The eagerly awaited 2021 National Football League kicks off on September 9, and fans are busy sorting out their picks. This will be the 102nd season of the NFL, and teams are gearing up for the most crucial year in the sport’s history as fans look set to return to games weekly following the coronavirus enforced break.
There is still much work to be done preparing for the start. Coaches are working through their player wishlist while the stars dream of getting their hands on the Super Bowl, scheduled to be played at SoFi Stadium in California on February 13.
While all this is going on, NFL lovers are browsing the Las Vegas sports betting odds. How do the traders see this season going? Which team will win the Super Bowl? The start may still be months away, but gamblers can act now, betting early using their desktop computers or apps to secure a reasonable price on their favourites.
Let’s take a closer look at who the bookies are backing.
102nd National Football League Season: How the Traders See it
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Traders Keep Kansas Close
This promises to be one of the most competitive seasons in years, and a strong argument could be made for three or four teams winning the Super Bowl. On paper and in the thoughts of the Las Vegas traders, the most likely candidates are Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams. Of course, nothing in football is guaranteed, but it would be an upset if the winner comes from outside of those four sides.
Most bettors wagering on the Super Bowl winner in summer are likely to stick to the big four. They have the best squads, recent solid form, cash to spend to strengthen and vital experience of going all the way to the title. Other gamblers will be happy to take a chance on an underdog with a bite. They will oppose the betting and take a punt for small stakes on an outsider, hoping they can gatecrash the party. When backing a team at big odds, you don’t necessarily need them to win, just play well. The closer your big odds pick gets to the Super Bowl, the bigger the value of your cash-out will be.
Kansas City is the ante-post favourites with all respected online betting firms. We have seen traders change their mind as players come and go in pre-season, but it’s likely Chiefs will hold their ground in pole position. It’s more believable we’ll see them strengthen as favourites rather than drift to the second favourite. Despite the opinion of the sportsbooks, there’s still a reasonable price to be had on Kansas, and there’s value there. We certainly wouldn’t be in a rush to put anyone off.
AFC Winner – Buffalo the Main Danger
With Kansas favourites to win the Super Bowl, it is no surprise to see them top the betting charts for the AFC winner. They sit just ahead of Buffalo Bills, who rate as the main danger according to the money men. Can Buffalo serve up a strong challenge? If they can get anywhere near to Chiefs, it will significantly impact the Super Bowl list.
Outside of Chiefs and Bills, there’s not too much to get excited about in the betting. Third favourites Baltimore Ravens may attract the attention of value hunters, but they aren’t looking like a conference-winning side at this point. They would have to be at their best to stand any chance of making life uncomfortable for the Chiefs. Could Cleveland Browns finish on top? Stranger things have happened in this business, but Browns haven’t attracted too much attention in the betting ring.
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NFC Winner – Tampa Out in Front
The NFC winner betting market places Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the team to beat. That’s difficult to argue against as their squad is packed with talent. They won’t get anything for free this year, however.
If Tampa goes in expecting just to turn up and stroll the conference, they will be made to pay a hefty price by the Green Bay Packers. We can’t write off the Los Angeles Rams or San Francisco 49ers either. Both teams are capable of big performances but must focus on consistency.
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