Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien
- The Houston Texans are 30-1 to win Super Bowl 53.
- According to The Action Network's NFL simulations, Deshaun Watson and Co. are undervalued.
- Sharp bettors can make more money wagering on Houston game-to-game instead of placing a future bet.
Twelve teams, 11 games and one champion. The road to Super Bowl 53 begins Saturday and you are running out of time to place your bet on a team to lift the Lombardi Trophy.
To help, The Action Network simulated the NFL Playoffs 10,000 times using player and team statistics adjusted for strength of schedule to determine the most likely champion:
The model and betting market agree that the most likely Super Bowl winners are the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots.
Each of these teams will enjoy a first-round bye and combined have a 71.4% chance to win the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the oddsmakers have overpriced the favorites.
Only one playoff participant is offering value and that is the Houston Texans at 30-1 odds.
The implied probability of Houston being crowned champ based on 30-1 odds is 3.2%. According to our simulations, Deshaun Watson and Co. have a 4.7% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
The Texans have the stars to compete with any team in the league. Watson and DeAndre Hopkins lead the offense and J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney anchor a defense that is ranked seventh in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Of course, the team has long odds because of a difficult path to the Super Bowl. Houston is only a 1-point favorite over division rival Indy on Wild Card Weekend and would be a sizable underdog in the Divisional Round against the Patriots.
If the Texans find themselves in Atlanta come February, Houston would also be an underdog to the Saints and Rams — the most likely NFC champions.
I mention this because if you are going to wager on the Texans, or any of the playoff participants, to win the Super Bowl, you’d be better off betting them game-to-game and rolling over your profits.
For example, last year the Philadelphia Eagles were 8-1 to win the Super Bowl before the playoffs began. A $100 bettor wagering on the Eagles would have $900 after Philly upset New England — $800 from the bet plus the original $100 investment.
If that same $100 bettor had wagered on the Eagles’ moneyline each game while rolling over the profits, they would have returned approximately $1,440:
It is usually more profitable to bet a team game-to-game with the added benefit of not having to place a wager in the next round if the matchup or odds are unfavorable.