Super Bowl LV Odds: Brady & Gronk’s Bucs To Deny KC Crown?

Leigh Copson:

The Kansas City Chiefs ended a 50-year wait to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Miami, but can they now become only the second team to win back-to-back Super Bowls in the past couple of decades? Or could Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and their new employers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, halt a potential Chiefs’ dynasty before it truly begins.

A new era has been ushered in by the NFL following the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV success in February. Andy Reid finally shrugged off the tag of being the ‘best head coach’ never to win the league’s biggest game as superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes overcame a sloppy performance to lead his team to glory with a fourth-quarter fightback, and many are predicting that this combination could now go on to form a dynasty that rivals the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era in New England.

Is it conceivable? Yes. Will it happen? We will have to wait and see. While there is no doubting that Kansas City will be one of the frontrunners for Super Bowl glory for many years to come, it will take an extraordinary effort for them to follow in the footsteps of the Patriots, who have courted a lot of controversy during this incredible run that many believe has tainted their success.

The league’s aim for parity means teams can come out of nowhere to become contenders – just look at San Francisco in 2019 – and of course there are a whole host of already talented teams that could knock the Chiefs off the summit after some offseason retooling? 2020 promises to be a thrilling season, but when all is said and done will the Chiefs still be kings of the National Football League?

We run down the contenders for victory at Super Bowl LV…

1) Baltimore Ravens @ 11/2

Patrick Mahomes went from NFL regular season MVP to Super Bowl winner in the space of 12 months, and Baltimore will be hoping that Lamar Jackson can follow in his footsteps in 2020. Jackson silenced his pre-season critics in 2019 as he embarked on an incredible campaign personally that proved he is much more than a ‘glorified running back’ playing quarterback. Ultimately the Ravens’ quest for Super Bowl glory came up short with a shock home defeat to Tennessee, but the experience of making it to the postseason will have been huge for Jackson and he is not the first and he will certainly not be the last young player to suffer crushing disappointment in his first trip to the postseason. Baltimore will have learned a lot from the 2019 campaign and they are in a good position in terms of the salary cap, which allowed them to splash a the during free agency to bring in Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers. The Ravens will be a major threat to Kansas City in 2020 and football fans will already be salivating at the prospect of Jackson v Mahomes in next season’s AFC Championship Game.

2) Kansas City Chiefs @ 6/1

No surprises here. The Kansas City Chiefs are the bookmakers’ picks to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Raymond James Stadium next February. The Chiefs have a couple of notable players whose contracts are up but this season’s success and the potential for many more Super Bowl rings over the coming years will help their cause in trying to resign those players to deals that do not cause major salary cap issues. There are no contractual issues surrounding star man Patrick Mahomes, who inked a mega-money contract in the offseason, and the Chiefs will bring back all of the supporting cast that have helped them on their way to success, as well as exciting draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The defense is the ‘weakest’ part of this team, but that unit grew under Steve Spagnuolo in 2019 and really stepped up its game when it mattered most. The 2020 Chiefs could prove to be better than the 2019 Chiefs as an all-round package, so they could take some stopping in their quest for back-to-back Super Bowl crowns.

3) San Francisco 49ers @ 9/1

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Photo by USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images).

Can the San Francisco 49ers overcome a potential Super Bowl hangover? The Vince Lombardi Trophy appeared to be within their grasp when Patrick Mahomes threw his second pick of Super Bowl LIV, but Kansas City managed to find another gear in the fourth quarter to come storming back to win and you have to wonder how the Niners will deal with that heartache. Over the years we have seen countless teams lose the Super Bowl and then go on to struggle the following year – just look at the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 as they looked a shadow of the team that made it all the way to the big game one year earlier. This San Francisco group could be different though, for one major reason – that defense. The 49ers have been outstanding on that side of the football and for three quarters in Super Bowl LIV they were able to make Mahomes look pretty ordinary at times. That group will make them contenders once again in 2020, but there will be some questions surrounding an offense that stalled in Miami. Jimmy Garoppolo had his moments, but he also missed some key throws that could have iced the game and had the 49ers celebrating under confetti. Will that haunt him or will it spur him on. We will see in 2020, but for now it is very understandable that the bookmakers expect the 49ers to be in the Super Bowl picture once again next season.

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ 101

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Photo by USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images).
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Photo by USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images).

The question is, just how much does a 42-year-old Tom Brady have left in the tank after an underwhelming 2019 season for New England that saw their dynasty seemingly come to an end with a home defeat to Tennessee in the playoffs? Brady will be surrounded by plenty of weapons in his new home and one of them will be former Patriots team-mate Rob Gronkowski, who has come out of retirement to reunite with his old pal. ‘Gronk’ always said that he would only play for a team with Brady at QB and he has been true to his word. But can they bring success to Tampa? The bookies certainly love the deal because they quickly cut the odds on the Buccaneers going all the way this season, but have they got a little too carried away? This is team that has had one winning season since 2010 and has not even won the NFC South since 2007. Brady and Gronkowski will bring a winning culture to Tampa, but they are aging players, one of which just sat out an entire year, and preseason preparations have hardly been ideal. However, If Brady and Gronk can rekindle that old magic and TB12 can develop a good chemistry with his new colleagues, then Tampa Bay could enjoy their best season in years.

5) New Orleans Saints @ 11/1

New Orleans have suffered postseason heartbreak at home in each of the past two seasons. The Superdome has tended to be a fortress for them over the years, but a botched call against the Los Angeles Rams cost them the NFC Championship Game in 2018-19 and one year later they fell to a shock overtime defeat when they hosted Minnesota on Wildcard Weekend. The clock is ticking down on veteran quarterback Drew Brees in his quest to win a second Super Bowl ring, but despite those two heart-breaking losses the bookmakers expect the Saints to be in the running for the Vince Lombardi Trophy once again in 2020. And who can blame them? They have been consistent postseason fixtures over the years and in Brees and head coach Sean Payton they have leaders who know how to win the big one. New Orleans will contend again, but can they avoid another massive January loss that ends their season?

6) Dallas Cowboys @ 16/1

The Dallas Cowboys fell apart during the second half of last season to hand the NFC East title to Philadelphia – a slump that ultimately cost Jason Garrett his job his head coach. The Cowboys turned to Mike McCarthy as they look to bounce back in 2020 and the former Green Bay Packers coach was given free rein to overhaul the coaching staff in Arlington as he looks to get the franchise heading in the right direction again. But can he do just that? While Dak Prescott will return in 2020, he will do it on the franchise tag after he and the Cowboys failed to come to terms on a new deal, and that means there will be question marks about where his head is at as he gets set to enter free agency next year. The arrival of Everson Griffen is a massive boost to them defensively, but there is still much work to be done with that unit and they have already lost Gerald McCoy to a season-ending injury shortly after linking up with the team. I cannot help but feel like Dallas are one of the top 10 in the minds of the bookmakers simply because they always are. They have a very good shot at winning a weak NFC East, but I do not see them going all the way and claiming the biggest prize in the game, the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

7) Seattle Seahawks @ 18/1

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (Photo by Andy Lewis/Zuma Press/PA Images)

One more inch and the 2019 season could have been very different for Seattle. That was all that separated them from a season sweep over the San Francisco 49ers that would have sent the road to Super Bowl LIV through CenturyLink Field. Instead they were forced to overcome Philadelphia on Wildcard Weekend before falling to Green Bay in the Divisional Round. So what does 2020 hold in store for them? Seattle general manager John Schneider made headlines in the offseason when he traded away a couple of first-round picks to lure Jamal Adams away from the New York Jets, and offensively he added a couple more weapons for Russell Wilson in the former of Greg Olsen and Phillip Dorsett. Draft pick DeeJay Dallas could prove to be one of the sleeper picks of the 2020 class, so Seattle are primed for another winning season at least. But could they actually go on to win the Super Bowl? The jury is still out on that.

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