What’s Needed to Win a Super Bowl?

The NFL 2021 season is on the horizon and the bookmakers will be out in force with their Super Bowl odds as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seek to become the first team since the New England Patriots in 2004 to retain the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It'll be a tough road ahead for the Buccaneers considering the time it has taken for a team to repeat.

Historically, only three teams have come close to securing successive crowns. The Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs all made it back to the Super Bowl in the following season, but ultimately failed to win the crown. The Seahawks came within a yard of repeating their success, only to be denied by Malcolm Butler and his goal-line interception. Bruce Arians and his team will have no doubts about the difficulty of the task ahead of them.

In addition, punters have a hard challenge in selecting a winner, especially considering that the Bucs were an outsider last season. Perhaps the NFL would benefit from a more analytical and objective approach to predictions for upcoming seasons, taking inspiration from prediction tools already in operation.

For example, artificial intelligence (AI) is currently used in the UK and Ireland markets to help identify standout competitors in horse races using a powerful algorithm, enabling users the chance to beat bookies on daily racing odds. The sophisticated system considers a vast array of data, including key criteria such as pedigree, form, weather, ground, and the racecourse itself, in order to determine the horse with the best chance of winning. A prediction tool such as this could definitely wield results for a potential Super Bowl winner.

One of the key factors to a Super Bowl-winning team is the strength and stamina of the quarterback. It does help when your quarterback is Tom Brady, so the Buccaneers undoubtedly have that working in their favor. The 44-year-old won his seventh Lombardi Trophy last season in his first season with the franchise.

Since entering the league in 2001, Brady has appeared in 10 Super Bowls, which means he has an incredible record of featuring in the title game every other year. The heir to the quarterback throne, Patrick Mahomes is not so bad, either, with two Super Bowl appearances in four seasons. If not for Brady, he could well have three Super Bowls in each term as a starter. The Chiefs will be a continual contender with Mahomes as their starter.

Another key factor for a Super Bowl success is the possession of talented players in the skill positions. The Green Bay Packers and Seahawks have had the quarterback and one or two standouts, but overall, depth has been their fatal flaw. Mahomes and Brady have been blessed with a lot of depth at receiver, tight end, and running back, handing them a potent arsenal over their rivals.

In addition, the importance of a quality defense shouldn't be underestimated, although this cannot be the be-all and end-all of a team. Only the Denver Broncos team of 2015 managed to carry an ailing Peyton Manning down the stretch to a title in recent memory. It has to be a complement of the offense to come up with important stops and takeaways.

Coaching is important, too. You don't have to be Bill Belichick, although it would certainly help your cause to have him on the sideline. John Harbaugh, Gary Kubiak, Doug Pederson, Andy Reid, and Arians have all had their moments in the sun. It could be the latter two names battling it out once again.

Bettors should be paying close attention to these characteristics while waiting patiently for AI tools to become as prevalent for NFL betting markets as they are for UK horse racing markets. There's an exciting season ahead and though we can hedge our bets based on what we've already seen from the likes of NFL's most acclaimed players, the reality is that when it comes to the results, only time will tell.

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