Did you hear that a Super Bowl was played on Sunday? If you're just catching up, the Patriots defense put together a master-class against the Rams to win 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, cashing for gamblers who took the Patriots and the Under.
The Patriots contended all postseason that no one believed in them, but that certainly wasn't the case last February. In fact, Tom Brady and Co. were despite the fact they were coming off a loss to the Eagles, who were second favorites at 6-to-1. The Rams, who fell one win short of the title, checked in at 25-to-1 but quickly rose as the betting market identified them as a great value at that price.
Speaking of values, let's turn our attention to 2020 and Super Bowl LIV.
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NFL Super Bowl LIV (2020) updated— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) February 4, 2019
LAR, NO, NE 8/1
LAC, Chi, Pit 14/1
Min, GB, Dal 16/1
Phi, Bal, Ind, Cle, Hou 20/1
Atl, Jax, NYG 40/1
Car, Ten, Den 60/1
TB, NYJ 80/1
Wsh, Det, Buf, Cin, Oak, Ari 100/1
Among those favorites, you have to like the Patriots at 8-to-1. What did they show this year that makes you think this run is going to stop anytime soon? But they don't quite make it to No. 1 in my best value picks for Super Bowl LIV winner.
5. San Francisco 49ers 50/1
The 49ers have been snakebitten by injuries in Kyle Shanahan's first two seasons, but one of these years he's going to get 16 games to see what Jimmy Garoppolo can do. He had his team competing with C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens at quarterback despite injuries up and down the roster, so if the team can get some good health in 2019, maybe they can start to deliver on the hype that had many people tagging them as their sleeper playoff pick heading into the 2018 season.
4. New York Jets 80/1
Are the Jets going to win Super Bowl LIV? No, the Jets aren't going to win Super Bowl LIV. But you have to like the fact that they have a franchise quarterback in place in the highly-touted Sam Darnold, and though Adam Gase isn't a first-time hire people are talking about as a candidate to turn around a team like a Doug Pederson, Sean McVay or Matt Nagy, it does feel like his teams overperformed in Miami despite having one hand tied behind his back at times with an oft-injured quarterback. It wouldn't shock me to see them competing for a wild-card bid, and if you can find a bottom-of-the-barrel team that's still in the hunt late in the season, that's all you can ask for.
3. New England Patriots 8/1
The defending champs probably deserve to be at least co-favorites, so in that sense we're getting some value with them here. The best part is you know they're going to make the playoffs and be in the mix for a title -- they are every year. So if you take them at 8-to-1, you should be leaving yourself chance at a nice hedging opportunity for two games if they make it to the AFC Championship Game, which they've only done eight straight years.
2. Philadelphia Eagles 20/1
Just ahead of this year's Super Bowl champions are last year's Super Bowl champions. We have recent proof that the Eagles are capable of winning a Super Bowl, even managing to do so with their backup quarterback. If Carson Wentz gets fully healthy this season, you have to like their chances of getting back to the playoffs. The fact that they have the same odds as the Cleveland Browns, who up until this season hadn't won more than a game in two years, is staggering. I trust the Eagles to patch up their secondary and make another run much more than I trust the other four teams at 20-to-1.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars 40/1
The Jaguars gave the Patriots a run in last year's AFC Championship Game, and while many were lauding them as a potential Super Bowl pick in 2019, I thought the Under on their season win total of nine was one of the best futures bets of the season. The main reason? They had a terrible starting quarterback. We know they're going to do something to try and fix the problem this offseason, whether it's signing Nick Foles or another quarterback, who would certainly be an upgrade on Bortles, or drafting one of the best quarterbacks in the 2019 prospect class at the top of the first round, who would certainly be an upgrade on Bortles. The Jacksonville defense should be back near the top of the league next season, so if they get even a mid-range NFL starter to lead the offense, they could be a tough out. I love their value at twice as long odds as the two AFC South teams who made it to the playoffs this year, the Texans and Colts.