Winning the Super Bowl is one of the hardest things to do in sports, and these three franchises can attest to that. The Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans are the four NFL franchises to never reach a Super Bowl. We will take a look at these teams and see what their current Super Bowl odds are. Some teams have better odds than others, and we will look at their 2021 roster and predict if they are an excellent NFL bet to make this year.
Cleveland Browns (+1600)
The Cleveland Browns not only have the best odds to win the Super Bowl for a team with no Super Bowl appearances, but they also have one of the best odds in all the NFL. Their +1600 odds rank eighth in the league, and there is a debate that they could be ranked higher.
Cleveland went 11-5 in 2020 and still finished third in the AFC North, and they were able to clinch the second wild-card spot and make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They blew out their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round and had a chance to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns came out of nowhere last year, and as the Super Bowl odds would suggest, NFL experts are expecting big things from them in 2021.
Looking at the stats, the team offense and defense of the Browns were not elite, ranking in the middle of the NFL, but what they did well was run the ball and limit turnovers. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the best running back tandem in the NFL, and they complement each other, with Chubb being the power runner and Hunt being a speed back who can catch the ball. Baker Mayfield threw 3,563 yards, the lowest of his career, but he only threw eight interceptions after throwing 21 the year prior.
The Cleveland passing game was a success in 2020 despite Odell Beckam Jr. tearing his ACL in week seven. In the draft, the Browns went defense-heavy, proving they have faith in Mayfield and the talent around him. If Mayfield can limit the mistakes as he did in 2020 and the Browns defense improves significantly, Cleveland will make the playoffs, and they have a shot at winning their first Super Bowl.
We like the Browns this year, and their odds are in the sweet spot where the odds are low in the NFL sportsbook, but the team is good enough to make a legitimate Super Bowl run. The Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a tier to themselves, and the rest of the league are kind of clumped together, and we like the Browns’ odds this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+8000)
Tank for Trevor was a success, and the Jaguars secured the number one pick in the draft and got Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They also hired legendary college head coach Urban Meyer, who had never coached in the NFL, let alone a head coach. There is a lot of hope and optimism in Jacksonville right now, but what will the first year of this new era look like?
The Jaguars are the same age as the Panthers, coming into the league in 1995, but they have seen far less success than Carolina. Making the playoffs seven times and winning three division titles but only one since 1999.
The Jaguars are one of four NFL franchises to never make the Super Bowl. “Sacksonville” took the NFL by storm in 2017 and was the best team the Jaguars ever had, but they lost to the Patriots in the AFC Conference Championship, and shortly later, the team was dismantled. The Jaguars have been one of the worst franchises in the NFL since their inception, and the worst of it came in 2020 when they finished 1-15.
Jacksonville had the most money in free agency to spend, and people wondered what they would go all-in and sign some big-name players. The Jags signed some players, but nothing will turn heads until they signed Tim Tebow as a tight end. Tebow was one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time while playing for Meyer at Florida, but he has never caught an NFL pass and has been in the league since 2015. The deal is minimum salary, but it still rubbed some people the wrong way and wondering why Tebow is getting another chance.
The Jaguars have +8000 odds to win the Super Bowl, which is better than most of their preseason odds. The duo of Lawrence and Meyers is fun and will be the reason to watch Jacksonville football, but it is not enough to put a good faith bet down and expect them to win the Super Bowl.
The offense will be fun to watch as the Jaguars also drafted Clemson running back Travis Etienne to pair with Lawrence and receivers DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr. Jacksonville tried to address the defense offseason. Still, we do not see enough for any significant improvements.
This team will be fun to watch in 2021, but they will still be a lousy team and miss the playoffs.
Houston Texans (+15000)
The Texans are the youngest team in the NFL; 2021 will be their 19th NFL season. The team was terrible when they started in 2002 but turned it around in the 2010s. Houston won six AFC South titles in the decade for their only six playoff appearances. The Texans have never made it to an AFC Championship game, and it looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
2020 was a disastrous year for the Houston Texans head coach, and general manager Bill O’Brien was fired after an 0-4 start and was replaced with Romeo Crennel. O’Brien seemed to be more than a problem on the field, as it came out that many Houston players did not like the head coach. The Texans finished the season 4-12 and had one of the worst defenses in the league, allowing the third-most yards in the NFL. But the regular season was just the beginning, as the 2021 offseason has been even worse.
J.J. Watt, arguably the best player in franchise history, was granted his release and signed with the Arizona Cardinals, the same team former Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins plays for. Then Deshaun Watson, who signed a four-year $177.5 million contract in 2020, demanded to be traded.
Watson had his best statistical year in 2020 despite the poor team play, but news surfaced of multiple sexual assault allegations against Watson in March 2021. A total of 22 lawsuits have been filed against the quarterback, and the NFL has yet to announce his 2021 status.
Houston is tied with the Lions with the worst Super Bowl odds this season. Watson may or not be traded, but that is irrelevant compared to the serious allegations he is facing. Watson was the only positive that Texans had, and now, with that gone, they have no chance of making the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl. Houston had a legitimate Super Bowl window a few years ago, but it seems like that door has slammed shut, do not be surprised if the Texans have the first pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Detroit Lions (+15000)
It is tough being a Lions fan; the franchise is one of the oldest in the NFL and has a rich history and great players, but their last NFL Championship came in 1957, and the Lions have never been to the Super Bowl. 2021 will be the start of a new era in Detroit similar to Jacksonville; the Lions hired Dan Campbell to be their new head coach and acquired quarterback Jared Goff in a blockbuster trade.
The writing was on the wall for Matt Patricia in 2020. The former Lions head coach had a 4-7 start to the season, and Detroit had seen enough and let him go. With Matthew Stafford trying his best to keep the team afloat, the Lions only won one more game the rest of the season and finished 5-11. It is hard to take much away from 2020 and help shape the 2021 outlook because everything looks so different, including the signal-caller.
In one of the most blockbuster trades that looked like something out of the NBA instead of the NFL, the Lions and Los Angeles Rams switched quarterbacks. The Rams sent over Jared Goff and a 2021 third-round pick, and two future first-round pick for Mathew Stafford. The numbers between the two quarterbacks are nearly identical, with the slight edge going to Stafford. With Goff being the younger QB and the Lions acquiring draft picks, many NFL experts thought Detroit won the trade.
The Lions are tied with the Houston Texans for the worst Super Bowl odds at +15000. We are taking the Lions over the Texans in a heartbeat. They might have the worst odds because the other three division rivals are legitimate playoff contenders, but the Lions are a far superior team to the Texans.
We like the direction the Lions have gone in during the offseason, and Jared Goff might be a slight downgrade to Stafford, but he is still one of the better QBs in the league. At the very bottom of the Super Bowl betting odds, we like the Lions compared to the rest of the bottom dwellers in the NFL.
These are the four franchises who have never appeared in a Super Bowl, let alone win one. The Browns are the only team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, and the other three teams would be happy just to finish above .500. These three teams have a new head coach, and it is hard to tell how the new coach will improve their chances. The Browns and the Lions are two of the oldest NFL franchises and have a long and sad history of futility.
The Texans and Jaguars are two expansion franchises that have seen a few bright spots, but they have been a bad team for most of their NFL life. At the start of the season, everyone has the same record no matter what the team looks like, there is a chance that any of these teams could make history, but for our money, the only team to expect anything from is the Browns.