Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to sweep through the AFC West without any struggles. From there, many pundits believe that the Chiefs will end up with the best record in the NFL for a second straight season.
Although their defense will take a step backwards due to a loss of talent, KC’s offense should be improved from last year if that’s even possible.
With the best record in the NFL, the AFC Playoffs will go through Arrowhead Stadium once again. That’s going to be tough sledding for the rest of the conference.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+600)
Although they’re the defending Super Bowl champs, having defeated the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55, NFL betting sites view the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the second odds on favorite to win SB 56 behind KC heading into the 2021 season.
This is a bit surprising considering that Tampa returns all of their starters from last year and have added more depth pieces and role players to improve this roster.
Furthermore, the NFC South is expected to have a down year with Atlanta and New Orleans struggling. Carolina could be a Wild Card team but they are nothing more than a speed bump for the Bucs.
Last year, the NFC Playoffs went through Green Bay. This year, I fully expect that the NFC Playoffs will go through Tampa Bay which is bad news for the rest of the conference.
Buffalo Bills (+1100)
The Buffalo Bills finished as the runner-up in the AFC after falling short in the AFC Championship game at Kansas City.
The Bills took a big step towards becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender last year largely due to the progression of QB Josh Allen who finished 2nd in the NFL MVP race. Another factor in their success was the addition of WR Stefon Diggs.
Not even Josh Allen could hold Stefon Diggs back today. He could not wait to get the #Bills fired up.
"Y'all know what time it is!?! Let's go, let's go, let's go."
This year, the Bills are one of the only teams to be considered a potential candidate for dethroning the Chiefs who have reigned on top of the AFC the last few years.
With an explosive offense, and a defense that could return to the Top 10, Buffalo offers a nice return on investment.
Green Bay Packers (+1200)
The Green Bay Packers have been in the headlines all off-season and for the wrong reasons. The drama between QB Aaron Rodgers and the front office has really disrupted the flow of this franchise.
Fortunately for the Packers, they were able to mend the fences with Rodgers after a patchwork agreement came into place just before training camp opened.
Green Bay returns most of their roster from last year which came up short in the NFC Championship game against the Buccaneers.
The Packers are considered one of the teams in the NFC to give Tampa Bay a run for their money. Yet, it’s hard to feel confident in this team even with the return of Rodgers.
The off-season drama and bubbling discontent from the franchise QB could blow up this season and destroy any chances of the Packers making it to the Super Bowl. In fact, I doubt that Green Bay even makes it back to the NFC Championship game.
Los Angeles Rams (+1400)
Last year, the Los Angeles Rams made the Playoffs due to a solid offense and the league’s best defense. They were even able to win a Playoff game by upsetting the NFC West champs – Seattle Seahawks.
This year, the defense might take a small step down off the top spot, but the offense will make up for that with a step back into the Top 5 total offenses in the league as they have a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford.
The Rams traded QB Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for Stafford who many pundits believe will elevate this Rams offense back to the top of the NFL.
If Los Angeles can overcome their losses on defense, while becoming an elite offense, then this team could be a true contender to win the NFC and return to the Super Bowl for the first time in three years.
San Francisco 49ers (+1400)
The San Francisco 49ers were ravaged by injuries last year, but all of their key players are healthy and ready to make this franchise one of the best in the NFC once again.
Defensively, we could see a unit similar to their squad that led the way when the 49ers went to Super Bowl 54.
Although the team took a QB in the NFL Draft this year, Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to lead this talented offense to new heights.
I believe that the 49ers will win the NFC West. Although they have a similar level of talent as the Rams’ roster, San Francisco has a slightly easier schedule which should give them one or two more wins than Los Angeles.
If the 49ers can be a Top 10 offense and defense this year then this team will definitely challenge the Buccaneers for a spot in Super Bowl 56.
Super Bowl Betting Value
The following teams offer betting value based on their 2020 season, current rosters, and expectations heading into the upcoming season:
Cleveland Browns (+1600)
Despite all of the offseason hype, I am definitely surprised that the Cleveland Browns have odds this high. In fact, many NFL pundits are picking the Browns, not the Bills, to be the team that will knock off the Chiefs.
Last year, Cleveland lost in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs to the Chiefs. Despite losing, they were very close to beating KC.
This year, the Browns will have an improved defense and their top receiving threat Odell Beckham Jr. will return from a knee injury.
Already one of the best rushing attacks in the league, the Browns’ offense is going to be scary provided that QB Baker Mayfield can play as well as he did last year, if not better.
The Browns are becoming a trendy pick to win Super Bowl 56 due to their improved roster. At +1600 odds, there’s plenty of value with Cleveland.
Seattle Seahawks (+2500)
Last year, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West. This year, they should lock down one of the Wild Card spots and once again make it to the Playoffs where they could be a sleeper team.
Seattle will have a strong offense led by QB Russell Wilson. The team improved their offensive line which should translate into a more productive rushing attack and better pass protection. I fully expect to see Russ cooking again this year.
The question marks are on the defensive side of the ball as the team is hoping some of their young players can step up in the secondary and at a few of their linebacker positions.
