The NFL offseason might be the perfect time to pick a Super Bowl winner, as the odds tend to get shorter as the regular season steadily approaches.
With plenty of teams making moves through trades, free agency and the NFL draft, our betting experts offer their insights on which teams they believe offer the best value in the Super Bowl, conference and division futures markets ahead of the 2022 preseason.
Futures week schedule
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Which team is your favorite play to win the Super Bowl next season?
Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders editor-in-chief: Give me the Philadelphia Eagles (+3000). Yes, there are still questions about Jalen Hurts at quarterback. But the Eagles added a ton of talent in the offseason, and Football Outsiders now has Philadelphia with a mean projection in the top 10 for both offense and defense. The Eagles also have the easiest projected schedule in the league and should be vying for a No. 1 seed and first-round bye, even if they aren’t as good as the Buccaneers or Rams.
Eric Moody, ESPN betting analyst: I like the Denver Broncos (+1600). The offseason addition of quarterback Russell Wilson is huge. He won one Super Bowl with the Seahawks and should have won two. Wilson made the playoffs in eight of his 10 seasons with Seattle and should end Denver’s playoff drought. He will be the centerpiece of the team and has a stellar supporting cast in Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Javonte Williams with a formidable defense. Wilson is poised to have an outstanding season in 2022 as the Chiefs’ reign in the AFC West comes to an end.
Erin Dolan, ESPN betting analyst: The Buffalo Bills (+650). The Bills will be hungry after losing an overtime heartbreaker to the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round. Josh Allen is entering his fifth season as a pro after throwing for 4,407 yards and 36 touchdowns while adding 763 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He can put up eye-popping numbers and will continue to do so with Stefon Diggs, Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary & Co. Plus, the addition of Von Miller on the edge will only help the Bills already stout defense. Buffalo has the offense and defense to win the AFC East, the conference and then the Super Bowl if it can stay healthy.
Tyler Fulghum, ESPN betting analyst: The Baltimore Ravens (+2200). Baltimore was a Super Bowl favorite last season, sporting an 8-3 record through Week 10, before Lamar Jackson got hurt. The Ravens dealt with a plethora of injuries last season, as J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Ronnie Stanley, Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Derek Wolfe all missed time. If Baltimore can just stay healthy, it will once again have a roster that can compete with the AFC’s elite. The additions of Marcus Williams in free agency and Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum in April’s draft were universally viewed as shrewd and savvy. I expect the Ravens to win the AFC North and stand toe-to-toe in the playoffs with the Bills and whichever teams emerge from the AFC West.
With the NFC being the perceived weaker conference, are you looking more at NFC teams than AFC teams given the potential easier path to the Super Bowl?
Schatz: Surprise! Our projections at Football Outsiders are not actually dominated by the AFC. Six of the top 10 teams in projected DVOA are NFC teams, not AFC teams. The AFC is better throughout the conference, while the NFC is more separated with teams that look good and teams that look very bad. The five worst teams in DVOA projections are also NFC teams.
Dolan: The AFC is the superior conference. A team from the AFC is likely to win the Super Bowl in my eyes. With that said, eliminating the AFC and selecting an NFC team based on competition and the path to the Super Bowl could be successful. There is value in looking at NFC teams, absolutely. It’s all preference.
Moody: While the AFC has lost the past two Super Bowls, it had won five of the six prior championship games. The NFC is very top heavy, and I see only the Buccaneers and Packers as the best bets to win the Super Bowl in that division. I think it will be difficult for the Rams to repeat as champions, a feat that hasn’t been done since 2004. Therefore, betting on AFC teams seems more appealing.
The AFC is loaded this year with so many players signing or being traded to AFC teams. Which team do you think has the best value in that conference?
Fulghum: The Los Angeles Chargers (+850) to me provide the best value in the AFC. They are arguably as deep as the Bills. The only difference is they still have a QB on a rookie deal. They are afforded a much larger percentage of their cap to the rest of their roster than any other AFC contender in the league.
Dolan: Futures are about value, and typically the favorite on the board is not what you want to bet in June. But I think the Bills win the AFC. If you look at the board, Buffalo has +350 odds to win the conference, with Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers and the Cleveland Browns rounding out the top five. The Bills are in the middle of the pack in terms of strength of schedule, whereas the three AFC West teams will all have to face each twice during the season. On paper, the Bills have the best chance to win with their roster despite how competitive the conference may be.
Moody: The Dolphins provide value in a loaded AFC Conference. Miami has improved its roster dramatically, adding Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead this offseason. Coach Mike McDaniel runs Kyle Shanahan’s quarterback-friendly system, and that should help Tua Tagovailoa improve. If Tagovailoa can effectively deliver the football into the hands of the Dolphins’ playmakers, Miami should be able to win over 8.5 games.
The Bengals shocked everyone last season by making a run to the Super Bowl. Is there a team worth betting on that could do the same this year?
Seth Walder, ESPN analytics writer: The Steelers are 40-1 to reach the Super Bowl. They only need one huge break: for QB Kenny Pickett to be good right away. If he is, their receivers are solid and their defense features some elite players.
Joe Fortenbaugh, ESPN betting analyst: The Indianapolis Colts at 25-1. Houston and Jacksonville are still rebuilding, and I think the Titans are headed for a big step backward after trading A.J. Brown. That gives Indy an excellent chance at both a playoff berth and home playoff game to open the postseason by winning the AFC South. Matt Ryan is past his prime, but he’s got enough at his disposal, with a much better offensive line, to deliver consistent results for a well-balanced roster.
Anita Marks, ESPN betting analyst: Fly, Eagles, fly! The additions of A.J. Brown and James Bradberry in free agency and drafting Jordan Davis to complement an already stout defensive line makes me believe they will win the NFC East. The Eagles have one of the easiest schedules in the league and could win 12 games, allowing them to secure the No.1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
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