Super Bowl 56 Odds Following Week 1 – Which Teams Move Up or Down?
Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season saw a lot of surprises when it came to Super Bowl contenders.
The Green Bay Packers fell flat on their face, while the new-look Los Angeles Rams showed they were ready to live up to the hype.
It’s tough to bet following Week 1 because it is just one game. It could be a sign of things to come or just an outlier performance.
Let’s look at how the Super Bowl 56 odds have shifted following Week 1.
Updated Super Bowl 56 Odds
It’s no surprise to see the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the clear favorites, at the top Super Bowl betting sites.
Last year’s Super Bowl opponents both opened the season with impressive wins. By the looks of it, neither team has taken a step back, and so far the odds reflect that.
They nearly blew a big lead against a bad Detroit Lions team. The final result was a little too close for comfort.
Still, the Niners are one of the league’s most complete teams on paper, and now walk into week two with the fifth best odds in the league.
A few more teams slid or rose a bit. Let’s look at the most glaring changes – based on odds or perception – as I break down the latest Super Bowl 56 odds.
Should the Kansas City Chiefs Be the Favorite?
The Kansas City Chiefs remain the favorite following their Week 1 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Kansas City’s defense really struggled in the first half. They allowed the Browns to score a touchdown on their first three drives. That’s why they went into halftime trailing 22-10.
In the second half, their defense showed up and their offense continued to do their thing.
Not including the final two plays of the game, Kansas City scored on four of their five drives in the second half. In turn, Cleveland scored on just one of their drives.
That drive also happened to be their only one in the second half with more than five plays.
I know some people are going to view this performance by Kansas City and wonder if they are still a smart bet to win the Super Bowl. While the defense struggled early, I’m certainly not losing confidence in the Chiefs.
When you think about it, it wasn’t far off a typical Chiefs game.
We’ve seen them trail early in games before but they don’t change their game plan. They have faith in their plan and know they don’t have to switch things up.
A lot of teams would’ve panicked facing a nine-point deficit to the Browns with 10 minutes remaining. The Chiefs aren’t one of those teams.
Hill had the 75-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to keep the Chiefs within striking distance. Kelce had a pair of second-half touchdowns, including the game-winner with just over seven minutes remaining.
When it mattered most, the Chiefs defense stepped up.
I remain confident in the Chiefs ability to win another Super Bowl. They were facing a tough team that didn’t back down all game. The defense will be better when Tyrann Mathieu returns from injury.
NFL Teams on the Rise
We saw a pair of teams that really helped their Super Bowl chances with big victories. Buffalo and Green Bay are still in the top-5 in terms of odds despite week one defeats.
They could have easily slid more, but before I get to teams that disappointed, let’s look at who may be on the rise.
A few teams impressed in week one, but two teams stood out more than most. Let’s examine their Super Bowl 56 chances.
New Orleans Saints
Did anyone have a more impressive Week 1 performance than the New Orleans Saints?
They had everything going against them. Drew Brees retired this offseason, Michael Thomas is out for six weeks, and they lost home-field advantage. They also had the misfortune of facing last year’s MVP. Needless to say, the Saints surprised everyone.
And the Saints didn’t just win the game. They flat-out destroyed the Green Bay Packers.
Check out what they did on their first seven drives.
- Field Goal
Jameis Winston may have only thrown for 148 yards, but his five passing touchdowns have him on some people’s MVP radar.
Everyone knows Brees is a future Hall of Famer but his play did slip over the last year. Is it possible that the Saints are in a better spot with Winston?
Winston certainly deserves the praise, but we can’t forget about the Saints defense. They faced a team that led the league last season in points per game. The Packers scored under 22 points just once last season.
The Saints defense allowed just three points. They also forced Rodgers into throwing two interceptions. It’s extremely rare for someone like Rodgers to have a multiple interception game. He threw five all of last season.
Last season, the Saints did have a top-five defense. However, it’s hard to trust an elite defense when you’re facing an elite offense. Well, now we know which team is truly elite.
Coming into this season, everyone was discounting the Saints. With their odds shifting from +3000 to +2500, they may be everyone’s early dark horse pick to win the Super Bowl.
New Orleans’ coaching staff certainly deserves some of the credit. When you have that much continuity, you can succeed with anyone.
If Mike Tomlin is in charge of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you can never count them out.
Pittsburgh was a big fade for a lot of people this offseason. They lost four of their final five games last season and lost big to the Cleveland Browns in the playoffs.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s best days were behind him and the Steelers offensive line lost three key pieces. In Week 1, the Steelers did what they always do. They exceeded expectations.
