Las Vegas Raiders Among Sportsbook’s Super Bowl Liabilities

Posted on: August 30, 2020, 08:32h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 10:16h.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who will kick off defense of their NFL championship on Sept. 10 against the Houston Texans, are the favorites to win Super Bowl LV.

Raiders QB Derek Carr
In six seasons as the Raiders’ quarterback, Derek Carr has posted only one winning season. (Image: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

That the Chiefs have the shortest odds is hardly a surprise. They’ve got perhaps the best player in the game with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast.

Losing Big

Which teams have sportsbooks slightly on edge?

The Seahawks, Texans, and Raiders are our three biggest liabilities right now,” Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management at Westgate SuperBook, told Casino.org.

Seattle is 12/1 to win the Super Bowl on the strength of quarterback Russell Wilson, coach Pete Carroll, and a strong off-season. Seattle has reached the playoffs seven of the past eight seasons, but its once-vaunted “Legion of Boom” defense has declined significantly the past three years. So, general manager John Schneider acquired elite safety Jamal Adams via trade and used his first-round pick on linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

The Raiders’ popularity is due in large part to their move to the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas. They are 40/1 to win the Super Bowl after qualifying for the playoffs just once the past 18 seasons.

But Houston is the odd-ball team. The Texans plunged to 60/1 after shipping star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for running back David Johnson and a pair of draft picks. In the past three seasons, Hopkins has averaged 105 receptions and 10.3 touchdowns. Johnson, on the other hand, led the NFL with 2,118 scrimmage yards in 2016 but has only 2,191 scrimmage yards in 30 games the past three seasons.

SuperBook recently took two big bets on Super Bowl long shots. One better put $4,000 on the Texans. Another placed a $3,350 wager on Buffalo at 30/1.

Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, told Casino.org there’s “significant liability” on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs, who added quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason, are 12/1 to win the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs are 9/2 to win the title, according to SuperBook. The Baltimore Ravens are next at 5/1. They are followed by the five NFC powers: The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints at 10/1, and the Dallas Cowboys join the Seahawks and Buccaneers at 12/1.

Vikings Trade

Early Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings swung a big trade with the rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars,  acquiring defensive end Yannick Ngakoue for a pair of draft picks.

In four seasons with the Jaguars, Ngakoue collected 37.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. Over that span, he is one of only four defenders with 35-plus sacks and more than 10 forced fumbles. Ngakoue will replace longtime standout Everson Griffen in the lineup, and pair with Danielle Hunter to provide a potent pass rush. From 2016 through 2019, Hunter is third in the NFL with 48.5 sacks, and Ngakoue is 12th.

The move is a big one in the NFC North, with the Vikings trying to knock off Green Bay. However, it barely caused a ripple among sportsbooks. SuperBook already had the Vikings as the division favorites at 3/2, with the Packers on their heels at 2/1.

That won’t change, because Minnesota’s defense has finished in the top 10 in points allowed each of the past five seasons under coach Mike Zimmer. With that track record, the expectation was Minnesota would be fine on defense. The trade solidifies that belief.

The Vikings are 25/1 to win the Super Bowl.