The Pathway to Repeat for the Kansas City Chiefs
• Chiefs Odds to Win Super Bowl 2021: +650
• Chiefs Win Total: Over 11.5 (-125), Under 7.5 (+105)
• Chiefs Odds to Win Division: -390
• Chiefs Odds to Win Conference: +300
*Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook
When you finish the previous season hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, there’s an instant target slapped on your back. It’s the nature of professional football. Before the final speck of celebratory confetti is swept up, teams are plotting to steal your glory.
That’s where the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs are. They overcome every challenge in 2019 to defeat the San Francisco 49ers and win Super Bowl LIV. Now begins the ominous challenge of trying to earn a legendary place in NFL history by winning back-to-back championships.
Oddsmakers are leaning towards Kansas City joining this elite class of NFL great teams. You can find our NFL Super Bowl Odds from over 7 US Sportsbooks with live updates throughout the season. However, they are only an eyelash ahead of their nearest challenger, a Baltimore Ravens team who happens to be in the same conference. Let’s take a look at the pathway to repeat for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chiefs 2020 Odds to Win Super Bowl LV
The 55th Super Bowl will be held in Tampa, Florida on February 7. Early odds pinpoint the Chiefs as the favorite to return to the AFC Championship game, with a slight edge to bump the Baltimore Ravens aside and return to the big game.
Kansas City is +650 on the FanDuel Sportsbook to win the 55th Super Bowl. Their edge of the Ravens is slightly smaller to win the AFC, +300 to Baltimore’s +330. Everyone else in the AFC falls far behind.
The Chief’s opponent in last season’s AFC Title game, the Tennessee Titans, didn’t break the top five in the conference. Kansas City has a reasonably tough target to hit for total wins as well.
KC is pegged at 11.5, which means to win we need to see them post no worse than a 12-4 record. Not unrealistic at all, but a fifth loss would make that bet a loser.
Kansas City is also -850 to just make the playoffs, so it’s pretty clear most bookmakers sense a Baltimore vs. Kansas City AFC Championship game. Clearly a strong choice to make the playoffs, are the Chiefs worth a gamble to repeat?
Chiefs Odds Analysis
Looking at all the odds for Kansas City ahead of the upcoming season, the strongest sense is they will make the playoffs. However, the pessimistic viewpoint might see the least unforeseen negative circumstance makes the -850 number a possible big loser.
But, Kansas City is just so talented we have to assume they’ll be good enough to make the AFC playoffs. One key to accepting that bet as solid are the divisional odds. The Chiefs are sitting at -390 to with the AFC West. No one else is even on the radar.
That has a two-fold effect. One, Kansas City is the defending champion. Two, the rest of the division is woefully weak. Factor in the odds for the rest of the division and making the playoffs plus winning the division seem like locks.
Baltimore is the only other AFC team with as strong a sense to win their division, with only slightly more competition from the Steelers or Browns. That might make a combo bet of KC and the Ravens as one or the other winning the AFC, a nice cover up. Now let’s look at why the idea of a Baltimore vs. Kansas City AFC Title match seems so plausible.
Kansas City Offseason and Draft
Some raised an eyebrow when the Chiefs announced they draft pick that ended round-one of the NFL draft. Already an offensive juggernaut, most felt KC would opt for defense. Arguably, Kansas City added firepower to their offense with Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU.
They did accomplish that. What was surprising; however, is how many talented defensive players were on the board at the time. In all honesty, we can’t second guess the scouting logic behind adding Edwards-Helaire.
If you need further proof of this analysis, take a look at some projected Chiefs’ depth charts heading into 2020. Yep, the rookie lands at the top running back spot on some. In addition, but for a quick diversion to take offensive tackle Lucas Niang in round three; KC used all of their remaining draft choices for defense.
Two of those are potentially immediate strengths in the secondary. Like most Super Bowl winners, KC saw a limited exodus of players. However, probably the most noteworthy was a lineman who didn’t fill a full-time role until week number 10 last season.
Stefen Wisniewski was as much of a locker room presence as he was an asset to the offensive line. The rest of the offensive line has experience and talent. Kansas City will move the football with precision again and score a bunch of points.
Kansas City managed to keep their core on defense. They were not a poor defensive team, but there were a few weak spots. One of the biggest was depth, especially in the secondary. KC’s staff obviously understood this problem.
Seven of the new names heading into camp are defensive backs, two of those promising draft picks. Kansas City added five undrafted players to their secondary. One name that may surface as a steal is cornerback Lavert Hill out of Michigan.
Kansas City Strengths and Weaknesses
Kansas City’s offense finished fifth overall in total yards. Let’s not forget that the Super Bowl MVP exited the seventh game of the season and sat out the next two weeks. They did have to come from behind twice to get to the ultimate game.
It was their level of offensive efficiency that got them there. The Kansas City offense has the potential to be even stronger in 2020. One weakness on this team was depth on defense. The draft and undrafted free agent pickups have clearly worked to reduce this weakness.
The Chiefs strength is obvious to every team in the NFL. However, stopping that strength has proven to be a huge undertaking. Some teams slowed the KC offense down for periods, like the 49ers for a half in Super Bowl LIV, but it never lasted.
As with many Super Bowl champs following a victory year, one weakness Kansas City will have to face is the proverbial Super Bowl hangover. With defensive reinforcements in place ahead of camp, and an unstoppable offense to fall back on, the weaknesses are few and the strengths may prove too overwhelming again for opponents.
Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
The Kansas City Chiefs are still the most talented team in the AFC. Baltimore isn’t far off the pace. They each kept pace with one another in the offseason, so a Ravens vs. Chiefs AFC Championship battle is well-supported prediction.
There’s a lot of football ahead of a dream matchup between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Without any catastrophic injuries, Kansas City should walk their way to another AFC West title. By all accounts, they should win all six divisional games without much fanfare.
That leaves them potentially looking at a 6 and 4 mark in their other 10 games. We think that’s a pretty realistic projection as well. This would hit the 12 win mark and put money in our pocket for betting the over 11.5 for total wins.
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