With the opening kickoff on the 2020 NFL season now just a week away, it remains a tight two-way race atop the Super Bowl odds, where the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens remain deadlocked as +650 co-favourites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Baltimore sported an NFL-best 14-2 straight-up record during the 2019 NFL regular season. However, it was Kansas City that managed to convert its strong campaign into a successful Super Bowl run, and now takes a nine-game straight-up win streak into its Week 1 Thursday night matchup against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs emerged as a force during their late-season and playoff surge, defeating opponents by double-digit margins on seven occasions during their current 9-0 straight-up run. And with their championship core returning largely intact, the team has emerged as a strong -145 wager at sports betting sites to win at least 12 games for the fourth time in five years.
The Ravens return to action with a lot to prove after getting bounced from the AFC Divisional Playoffs by the Tennessee Titans. Baltimore’s 28-12 loss to the Titans brought a screeching halt to a franchise-record 12-game straight-up win streak. The Ravens were also recently forced to make the hard decision to part ways with star safety Earl Thomas. However, the Ravens are well positioned to dominate in the AFC North against division rivals who have made only moderate gains, and sit as clear -185 favourites to repeat as division champions.
Further down the Super Bowl odds, the San Francisco 49ers sit alongside the New Orleans Saints at +1000. The retooled Tampa Bay Buccaneers follow at +1200, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys at +1500, the Seattle Seahawks at +1600, and the Indianapolis Colts at +2000.
The 49ers are aiming to build on a resurgent 2019 campaign that earned them their first trip to the Super Bowl in seven years. But while San Francisco remains the clear favourite on the NFL odds to repeat as the NFC West champion, they are expected to struggle to match last season’s 13-3 record, with just -125 odds of winning over 10.5 games.
The Saints also face question marks heading into Week 1, and most notable among the team’s concerns is the status of Alvin Kamara. The star running back’s absence from training camp amid ongoing contract talks has spurred speculation as to his future in the Big Easy. The loss of Kamara would be a blow to the Saints, who likely face a tight divisional battle this season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have transformed themselves with the offseason additions of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette.