While the NFL regular season may not start until September 8, August is when we all begin to focus more on the league. In August, preseason games begin, and we already got a taste of NFL action as the Jacksonville Jaguars took on the Las Vegas Raiders in the Hall of Fame game.
With that, time is running out to get the best possible value on Super Bowl futures bets. Sure, you'll need to wait until after the playoffs and the big game in February to settle your NFL futures bet, but this is when the most possible value can be had.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, the top favorite is the Buffalo Bills at +600, and this could be your last chance to get these odds. For context, if you bet $100 on the Bills to win the Super Bowl, and they did, you'd win $600. DraftKings Sportsbook has odds for all 32 NFL teams, and here, we'll go over teams bettors should wager some money on and some they should avoid.
Note: For teams we recommend avoiding, we'll focus on those listed closer to the favorite than the longest odds teams.
Bet It: Buffalo Bills (+600)
We all remember how the Bills' season ended. They scored to take the lead over the Kansas City Chiefs late in the AFC Divisional Round. However, the Bills' special teams coach didn't call for a squib kick. Then, the Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, marched them down the field with mere seconds left to send the game into overtime, where the Bills eventually fell. Now, we can argue about the overtime rules -- which are changing -- but this is what happened. By the end of that game, the Bills demonstrated that they're amongst the most elite teams in all of the NFL. And this offseason, they only got better.
Let's look at their notable offseason free agency acquisitions and losses.
|Free Agent Adds||Free Agent Losses|
|EDGE Von Miller||EDGE Mario Addison|
|DT DaQuan Jones||EDGE Jerry Hughes|
|DT Tim Settle||QB Mitchell Trubisky|
|OG Rodger Saffold||CB Levi Wallace|
|DT Jordan Phillips|
|TE O.J. Howard|
|WR Jamison Crowder|
Of course, the most notable addition was Von Miller, who adds to an edge-rushing group with youth and depth, but Miller brings that immediate impact and that veteran presence. In 2021, the Broncos traded Miller to the Rams before the trade deadline. His first game with the team was Week 10, and from then through the Super Bowl, Miller had eight sacks and 54 total pressures, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The Bills lost players like Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, but their best play is behind them.
Now, let's look at their draft results.
|CB Kaiir Elam||Round 1, Pick 23|
|RB James Cook||Round 2, Pick 63|
|LB Terrel Bernard||Round 3, Pick 89|
|WR Khalil Shakir||Round 5, Pick 148|
|P Matt Araiza||Round 6, Pick 180|
|CB Christian Benford||Round 6, Pick 185|
|OL Luke Tenuta||Round 6, Pick 209|
|LB Baylon Spector||Round 7, Pick 231|
The Bills first two draft picks immediately addressed their needs.
Their first pick in Elam replaced Wallace on the back-end, while their pick of Cook in the second round adds to a backfield that has been underwhelming historically with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. So, a team already ranked among the elite teams got even better this offseason. Meanwhile, the team that took them down -- the Chiefs -- got arguably worse.
While the Bills are the favorites, they're the beasts of the AFC East, and probably the crown jewel of the AFC on the whole.
Fade It: Los Angeles Rams (+1100)
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Yes, the Los Angeles Rams are the defending Super Bowl champions, and that is precisely why their Super Bowl odds should be avoided. Sure, every team has its own identity, and historical data for repeat Super Bowl champions shouldn't be this blanket analysis, but it's true--there hasn't been a repeat since three-time NFL MVP Tom Brady and the New England Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005. The Rams still have quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp which is a massive win. Still, their offseason saw them lose some talent.
|WR Allen Robinson (Free Agency)||EDGE Von Miller|
|LB Bobby Wagner (Free Agency)||OG Austin Corbett|
|OG Logan Bruss (Round 3 of NFL Draft)||P Johnny Hekker|
|CB Decobie Durant (Round 4 of NFL Draft)||CB Darious Williams|
|RB Kyren Williams (Round 5 of NFL Draft)||RB Sony Michel|
|S Quentin Lake (Round 6 of NFL Draft)||DT Sebastian Joseph|
|CB Derion Kendrick (Round 6 of NFL Draft)||WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Unsigned)|
|LB Daniel Hardy (Round 7 of NFL Draft)|
|S Russ Yeast (Round 7 of NFL Draft)|
|OT A.J. Arcuri (Round 7 of NFL Draft)|
The team did bring in Wagner, who's aging but still playing reasonably well (118 tackles in 2021), and Robinson, who is a much better receiver than he's been able to showcase due to bad quarterback play.
However, this team had minimal impact draft capital and lost impact players like Miller on the edge, a great cornerback in Williams, and Corbett, who was a more than serviceable guard on an already-ailing offensive line.
The losses coupled with the history of teams repeating are why you need to fade the Rams.
Bet It: Los Angeles Chargers (+1400)
While we rave about the Bills as the crown jewel of the AFC, the Los Angeles Chargers may be second in command. When considering the Chargers' Super Bowl prospects, you have to mention their intense AFC West division. Consisting of the Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Raiders, this will be an action-packed division with every team likely having a winning record. When we look at the Chargers compared to the Bills, there are similarities with their quarterbacks regarding their howitzers for throwing arms. However, Bills quarterback Josh Allen moves better than his Chargers quarterback counterpart Justin Herbert.
The Chargers have assembled a team that could be quite a tough out if they make the postseason. Let's look at this Chargers offense:
|Wide Receiver||Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton|
|Running Back||Austin Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller, Joshua Kelley|
|Tight End||Gerald Everett|
|Left Tackle||Rashawn Slater|
|Left Guard||Matt Feiler|
|Right Guard||Zion Johnson|
|Right Tackle||Trey Pipkins III|
There are some weak spots, but the Chargers' offensive line has improved with their draft choice of Zion Johnson, and the receiving weapons, Ekeler included, are more than capable of assisting Herbert this season. However, where it gets even more eye-popping is the defense.We won't cover each position but look at some of the star-studded cast.
- Safety: Derwin James, Nassir Adderley
- Cornerback: Asante Samuel Jr., J.C. Jackson, Bryce Callahan
- EDGE: Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack
This offseason, the Chargers signed Jackson, one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and Mack, who will be opposite Bosa, getting after the quarterback. At +1400, the Chargers still have to prove they're capable of winning the higher stakes games, but everything is here on paper.
Fade It: Green Bay Packers (+1000)
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If any of these picks come back to bite us, it's this one.
The elephant in the room here is that the Packers traded wide receiver Davante Adams to the Raiders, leaving quarterback Aaron Rodgers with Allen Lazard as his No. 1 option. The team did draft wide receivers Christian Watson (second round) and Romeo Doubs (fourth round), but Watson is dealing with injuries after being drafted out of a small school in North Dakota State. Rodgers has spoken highly of Doubs, but the receiving weapons are weak. This team could focus more on utilizing running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, but Rodgers can only carry them so far.
With their first two picks in the draft, the Packers brought in two Georgia Bulldogs -- linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt. These are great picks as Walker will fill the void of Za'Darius Smith leaving town, and Wyatt will provide excellent depth behind, presumably, Jarran Reed. Again, the team still has Rodgers, cornerback Jaire Alexander, and left tackle David Bakhtiari may or may not be back at some point. But the NFC will provide competition, and the lack of receiving weapons could prove to be the downfall.
The Packers are tied for being the third favorite to win it all, and it's tough to envision right now.
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