Winning the Super Bowl is one of the hardest things to do in sports, and these three franchises can attest to that. The Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals are three of the 12 NFL teams to never win a Super Bowl. We will take a look at these teams and see what their current Super Bowl odds are. Although some teams have better odds than others, we will look at their 2021 roster and predict if they are an excellent NFL bet to make this year.
Buffalo Bills (+1200)
There has only been one team in the history of the NFL to make four consecutive Super Bowls, and it was the Buffalo Bills from 1990-1993, but they are also the only team in history to lose four straight Super Bowls.
The Bills of the ’90s were some of the greatest teams of the decade, but they could not turn it into a championship, and then Buffalo went on a long playoff drought for 17 seasons. The 2020 Bills were a breath of fresh air and one of the best teams in the league, but like those Jim Kelly teams, the NFL season ended in a blowout loss.
Coming into 2021, the Bills have the third-best Super Bowl betting odds behind the defending conference champions. Now that the New England Patriots have taken a step back since the departure of Tom Brady, the AFC East was open for the taking, and the Bills showed they are now the best in the division.
With the trade acquisition of Stefon Diggs, the offense was nearly unstoppable, ranking second in offensive points and yards, and not surprisingly, most of their production was through the air. The problem with trading for Diggs is Buffalo faced a salary cap issue and chose to release fellow wideout John Brown in the offseason.
The Bills’ defense was average throughout the regular season, and into the NFL playoffs but in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the defense was exposed. Buffalo took a 9-0 lead into the second quarter, and then Kansas City scored 21 unanswered points while the Bills’ offense became stagnant. Buffalo was kicking field goals while the Chiefs were scoring touchdowns. Kansas City beat Buffalo 38-24.
It seems like the defensive line was a point of emphasis in the Bills’ 2021 NFL draft, taking Miami’s Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr. from Wake Forest in the first two rounds. Buffalo ranked 15th in the league in team sacks, with 38 where similar to the team’s other defensive stats, and the Bills rank right in the middle of the pack.
With such an electric offense, the Bills do not need to change much, but if they want to reach the next level in the AFC and go to the Super Bowl, the offense needs to be consistent, and the defense needs to improve. Buffalo has one of the best odds to win the Super Bowl, and we have to agree with the NFL sportsbooks. If the AFC playoffs have to run through Buffalo, it will be loud and cold, a harsh environment for any team.
The success of the Bills last year was not a complete surprise to NFL experts, but the expectations are through the roof in 2021. It is tough to bet against the Chiefs in the AFC, but the Bills had them on the ropes in 2020, and if they play up to their potential, they could be Super Bowl champions for the first time in the history of the franchise.
Cleveland Browns (+1600)
The Cleveland Browns have a long history of losing but after a successful 2020, and they are recognized as one of the best teams in the league. However, 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. 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. 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, 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 2021 NFL 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. At the very least, they should easily go over their NFL regular season win totals of 10½.
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. We like the Browns’ odds this season.
Cincinnati Bengals (+12500)
The Cincinnati Bengals have seen their fair share of playoff disappointment. They have lost two Super Bowl appearances in the ’80s and have not won a playoff game since 1990 despite seven playoff appearances. However, the future looks bright for Cincinnati, and that is solely on quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals’ number one pick from the 2020 NFL draft.
Burrow seemed like the consensus Rookie of the Year until he tore his ACL in an NFL Week 11 matchup with the Washington Football Team. The rookie QB had thrown for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in his ten starts. The recovery seems to be doing well, and Burrow is expected to play in NFL Week One.
The Bengals are an all-around bad football team. There was a noticeable drop-off after the Burrow injury as the offense ranked 29th in both yards and points scored, mainly due to the lack of production in the second half of the season without Burrow. The defense was not much better, ranking in the bottom ten in most defensive categories and especially against the run. Teams averaged 5.1 yards a carry against the Bengals, the second-most in the NFL.
Cincinnati had many holes to fill in the 2021 NFL draft, and some expected a lineman or defensive player to be taken with their number five overall pick. But instead, they took Burrow’s former teammate Ja’Marr Chase, a receiver out of LSU. The tandem worked well in college, but no offensive lineman was taken, and the Bengals allowed sixth-most sacks with 48.
The Bengals have a rich history of wide receivers, and they already have good receivers in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, but the Bengals must see something in Chase to make them believe him, and Burrow will be a dynamic duo for the next decade.
The AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs last year, and it looks like it will be another competitive year with the Bengals at the bottom. Zac Taylor is heading into his third year as Cincinnati head coach, and the Bengals are 6-25 during his tenure.
If the team does not show significant improvements, Taylor might not make it to the end of the season. Since their last playoff appearance in 2015, it has been a rough stretch for the Bengals and their fans, and it looks like the struggles will continue.
Cincinnati has the third-worst odds to win the Super Bowl, and that is fair; if anything, they should have the worst Super Bowl odds. The young offensive core of the Bengals will be fun to watch, but they will not win too many games.
None of these teams have won a Super Bowl, but two of them have a legitimate chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time. The Bills and Browns could be the 2021 AFC Championship, and that is not being optimistic.
The Chiefs beat both of them on their way back to the Super Bowl, and the Bills and Browns each had a chance to win their games. On the other hand, the Bengals have a great young quarterback, but they are near the bottom of the Super Bowl betting odds. 12 teams have never won a Super Bowl, but that might change at the end of the year because the Bills and Browns are two of the favorites in the odds to win the AFC.