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2020-2021 NFL Playoff Update

Miraculously, the NFL made it all the way through the 2020 regular season without missing a single game. And here we are heading into the playoffs with the defending champions at the top of the Super Bowl odds board. The Kansas City Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and as they’ve been for most of the year, the No. 1 title favorites at Bovada Sportsbook. 

Aside from the futures market, the Chiefs aren’t on this week’s NFL betting lines – they have the bye into the Divisional Round, and there’s only one bye in each conference, thanks to this year’s 14-team playoff format. That’s great news for both the Chiefs and the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers. Everyone else will have to duke it out this weekend. 

NFL Odds to Win the Super Bowl

Chances are we’ll see some title-worthy teams take an early exit in the Wild Card Round – maybe even one of these top five Super Bowl LV favorites on Bovada’s NFL lines at press time:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (+190)

Rest and recovery will be even more important this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left some teams healthier than others going into the postseason. The Chiefs (14-2 SU, 7-9 ATS) might be the healthiest team in the league right now, and they had the luxury of taking it easy in Week 17, sitting many of their starters while losing 38-21 to the Los Angeles Chargers (–6.5 away). That list includes QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce, and WR Tyreek Hill.

2. Green Bay Packers (+450)

The Packers (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS) tore up the NFL Vegas odds during the second half of the regular season, winning their last six straight at 4-2 ATS. But they didn’t take Week 17 off; Green Bay needed a win over the Chicago Bears (or some help) to secure the top seed in the NFC, and win they did, 35-16 as 4.5-point road favorites. QB Aaron Rodgers threw another four touchdown passes to finish the season with 48 TDs and just five picks – making him the runaway MVP favorite at –2000. Unfortunately for Rodgers, he won’t have LT David Bakhtiari (torn ACL) protecting his blind side during the playoffs.

3. Buffalo Bills (+650)

Josh Allen (37 TDs, 10 INTs) is No. 2 on Bovada’s MVP list at +900, after leading the Bills (13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS) to their first AFC East title since Jim Kelly was their quarterback. Buffalo’s offense is a thing of beauty with Allen under center; their defense also looks pretty sharp with head coach Sean McDermott running the show. McDermott played Allen and the rest of his starters in last week’s 56-26 romp over the Miami Dolphins (–3 away), locking down the AFC’s No. 2 seed and setting up a Wild Card matchup with the Indianapolis Colts this Saturday at 1:05 PM ET on CBS. The Bills are 7-point home favorites with a total of 52.

4. New Orleans Saints (+800)

The Saints (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) could have used the bye that normally goes with being the NFC’s No. 2 seed. They’ve suffered more than their share of early-round nightmares since beating the Super Bowl odds in 2009-10, but at least they have a manageable Wild Card matchup this Sunday (4:40 PM ET, CBS) with the 8-8 Chicago Bears, who are getting 9.5 points at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a total of 48. That’s the biggest spread on this weekend’s NFL lines. QB Drew Brees looks like he’s recovered from his midseason rib injuries, throwing three TD passes in their 33-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers (+6 at home).

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1000)

Does anyone want to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS) in the opening round? Brady has six Super Bowl rings, all of them as a member of the New England Patriots, and he managed to have one of his better seasons at age 43 for his new employers. His arrival in Tampa, combined with an already stout defense, has the Bucs in excellent shape as the strongest Wild Card team of the bunch; they’re eight-point road favorites this Saturday (8:15 PM ET, NBC) against the 7-9 Washington Football Team, who only made the playoffs by virtue of winning the NFC East. A Washington victory here would be so 2020, though.

 

*Odds as of January 8th, 2020