As the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers prepare to play at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2 in a little game called Super Bowl LIV, the Miami Dolphins have begun clearing a path to next year's Super Bowl in Tampa. They have an unprecedented stockpile of draft picks and more than $91 million of salary-cap space at their disposal, so a lot can change between now and then. The Dolphins could turn a 5-11 team into a Super Bowl champion. Stranger things have happened.
According to Las Vegas, though, the chances of the Dolphins' hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on February 7, 2021, are — well, not very good. Very bad, actually. Almost the worst, to be exact. Better than only the putrid Cincinnati Bengals.
SportsLine recently revealed its NFL future odds for next year's Super Bowl champion, and it doesn't show much confidence in a Miami Dolphins Cinderella story. One must scroll to the bottom of the list to find the Dolphins, with 100/1 odds, second worst in the entire NFL. They're tied with the Washington Redskins and better than only the Bengals, with 125/1.
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Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs and 49ers are favored to win it all next year. That number shows a lot of recency bias, because both teams seem unbeatable. But as the Los Angeles Rams showed the world this year by failing to make the playoffs after a dominant Super Bowl run in 2018, a lot can change in a few summer months.
These numbers are extremely early and could change drastically this offseason. One prime example is the New England Patriots: With 12/1 odds to win the championship next year, the Pats could see their odds plummet if Tom Brady left in free agency or if the NFL handed the team a huge penalty for its latest alleged cheating scandal.
No one expects the Dolphins to be perfect next season as they continue to rebuild a broken roster, but being second to last is quite a surprise considering head coach Brian Flores — with one of the worst teams in the history of the franchise this season — was able to pull out five wins after a 0-7 start. The expectations, at least locally, are that the Dolphins will use all of their draft picks, salary cap, and experiences from last season to improve next season.
Vegas, it seems, is not so sure the Dolphins' 2020 plans will amount to anything close to a trip to the Super Bowl. We'll have to wait until September to see if the prediction is right.