the stellar play of both Andrew Luck and his offensive line. The Colts derailed the week-long Titan hype train by crushing Tennessee 38-10 on Sunday. The Texans, meanwhile, have won seven straight behind the stellar play of both their defense and DeAndre Hopkins, who made yet another outstanding catch last Sunday.
The Vikings lost to the Bears on Sunday, and their odds of winning the division aren't great, but they have a solid shot at a wild card for the time being. The Packers are just on the outside of the wild card picture. Catching the Bears in the NFC North looks like it's going to be tough now, but the Vikings could catch fire down the stretch.
The NFC East, meanwhile, is still wide open, and you know what that means: The Cowboys are back in the picture. With two straight big road wins, the Cowboys are making a playoff push. The Redskins lost Alex Smith for the season, so this is Dallas's chance. The Cowboys can tie the Redskins for the division lead with a Thanksgiving win on Thursday.
Two potential wild card teams to look out for are the Panthers and Seahawks. The Panthers have lost two straight games, but at 6-4 they're still well within the conversation for the NFC playoff picture. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are 5-5. The Vikings' tie is the only thing keeping them out of the playoff picture for the time being. Seattle picked up a huge win against the Packers on Thursday, and while the Seahawks won't catch the Rams, but they can still sneak into the postseason.
The Ravens are also picking up some momentum after Sunday's win, which saw the starting debut of Lamar Jackson. Jackson energized the Ravens in a big way on Sunday, rushing for over 100 yards. He'll try to lead the Ravens to a wild card berth as well, as the Steelers continue to pull away in the AFC North.
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