Handicapping Super Bowl 55

As the NFL’s Super Bowl championship game gets ready for its 55th anniversary, there’s a real possibility that the celebration of American football’s biggest game.

super bowl

As the NFL’s Super Bowl championship game gets ready for its 55th anniversary, there’s a real possibility that the celebration of American football’s biggest game will feature a rematch of the inaugural Super Bowl game.

Currently in the odds at NFL betting sites, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are overwhelming +195 favorites to win Super Bowl 55. The second betting choiceand the top seed in the NFC are the Green Bay Packers at +700.

On Jan. 15, 1967, the Packers defeated the Chiefs 35-10 in the very first Super Bowl game.

Let’s look at the top contenders to win the NFL title, as well as some outsiders that might offer value at a price.

Kansas City Chiefs (+195)

There’s plenty of reason to like the Chiefs in their bid to repeat. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill leads the NFL in touchdowns. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes appears poised to win his second NFL MVP in three seasons. Travis Kelce leads the NFL in receiving yardage, something no tight end has done in league history.

In Super Bowl history, eight teams have won back-to-back titles. However, it’s only happened once since 2000. The Chiefs have never appeared in successive Super Bowls. Last season was their first Super Bowl berth since 1970.

Kansas City Chiefs

"Kansas City Chiefs" by araizavictor is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Green Bay Packers (+700)

The Packers are one of those eight teams to capture successive crowns. Green Bay won the first two Super Bowl games. They’ve won two more since. Current QB Aaron Rodgers led them to their most recent victory a decade ago in Super Bowl 45.

Rodgers is giving Mahomes a run for his money in the MVP race. The Packers QB leads the NFL in touchdown passes. However, the Packers have taken advantage of a soft NFC North Division in which they are the only team with a winning record. The Pack is just 1-2 against teams with more wins than losses.

New Orleans Saints (+700)

The Saints were the only winning team to lose to the Packers and that defeat could end up costing them home-field advantage in the NFC Championship Game, meaning a January trip to frigid Lambeau Field might be required in order to punch a Super Bowl ticket.

Saints QB Drew Brees is in his 40s and missed time this season with lung and rib injuries. Alvin Kamara is the best all-purpose running back in the NFL. However, All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas, who led the NFL in receptions last season, has missed most of the season through injury.

Los Angeles Rams (+1000)

Super Bowl losers two years ago, the Rams have bounced back to lead the NFC West just a year after missing the playoffs entirely. They suit up the NFL’s No. 5 offense and the league’s top defensive unit.

Alarming though is that the Rams have turned the ball over as many times as they’ve forced a takeaway. Successful teams generally display a solid plus margin in this department.

Buffalo Bills (+1300)

If there’s a team that’s worthy of the sleeper tag this season, the Bills are that club. They won the AFC East title for the first time since 1995. Quarterback Josh Allen is a big-time playmaker. He and receiver Stefon Diggs are the NFL’s best pass-catch combination.

Of concern is a defense that’s ranked 20th in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills

"Buffalo Bills" by Wikimedia is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1300)

The Steelers were the NFL’s last unbeaten team at 11-0, but then they lost their next two games. A punishing defense leads the NFL in takeaways and quarterback sacks.

Offensively, Pittsburgh has sputtered, especially a running game that is rated 31st in the league.

Seattle Seahawks (+1400)

A 5-0 start has football people touting the Seahawks as the team to beat and QB Russell Wilson as the MVP. They’ve gone just 4-4 since, with losses to the Bills, Rams, Cardinals and even the lowly Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1400)

The fairy tale of bringing in six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady to play QB for the Bucs in a seasons in which Tampa Bay is playing host to the big game is unraveling in spectacular fashion.

The Bucs did post a signature win over the Packers, but they’ve fallen twice to division rival New Orleans, as well as the Rams, Chiefs and Bears. Brady has thrown 11 interceptions and at times, looked every bit his 43 years of age.

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