Who will win Super Bowl LVII? Earliest odds, value bets

NFLbets gets it. We realize that betting on the Super Bowl months before the season starts is folly: Just for starters, approximately 96.88% percent of bets won’t pay out at all. And those who have played the NFL betting game for long enough certainly feel overwhelming déjà vu as every year scads of would-be Nostradami end up forecasting pretty much a repeat of the previous season, which happens approximately (does modicum of research, returns 10 minutes later) zero percent of the time.

On the other hand, what the hell else can an NFL bettor wager on in July? At this point in the 2022 NFL season, everybody’s got 100% of the personal bankroll to play with – so let’s consider the earliest odds in the “Who Will Win Super Bowl LVII?” proposition bet.

Odds from a representative sportsbook run as follows.

• Buffalo Bills: 6/1
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7/1
• Green Bay Packers: 10/1
• Kansas City Chiefs: 10/1
• Los Angeles Rams: 11/1
• Los Angeles Chargers: 14/1
• Denver Broncos: 16/1
• San Francisco 49ers: 16/1
• Dallas Cowboys: 18/1
• Baltimore Ravens: 22/1
• Cincinnati Bengals: 22/1
• Indianapolis Colts: 22/1
• Philadelphia Eagles: 25/1
• Cleveland Browns: 28/1
• Arizona Cardinals: 35/1
• Tennessee Titans: 35/1
• Las Vegas Raiders: 40/1
• Miami Dolphins: 40/1
• Minnesota Vikings: 50/1
• New England Patriots: 50/1
• New Orleans Saints: 50/1
• Washington Commanders: 70/1
• Pittsburgh Steelers: 90/1
• Carolina Panthers: 125/1
• Jacksonville Jaguars: 125/1
• New York Giants: 125/1
• New York Jets: 125/1
• Chicago Bears: 150/1
• Detroit Lions: 150/1
• Seattle Seahawks: 150/1
• Atlanta Falcons: 200/1
• Houston Texans: 250/1

NFLbets’ hot take has us considering four teams in this proposition bet as well as the “Who Will Win the AFC/NFC?” prop. Note that these loose recommendations are based not necessarily on who we’re predicting to win Super Bowl LVII but the best values for the odds. We’re going to spread some Moneys on…

Buffalo Bills, 6/1. For the odds-on favorite to be paying out at a very generous 6/1 is unusual – nearly as unusual as a preseason favorite who is neither a defending conference champion or has any recent Super Bowl history to speak of. The major problem with backing the Bills going into the season is that the narrative of “team gradually learns to overcome postseason adversity and break through” is a bit too pat for NFLbets’ liking although pragmatically speaking, all the pieces for an NFL title appear in place in Buffalo: Last season’s no. 1 defense statistically, an offensive line that ranked 2nd in DVOA and a potent battery in Josh Allen-to-Stefon Diggs. A solid bet.

Los Angeles Rams, 11/1. We know, we know. Repeating as Super Bowl champions is extremely difficult and these L.A. Rams don’t necessarily resemble a dynastic sort of franchise. A great deal of the Rams’ success in 2021 was based on the essentially superhuman performance turned in by Cooper Kupp – if any wide receiver ever deserved the MVP award, it was Kupp in ’21 – and asking for anything resembling a reproduction of that season is quite the tall order. But there’s this: Who else is there in the NFC?

Tampa Bay and Green Bay, favorites to win the NFC in 2022, both took net negatives for the offseason, re-signing of veteran franchise QBs aside. Chasing the Rams on the odds table are the 49ers, who are running with a quarterback who had to hear all offseason about how badly his team wanted to unload him, and the Cowboys, who are still the Cowboys. The fact that the Cleveland Browns, who may actually play the ’22 season without a quarterback altogether, have shorter odds in the Super Bowl prop than nine NFC teams speaks volumes. In these conditions, L.A.’s odds to win the NFC at 5/1 or longer are particularly good, especially since you may get a chance to hedge in the conference championship game…

Cincinnati Bengals, 22/1. To bet on the Bengals, you’ll have to mentally get past the commonly-held notion that Super Bowl losers are “cursed” the following season. Reality shows us that, for example, between the 1998 and 2021 seasons, the losing team in the Super Bowl missed the playoffs altogether the following season 11 times, a 45.8% failure rate – but during the same period, eight Super Bowl *winners* also missed the playoffs the next season.

The AFC is generally loaded with playoff contenders, but neither of Cincinnati’s AFC North division maters in Pittsburgh and Cleveland appear to be among that lot. Combined with the potential improvement to the below-average offensive line with free-agent signings Alex Kappa and Ted Karras, the Bengals chances for titledom have got to be well shorter than 22/1.

New England Patriots, 50/1. How the hell is a playoff team with a second-year QB who almost won the Rookie of the Year trophy in 2022 fetching the same long odds at perpetual disappointments the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints, who might not even sneak into the playoffs? The addition of DaVante Parker is certainly a plus for an already impressive receiving corps and if the ridiculous levels of preseason hype on Mac Jones are, likesay, 10% accurate, the Patriots are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

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