2019 Super Bowl Predictions
The dust has barely settled on this year's Super Bowl, and most Philly fans probably haven't stopped partying long enough for the hangovers to settle in. But it is never too early to look ahead to next year's Super Bowl - and any value that could be found in the futures odds. Super Bowl 53 will take place on Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. Betting on the outcome of that game now would be truly insane in most cases - the value would have to be extraordinary to lock up money for that long. But looking at what the oddsmakers are thinking now - and what they think the public is thinking - is still a valuable exercise. Here is a look at the 10 lowest odds offered at BetOnline right now:
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New England Patriots (+550): This one just doesn't make any sense. At best the information we have is incomplete. We haven't had confirmation that Bill Belichick is coming back. Rob Gronkowski flirted with retirement after the Super Bowl loss. I don't expect him to go, but it's still a factor. The team has lost long-time coordinators on both sides of the ball, and replacements aren't known yet. Tom Brady is coming off a truly epic performance at the end of an MVP season, but he'll be 41 before next season starts, so anything can happen and we can't be certain he'll play at a high level again. And that defense on display all season, and especially in the Super Bowl, isn't going to be championship caliber without an overhaul.
With so much uncertainty it's tough to have any confidence that the team will get back to this level again. We have learned by now never to count this team out, and it's not like the AFC East is going to suddenly become excellent, so they are clearly contenders. But to call them a solid favorite at this point just seems crazy.
Philadelphia Eagles (+800): The Patriots have fooled us into forgetting how tough it is to get back into the championship game the year after a win. It is really, really hard. This is obviously a talented and well-coached team, but the defense has some work to do, Carson Wentz needs to take over leadership, and the NFC remains tough. I respect this team a lot, but at this kind of price they are easy to bet against.
Green Bay Packers (+1000): It was an ugly season for the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers is coming back from an injury. If they are healthy and at full strength they are always worth respect. But there are too many questions to get me excited about this price.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1200): This season this was a talented team that just wasn't mentally tough enough when it mattered. And they have some roster issues to deal with. Like every other team we have looked at so far, this is far too generous for where they are right now.
Minnesota Vikings (+1400): Who is going to be the quarterback for the team next year? They have three options, but no contracts, for next year. It's a tough choice, and that - along with the loss of Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator - makes it tough to get excited right now. And the team was absolutely humiliated in their final playoff game - which could be tough to come back from.
Houston Texans (+1800): There is a lot to like about this team. Deshaun Watson needs to get healthy, though, and then he needs to develop on a path like Carson Wentz or Jared Goff, and not like RGIII, Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. I like this team, but - stop me if you have heard this before - not enough to justify the price.
L.A. Rams (+1800): If I had to pick one team from this list to put money on, this would be it. They are young and very talented. They had a great season but went through a tough playoff setback to learn from. The coaching is excellent. The division is manageable. The future is bright, and I'd buy a ticket for the bandwagon.
Seattle Seahawks (+1800): I just don't see this one at all. This feels like a team much closer to a rebuild than a championship run. They are going to have to make some core decisions, and I really feel like some rough times are ahead.
New Orleans Saints (+2000): This team came so close this year - if it weren't for the miracle by Minnesota they would have had a shot against the Eagles and could have been a tough out. It makes sense, then, that they are seen as a contender next year. They had the Rookie of the Year on both sides of the ball, so the talent is strong, Drew Brees still looks good, and the coaching is excellent. In relative terms it feels like a little value is here - but obviously not enough to justify a bet.
Dallas Cowboys (+2000): Not even remotely interested. I don't buy Dak Prescott as a viable championship-caliber QB and don't believe in the ability of this front office to build a true contender. Hard pass.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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