Now that the NFL Draft has finished and free agency is in its late stages, it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming season, which means one thing: NFL Futures.
Even though there are still trades to make and free agent signings to ink, we have a pretty good sense of what these teams will look like when they head into the season, which means that we can start looking at who we want to place our money on as the 2022 Super Bowl winner.
First, let’s check out the odds (This Tallysight widget will update to the most recent odds)
Taking into account the current rosters (as of May 4th), plus the likely strength of schedule, we’ll talk about some of the bets that we like the most.
While this could change with signing and potential injuries, the table below shows the teams with the top-10 hardest schedules in 2022. This is something we need to take into account when deciding if a team can make the playoffs and if their regular season will put them in a good enough position to make a postseason run.
|Rank||Team||Opp. Record||Opp. Win Pct.|
|1||Los Angeles Rams||164-125-0||0.567|
|4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||154-134-1||0.535|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||154-135-0||0.533|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs||154-135-0||0.533|
|7||Las Vegas Raiders||152-136-1||0.528|
|7||New Orleans Saints||152-136-1||0.528|
|10||Los Angeles Chargers||150-139-0||0.519|
For more 2022 NFL betting content like this 2022 Super Bowl story, visit TailgateSports.com
Potential 2022 Super Bowl Winners
We obviously won’t cover every possible team here, but just some intriguing bets
Buffalo Bills (+700)
Schedule Difficulty: 12th
Last season, the Bills were famously 13 seconds away from going to the AFC Championship game, but poor coaching decisions and defensive execution allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to force overtime, and Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense never touched the ball again in a loss.
The case for the Bills as a Super Bowl favorite is clear. They led the AFC in points scored last year with 483 in 17 games. Their offense was 5th in the NFL in yards gained, 4th in first downs gained, and 5th in percentage of drives that ended in a score.
Josh Allen was 8th in the NFL with 4,407 passing yards but also added 763 yards on the ground, which trailed only Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson. Allen threw for 36 touchdowns and ran for another six while also completing 63.3% of his passes.
While Stefon Diggs remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Gabriel Davis emerged as a clear WR2 in the playoffs. The Bills signed Jameson Crowder to replace Cole Beasley and also drafted Georgia running back James Cook in the second round to give them a pass-catching specialist and a big-play threat to rotate in with Devin Singletary.
However, the biggest splash was likely the signing of defensive end Von Miller, who joins a host of other additions on the defensive side of the ball. Given how close the Bills were last year and the fact that their schedule isn’t as challenging as some of the other Super Bowl favorites, it’s possible the Bills could secure home-field advantage and force the playoffs to have to go through Buffalo in January.
Kansas City Chiefs (+900)
Schedule Difficulty: 5th
How can you not consider taking the Chiefs here after all they’ve achieved in the last few seasons. Yes, they fell one game short of the Super Bowl last season, but they scored the 2nd most points in the AFC, trailing the Bills by just three, and secured the two seed for the playoffs.
They may have lost Tyreek Hill, but they replaced him with Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and second-round pick Skyy Moore, which will likely give the Chiefs are far deeper receiving corps than they’ve had in recent years. Which will make it harder for defenses to cover those weapons plus tight end Travis Kelce.
Questions remain on the defensive end, but this was a unit that was top-five in pressure rate last season and was 4th in the league in turnover rate.
They will also get an up-close look at a bunch of other contenders, having to face the Chargers and Broncos twice during the season, which could give them an edge in the playoffs in regards to scheming and matchup planning.
Los Angeles Chargers (+1600)
Schedule Difficulty: 10th
However, the Chiefs are not a lock to emerge from the AFC West. Yes, the Chargers didn’t make the playoffs last year, but that had more to do with some poor coaching decisions from a young staff than it did with the talent on the Chargers’ roster.
This is an offense – led by Justin Herbert – that was second in the NFL in passing yards, 4th in total yards, and 4th in percentage of drives that ended in a score. Herbert was 2nd in the NFL with 5,014 yards passing and 3rd with 28 touchdown passes and had a strong 65.9% completion percentage.
The Chargers were also able to re-sign wide receiver Mike Williams, which means that he’ll partner with Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer again to give the team a strong receiver group. When you add in Austin Ekeler and Isaiah Spiller out of the backfield, it’s easy to see how some think this is the best offense in the AFC.
The key for the Chargers will be improving a defense that was 4th-worst in the NFL in the percentage of drives that ended in a score and was just 21st in sacks and 15th in turnover rate.
Indianapolis Colts (+2500)
Schedule Difficulty: 26th
Philadelphia Eagles (+4000)
Schedule Difficulty: 30th
These are our two longest shot options to discuss. The Colts were 11-5 in 2020 but fell to 9-8 last year in part due to the quarterback play of Carson Kelly. They have the best running back in the league in Jonathan Taylor and one of the strongest offensive line units.
Their defense was fringe top-10 last year, ranking 11th in the percentage of drives that ended in an offensive turnover and first in the league in turnover rate. However, they failed to get consistent pressure on the quarterback, ranking 31st in pressure rate.
Bringing in veteran Matt Ryan ensures a measure of stability under center that the Colts didn’t have last season. With Michael Pittman, Keke Coutee, and rookie Alec Pierce, they have a receiving corps that has some upside and will have a strength of schedule that should allow them to have a good shot at the playoffs.
The Eagles enter into the conversation after the trade for A.J. Brown. The Eagles now have a legit star on the offensive side of the ball to join DeVonta Smith and quarterback Jalen Hurts, who led the NFL in rushing yards by a quarterback last season. Hurts’ athleticism makes him tough for NFL defense to match up against and if Miles Sanders can stay healthy, this team now has a few dynamic weapons.
The Eagles also had issues on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 31st in the league in sacks, 25th in turnover rate, and 17th in the percentage of drives that ended in an offensive score. The Eagles took steps to improve that side of the ball, drafting behemoth Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round and his talented but injured linebacker teammate Nakobe Dean in the third round.
The case for Philadelphia, despite the incredibly long odds, is the relatively easy schedule and the improved offense that should be difficult to scheme for. It’s not even close to a likely outcome, hence the odds, but the Eagles have overcome long odds to win a Super Bowl before, so it’s certainly in their range of outcomes.