The 2021 NFL season is officially over, as the Los Angeles Rams — 12/1 to win the Super Bowl before the season started — downed the Cinderella Cincinnati Bengals — who were 150/1 to win it all — at home in SoFi Stadium.
The NFL never sleeps, and neither do the betting markets. Per our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook — whose leader was a recent guest on the PFF Forecast — the odds to win the 2023 Super Bowl are listed below.
In this article, I’m going to talk about these odds and see if there is any value for those who want to use some of their Super Bowl LVI winnings on their favorite teams for next year.
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Since 2019, the Chiefs have had at least a share of the top spot in odds in each offseason, but a change of the guard in the AFC might be signaled here with the Bills, who were eliminated by the Chiefs in each of the last two postseasons, pulling even with them in terms of odds. With Patrick Mahomes regressing statistically in each of the last three seasons, it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs can avoid the collapse that plagued them against the Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in each of the last two years to secure their second Lombardi in the Reid-Mahomes era.
The Rams, the defending champion, are probably overvalued at 10/1 given the number of things that they need to go right to take home the Lombardi Trophy in 2021. For example, they are the first team in at least two decades to win the Super Bowl with a sub-0.500 record against the spread. However, after this year, it’s hard to count them out, especially with as many coach and quarterback defections there will be in the NFC.
The interesting one here is the Packers. I think the market is pricing in a significant chance that Aaron Rodgers will move on from Titletown, but there is evidence to suggest that he might stay. Be that as it may, the Packers have the second-worst cap situation in 2022, need to re-sign Davante Adams and must run it back again for 17 games and (likely) three postseason games. That’s a grind.
The Bengals (14/1) are largely prisoners of the moment here, as they will have to use the $57 million they have in cap space to shore up their offensive line and coverage units just to have the same outcome as they did in a down 2021 for the league and the conference.
The Next Tier
Baltimore Ravens: +2000 (4.8%)
Denver Broncos: +2000 (4.8%)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +2200 (4.3%)
Tennessee Titans: +2200 (4.3%)
New England Patriots: +2500 (3.8%)
Los Angeles Chargers: +2500 (3.8%)
Arizona Cardinals: +2500 (3.8%)
Indianapolis Colts: +2500 (3.8%)
Stability at the quarterback position separates this group from the one below, with the exception of Tampa Bay and Denver. While the Chargers continue to be the hipster AFC pick every year, the best value might be the Titans, who are coming off of an injury-plagued year in which Todd Downing never really got on track as an offensive coordinator. If Derrick Henry can stop what has been a pretty pronounced decline in efficiency while AJ Brown and Julio Jones can stay healthy, they can compete for the top playoff seed once again while playing in a bad division.
At first blush, this is where bettors can scoop up value in a high-payoff spot. However, I think it’s hard to envision the Saints (lowest cap space in football, new head coach), the Seahawks (likely without Russell Wilson), the Vikings (bad roster, non-elite quarterback, new coach), Miami (suspect quarterback, new coach) or the Eagles (schedule regression) taking the next step. The team to bet in this group is the Browns, who will have an upgrade at quarterback — either through Baker Mayfield‘s maturation and/or healing or a veteran quarterback taking his place. Few teams have a better roster outside of the starting quarterback.
For the life of me, I can’t understand how the Panthers are grouped with these teams — each of which have at least something going for them. The Falcons have Arthur Smith and Kyle Pitts (in addition to the possibility that Matt Ryan finds a fountain of youth). The Steelers have a great head coach and defense. The Commanders have a ton of young talent, and the Raiders have a plus quarterback in Derek Carr.
The Panthers are two years into a rebuild and are arguably worse off than when they started.
If you’re looking for the next Bengals, this is the group to bet on. However, be warned: Since the Rams in 1999, no team 150/1 or worse has made or won a Super Bowl. So while a team like the Jaguars (young quarterback in the second year of his career — and also a No. 1 pick, a coach with a clue and young playmakers) might have some of the Bengals' characteristics, it might be another decade before we see another run like that again.