The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs took part in two epic matchups last season, including the AFC Championship Game, with the former beating the latter both times by a combined nine points en route to winning the Super Bowl for the sixth time.
This year, the Chiefs and Patriots are expected to be among the best teams again, listed as the top two on the board to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy at +700 (bet $100 to win $700) and +750, respectively, on the Super Bowl odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
With the first few waves of free agency already in the past, neither Kansas City nor New England has made a huge splash so far. In fact, both the Chiefs and Patriots lost some key players while retaining some of their own instead. Kansas City’s only significant addition was signing safety Tyrann Mathieu to replace Eric Berry, who was released.
Of course that has not been the case with many other teams who have tried to upgrade their rosters through free agency and trades in an effort to become Super Bowl contenders or at least more competitive than they were last year. The New York Jets and Oakland Raiders won just eight games between them last season, but they have acquired some of the bigger names this offseason to improve their odds.
New York inked a pair of key free agents in running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley, and they are now +8000 on the odds to win the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Oakland acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers and signed offensive tackle Trent Brown away from New England, and the team’s odds to win it all have dropped down to +6600. Pittsburgh’s odds are +2200 after losing Bell and Brown.
However, the biggest story of this offseason has been the vast improvement of the Cleveland Browns, which is why they are now among the favorites overall at +1200 on those NFL odds and the third choice from the AFC behind the Chiefs and Patriots. The Browns picked up wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and linebacker Olivier Vernon in separate trades with the New York Giants while also signing defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and previously adding running back Kareem Hunt.
Even though Hunt has been suspended for the first eight games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after getting cut by Kansas City, Cleveland is in prime position to make a run at the Super Bowl.