As the offseason went along, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept convincing their Super Bowl starters to stay.
Players like Shaq Barrett, Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh re-signed. Chris Godwin was given the franchise tag. By the end, the Bucs had retained every starter.
It speaks to the Buccaneers' culture that all 22 starters will be back, a first for a Super Bowl champion in the salary-cap era. Does that mean the Bucs will simply stay on the roll they were on late last season?
Buccaneers win total: 12.5
You can bet the Buccaneers over 11.5 at -165 odds at BetMGM, or 12.5 at +115. Both are difficult numbers.
The Buccaneers' continuity matters. They were fantastic late last season and into the postseason, winning three road playoff games and blowing out the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The rest of the NFC South isn't going to pose much of a challenge. But that's a big number to hit.
The Super Bowl hangover is real. It's a long season and it's not easy to mentally refocus. Perhaps the Buccaneers having all their starters back won't be good for complacency after everyone won a ring. The Buccaneers were just 7-5 at one point last season, which needs to be acknowledged if you're betting a team to go 13-4. And yes, at some point Tom Brady has to slow down. Just beware if you're betting the over on 11.5 or 12.5 that it won't be easy to hit it.
Super Bowl odds: +700
The Buccaneers have the highest ticket number and handle in the Super Bowl market at BetMGM. That's not a huge surprise considering they're defending champs and the odds aren't bad. The NFC isn't as thick with Super Bowl contenders as the AFC, another positive for the Bucs. It's certainly enticing.
Best prop bet: Tom Brady passing TDs
Let's be clear, betting the under on 36.5 passing TDs is not a criticism of Brady or a prediction that he'll fall off at age 44. A lot needs to go right for anyone to hit 37 TD passes, even in a 17-game season. Brady could throw for 35 or so touchdowns and have a great season. And, well, there is that chance he starts to slip a bit at an age in which no other quarterback has had any success at all. All of it adds up to taking the under. Brady would need to have a monster season to hit the over.