At this point last year, the Patriots were the betting favorites to win what would have been their fourth Super Bowl in a six-season span. A step behind them: the Chiefs, who eventually did emerge as Super Bowl LIV champions. The team they beat was nowhere in the conversation to win a title, as the 49ers entered the year with 40-to-1 odds despite coming off a 4-12 season that earned them the No. 2 overall pick.
Will we see a similar rise this year? It's unlikely; of the teams to pick in the top five of this year's draft, only the Lions (+6600) and Giants (+7000) are better than 100-to-1 to win it all. Neither makes an appearance in our staff's best bets and best value picks to win Super Bowl LV.
So who are we picking? Almost half of our staffers are taking the Chiefs to repeat as champions, and half of who's left are backing the Saints as best bets. Nine different teams make an appearance in our list of best value picks, but the overwhelming favorite for us is the Steelers at +2500. You can check out the reasoning for everyone's picks below, along with the odds for every team to win the Super Bowl, per William Hill Sportsbook.
Here's the rundown on the staff members making these picks: NFL insider Jason La Canfora; senior writer Pete Prisco; Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson; staff writers Cody Benjamin, John Breech, Jordan Dajani, Bryan DeArdo, Jared Dubin, Josh Edwards, Jeff Kerr, Tyler Sullivan, Chris Trapasso, Patrik Walker and Ryan Wilson; and editors Brett Anderson, Dan Schneier, Kevin Steimle and R.J. White.
Super Bowl odds
Kansas City Chiefs +550
Baltimore Ravens +600
San Francisco 49ers +700
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1200
New Orleans Saints +1200
Dallas Cowboys +1500
Seattle Seahawks +2000
Philadelphia Eagles +2000
New England Patriots +2000
Minnesota Vikings +2500
Buffalo Bills +2500
Green Bay Packers +2500
Indianapolis Colts +2500
Pittsburgh Steelers +2500
Los Angeles Rams +3000
Tennessee Titans +3000
Atlanta Falcons +4000
Cleveland Browns +4000
Chicago Bears +4000
Arizona Cardinals +4000
Los Angeles Chargers +4000
Houston Texans +5000
Denver Broncos +5000
Detroit Lions +6000
Las Vegas Raiders +6000
New York Giants +7000
Miami Dolphins +10000
New York Jets +10000
Carolina Panthers +10000
Cincinnati Bengals +20000
Washington Football Team +20000
Jacksonville Jaguars +20000
Breech: The Chiefs will likely be my "best bet" to win the Super Bowl every season until Patrick Mahomes retires, so you should probably get used to reading that in this section for the next decade or so.
DeArdo: While their division should be more challenging than it was a year ago, the Chiefs should be in position to successfully defend their title when the 2020 playoffs begin. The Chiefs are expecting big things from rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who scored 16 touchdowns while averaging 6.6 yards per carry during his final season at LSU.
Dubin: Plus odds to bet Patrick Mahomes to win the Super Bowl? OK, I'll take that.
Kerr: The NFL is unpredictable, but it's hard to go against the dynamic duo of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Mahomes is only getting better as he has yet to reach the prime of his career, and the Chiefs are returning 18 of 22 starters from that championship team. Kansas City found a way to keep its core intact, and the only team that seems to have the resources available to stop them in the AFC are the Baltimore Ravens.
La Canfora: No reason to get too cute here. Patrick Mahomes was hurt last year and they still won the whole thing. Now with him signed for 12 years, the Chiefs have security and flexibility and probably a better team than they had last September.
Prisco: The Chiefs are an easy choice as the chalk; I think they will win it all again. Patrick Mahomes and the offense will be even better. What's not to like? Plus Andy Reid is the perfect guy to navigate a season where every team is gunning for the champions.
Schneier: With the win-now decision to draft an absolutely perfect system fit in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it's hard to bet on anyone other than the Chiefs to win it all. They can be better than they were in 2019 and they probably will be. The Chiefs draw the 10th-easiest schedule based on projected win totals.
Steimle: Hate going chalk, but the Chiefs are absolutely loaded and will probably win 13-14 games this season, which will keep them at home for the playoffs. It'll also be easier to navigate the AFC than the NFC. The NFC has at least a handful of teams that could reach the Super Bowl, not sure the Chiefs have that same problem in the AFC.
Walker: Not picking the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs to return to the big game just feels very not smart to me. Patrick Mahomes is only one season removed from league MVP honors and a few months removed from a Super Bowl victory and SB MVP nod. Now signed to an historic 10-year extension, and with the Chiefs mostly remaining whole after their championship run, the safe bet is they're the team to beat in the AFC -- again.
Dajani: The Ravens appear to be on the same track the Chiefs were on. Patrick Mahomes won MVP during his first full season as a starter and then won the Super Bowl the following year. Lamar Jackson won the MVP award during his first full season as a starter and will win it all this upcoming season.
Benjamin: The Ravens are so incredibly tempting just because it's hard not to drool over Lamar Jackson and, really, their entire roster, which somehow got better since 2019. But the Saints are the best bet in terms of value when you consider Sean Payton's track record of contention and New Orleans' win-now additions. Drew Brees should have no trouble putting up MVP-caliber numbers.
Edwards: The Saints built upon an already talented roster by adding Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins. They should be the favorite to win the NFC this season. It could very well be Drew Brees' final season, which adds even more pressure to that locker room.
Trapasso: The Saints have the most complete roster in football. They desperately needed a legitimate complement to Michael Thomas and got one in Emmanuel Sanders. Marcus Davenport is primed for a breakout year opposite Cam Jordan, and Demario Davis has been an elite linebacker since joining this club. The secondary is oozing with young, highly talented defensive backs.
