At least this season, oddsmakers are giving other teams hope in Super Bowl 53 odds.
After last season's Super Bowl 51 victory, New England opened as a +600 favorite to win Super Bowl 52, far better than the Dallas Cowboys' odds at +1,000.
For Super Bowl 53, the Patriots actually own better odds, but they have company. Oddsmakers have already set the line for next year's Super Bowl, and are offering the Patriots with +500 odds, slightly better than Super Bowl 52 champion Philadelphia at +700.
Green Bay rounds out the top-three at +800.
Maybe, if you consider a team that didn't have a victory for half of the season with the seventh-best odds to hoist the Lombardi trophy in 2019.
San Francisco is being labeled with +1800 odds to win Super Bowl 53. That's a far cry from going 0-9 to start the 2017 season.
Oddsmakers are likely buying into the fact that San Francisco lost close games (five of 10 losses decided by a field goal or less), and that they finished the season with five consecutive victories.
And then there's the Jimmy Garoppolo factor, who looked like a franchise quarterback during his time as a starting quarterback at the end of the season.
Much like last season's Dallas Cowboys, there are some overrated teams heading into the 2018 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Rams should be examined as potential frauds. The Rams are going to take a step back. They didn't do anything against the run this season, leading to a defense that ranked in the middle of the pack in yards per play allowed.
The Steelers were even worse on that end. It's not often that leaky defenses translate year-over-year. Both offenses were good in 2017, but expect a bit of a step back. The Steelers are getting older on offense and the NFL is unkind to second-year whiz kids, like the Rams coach Sean McVay. Pittsburgh has the fourth-best odds at +1000, while the Rams are sixth at +1750.
Philadelphia was an ultimate under-the-radar pick days after last year's Super Bowl, so there are teams to be found down the line for the best Super Bowl odds.
For my money, the best bet should be the Los Angeles Chargers at +3000, currently with the 16th-best odds.
The Chargers probably matched up the best against New England this season, with enough capabilities on offense to play a high-scoring game, and enough on defense to play a slugfest. Los Angeles can rush the passer, and that's the best tactic in stopping the Patriots, which will likely be the team to beat in the AFC.
Local teams of note
5. Minnesota +1200; 12. Dallas +2000; 16. Kansas City +3000; 21. Arizona +5000; 21. Detroit +5000; 28. (tie) Chicago, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Cleveland +10000.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH