They’re likely still cleaning up the confetti and the champagne from Super Bowl LI at NRG Field in Houston, but the sportsbooks are already thinking about next year and have the Super Bowl LII odds ready to go.
Who’s on top? Who do you think – the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots of course. After delivering the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to give Tom Brady his fifth Super Bowl title, the Patriots are the favorites to do it all again next season at +400.
The most important factor for New England is that Brady and head coach Bill Belichick will both be back again next season. However, there are a few free agents that New England will need to either re-sign or replace.
On offense, the biggest free agent names for New England are running back LeGarrette Blount and tight end Martellus Bennett. Blount led the league in rushing touchdowns last season, but with Dion Lewis and James White around his time in New England could be over. Bennett stepped up to fill the void left by Rob Gronkowski after his season was shortened by injury. With Gronk’s extensive injury history bringing Bennett back seems like a no-brainer.
On defense the most important names that could exit New England are linebacker Dont’a Hightower, defensive end Jabaal Sheard and cornerback Logan Ryan. The departures of Chandler Jones and Janie Collins last season show that you never know what the Patriots’ defense will look like, so the future of all three is a big question mark.
Trailing the Patriots on the early Super Bowl LII odds are the Dallas Cowboys at +750, and the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Atlanta Falcons, all at +1200.
Dallas grew into contenders last season behind rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. If they can avoid sophomore slumps, and injuries, Dallas should remain one of the top teams in the NFC. They also have to figure out what to do with Tony Romo, who could command some interesting pieces or draft picks via trade.
The Packers came up short in the postseason after their late-season surge, but just like Brady in New England, Aaron Rodgers makes them contenders in the NFC. Rodgers practically willed the Packers into the playoffs and the NFC Championship Game last season. Can the former Super Bowl MVP bring them back to the big game again?
Pittsburgh is in an interesting spot with running back Le’Veon Bell looking for a new contract and QB Ben Roethlisberger reportedly mulling retirement. Bell is expected to be franchised and will be back barring a contract holdout. Roethlisberger will most likely be talked back off the retirement ledge. If Big Ben does hang them up the Steelers would drop like a stone on the odds.
The Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks are all then gridlocked at +1600 on the Super Bowl LII odds, ahead of the Minnesota Vikings at +2000.