2020 Super Bowl Predictions
We are just about 72 hours past the most boring Super Bowl in the history of Super Bowls - and that's saying something because there have been a lot of boring Super Bowls through the years. The agony has subsided a little, so it's a good time to look ahead to next year. It can't be any worse than this year was. I hope. Here's a first look at the Super Bowl 54 futures posted at Bovada :
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New England Patriots (+650): At this point are you going to bet against the Patriots? This year they seemed more vulnerable than they ever have. They lacked depth - especially at receiver. The coaching staff had gone through change. Their quarterback was as old as dirt. Everyone seemed to be fighting with everyone else. It felt like we were watching the end of an empire. And that wasn't just in September, either - it still felt like that in November. But when things started to matter, they put all that aside, shifted into robot mode, and got their work done. They had some scary moments - like needing overtime against the Chiefs - but from the first second of the playoffs it just felt like they were going to win. They were soaked in inevitability. There are lots of reasons to doubt them next year - they will have their third defensive coordinator in three years, their quarterback is now older than dirt, Gronk is probably gone, and on and on. But Bill Belichick is still there, and if you have any doubt of his capabilities after that Super Bowl then you weren't paying attention. They should be favored because they are the only contender that has proven they are capable. And at this point I'm not even going to bother to figure out if there is value - normal rules don't apply to the Pats.
L.A. Rams (+700): The Rams are early in their journey, so they certainly have time to improve. But man, they got a serious kick in their collective junk in that game. That was ugly. The defense showed up for the most part - except for consistently leaving Brady's favorite receiver open. But the offense not only didn't have a great day, but they seemed so painfully clueless and outmatched that it was just embarrassing. The coaching was bad. Jared Goff was bad. They made a singular assumption about how the game was going to play out and couldn't adapt at all when the Patriots changed things up. We have seen teams that have suffered setbacks on this stage take a while to get back on track - the Falcons come to mind immediately. Or the Seahawks after passing when they should have run. If the Rams were a stock, I would be holding them over the longer term, but I wouldn't be looking for immediate return next season. So, I guess that means I don't like this price.
Kansas City Chiefs (+800): There is so much to like about this team. And Patrick Mahomes is just such a freak. I like the team a lot and like their place in the AFC hierarchy right now. I have to be a little nervous about Mahomes because now he isn't sneaking up on anyone. He did it once, but now he has to prove he can keep doing it. But this price still feels fair.
L.A. Chargers (+800): I am not really buying into the Chargers right now for one big reason - Philip Rivers. It's funny to say I am worried about the age of a QB when Brady is four years older and I'm not worried about him. But Rivers is not Brady, and consistency hasn't always been his thing. It was an excellent year, and they won't fall off a cliff, but I don't see them as a true contender. So I hate this price.
New Orleans Saints (+1000): I feel like part of the reason why the Saints were so upset about how the NFC Championship ended is because they knew that their window wasn't wide. Everything had come together for them, and they were not going to have a look this good at a title again. I have too much respect for the coach and quarterback to count them out, but I don't expect them to be this good again. No value here.
Indianapolis Colts (+1100): I find it very hard at this point to judge a team like the Colts. They were surprisingly solid this year. And they improved as things went along. And Andrew Luck is a special talent. All positives - and there are more, too. But this team was unquestionably ahead of schedule this year, and they don't yet have depth at every position. And there is a big difference between a coaching staff that looks great in one season and one that can prove to be great over the long term. I tend to be pessimistic about this team. But I am very much braced to be wrong.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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