With preparations well underway for the 100th season of NFL action, we have taken a look at some of this season’s favourites in their respective markets. Last year’s Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots are favourites to repeat that feat this year. Tom Brady & Co. are available to back at 7/1 with Bet365. There has been multiple high-profile moves in the off-season and there is a group of teams aiming to knock the Patriots off their perch.
Super Bowl Winners
New England Patriots – 13/2
The Patriots have been installed as favourites to win the Super Bowl once again. At 13/2 they provide decent value. Bill Belichick has proven time and time again that he can adapt his roster for a long run into the season and this year will be no different.
Key player in three of their Super Bowl victories Rob Gronkowski has retired. As a result, 2013 receiving yards leader Josh Gordon will have an increased role in this year’s receiving core. Two other key players in Patrick Chung and David Andrews will miss out on the 2019 season too. Even so, the Patriots are still miles ahead of the rest in the AFC East. Their odds of 14/5 with GIVEMEBET to win the AFC reflect this. They have a relatively easy schedule to begin with and they could conceivably be 7-0 by the time they face the Cleveland Browns in Week 8.
Kansas City Chiefs – 7/1
The Chiefs are fancied by many to go all the way this year. Defeated in over time in the AFC Championship game last year, they look primed to make a step-up this season. Last season’s MVP Patrick Mahomes looks a cut above the rest in the QB division and it is expected they will be top seeds in the AFC once again.
They have added steel to a leaky defence with Steve Spagnuolo coming in as defensive coordinator for this season and Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu coming in free agency. We know that Reid can work with an aggressive offence and he has four of the best in the business with Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and recent acquisition LeSean McCoy lining out in the red and white.
New Orleans Saints – 9/1
Similar to the Chiefs, the Saints suffered a heartbreaking OT loss in the NFC Championship game last season. 40-year-old Drew Brees still seems as good as ever though. They look strong on both sides of the ball again with Malcolm Brown, Latavius Murray, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook and Kiko Alonso all set to play key roles.
If Brees can stay healthy through the regular season and beyond, the Saints have every chance of winning their second Vince Lombardi Trophy under Sean Payton.
Los Angeles Rams – 10/1
The free-scoring Rams made it to last year’s Super Bowl where they were held to a meagre three points by the New England Patriots. They have maintained an impressive roster for this season and Head Coach Sean McVay will have Super Bowl aspirations once again.
They traded Ndamakong Suh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but apart from that their NFC-winning roster is still intact. Their squad will be added to by the returning Cooper Kupp, Clay Matthews and rookie Darrell Henderson. The big question is how star running back Todd Gurley will perform. A poor performance in last year’s Super Bowl and an arthritic knee have left people doubting him ahead of Week 1.
Cleveland Browns – 14/1
The four franchises listed above are heavy favourites above everyone else in the league and rightly so. However, if there is one team capable of upsetting the apple cart it’s the Cleveland Browns. Freddie Kitchens is their new head coach and they have bolstered an already talented roster with Pro Bowlers Sheldon Richardson and Odell Beckham Jr.
With QB Baker Mayfield leading the offense and and DE Myles Garrett leading the defense, the Browns will be a force to be reckoned with. Emerging from the difficult AFC North will be a challenge, but their odds suggest they are favourites to do so.
Patrick Mahomes – 4/1
Mahomes is the favourite to win back-to-back MVP awards. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns (50) and was second in passing yards (5,097) while leading his team to the AFC Championship game in his rookie season. If he can repeat those figures this year, he is a shoo-in for the MVP title.
Tom Brady – 16/1
Brady is once again expected to be one of the premier players in the NFL this season. It’s a remarkable achievement for the 42-year-old who is coming in to his 20th season with the Patriots. His total yardage last year (4,355) was actually better than the numbers he put up all the way back in 2006 as a 29-year-old.
One cause for concern would be his performance in his last two games. He threw one TD and three interceptions in the AFC Championship and Super Bowl combined.
Drew Brees – 12/1
Saints QB Drew Brees is looking to emulate Tom Brady by becoming only the second player to win MVP at the age of 40 in the NFL. Remarkably he has never won a regular season MVP award. After all the Pro Bowl appearances he has made and records he has broken, it would be a fine achievement to add MVP to his list of honours at this stage in his career.
Coach of the Year – Andy Reid – 10/1
If the Chiefs can slightly improve on last season’s performance, then Reid has every chance of claiming this award. He has one Coach of the Year title to his name. He won as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002.
Defensive Player of the Year – J.J. Watt – 8/1
Watt has won this award three times in his career already with the last coming in 2015. The Texans have just completed a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins. Former first-round pick Laramy Tunsil is heading to the Texans as part of the Miami package. Houston seem to be in ‘win-now’ mode and this could be a huge season for Watt.