White: The Saints are the clear favorites on the NFC side in my mind, yet they find themselves well behind the 49ers in the odds and tied for second in the conference with the division rival Buccaneers. New Orleans has great continuity during a tough offseason and was already good enough to make any of the last three Super Bowls had things broken differently.
Sullivan: On paper, the Buccaneers are the most talented club in the NFC in my mind. Offensively, Tom Brady will have arguably the best collection of weapons that he's had in his entire career and Bruce Arians moving to a 12-personnel base offense fits his quarterback's playing style swimmingly. The O-line will keep Brady upright and this defense is better than some of the 2019 stats suggest. The front-seven is dominant and the secondary should have a strong year as well.
Wilson: It certainly seems weird picking the Buccaneers as the best bet to win the Super Bowl but this team already had a top-five defense and now it's added Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and a first-round pick along the offensive line to join Bruce Arians' high-powered offense.
Brinson: A healthy Cam Newton and Bill Belichick at 20-to-1? I'll roll the dice on Belichick cranking his spite meter up to 11 and cutting loose. And I get him at 20-to-1? Yes please.
Anderson: My strategy is go big or go home with Super Bowl picks. They're just too hard to hit for a small payoff. So I'll take the team that went 9-4 with Ryan Tannehill as starter and was up 10 on the Chiefs in the AFC title game, yet now is somehow behind 15 other teams at 30-1. The Titans are still a threat.
Best value picks
Walker: There will be plenty of brouhaha in the NFC, but the new-look Cowboys might get you paid well as a value grab.
Dubin: When was the last time the Pats had the seventh-best odds to win it all? If you're a Bill Belichick true believer, this seems like a nice opportunity to buy low.
Sullivan: New England is strictly a Bill Belichick play. If you think the head coach can work his magic with Cam Newton, they should be in the Super Bowl conversation even if the defense takes a slight step back from their 2019 output.
Dajani: The Eagles are an intriguing team because they loaded up on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball this offseason. Carson Wentz was an MVP candidate before he tore his ACL a few years ago, and if he can return to form, Philly could end up having the wherewithal to go all the way. Plus, the Cowboys are known to disappoint, which could open the door for the Eagles to win the division.
Steimle: It's hard to not go with the Cowboys here, but they always seem to find a way to screw things up, so I'll go with another NFC East team. The Eagles have continuity on their side in what has been the strangest offseason ever.
Kerr: The Seahawks are such an intriguing bet at +2000, especially since they were just a play away from clinching home-field advantage in the NFC last year. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny will eventually be healthy, and the addition of Greg Olsen at tight end will pay huge dividends for Russell Wilson. Let's not forget the Jamal Adams trade to fortify Seattle's secondary. Seattle against any team in the Super Bowl is intriguing.
Benjamin: The Steelers still feel very underrated. If Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy, they've got the defense to carry them through a playoff upset or two.
DeArdo: The Chiefs (my best bet) may have to get past the Steelers (who are looking to get back to their first Super Bowl since 2010) in the postseason if they are going to make it back to the big game. The two teams last faced off in 2018, with Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger combining to throw for 778 yards and nine touchdowns in the Chiefs' 42-37 win.
La Canfora: The Steelers almost made the playoffs last year without a QB, and now they get a Hall of Fame player back. With that defense, all they need to do is play smart football on the other side and they can stay in any game against any opponent. Super Bowl head coach and maximum continuity matter in a season and offseason that were more challenging than anything we've seen before in modern sports.
Schneier: If you take last season's breakout defense -- a team that just missed the playoffs with arguably the NFL's least efficient quarterback -- and add Ben Roethlisberger to it, what do you get? I think you get a team that has a quarterback who has won it all before playing with arguably his best supporting cast since he last won it all. Add it all up and you're getting a clear-cut value on the Steelers at 25-to-1.
Trapasso: We know Big Ben can get it done in the playoffs, and this Pittsburgh defense is reminiscent of some of those Super Bowl-winning clubs from the Steel City in the past. I'll take +2500 odds any day with how this team is currently constructed.
White: I think the Steelers are the third-best team in the AFC, and while the Ravens and Chiefs are on another tier, I'll take a flyer on them getting hot in January, pulling off an upset or two and giving me a shot at cashing at 25-to-1.
Wilson: The Steelers are the best value because ... Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are no longer in New England to terrorize Pittsburgh. If Big Ben is healthy, this team could hang 30 points on anyone.
Edwards: The Steelers would be a great value pick to win the Super Bowl because they have a large percentage of their roster returning. However, the Packers possess equal odds to Pittsburgh. Green Bay's defense improved and it is easy to see Aaron Rodgers playing like a man possessed following the selection of Jordan Love. It could be a boom-or-bust season in Lambeau Field. There is likely no in-between for this team.
Breech: The Colts were a healthy quarterback and healthy kicker away from making the playoffs last year, and now that they have both I fully expect them to contend for the Lombardi Trophy. Also, let's not forget that they were the one team in the NFL that absolutely manhandled the Chiefs last season.
Anderson: The Cards need to make a leap on D, but with Patrick Peterson playing a whole season and a rising force on offense, stranger things have happened.
Brinson: The Cardinals are my longshot team to leap up and win. I want a team in the NFC -- no Ravens or Chiefs -- and a young quarterback who can take a big step forward. Kyler Murray fits that, and adding DeAndre Hopkins doesn't hurt. Yes, it's a longshot, but that's the best value for me.
Prisco: I actually think the Bengals are a year away from being a playoff team. But at +20000 and with a young star-in-the-making in Joe Burrow, I will take them as my value pick.