I’m riding high after winning +11.97 units on Super Bowl LVI and I’m looking to take some of my profit to invest into next season’s markets. The initial odds for the winner of Super Bowl LVII were released over the last couple of weeks since the Conference Championship Round. It seems like a good time to dive into the initial odds to see if there are any value bets to make now that the NFL has crowned the Los Angeles Rams as the Super Bowl LVI champions for the 2021 season.
Oddsmakers have pegged the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills as the co-favorites to win this year’s Super Bowl title at +700.The defending champion Rams and Dallas Cowboys share the shortest odds to win the title out of the NFC at +12000. The Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati Bengals have the seventh shortest odds to win the title at +2100.
EARLY SUPER BOWL LVII ODDS
The odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of Feb. 14.
|Team||Super Bowl LVII Odds||2021 Record (ATS)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+700||12-5 (8-9)|
|Buffalo Bills||+700||11-6 (9-6-2)|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1200||12-5 (8-9)|
|Dallas Cowboys||+1200||12-5 (13-4)|
|Green Bay Packers||+1300||13-4 (12-5)|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1500||10-7 (9-8)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||+2100||10-7 (10-7)|
|Baltimore Ravens||+2100||8-9 (8-9)|
|Denver Broncos||+2200||7-10 (8-9)|
|Cleveland Browns||+2400||8-9 (7-10)|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+2400||9-8 (8-9)|
|Tennessee Titans||+2400||12-5 (10-7)|
|Arizona Cardinals||+2400||11-6 (10-7)|
|Indianapolis Colts||+2400||9-8 (10-7)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+2600||13-4 (9-8)|
|New England Patriots||+2800||10-7 (10-7)|
|New Orleans Saints||+3000||9-8 (9-8)|
|Minnesota Vikings||+3300||8-9 (9-8)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||+3300||9-8 (8-8-1)|
|Washington Commanders||+3300||7-10 (7-9-1)|
|Seattle Seahawks||+3300||7-10 (9-8)|
|Carolina Panthers||+3600||5-12 (5-12)|
|Miami Dolphins||+3600||9-8 (9-7-1)|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+5500||10-7 (8-9)|
|Atlanta Falcons||+6000||7-10 (6-10-1)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+7000||9-7-1 (8-9)|
|Chicago Bears||+7500||6-11 (6-11)|
|Detroit Lions||+10000||3-13-1 (11-6)|
|New York Giants||+10000||4-13 (6-11)|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||+12000||3-14 (5-12)|
|New York Jets||+15000||4-13 (6-11)|
|Houston Texans||+18000||4-13 (8-9)|
A Note Before We Start
I’m typically not looking at the top of the board at this time of the year unless there is an egregious value since more bad outcomes (departures, injuries) than good outcomes can happen to the favorites over the next six to seven months before the season starts. I’m focusing my attention further down the board to see if I can pick off some value before a team’s odds get shorter after free agency and the draft. The Bengals reached the Super Bowl after opening last off-season at +8000 and their odds actually ballooned to +15000 before the start of the season.
Super Bowl LVII will be played on Feb. 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2500, DraftKings)
The Chargers had a disappointing end to the 2021 season with the Raiders eliminating them from playoff contention on the final play of the NFL regular season, but they’ve still made incremental growth in Justin Herbert’s first two seasons at quarterback. I would’ve preferred for the Chargers to dip their toes into postseason play last season, but we’re at least getting a small discount because they missed the playoffs. Joe Burrow and the Bengals showed that playoff experience isn’t a prerequisite to making a deep run in today’s NFL. Herbert already ranks up with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in terms of quarterbacks with the highest ceilings. The Chargers also have the third-most cap space as of this writing to make improvements to their shoddy run defense and to bring in some help at cornerback.
My biggest concern backing the Chargers is that the AFC and specifically the AFC West is absolutely loaded, especially if the Broncos are able to swing a deal for Aaron Rodgers. The AFC West also has to play the NFC West in interconference play next season, which is a tough pill to swallow considering how much worse the other three NFC divisions are shaping up to be. Los Angeles has at least stood toe-to-toe with the class of the AFC, splitting their matchups with the Chiefs in Herbert’s first two seasons. HC Brandon Staley took some lumps with his aggressive in-game decision-making in his first season, but he should continue to improve with more experience. The Chargers opened last season at +3000 odds to win Super Bowl LVI and the 2022 Chargers should be in a much better position to compete for a title. I’d expect the Chargers to go off in the +1500-2000 range in early September.