The Steelers offense started slow. They didn’t make it past mid-field in the first half. Their defense kept them in the game, allowing just 10 points. In the second half, Pittsburgh’s offense flipped a switch.
They outscored the Bills 23-6 in the second half to win the game 23-16. Four of their drives ended in points, while also adding in a blocked punt touchdown.
Coming into the season, Pittsburgh opened with +4400 odds to win the Super Bowl. Following the victory, it’s down to +3200.
It’s not much of a surprise that T.J. Watt was the best player for the Steelers in this game.
Pittsburgh just made Watt the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. He showed early that he was worth the money.
- 3 tackles
- 2 sacks
- 1 forced fumble
The Steelers offense may not be what it once was, but their defense is as good as ever. They showed that they have what it takes to finish the season with the number one defense.
The Super Bowl is still a long shot, but if the Steelers put together a few more impressive victories, it’ll be hard for bettors to ignore them.
Teams Potentially on the Decline
Unfortunately, Week 1 wasn’t kind to every Super Bowl 56 contender. I broke down two teams that are perhaps ready to climb the ladder this year, but with every team that rises, it’s possible others fall.
Let’s look at two teams that saw their hopes take a big hit.
The Tennessee Titans came into this season as a dark horse Super Bowl contender.
They had a very successful 2020 season and upgraded their offense and defense this offseason. Following Week 1, there are a lot of question marks in Tennessee.
Tennessee had one of the worst defenses last season. Unfortunately, it looks like their defense actually got worse.
We saw Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have their way in this matchup.
Kyler Murray is just toying with the Titans defense 😂pic.twitter.com/lJUJ8cWvXa— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 12, 2021
Arizona controlled the game from the start, leading 24-6 at halftime. Even in the second half, the Cardinals outscored the Titans 14-7.
I know everyone will talk about the Titans porous defense, but their offensive line needs some work as well.
Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones had five sacks. That’s unacceptable considering he was going up against Taylor Lewan, one of the better tackles in the league.
The Titans offensive line also played a factor in a tough day for Derrick Henry.
- 17 carries
- 58 yards
- 0 touchdowns
Tennessee had to abandon the run since they trailed from the start. Either way, Henry never established much of a rhythm.
And it wasn’t like they were facing an elite Cardinals defense. Their run defense ranked in the bottom half of the league last season. They have intriguing pieces but they’re mostly in the secondary.
Those guys definitely played a hand in a slow start for Julio Jones. The Titans new wide receiver had just three receptions for 29 yards.
I expect the Titans offense to bounce back moving forward, but this defense scares me.
Ultimately, this could just prove to be an outlier but I need to see some signs of improvement before I take them seriously as a dark horse contender.
Green Bay Packers
We talked about how impressive the New Orleans Saints looked in Week 1. Well, it came at the expense of the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay didn’t have Super Bowl odds for much of the offseason because we had no idea if Aaron Rodgers would play.
Rodgers announced he would play this season and the Packers opened with the fourth-best odds. After their Week 1 performance, they certainly don’t look like the fourth-best team.
I don’t know where to start. Rodgers had one of the worst performances of his career, Aaron Jones had 22 total yards, and Davante Adams was the only wide receiver over 35 yards.
When it came down to it, neither quarterback had a ton of yards. It was the ground game that made the difference.
- New Orleans Saints: 171 rushing yards
- Green Bay Packers: 43 rushing yards
The 38-3 defeat moved the Packers Super Bowl odds from +1200 to +1400. Honestly, you could argue that the odds should be higher following that performance.
What made the Packers offense so successful last season is their lack of weaknesses.
Rodgers won MVP, Jones had over 1,100 rushing yards, Adams led the league in receiving touchdowns, and their offensive line was elite. Adams had a decent day but everyone else struggled.
It certainly doesn’t help that their defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Jameis Winston of all people carved them up.
An elite offense can only take you so far. We saw the Packers lose in the NFC Championship Game last season because their defense couldn’t hold up.
They won’t lose every game by double digits without scoring a touchdown. However, I don’t think they’ll be as strong as last season.
I’d wait a few weeks before betting on the Packers.
Betting on Super Bowl 56
Week 1 in the NFL is always interesting because it’s your first chance to see your Super Bowl bets in action. Some bettors are feeling a lot better than others right now, of course.
It’s always a gamble to bet this early, but the odds are only going to get worse if your team continues to succeed.
On the flip side, you can always place a new bet.
You can either target a previous contender who has sliding odds, or you can target a team that is slowly rising, but doesn’t have egregious Super Bowl 56 odds just yet.
There are more teams to track after week one, of course. For more on who passed and failed, take a look at the week one NFL winners and losers.