American football is a niche, but it is becoming more popular internationally. The fact that the Super Bowl will be one of the most-watched events in the world each year is evidence of that. Whether it is the big parties that draw in the social component, the football fans interested in the game, or people who will watch for the commercials or the halftime show, it caters to a wide variety of interests.
For football fans, wagering is becoming increasingly popular as it is one of the most bets on sporting events each year. Early Super Bowl lines are already out after free agency, the NFL Draft, and the schedule release.
Here’s a look at some of the early odds, props, and more.
Oddsmakers seem to think the Buffalo Bills have little competition in the AFC. According to BETUS, the Bills are the favorites in the entire league at +650, with Tom Brady and the Tampa Buccaneers at +750 and then Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at +900.
While the Chiefs have had great regular season and playoffs success since Andy Reid got there and improved with Mahomes behind center, they have been vulnerable in the postseason.
The Bills, meanwhile, have added to their feared defense and are the favorites in three different Super Bowl matchup odds to face either the Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, or the defending champion Los Angeles Rams.
The NFC seems to be valued as more competitive, at least among Super Bowl hopefuls. Behind the Buccaneers are the Packers and Rams, tied at +1100. Then it is the Los Angeles Chargers +1400. The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are tied at +1600.
Of the top seven teams in the 32-team league, three of the best odds belong to teams in the AFC West alone. At some point, that competitiveness is going to knock some players out in what is expected to be a physical, high-octane division.
That doesn’t even mention the Las Vegas Raiders (+3000), who added the best receiver in football, Davante Adams, to a strong offense.
But it is in part due to Justin Herbert’s development as a quarterback and the Broncos acquiring Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson for Drew Lock to pair with an already solid defense and developing receiving corps.
The Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns are +1200, with the top 10 rounding out with a tie at +2000 between the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals — last year’s AFC representative — and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts are actually one of the buy-low options worth exploring. They believe they have a better fit at quarterback, having traded away Carson Wentz and replaced him with savvy veteran Matt Ryan. His leadership is something they are counting on, and alongside last year’s leading rusher, Jonathan Taylor, and a revamped defense, they are the ones to watch.
For some reason, oddsmakers don’t like the Arizona Cardinals, who are +2500. They got off to a 7-0 start before finishing 4-7 down the stretch in part due to injuries. There were concerns about Kyler Murray’s happiness due to social media stuff, but he is still with the organization, which has DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Rondale Moore, and a strong defense.
Before people laugh at a Detroit Lions +15000 listing, remember that Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby at 80-1 odds as a day-before entry. Now, the Lions were 3-13-1 last season under first-year coach Dan Campbell, but six of those losses were by one possession. Adding Aidan Hutchinson and hoping corner Jeff Okudah is healthy could go a long way in helping flip some of those close results.
Super Bowl Props
While kickoff is months away for the regular season, there are already prop bets courtesy of BETUS. An early over/under is 49.5 points. The AFC are early favorites at -130 and the NFC underdogs at +110 to win, and the AFC is favored by 1.5 points.
Other futures are which division will produce the winner, which division (West, North, South, East) will represent the AFC, and which division will represent the NFC.