If these young players can successfully contribute then Seattle could steal the NFC West crown for the second straight year.
Since Russell Wilson has been with the team, Seattle has never had a losing record. The last three years, they’ve posted double digit wins. You can expect this team to be a legitimate Playoff contender in the NFC this year.
Potential Super Bowl Longshots
The Arizona Cardinals (+4000) are my longshot pick to make and win the Super Bowl. Now, before all of you non-Arizona Cardinals fans start laughing, there are a few reasons why I think this team can take a big step towards a successful Playoff run this year.
Last year, we saw both Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen make successful jumps in the third year of their career. This will be QB Kyler Murray’s third season in the NFL.
Also Last Year, We Saw How the Addition of Stefon Diggs Helped the Bills Out Tremendously
This year, the Cardinals added Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green to play opposite of DeAndre Hopkins who is arguably the best WR in the league right now.
In Cleveland, we saw how an improved offensive line helped this team become a powerhouse rushing attack. The Cardinals added Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to anchor this offensive line in addition to adding Pro Bowl running back James Conner to provide a dangerous 1-2 punch with Chase Edmonds.
Defensively, both the Bills and the Browns are expected to be better this year due to key additions. For the Bills, they get their run stuffer Star Lotulelei back after he opted out last year.
The Browns added Jadeveon Clowney to a defensive line that features Myles Garret to form the AFC’s best pass rushing duo.
The Cardinals added J.J. Watt to their defensive line along with Chandler Jones to form one of the NFC’s best pass rushing duos.
On paper, the Cardinals look like a Playoff team. Now, they just have to go out and show it on the field.
Who Wins Super Bowl 56?
With Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs are almost always going to be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. However, as of this writing, I am choosing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to repeat as champions.
This team returns all of their starters on both sides of the ball in addition to bringing in some key depth pieces and newly added role players. The Chiefs lost some key players on defense and had to rebuild their offensive line.
Furthermore, the Tampa Bay offense will have a full offseason to prepare which they didn’t have last year and it showed over the first quarter of the 2020 regular season.
Additionally, the young secondary will have another year of experience under their belts which will only make this defense even better. Let’s not forget that the Tampa Bay defense crushed Mahomes and the vaunted Chiefs offense in Super Bowl 55.
As long as Tom Brady can stay healthy, the Buccaneers could be the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since Brady did it with the Patriots in SB 38 and 39.
Who Wins Super Bowl 56 –Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+600)
Early Super Bowl Moneyline
The AFC is favored in this prop bet due to the Chiefs being the odds on favorite to win Super Bowl 56. The Favorites are 36-19 straight up in the previous 55 Super Bowls. However, that just means the NFC betting option offers more value for this SB 56 wager.
The AFC has won six of the last nine Super Bowls, but it’s the NFC with the edge in all-time Super Bowl wins at 28 to 27.
The Under is 27-26-1 all-time in Super Bowls as there wasn’t an O/U for Super Bowl I.
The Under has hit in three straight Super Bowls. Furthermore, in the 13 games where the O/U was listed at 50 or more points, the Under has gone 9-3-1.
I think we should ride the trends and go with the Under for Super Bowl 56.
Early Super Bowl Total –Under 53.5 Pts. (-110)
2022 Super Bowl Winning Division
AFC West (+275)
NFC South (+425)
NFC West (+450)
AFC East (+525)
AFC North (+525)
NFC East (+1000)
NFC North (+1000)
AFC South (+1400)
Right off the bat, we can eliminate the AFC South and the NFC East.
Although the AFC South could produce up to two Playoff teams, the injuries to the Colts along with a bottom 10 defense for the Titans will prevent this division from making it past the Wild Card round of the Playoffs.
The NFC East was the worst division in football last year and I expect it to be the worst again this year. Look for the division winner to be the only team from the NFC East to make the Playoffs. Additionally, the NFC East winner will be lucky to even end up with 10 wins on the season.
It’s a bit surprising that the NFC North is listed at +1000 which is the same as the NFC East considering the Packers are in this division and one of the odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl. This option offers the best value.
The AFC North and the AFC East both depend on whether or not the Cleveland Browns or the Buffalo Bills can knock off the Chiefs from the AFC perch. Although unlikely this year, one thing is for certain, Lake Erie football is back!
The NFC West is probably the one division that can throw a monkey wrench into things. They certainly can disrupt the Buccaneers from winning the NFC. Furthermore, the NFC West did represent the conference in two of the three previous Super Bowls.
The Rams and the 49ers will have the offenses to hang with the Chiefs and Bucs. Yet, they could have the better defenses which makes a huge difference in the big game as we’ve seen in two of the last three Super Bowls.
In reality, this prop bet should come down to the AFC West and the NFC South. The Chiefs will run roughshod on the AFC West once again and the Buccaneers look like they have a much easier path to winning the NFC South for the first time in over a decade.
And, like I said in the prop bets above, I like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the Chiefs in Superbowl 56 which means you should wager on the NFC South for this futures bet.
2022 Super Bowl Winning Division –NFC South (+425)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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