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NFL training camps are scheduled to start at the end of July, and regular-season games are just two months away. It'll be an unprecedented campaign due to the presence of COVID-19, but that won't stop bettors from looking for value in the futures market.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs are the +500 favorites. No team has won consecutive Super Bowls since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and that feat has only happened eight times in NFL history.
While repeating is difficult, there's no reason to think the Chiefs won't be in the Super Bowl hunt again. Kansas City fields the league's best player in quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and an explosive offense gives the Chiefs a chance to win every game, even if they fall behind early, as we saw in last year's playoffs.
The Chiefs' biggest obstacle in the AFC is expected to be the Baltimore Ravens (+650). The Ravens mowed through the NFL last season behind MVP Lamar Jackson, finishing 14-2. However, Baltimore's stellar year ended in disappointment following a home playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. But don't expect a 2020 drop-off from Baltimore, especially after the Ravens added defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe to one of the NFL's most talented rosters.
The two favorites may play in the AFC, but the NFC is the deeper conference, with the San Francisco 49ers (+800), New Orleans Saints (+900), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1000), and Green Bay Packers (+1400) all entering the season with odds shorter than 15-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers are the most interesting team after adding future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski this offseason. Tampa Bay may be a little overvalued, but the team will undoubtedly be much improved with Brady under center.
Brady's old team made big news recently when it signed Newton to be his replacement. The Patriots moved from +2000 to +1600 after adding the 2015 MVP. Oddsmakers obviously believe Newton gives New England a better chance to win a Super Bowl than second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, as all the Patriots' futures odds shortened once it was announced Bill Belichick landed Cam.
Newton certainly adds a new dynamic to the Patriots' offense, although New England's value is drying up. This offseason, the Patriots climbed as high as 30-1 to win the Super Bowl. But now that Belichick has brought in an established quarterback to go along with last season's top-ranked defense, look for money to keep coming in on the Patriots throughout the summer.
Betting futures is riskier this year with the pandemic causing so much uncertainty, but the Titans hold early value at +2500.
Aside from bringing back quarterback Ryan Tannehill and star running back Derrick Henry, Tennessee didn't do much this offseason after losing to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. They closed last season going 9-4 with Tannehill, and the Titans return basically the same team that came within a game of the Super Bowl.
The Titans' physical style of play makes them one of the few teams that can compete with the Ravens and Chiefs in the AFC. If Tennessee can emerge from a competitive AFC South, the club will be a tough out in the playoffs for the second straight season. Grab the Titans early at odds of 25-1 or longer.
Odds source: theScore Bet
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.