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Odds and Ends

Super Bowl Futures Update

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: January 16, 2019, 1:06 am ET

Well, well, well. My Kansas City Chiefs looked dominant against the Colts last week after being undervalued in the betting markets for two straight weeks. So the betting markets adjusted right? Nope! As you’ll see below, the playoff simulations still like the Chiefs against the betting markets’ implied odds. Hopefully, you got in early though because the return is obviously lower with only four teams remaining.


Current Odds


Westgate Odds To Win SB Probability Divisional Time (EST)
Saints +180 36% vs. LAR Sun at 3:05
Chiefs +275 27% vs. NE Sun at 6:40
Rams +350 22% at NO Sun at 3:05
Patriots +350 22% at KC Sun at 6:40


If you are confused on where I’m getting the probability from, you can check the previous Super Bowl Futures columns I wrote, but it’s really just a simple conversion from the American Odds to Implied Probability. Here’s a nice odds converter that you can use for future reference.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints and Chiefs as the odds-on-favorites since they are the No. 1 seeds with home-field advantage this week. As Renee Miller highlights in her Early Lines Conference Championship column, there are some trends that we need to evaluate before betting on Super Bowl Futures. The two main ones are the Saints at home and the weather forecast in Kansas City.


To win it all, it's critical for dome teams to get home field advantage:

Dome teams are 4-25 (13.8%) on the road in the playoffs since 2009. (9-20, 31% ATS)

Non-dome teams are 29-40 (42%) on the road in that span. (39-30, 57% ATS)

Home dome teams are 22-7 (76%) in that span.

— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 14, 2019


As Warren Sharp points out on Twitter, the Saints have a huge advantage playing in a dome. Since 2009, home playoff-teams playing in a dome have won 76% of the time. Pretty impressive, and this Saints team is one of the best dome teams there’s been since 2009. I still think the Saints have the best chance at winning the Super Bowl.




If you haven’t heard about the weather forecast in Kansas City yet, buckle up. Meteorologists are calling the storm coming in an “Arctic Blast.” Yikes. I’m not sure what that means, but I do know that the current high is 12 degrees, and the kickoff is at 6:40 p.m. local time. Unless things change, the players will be dealing with near-zero temperatures. Luckily, there’s only a 10% chance of snow and minimal wind, but come on. That’s terrible weather. Here’s what that means for the game (data courtesy of Pro Football Focus’ Scott Spratt):

1) Completion percentage is 3.1% lower than the quarterbacks’ season average in games played in sub-32 degree weather

2) Yards per target falls by 0.19 yards

3) Yards per carry increases by 0.27 yards




DVOA Pass Play % Pass DVOA Run Play % Run DVOA
Chiefs 61% 1st 39% 4th
Patriots 56% 4th 44% 9th


That makes me more nervous about the Kansas City Chiefs, who have relied on its passing game more so than the Patriots. But the Chiefs (1st in Weighted DVOA) have been much better than the Patriots (8th in Weighted DVOA) this season that the Chiefs should still be the favorites to win, especially since they don’t have to travel. I just wish the weather was better so we can see that play out. 



Playoff Simulations


Westgate Odds To Win SB Probability DVOA FPI 538
Saints +180 36% 29% 33% 33%
Chiefs +275 27% 32% 34% 31%
Rams +350 22% 19% 18% 17%
Patriots +350 22% 20% 15% 19%


Nothing has changed here. The Saints are still overvalued in the betting markets compared to the simulations, especially if you’re using Football Outsiders’ DVOA model, which gives the Saints a 29% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The FPI and FiveThirtyEight models are closer to the betting markets’ implied odds but still fall short.


The simulations still have love for the Chiefs -- two of the three simulations now call the Chiefs the favorites to win the Super Bowl -- because the simulations don’t care about the following narratives: #DefensesWinChampionships and Andy Reid can’t win in the playoffs. Instead, they care about how efficient the Chiefs have been offensively, and how important home-field advantage is in the playoffs. That’s why the...


Best Super Bowl Bet


is still the Kansas City Chiefs at +275 to win the Super Bowl.