Super Bowl 2021: Updated Odds and Predictions for Championship Tilt
Over Saturday and Sunday, the field for the NFL playoffs was cut from 14 teams to eight. The six teams that advanced to the divisional round joined the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, who had first-round byes as the No. 1 seeds.
By Sunday night, the field will be down to four teams. There are two divisional-round games set to take place Saturday, followed by two more Sunday. And those four winners will contest the conference championship games Jan. 24.
The last two teams remaining (one from the AFC and one from the NFC) will meet in Super Bowl LV, which is set to be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 7.
Here's a look at the odds for each of the eight remaining teams to win the Super Bowl, along with predictions for how the rest of the postseason will unfold.
Current Super Bowl Odds
Kansas City Chiefs: +205 (bet $100 to win $205)
Green Bay Packers: +375
Buffalo Bills: +600
New Orleans Saints: +600
Baltimore Ravens: +800
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +900
Los Angeles Rams: +2000
Cleveland Browns: +3000
AFC Playoff Predictions
In their first playoff game since the 2002 season, the Browns made a statement. They went on the road without head coach Kevin Stefanski (who had tested positive for COVID-19) and rolled to a big 48-37 win for their first postseason victory since the 1994 season.
However, things are going to be much tougher for Cleveland in the divisional round.
The Browns are heading to Kansas City, where they will face the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who are well-rested after being the only AFC team to get a first-round bye. Kansas City went an NFL-best 14-2 during the regular season, and one of those losses came in Week 17 when it was resting key players against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Could Cleveland pull off another upset? It's possible, but it's also unlikely. It's going to have trouble stopping a Kansas City offense that averaged an NFL-high 415.8 total yards per game during the regular season. In fact, all of the AFC is going to have trouble trying to stop that unit, which is why the Chiefs are going to be on their way to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
In the AFC's other divisional-round matchup, the Bills are hosting the Ravens. And now that Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has notched his first career playoff win at the third attempt, the pressure should be off for him and the Ravens, who are capable of pulling off a road upset in Buffalo.
So it will be the Chiefs and Ravens going head-to-head in the AFC Championship Game in a matchup featuring two of the NFL's most exciting young quarterbacks in Jackson and Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes. But the Chiefs offense will be too much for the Ravens defense to stop, especially at Arrowhead Stadium.
Prediction: Chiefs win AFC championship for second year in a row.
NFC Playoff Predictions
It's tough to beat a team three times in the same season. Especially when that team is led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. However, the Saints are capable of doing just that in the divisional round.
For the third time this season, New Orleans and Tampa Bay are going head-to-head. And each of the first two times the teams met, the Saints were victorious. They won 34-23 at home in Week 1 and won 38-3 on the road in Week 9.
Not only does New Orleans have a talented offense featuring quarterback Drew Brees, running back Alvin Kamara, wide receiver Michael Thomas and more, but its defense ranked fourth in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (310.9) during the regular season. That's going to help the Saints get past their NFC South rivals once again, even though the Bucs are also strong on both sides of the ball.
Meanwhile, expect the Packers to easily get past the Rams in the NFC's other divisional-round matchup. Los Angeles is banged up, especially at quarterback. Backup John Wolford started in the Wild Card Round and suffered a neck injury, which led to Jared Goff playing the rest of the game only 12 days removed from right thumb surgery.
Green Bay is well-rested coming off its first-round bye, and it got an MVP-caliber season from veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is going to be difficult for the Rams' defense to stop. The Packers should win handily at Lambeau Field.
Then, Green Bay will welcome New Orleans to Wisconsin in the NFC Championship Game, which should be an exciting head-to-head matchup featuring Rodgers and Brees, a pair of quarterbacks who are both Super Bowl champions and among the best of their era. And while it should be a close game, expect the Saints defense to slow the Packers offense enough to allow Brees and Kamara to lead them to victory.
Prediction: Saints win NFC championship for first time since 2009 season.
Super Bowl LV Prediction
The Chiefs and Saints will face off in Super Bowl LV in Tampa, which could mean a game with plenty of offense. Both boast star players capable of putting up plenty of points, which is what could be seen during a matchup between the teams.
That was the case in Week 15 of the regular season, when the Chiefs held on for a 32-29 victory over the Saints in New Orleans. If that was a preview of what the Super Bowl could be, we should be in store for an exciting game.
Not only will the Saints be looking for revenge, but this could be Brees' final opportunity to win another Super Bowl. He will be 42 when the Chiefs game arrives, and he could be heading for retirement this offseason. Brees' only championship came back in the 2009 season, and with how strong New Orleans has been with him under center for most of the past decade, he's deserving of winning one more.
But the Chiefs are going to be a formidable opponent as they look to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. They are just as strong as they were when they went all the way last year.
However, Kansas City will come up just short, while New Orleans will send Brees out in style. The Saints will rely on numerous scores from Kamara and a solid showing from their defense to end the 2020 season with a Super Bowl championship.
Prediction: Saints win first Super Bowl since 2009 season.
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