Is the 2021 NFL season headed toward a rematch of Super Bowl 55? Bookmakers seem to think that is a likely outcome.
Following the Chiefs’ 34-28 overtime win against the Chargers on “Thursday Night Football,” FanDuel Sportsbook has listed Kansas City as a co-favorite to win the Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, the reigning champions, at +500 odds. That would mean that a bettor placing a $100 wager on the Chiefs or Buccaneers would net a $500 profit.
This season has seen Kansas City turn around what was a slow start and turn it into yet another dominant year. The Chiefs began the year 3-4 after their first seven weeks, but have since won seven straight games to vault up to sit at 10-4, tied for the most wins in the NFL before the bulk of Week 15 takes place.
Prior to Week 8, FiveThirtyEight gave the Chiefs just a 43 percent chance to make the playoffs, and only a 2 percent chance to win the Super Bowl. They now have a greater than 99 percent chance to reach the playoffs, and have an 18 percent chance to win the Super Bowl, one behind the Buccaneers, who are at 19 percent.
A major part of the Chiefs’ turnaround has been their defense. Though the first seven weeks, Kansas City had allowed 203 points, the fourth-most in the NFL. It had allowed fewer than 27 points in just one game, and had allowed at least 30 in four of the seven games.
Since then, the Chiefs have held opposing offenses to single-digit point totals in four of their seven games, and entering the matchup against the Chargers, they had allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL from Weeks 8 through 14.
And of course, Mahomes has cut down on his turnovers. Through the first seven games, he had a 67.5 completion percentage, 2,093 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Since then, he has just four interceptions with 12 touchdown passes, 1,959 passing yards and a 63.6 completion percentage.
Should the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl again, they would be the third team to reach the championship in three straight years, joining the Patriots (2016-18), the Bills (1990-93) and Dolphins (1971-73). If they face the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, it would be just the second time the Super Bowl has featured the same teams in back-to-back years, with the Cowboys having beaten the Bills in back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993.