NFL Super Bowl futures bets to make now
Last month, I wrote about which college football teams stack up from a power rating standpoint to previous championship winners, based on my T Shoe Index’s historical ratings. Now, I want to examine where 2023 NFL teams stack up to Super Bowl Champions of the last ten years, and determine if there are any teams worth taking into consideration for a Super Bowl futures bet. If you’re new to my ratings, the TSI is comprised of an offense and defensive rating, which is how many points a team would be expected to score and allow against the average team. So, let’s take a look at some of the top offensive and defensive teams in my ratings this year.
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Super Bowl Offenses
In the TSI offensive ratings since 2014, Super Bowl champions have had an average offensive rating of 27.9 - they’d be expected to score 28 points on the average team. The highest rated champion was the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs, with a 30.5 offensive rating; the lowest rated champion was the 2015 Denver Broncos, with a 22.0 offensive rating. In 2023, there are only three teams currently with a 27.9 or better offensive rating - Dallas, San Francisco, and Detroit. The 49ers are the current Super Bowl favorite at DraftKings, with odds sitting at +500, while the Cowboys and Lions are +1000. 6 of the 28 (21%) teams since 2014 with a 27.9 offensive rating or better won the Super Bowl. At 10-to-1 odds, there are worse things you could do with your money than bet on a team that can light up the scoreboard to win the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Defenses
Does defense actually win championships? Not so fast, my friend *Lee Corso voice*. Not in the modern era, at least. The average Super Bowl champ of the last decade has had a defensive rating of 18.7 - they’d be expected to allow 19 points to the average team; however, there have been 45 teams in that span with an 18.7 defensive rating or better, and just 6 have won the Super Bowl (13%). The best defensive rating for a champion over this span has been the 2015 Broncos (15.9) and the worst has been the 2022 Chiefs (22.1). Teams that hit that threshold this season are Kansas City, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay. Obviously, this shows there’s a reason why San Francisco is the betting favorite to win the whole thing; they’re excellent on both sides of the ball, but betting is about odds and their odds are twice as short as some of these other contenders. The Chiefs are the co-favorite now at +500,the Ravens are sitting at +900 and the Bucs are an astronomical +15000; however, making a Super Bowl bet on Baker Mayfield’s offensive unit (20.9 rating) might not be your best move.
Super Bowl Contenders
Obviously, the most important thing is how a team functions cohesively on both sides of the ball and isn’t super-reliant on one side or another. So, what’s the average power rating of a Super Bowl champion in the last ten years? 6.1. The highest-rated champ has been the 2014 Patriots (7.8), while the lowest-rated champion was the 2015 Broncos (4.1). In 2023, only two teams are rated above the 6.1 threshold: Baltimore (7.7) and San Francisco (7.3), and only two more are even above the 4.1 floor: Dallas (5.3) and Kansas City (4.5). Dallas appearing more than once here is probably an indication that they’re worth considering at their +1000 price, if you trust that “this is the year”, finally.
To learn more about who I am or what my T Shoe Index is, be sure to read my introduction on VSiN.com and check out my free NFL Guide with ratings, projections and win probabilities for every single game this season and follow me on X, @TShoeIndex.