Out with the old and in with the new. Super Bowl LI hasn't even been played yet and we already have new Super Bowl odds! Sure, the Patriots and Falcons are the two teams left standing at the end of this season, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily also the top two teams when it comes to next year's odds. The Falcons for example are tied for just the fifth-best Super Bowl odds next year.
One reason for those odds is that from a historical perspective, the odds are stacked against either of this year's finalists making it back to the Super Bowl next year:
|Season||Super Bowl||Winner||Next season||Loser||Next season|
|2015||50||Broncos||missed playoffs||Panthers||missed playoffs|
|2014||XLIX (49)||Patriots||Conference Championship||Seahawks||Divisional Round|
|2013||XLVIII (48)||Seahawks||Super Bowl loser||Broncos||Divisional Round|
|2012||XLVII (47)||Ravens||missed playoffs||49ers||Conference Championship|
|2011||XLVI (46)||NY Giants||missed playoffs||Patriots||Conference Championship|
|2010||XLV (45)||Packers||Divisional Round||Steelers||Wildcard Round|
|2009||XLIV (44)||Saints||Wildcard Round||Colts||Wildcard Round|
|2008||XLIII (43)||Steelers||missed playoffs||Cardinals||Divisional Round|
|2007||XLII (42)||NY Giants||Divisional Round||Patriots||missed playoffs|
|2006||XLI (41)||Colts||Divisional Round||Bears||missed playoffs|
|2005||XL (40)||Steelers||missed playoffs||Seahawks||Divisional Round|
|2004||XXXIX (39)||Patriots||Divisional Round||Eagles||missed playoffs|
|2003||XXXVIII (38)||Patriots||Super Bowl winner||Panthers||missed playoffs|
|2002||XXXVII (37)||Buccaneers||missed playoffs||Raiders||missed playoffs|
- Of the 28 teams participating in the last 14 Super Bowls, 12 missed the playoffs entirely the next season.
- Only five of those 28 teams made it beyond the Divisional Round the following year.
- Only twice over the last 14 years since realignment has a Super Bowl participant made it back to the Super Bowl the following year, the Patriots in the 2003 & 2004 seasons, and the Seahawks in 2013 & 2014 seasons.
So let's take look at which teams the Vegas bookmakers see as the favorites for the Super Bowl next year. The Patriots open as the favorites for 2018 on the assumption that Tom Brady (who'll be 40 years old next year) doesn't retire after this season. They are followed by the Packers, Steelers, and Seahawks. The Cowboys open at +1200, which ties them at fifth overall with the Atlanta Falcons, according to the latest odds from Bookmaker.eu.
A lot can happen between now and the end of next season. Last year at around this time, the Cowboys were tied for the fifth best Super Bowl odds together with the Cardinals, Panthers, and Bengals. Of those four teams, only the Cowboys even made the playoffs.
Here's how the 32 NFL teams stack up in the early Vegas odds for the 2018 Super Bowl.
|ODDS TO WIN 2018 SUPER BOWL|
|New England Patriots||+500||Baltimore Ravens||+4000|
|Green Bay Packers||+1000||Miami Dolphins||+4500|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+1000||Tennessee Titans||+5000|
|Seattle Seahawks||+1100||Washington Redskins||+5000|
|Atlanta Falcons||+1200||New Orleans Saints||+5500|
|Dallas Cowboys||+1200||Cincinnati Bengals||+6000|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+1800||Philadelphia Eagles||+6000|
|Oakland Raiders||+1800||Jacksonville Jaguars||+6500|
|Carolina Panthers||+2000||Los Angeles Chargers||+6500|
|Denver Broncos||+2500||Detroit Lions||+7500|
|New York Giants||+2500||Buffalo Bills||+10000|
|Houston Texans||+3300||Los Angeles Rams||+12000|
|Indianapolis Colts||+3300||New York Jets||+12000|
|Minnesota Vikings||+3300||Chicago Bears||+15000|
|Arizona Cardinals||+3500||San Francisco 49ers||+20000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+3500||Cleveland Browns||+25000|
Futures odds for Super Bowl LII show the Cowboys among the early favorites, and as a strong favorite to win the NFC East.
There are lots of things that can change between now and the end of the 2016 season, but these odds are a strong indicator that the betting public believes the window for the Cowboys to be a Super Bowl contender is wide open, and may be for a few more years.
The Cowboys have 21 unrestricted free agents, but the core of their roster will remain intact. All seven Pro Bowlers are still under contract, and the strong 2016 draft class led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott will likely play an even bigger role next year. Plus they'll have the draft and free agency to add the pieces that will get them beyond the divisional round of the playoffs next season.