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Los Angeles Rams:175-1 ODDS to win Super Bowl LII

The Rams have the same odds to win Super Bowl LII as the Browns. The BROWNS?!

It’s important to state the obvious: A lot can and will change between now and next Feb. 4, when two NFL teams to be determined will meet in Super Bowl LII.

But Las Vegas sportsbooks have already released odds for who might win that game, and the gap between the heart of free agency and the draft gives us a chance to put together an updated, just-for-kicks alternative.

For last years hosts of the Super Bowl things look promising.

 

New England Patriots: 5-1

History indicates the chips are stacked against the Pats. After all, the last 12 Super Bowl champions have failed to repeat. But if somebody is going to buck that trend, it might as well be New England.

The Tom Brady- and Bill Belichick-led Patriots were the last team to successfully defend their title, way back in 2004. And this spring, New England looks better than it did when it won 17 of 19 regular-season and playoff games last year. Superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski should be back from injury, Brady isn’t facing a suspension this time around and they’ve added several potential key cogs in cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Rex Burkhead.

Last year at this time, Bovada listed the Pats as 15-to-2 favorites to win Super Bowl LI, according to CBSSports.com’s John Breech. This year, they should be viewed as even larger faves. In fact, it might be worth exploring odds on the Patriots making another run at a perfect season.

Atlanta Falcons: 12-1

It’s easy to assume the Falcons could be victimized by a Super Bowl hangover after blowing a 25-point lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. After all, few expected such a young Atlanta team to get to that game, and they’re now dealing with the psychological impact associated with that traumatic experience.

But quarterback Matt Ryan is coming off an MVP season, and he still has perhaps the NFL’s best receiver in Julio Jones. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are still in Atlanta, as is that underrated offensive line and a defense that is quickly improving at all three levels. That unit in particular should be even better in 2017, especially after the team signed two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe in free agency.

The Falcons added Poe and playmaking return man Andre Roberts without losing anyone of consequence. That should have them in the Super Bowl picture as the favorite in the NFC. At least for now.

Bleacher Report has the Rams Odds in the same boat of an (well, lets just say) unfortunate franchise.

Los Angeles Rams: 175-1

The Rams roster contains three 25-or-under recent top-15 picks who have been run through the hype machine so much that it’s impossible to give Los Angeles the worst odds of any team. That said, they’re coming off a four-win season in which two of those kids—quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley—were often embarrassingly bad.

Both Goff and Gurley both have considerable upside, but that doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly become effective in 2017 and start living up to the hype the way 25-year-old defensive tackle and 2014 first-round pick Aaron Donald has. Regardless, there’s some hope there.

The Rams made things easier on Goff and Gurley by signing one of the game’s best left tackles in Andrew Whitworth, but even if those guys make a tremendous amount of progress under slightly better circumstances, this is a rebuild year for a team putting all of its eggs in that duo’s basket.

Cleveland Browns: 175-1

Unbelievably, this is us giving kudos to a Browns team that Vegas is sticking with even longer odds (250-1 at OddsShark). The Browns won’t go from 1-15 to the Super Bowl, but their trajectory indicates they might have a better shot than the three dumpster fires listed below them.

The Browns don’t know who their quarterback will be in 2017, but they helped that mystery man out by signing Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter—arguably the top guard and center on the free-agent market—in order to revamp an offensive line that was responsible for a league-high 33 sacks last season, according to Pro Football Focus. They also added a talented and experienced new No. 1 receiver in Kenny Britt—a 28-year-old former first-round pick coming off a breakout season who at least has a longer resume than the departed Terrelle Pryor.

They did all of that without selling off any draft picks, which means they’re still slated to pick first, 12th and 33rd. That’ll give them a chance to improve even more while adding a rookie quarterback to compete with Brock Osweiler and Co.

With steady play at under center, that offense could surprise next season. Probable top pick Myles Garrett certainly has the ability to transform the defense if the Browns decide to go that route. Suspended star wide receiver Josh Gordon could even be back, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Don’t be surprised if the Browns become something other than a punchline in 2017.

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