NFL: AFC and NFC Conference Odds 2020
Each year for the NFL’s grand finale, two teams make it to the Super Bowl representing the AFC and NFC conferences and the two franchises that just played in Super Bowl 54 are favorites to make it to the big game again.
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are favored to win their respective conferences and play in Super Bowl 55 in Tampa Bay according to online sportsbook Bodog. The Chiefs are listed at +275 to win the AFC while the Niners are +400 to represent the NFC.
The NFL offseason has been a wild one, to say the least, with quarterbacks changing teams, high-profile trades, and COVID-19 eerily hanging over every decision. Let’s break down each NFL conference’s odds and which teams may have betting value prior to the NFL draft.
AFC Conference Odds
After three straight come-from-behind postseason wins, including their victory in Super Bowl 54, the Kansas City Chiefs (+275) deserve to be the favorites to win the AFC conference and make it to Super Bowl 55.
They have arguably the best quarterback to come into the league in the last 10 years in Patrick Mahomes, who floats all boats and makes marginal receivers into great ones, not to mention an offensive guru in head coach Andy Reid, who looked like a genius for trading up to draft him in 2017.
The Chiefs also have shown over the last two seasons that they can knock off the next team on the list, the Baltimore Ravens (+325), who got exposed in their loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round after leading the AFC standings at 14-2 SU. The Ravens know their offense will still click with NFL MVP Lamar Jackson so they doubled down on defense and upgraded by adding DE Calais Campbell and DT Michael Brockers to shore up their pass rush.
The next team on the list, the New England Patriots at +850, may have had the most high-profile departure with Tom Brady signing with Tampa Bay. That likely had most teams in the AFC popping champagne bottles (especially in the AFC East).
The Patriots, expected to go with Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer at QB for 2020, are never a team to be counted out – without Brady in 2008 due to injury, they still went 11-5 SU for the season. The +850 odds feel too generous with those two as signal-callers but New England may add another quarterback in the draft and it’s difficult to bet against head coach Bill Belichick.
It’s hard to call the Indianapolis Colts a dark-horse candidate to win the AFC. First off, it seems offensive and, secondly, they just improved significantly at quarterback by adding Philip Rivers to replace Jacoby Brissett. The Colts have power players at a lot of key positions, signed a wrecking ball in DT DeForest Buckner to shore up their defensive line and despite Brissett’s best efforts, Rivers is a clear upgrade at the sport’s most important position.
Rivers will have a lot of toys to play with, namely receiver TY Hilton and bruising back Marlon Mack, who should give him the luxury of not being required to throw 50 times a game. At +1800, these odds are very enticing as the Colts will likely win the AFC South and Rivers is very familiar with the Chiefs, having played in the AFC West for his entire career prior to his move to Indianapolis.
The super long shot that most bettors are not talking about is the New York Jets (+4500). The Jets, on paper, actually have a very intriguing roster that could challenge in the AFC East because they have an up-and-coming quarterback in Sam Darnold, a solid RB in Le’Veon Bell and an underrated defense that was ravaged by injuries in 2019.
The Jets season was lost as soon as Darnold went down with mono in Week 2 last year and the fact they went 7-9 SU despite his absence for three games was a testament to the roster as a whole. It’s a long shot but at +4500, no other team in this odds range offers this kind of upside.
Here are the full odds to win the AFC conference title:
|Kansas City Chiefs||+275|
|New England Patriots||+850|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1800|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+2000|
|New York Jets||+4500|
Odds as of March 24 at Bodog
NFC Conference Odds
The NFC is typically the stronger conference top to bottom compared to the AFC, which is why the San Francisco 49ers aren’t as heavily favored as the Chiefs to make it back to Super Bowl 55. They still lead the oddsboard at +400 to make it back to the final game and that’s mainly because of their stacked roster.
The 49ers may have lost a top player in Buckner but they had so much depth at defensive line, they could afford to let him walk because DE Nick Bosa is a game-wrecker in his own right. Looking over the Niners roster, there aren’t many weaknesses outside of the lack of a true No. 1 receiver but they could remedy this in the upcoming draft or take the training wheels off second-year receiver Deebo Samuel and let him mature into that role.
The New Orleans Saints, the second team on the list, fell short again in the postseason when they were upset at home by the Minnesota Vikings and now have fallen victim to playoff collapses in the last three years. The Saints will likely still win 10 or more games but their stiffest competition may not even come from the postseason but from within their own division in the NFC South.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the biggest offseason splash when they lured Tom Brady away from New England. The Bucs defense led the NFL in rushing yards allowed and was fifth in rushing touchdowns, and Brady has some serious offensive weapons like receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at his disposal. It remains to be seen how Brady will fare in Florida but the Buccaneers have shown they’re going for it in 2020.
Looking for some under-the-radar squads that could challenge in the NFC, you don’t need to look any further than the Chicago Bears. The Bears defense has always been a staple of the proud franchise while quarterback was the position that got overlooked. Well, the Bears may have seen enough of Mitch Trubisky because Chicago added former Super Bowl champion Nick Foles to back up Trubisky and potentially take over as signal-caller.
It may be a lot to ask of Foles to pull off two miracles in his career but the Bears have a roster that’s ready to win now. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers slightly regressed on defense with free-agency departures and that could create an opening in the NFC North. That being said, betting against Aaron Rodgers is a tough ask.
After the Bears, the next team that stands out as a super long shot is the Arizona Cardinals at +3300. The Cardinals made the second-biggest offseason move in acquiring DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for a bag of footballs and he will pair with WR Larry Fitzgerald to give QB Kyler Murray a strong passing combo to throw to.
It’s clear that the Cardinals offense will likely see an uptick in productivity but it’s Arizona’s defense that may hold the Cards back from competing in the NFC. The Cardinals were in the bottom five of the NFL in points and passing yards allowed per game and will likely try to improve in that area in the draft. Not to mention they play in the NFC West, where the other three teams are all likely to be in the thick of the playoff race, so there’s a reason the Cards have a +3300 price tag.
|San Francisco 49ers||+400|
|New Orleans Saints||+600|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+700|
|Green Bay Packers||+900|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1400|
|New York Giants||+4000|
Odds as of March 24 at Bodog
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