The Seven Tiers of Super Bowl 58 Contenders

We are entering the sad, gloomy, and dark part of the year where there is no football (unless you count whatever version of the XFL or USFL or AAF that will pop up during the offseason but won’t even last longer than your Super Bowl prop bet parlay from the weekend). Speaking of the Super Bowl, is it too early to look ahead to next year’s edition of the big game? The answer is probably yes, but that isn’t going to stop me from doing it anyway. This may be a huge waste of time considering the two teams that just played for the Lombardi Trophy were definitely not considered favorites at this time last year. But that means there might be some good value in the Super Bowl odds right now if you’re bold enough to jump on them. I’m not. I’m bold enough to analyze the current odds and tell you what I think about them (which is not that bold, to be honest). Nevertheless, here are the Super Bowl 58 odds for all 32 teams broken up into seven different groups.

The Frontrunners

Chiefs +600

Bills +850

Eagles +900

Bengals +900

49ers +900

This one is pretty obvious, is it not? If you asked me right now, I’d feel pretty confident that next year’s Super Bowl winner will come from this group of five teams. But it also might be foolish to just assume that these will be the only teams in the running next year. this group includes all four teams that participated in the conference championship games this season plus the next-best team that wasn’t involved. We very likely won’t see a repeat of that next year. These are still the teams to beat, though. The Chiefs have the best quarterback in the world so they will always be at or near the top of these kinds of lists. The Bills, Eagles, and Bengals all have very good young quarterbacks as well, which is the most important thing when it comes to competing for titles. The 49ers don’t have that, but as we saw this year, the team is built in a way that just about anyone can take them to the Super Bowl (except Josh Johnson).

The Outsiders

Cowboys +1500

Chargers +2000

Jaguars +2500

Vikings +4000

Giants +4000

This is the next group up, filled with playoff teams from this past year that will need a thing or two to break their way in order to pull off a Super Bowl victory. For some teams, it may be internal. Like the Chargers finally putting it all together and having postseason success under Justin Herbert (who is talented enough to be in the group of young quarterbacks referenced in the previous group). It could also be a step forward for a young Jaguars team that surprised people last year. It could also be a team such as the Cowboys, Vikings, or Giants taking advantage of a relatively weak NFC and maybe capitalizing on an injury or a bit of bad luck suffered by the Eagles or 49ers. All in all, these five teams don’t have clear paths to winning the Super Bowl, but the path is still there.

It Could Happen

Lions +2500

Browns +3500

Seahawks +6000

These three teams could have been in the previous group but there is still a reason or two that I’m hesitant about them. It seems like everyone is a bit too eager to crown the Lions as next year’s out-of-nowhere team. But the thing is if everyone is predicting it then they aren’t really coming out of nowhere. The Lions are a young team that is certainly trending up and has a good shot to make the playoffs, but they are still led by Jared Goff. Yes, he has taken a team to the Super Bowl before but that was then and this is now, and this team is not on the 2018 Rams level yet. The Browns are another team that has a roster built to contend but has a question mark at quarterback, although for much different reasons. By all accounts, Deshaun Watson should be good enough to lead this team to some playoff success but he did not look like the same player last year. It could have been due to rust and he comes back looking like the young quarterback that earned a $230 million contract (although under dubious circumstances). If he does then we have already seen what this team is capable of doing when led by at least an average signal-caller. The Seahawks may feel misplaced in this group since they made the playoffs last year, but it always felt like more of a fluke than an indicator of future success. There is no guarantee that Geno Smith can recreate his play from last season and even if he does, the Seahawks’ defense is not at a championship level. Things can change fast, though. The Seahawks weren’t even thought of as a playoff team last year and that turned out to be wrong, but it would be even more shocking if this team was a legit Super Bowl contender in 2023.

Depends On The Quarterback

Ravens +1600

Jets +2500

Dolphins +3000

Packers +3500

Broncos +3500

There’s a pretty clear throughline with all these teams. They all have high upsides but have major uncertainty at quarterback. And unlike some of the previous teams with questions at the position, these teams might even be wondering who will be under center for them this year. Aaron Rodgers will be the quarterback for one of these teams, we just don’t know which one. His connection to the Jets is the reason that their odds are so high despite not even being in the playoff conversation last year. The Ravens also have a very weird situation going on with a former MVP. Lamar Jackson has had the most interesting contract situation for about a year now and there is still no apparent conclusion to the saga in sight. If Jackson is back with Baltimore then they are once again a playoff team with Super Bowl potential, but without knowing if he’ll be back for sure it’s too hard to have faith in them. The Dolphins and Broncos are in a bit of a different predicament because their quarterbacks are at least under contract. Both teams are unsure of what they’re going to get from their guys though. For the Dolphins it’s because of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury issues and for the Broncos it’s due to Russell Wilson’s . . . issues. Both teams could run it back with the same guy or do something drastic and make a huge change. For that reason alone they are too risky, even though the rest of the roster looks like it’s playoff-caliber.

Lingering On The Outskirts

Rams +3000

Saints +3500

Raiders +4000

Steelers +5000

I don’t feel great about any of these four teams but the potential is there for them to pull something off. These are teams that could be lurking around the playoff picture if things go right for them, although they don’t appear to be big threats if they get in. The Rams are obviously the most intriguing team because they won the Super Bowl just over a year ago. It’s why they have the highest odds among the group, even higher than some teams that look like better teams at the moment. If this past year turns out to be just a complete fluke where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, then the Rams could be right back in the thick of things. But without seeing it on the field first, it’s way too risky to believe that will be the case. The other three teams don’t have the same kind of clear path to contention but with a whole offseason still yet to play out, I can’t totally rule out any of those three squads.

So You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance

Panthers +5500

Commanders +5500

Patriots +5500

Titans +7500

Buccaneers +7500

I can almost rule out these five teams, though. It’s weird to see the Buccaneers, who won the NFC South last year, and the Titans, who were the number one overall seed in the AFC in 2021, in this group, but that’s the point we’re at. Neither team had a particularly inspiring season last year and a lot of things would have to change for them to even make the playoffs, let alone compete for a championship. The Panthers, Commanders, and Patriots are in different situations because they haven’t had the same success over the past few seasons, but are still too good to bump down into the last group. The Panthers are an especially intriguing team because they are in a division that is wide open. The Commanders and Patriots don’t really stand a chance to beat out the Eagles and Cowboys or Bills and Dolphins, respectively, to win their division, which makes a subsequent playoff run much more difficult. But the Panthers could possibly win the NFC South, which would give them a much better shot to actually pull this off. I don’t necessarily think that will happen, but just the potential of it makes them worth paying attention to.

No Chance

Bears +6500

Falcons +7500

Colts +20000

Cardinals +28000

Texans +28000

Now, these are the teams that you can officially write off even though the season is still months away. The Falcons are also in the NFC South so I guess you could argue that they have the same type of shot as the Panthers do, but unless someone other than Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder is quarterbacking this team, I don’t give them a chance. The most interesting team in this group is the Cardinals. Last year they were borderline contenders after a season in which they went undefeated for nearly two months and made the playoffs. But then they got trounced by the Rams and preceded to have a downright awful season in 2022. For them to be tied for the worst Super Bowl odds now is a huge fall from grace. But that’s what happens when your quarterback tears his ACL toward the end of the season and you pay for Kliff Kingsbury’s one-way trip to Thailand just for him to not coach the team. As for the other three teams, it’s not a surprise that the Bears, Colts, and Texans, who are all picking in the top four in the upcoming draft, are in this group. These three teams should all be focusing more on the future because focusing on the present might get a little depressing.