Now that we're nearly 40 percent of the way through the 2020 NFL season, the playoff picture is beginning to take on clearer shape. And because the playoff picture is taking shape, so, too, is the Super Bowl picture.
But there's a difference between the popular consensus of the Super Bowl picture, the Las Vegas consensus of the Super Bowl picture, and what a peak under the hood of our simulations from SportsLine tell us about the Super Bowl picture -- and the difference between those pictures presents an opportunity to grab some value. That's why we're here.
For example, the Super Bowl odds from our friends at William Hill Sportsbook have the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs as the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl, with +400 odds. At those odds, it's implied that the Chiefs have a 20 percent chance of taking home another Lombardi Trophy. The SportsLine simulations, though, have the Chiefs repeating their championship only 15.74 percent of the time. That negative differential makes a bet on the Chiefs a poor value for bettors.
There are a few teams that reside on the other end of the spectrum, however. First, there's the Baltimore Ravens. Now 5-1, the Ravens sit behind only the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers (more on them in a second) and the Tennessee Titans in the AFC standings. (Should the Chiefs beat the Bills on Monday night, the Ravens would fall behind them as well, due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.) The Ravens' plus-75 point differential, though, is the best in the NFL through six weeks, and only the Steelers are even within two touchdowns of them.
Four of Baltimore's five victories have come by double digits, a strong sign of their its as a team -- and were it not for egregious missed offensive pass interference calls Sunday against the Eagles, it might have been five of five. And all this despite Lamar Jackson not playing nearly as well as he did last season, when he was the NFL MVP. If Jackson takes a step forward over the latter half of the season, the Ravens could conceivably look even better than they already do. Their defense looks like one of the very best in football, and despite Jackson not playing A-plus football, the offense has been up their with the best units as well.
At +550 odds to win the title, the Ravens sit right behind the Chiefs at William Hill, but the SportsLine simulations actually have the Ravens as the overall favorite right now. Their implied 15.4 percent chance of taking home the hardware falls far short of their 22.74 percent chance in the simulations, making the Ravens our best value on the board at the moment. One thing that could stop them from making good on that value, though, is that the Ravens share a division with the 5-0 Steelers, who are the second-best value on our list.
Pittsburgh's defense looks right up there with Baltimore's among the best in all of football, with the defensive front led by T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Tyson Alualu absolutely dominating opposing offensive lines, and the Minkah Fitzpatrick-led defensive backfield smothering opposing pass-catchers. The offense hasn't even had to be all that explosive so far this year, but Ben Roethlisberger just has a ton of weapons to play with on the perimeter -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and James Washington have all gone off at different times this year. None of those guys is named JuJu Smith-Schuster, by the way, and he was thought to be the team's best wideout coming into the year. The Steelers just have a whole lot to work with.
At +1100 Super Bowl odds, Pittsburgh has an implied 8.3 percent chance of victory in the Super Bowl, but takes home the trophy in 11.13 percent of simulations. Similarly, the Steelers' +600 odds in the AFC put their implied conference championship chances (14.3 percent) far short of their simulation chances (19.21 percent). The Ravens, though, again represent better value there, with 27.8 percent implied odds (+260) to win the AFC against 33.84 percent chance of victory in our sims.
New Orleans started off the season slowly but has rebounded a bit in its pasty two games, running its record to 3-2. According to the William Hill odds, the Saints (+1200) have a 7.7 percent chance of emerging as Super Bowl champions. Our simulations have the Saints winning the Super Bowl 9.53 percent of the time, though, making them one of the few teams with better sim odds than implied odds -- albeit by a narrow margin.
Seattle is the last of those four teams, and the Seahawks have the narrowest of margins. Their +800 odds imply an 11.1 percent chance of becoming Super Bowl champions, while the simulations result in a Seahawk Super Bowl 12.18 percent of the time. With MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson on their side the Seahawks are among the consensus betting favorites -- they rank third behind only the Chiefs and Ravens in the William Hill odds. But our sims think even more highly of Seattle, again presenting a chance to grab some value. Here's a look at the odds from William Hill Sportsbook:
Super Bowl Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+400|
|New Orelans Saints||+1200|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1200|
|Greed Bay Packers||+1300|
|Los Angeles Rams||+2000|
|San Francisco 49ers||+3000|
|New England Patriots||+3500|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+4000|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+12500|
|New York Giants||+30000|
|Washington Football Team||+40000|
|New York Jets||+100000|