Best Super Bowl 54 Value Bets: Are the Patriots a Smart Super Bowl Play?

Best Super Bowl 54 Value Bets: Are the Patriots a Smart Super Bowl Play? article feature image
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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty

  • The Patriots (+400) are the favorites to win Super Bowl 54 after Week 1.
  • We ran 10,000 simulations of the 2019 NFL season to determine if there is value betting the Patriots right now.
  • We also identify two other teams with clear value to lift the Lombardi Trophy in February.

One week into the season, the Patriots look like the best team in football. New England trounced Pittsburgh, beating the Steelers, 33-3 — the fourth-biggest margin of victory in Week 1 by a defending Super Bowl champion ever.

The scary part for the rest of the league: This may be the most talented Pats team in the Brady-Belichick era. Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown and Sony Michel will give defensive coordinators nightmares, while Stephon Gilmore and Dont’a Hightower anchor an improved defense.

The oddsmakers at PointsBet list the Patriots as +400 favorites (risk $100 to win $400) to win the championship. The Action Network’s NFL model also sees New England as the most likely Super Bowl champion. According to 10,000 simulations, Brady & Co. lift the Lombardi Trophy 17.8% of the time.

If the model and the market agree that the defending champions are the best team, we should all bet the Patriots to win Super Bowl 54, right?

Wrong. The implied probability of another Pats title is 20.0% based on the current odds, which means the Pats are currently overpriced.

There are, however, two teams with value to win the Super Bowl based on the difference in implied probability and projected chance.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Current odds: +1600, Implied probability: 5.9%
  • Ravens win Super Bowl 8.1% of the time

The knock on Lamar Jackson coming into the season was that he was an unpolished passer. The Ravens quarterback silenced doubters with his performance against the Dolphins, throwing for 324 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-20 passing.

With a defense that ranked third in DVOA and a special teams unit that was sixth last year, the Ravens didn’t need Jackson to play like a Pro Bowler to have success. But if Lamar turns into an MVP — his odds improved from +5000 to +1000 — Baltimore is a serious threat to win it all.

After the impressive showing in Week 1, the Ravens now have a 61.9% chance to win the AFC North and a 76.0% chance of reaching the playoffs. This is a team few would want to face in the postseason.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Current odds: +1000, Implied probability: 9.1%
  • Rams win the Super Bowl 11.1% of the time

All anyone wants to talk about is Todd Gurley’s workload after the Rams 30-27 win over the Panthers. The All-Pro back split carries with Malcolm Brown and managed just 8 rushing yards in the first half.

This was a disappointing development for fantasy owners, but when it counted, Gurley was the back Sean McVay leaned on. In the fourth quarter, Gurley accumulated 64 yards to help seal the victory.

The Rams season was never going to be decided by Gurley alone and Sunday’s victory proved this is a team game. Jared Goff made plays when he needed to, Cooper Kupp had seven catches for 46 yards in his first game after tearing his ACL last season and the defense forced three turnovers and sacked Cam Newton three times.

Fantasy is a driving force of the NFL, and as such, Gurley will continue to be a topic of conversation which may lead casual bettors to overlook LA. That would be a mistake.

The Rams are the most likely team to win the NFC (20.8%) and our simulations give LA a 11.1% chance to win Super Bowl 54 — the third-best odds in football.

Only three teams have lost a Super Bowl and then lifted the Lombardi Trophy the following season. The Rams will try to become the fourth, and the second team to do so in back-to-back seasons after the Patriots accomplished the feat last year.

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