Super Bowl 54 took place over a month ago, with Patrick Mahomes leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. While the confetti may have just stopped falling, NFL fans are already looking forward to next season.
Some of the biggest oddsmakers in sports gambling have already released their odds for Super Bowl 55, proving it’s never too soon to start speculating. Let’s look at the Chiefs and 49ers’ chances of earning the 2021 Super Bowl title.
The best Super Bowl odds go to the Kansas City Chiefs
The NFL offseason has only just begun. Plenty of uncertainties could shake up the league next year — for instance, where Philip Rivers ends up. Yet those uncertainties aren’t great enough to keep the Chiefs from getting the best odds to win the Super Bowl again next year, at +650.
That optimism seems well-founded, especially when you consider the Chiefs’ shaky season before taking home the 2020 trophy. Not only did Mahomes miss time due to injury, but the Chiefs dropped four of their first 10 games. Furthermore, they trailed by double digits in all three of their postseason games.
Those kinds of statistics suggest the Chiefs have yet to hit their ceiling. Assuming the team returns healthy, they’ll be motivated to show the league how dominant they can be. Not only do they have arguably the NFL’s best quarterback in Mahomes, but they also have the best tight end in Travis Kelce and one of the fastest wideouts in Tyreek Hill.
The San Francisco 49ers get second-best odds
The 49ers’ performance last season saw them defy expectations. Less than a year ago, ESPN considered the 49ers a 30-1 longshot to make the Super Bowl, giving them the 18th-highest odds in the entire NFL. Most oddsmakers saw the team as a far safer bet to miss the playoffs entirely.
Yet a strong draft class and free agency helped the 49ers shore up their weak spots, building a team that ultimately fought its way to the big game. As a result, nobody is going to underestimate the 49ers again. The odds of them making the Super Bowl next year are +750 — tying them with the Baltimore Ravens for second place overall.
The Super Bowl hangover effect could be a factor
Some analysts already think the 49ers’ odds seem a little too high. They support their argument by pointing out that plenty of teams struggle in the year following a Super Bowl defeat. You don’t have to look too far back to find evidence of the so-called hangover effect.
For instance, after their 2002 loss in Super Bowl XXXVI, the St. Louis Rams collapsed the following season. They lost their first five games, going on to post a lackluster 7-9 record. As a result, the Rams failed to make the playoffs altogether.
A similar thing happened to the Panthers following their Super Bowl XXXVIII loss to the New England Patriots. The next year, the Panthers got off to a 1-7 start, ultimately compiling a 7-9 record that kept them from the playoffs. Of course, it’s worth noting that the Panthers suffered a number of injuries at the start of the season.
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