Seattle Seahawks (+4000, BetMGM)
Seattle’s chance of winning Super Bowl LVII hinges on Russell Wilson sticking around for the 2022 season. It’s notable that Pete Carroll is still on board for at least another season, and the 70-year-old head coach likely isn’t sticking around to oversee a rebuild. I believe there’s a much better chance that Wilson is back in navy and green than the odds that he’s playing elsewhere next season. Wilson missed the first four games of his career with a “mallet” finger last season, and he played poorly after rushing back from the ruptured tendon in his throwing hand. Wilson’s injury derailed Seattle’s entire season but the Seahawks hit their stride late in the season, which helped them to finish eighth in Football Outsider’s DVOA and 10th in ESPN’s FPI. The Seahawks do have a few key players entering free agency, especially along their O-line, but as of this writing, they have the eighth-most cap space to keep their core intact while potentially adding some extra pieces.
Seattle does play in by far the NFC’s toughest division but their rivals have their own question marks heading into 2022. San Francisco will essentially be starting a rookie quarterback in Trey Lance, Arizona and Kyler Murray reportedly have some fence-mending to do this off-season, and Los Angeles is lacking draft capital and cap space to improve their current roster. The NFC as a whole is going to be the much weaker conference next season (and for years to come), especially with Tom Brady retiring and Aaron Rodgers potentially being traded to the AFC. The other three divisions in the NFC could be so weak that I wouldn’t be shocked if the NFC West gets all four teams into the playoffs next season. The NFC West will play the potentially terrible NFC South in its intraconference games, and Seattle’s last-place schedule gives them extra games against the Lions, Jets, and Giants. Those three potential cupcake matchups could be the difference between missing the playoffs and winning the NFC West. The Seahawks opened last season at +2500 odds to win Super Bowl LVI, and they’re facing their second-longest odds to win the title in the last decade. They went off at +6000 in 2018 when they won 10 games and reached the postseason. I’d expect Seattle to go off in the +2500-3000 range if Wilson is in the fold next September.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+7000, FanDuel)
The Steelers made the playoffs last season for the 10th time in Mike Tomlin’s 15 years as head coach, and they extended their NFL-best streak without a losing record to 18 seasons. Based on Pittsburgh’s odds, the prevailing sentiment in the market is that the Steelers are going to crater next season with Ben Roethlisberger retiring, which has me wondering if people actually watched Big Ben play last season. It was a minor miracle for this offense to reach the postseason with Big Ben averaging a career-worst 6.2 YPA, which was better than just Zach Wilson (6.1) and Trevor Lawrence (6.0). Roethlisberger was better than just Wilson according to PFF’s Bayesian Quarterback Rankings, and he finished behind the likes of Sam Darnold, Jared Goff, and Justin Fields among others. Roethlisberger was a huge negative for Pittsburgh last season any way you slice it.
It’s true that the Steelers’ quarterback situation may not drastically improve next season, especially if they go in the direction I anticipate they will, but there’s also a chance their offense is significantly improved even with just replacement-level quarterback play. Pittsburgh’s most likely course of action is to hand the starting job to Mason Rudolph while drafting a quarterback in the early rounds, but they could still make a bigger splash at the position this off-season. Pittsburgh at least has some cap flexibility to make some moves with Roethlisberger’s albatross of a contract off the books. Pittsburgh needs to upgrade its weak offensive line, and Joe Haden and JuJu Smith-Schuster are the biggest free agents who they’ll look to retain this off-season. Pittsburgh’s defensive line also needs to get studs Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu back, but this roster still has enough talent to make some noise with an improved quarterback situation.
Los Angeles Chargers (LAC) to win Super Bowl LVII (+2500, DraftKings). Risk one unit to win 25 units.
Seattle Seahawks (Sea) to win Super Bowl LVII (+4000, Caesars). Risk .7 units to win 28 units.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Pit) to win Super Bowl LVII (+7000, FanDuel). Risk .3 units to win 21 units.