Predicting the Super Bowl lineup can be tricky – just look what happened last season. A year ago, pundits were making the New England Patriots the overwhelming favorites, while the Philadelphia Eagles had the 18th best odds in the NFL.
Yet despite being universally written off, and despite losing their starting quarterback Carson Wentz in early December, the Eagles went all the way to the final, where they pulled off a shock and overturned the Patriots’ supremacy.
All of which should serve as a reminder to NFL fans when they check out the New Jersey online sports betting sites that next season will be more unpredictable than the sportsbooks would suggest. This season, there are a number of exciting young teams on the verge of a breakthrough, while the established leaders such as the Patriots and the Eagles are as strong as ever. So, which are likely to be the main contenders?
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: New England Patriots
How long can one team’s dominance last? A while longer? Their defeat to the Eagles in Superbowl LIII was a shock, but it didn’t feel like the end of an era. Despite the rumors of off-field feuding and speculation over the future of Rob Gronkowski, all the fundamentals that made the Patriots such powerful champions remain in place, and their path through the AFC East remains as easy as ever.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: Philadelphia Eagles
Time after time, it is defense that wins the day, and there is no doubt that the Eagles’ main strength was defensive play. The bad news for opponents is that the Philly defense got a whole lot tougher in the off-season, thanks to the addition of Michael Bennett. With Carson Wentz ready to return, the Eagles will be even stronger this time round.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers
Yes, Ben Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career, but he’s still a force and they remain the league’s most potent offensive threat. Few could argue against Le’Veon Bell’s claim to be the best running back in the NFL, and Antonio Brown is surely the leading wide receiver. Throw in the potential of JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Steelers look frightening.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: Dallas Cowboys
Not for the first time, there were optimistic pre-season predictions about the Dallas Cowboys but once again, they fell short, ending the season with a 9-7 record, second place in the NFC East and a second play-off absence in three seasons. But they were badly affected by the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott, and with his return and the improving Dak Prescott guiding the offense, Dallas should be a major contender in the NFC.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees’ longevity and the fact that he is still performing at his best is a minor miracle, but he will be back again, once more driving the offense forward as he pushes hard for that second ring. There were occasions last season when the Saints looked the most dangerous offensive team in the league, and with the addition of Chicago wide receiver Cameron Meredith, they should be even stronger this time round.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: Minnesota Vikings
There was more hurt for Vikings’ fans last season as they pulled off an incredible win over New Orleans, only to falter with a tame NFC Championship game performance. But all the signs are that the Vikings are poised for a strong challenge once again. Their record-breaking signing of Kirk Cousins was a statement of intent, and if they can call on a fully fit Dalvin Cook, they have every chance of going one game further in 2019.
NJ Online Sports Book Rankings: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers haven’t made the playoffs since 2014 and after a disastrous 0-9 start last time round, the mood was grim at San Francisco. But that all changed with the acquisition of unwanted Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In his fourth NFL season, Garoppolo threw for an impressive 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns, and steered the side to a 6-1 finish. That wasn’t enough to make the play-offs, but it was a statement of intent, and if they can start this season in the same mood, they will be big Super Bowl contenders.
With the leading contenders as strong as ever and so many teams on the brink of breaking through, this promises to be a thrilling NFL season. While we can’t be certain which two teams will prevail, one thing we can be sure of is that the journey to Super Bowl LIII will be packed full of drama, tension and thrilling football spectacle.