The 2021-22 NFL season is almost upon us and our experts at VSiN – Brady Kannon, Bruce Marshall, William Hill, Wes Reynolds and Matt Youmans – have picked their favorite Super Bowl futures bets as part of VSiN’s Pro Football Betting Guide.
Here are their seven favorite Super Bowl bets.
All odds at DraftKings Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
Los Angeles Rams To Win Super Bowl (14-1)
Wes Reynolds: Yes, Matthew Stafford was 16 games under .500, started only three playoff games and made just one Pro Bowl in 12 seasons in Detroit. But sometimes the numbers do lie. Stafford not only passes the eye test, he aces it. Sean McVay and Les Snead certainly believe so as they traded two future first-round picks, a 2021 third-rounder and Jared Goff to acquire Stafford. The Rams are putting all their chips in the middle of the table for this season -- and likely 2022 as well.
Stafford always had receivers in Detroit and has an excellent group in Los Angeles with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee. Losing RB Cam Akers to a season-ending Achilles injury is a blow, but one the Rams can withstand. The defense led the NFL last season and has two of the best defensive players in the league with Aaron Donald, who won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award facing double and triple teams, and Jalen Ramsey. While Stafford has a losing record against winning teams, he has never had a defense capable of getting stops and will not have to constantly play from behind. The Rams play in the league’s best division, but this will have them battle-tested for a deep run.
San Francisco 49ers (14-1)
Brady Kannon: San Francisco arguably has one of the most talented rosters in the league. The 49ers may lack a little in the secondary, but their front seven is as good as anyone’s, loaded with Pro Bowl-caliber players. San Francisco’s pass-catchers and running backs ought to be incredible, and I expect big things from Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel at wide receiver. Jimmy Garoppolo has some question marks, but I believe the presence of rookie Trey Lance will elevate Garoppolo’s game. The biggest problem for Garoppolo has been injury, and if that happens again, Lance is capable of taking this team to big places. If not for health and injury problems last season, this team might be trying to reach its third straight Super Bowl. Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch might be the best 1-2 punch in the league. I’m betting the Niners have another very successful season.
Cleveland Browns (16-1)
Kannon: The Browns have been building off so many years with high draft choices that it’s finally starting to turn in their favor. They also now have a coach who has shown he can guide this team properly. The Browns remind me a bit of how I felt about the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 season, losing to the Texans in a playoff game they should have won, and they came out and nearly got to the Super Bowl the next season. Cleveland nearly got there last year, and I think this year’s version is even better with an improved defense.
The Browns are very strong in the trenches on both sides of the ball and might have the best offensive line and the best pair of running backs in football. I think Baker Mayfield is good. Great? Not yet and may never be, but he is good enough to lead a team that is pretty loaded just about everywhere. The Browns have all the pieces to make a deep run.
Seattle Seahawks (22-1)
William Hill: In what is likely the best division in the NFL, I believe the Seahawks will win double-digit games and make the playoffs. Why am I so certain they’ll win 10+ games? Well, Russell Wilson took over in Seattle in 2012. In those nine seasons, he has led his team to the playoffs and double-digit wins all but once, going 9-7 in 2017. He’s never had a losing season and has missed the playoffs once in nine years.
After a torrid start in 2020, it seemed as if the MVP award was Wilson’s to lose … which he did. He had a rash of turnovers in the middle of the season that took him out of the running, and the season ended in ugly fashion in a 30-20 home playoff loss to the Rams. The Seahawks certainly had their flaws last year, and I’d be concerned with the way they were dominated in the playoffs, but at these odds you get a Hall of Fame quarterback still in his prime and a defense that played much better in the second half last season.
The 49ers might start a rookie quarterback and otherwise will have an inconsistent and injury-prone player at the position. The Rams are top-heavy with elite talent but lack depth, meaning an injury or two can derail their season. The Cardinals are certainly competitive but have a small quarterback who will have to prove he can endure the punishment of a 17-game season. Wilson and the Seahawks will be in the mix for the division title, just like they always are, and the NFC is wide open. The Bucs are the defending champs, but their quarterback is 44. The Packers are a short shot, but one has to wonder not only about the consternation between Aaron Rodgers and the organization but also the challenge of coming off back-to-back NFC title game losses.
Wilson’s last Super Bowl pass wound up in the hands of Malcolm Butler. Perhaps that will change in about six months.
Los Angeles Chargers (30-1)
William Hill: Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes recently won MVP awards in their sophomore seasons, and Carson Wentz was on his way to doing it before tearing his ACL in December of his second year. Justin Herbert had a record-breaking rookie campaign, yet wasn’t even the Week 1 starter. Quarterback improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 is a scary proposition for the rest of the league, as Herbert already looked like an elite player as a neophyte. The Chargers are a good candidate to make a leap this year, as they have been plagued by more close losses in the last two years than any team in the NFL.
Brandon Staley is a quick riser in the coaching world and takes over looking to reverse some of the Chargers’ late-game fortunes. In 2020, they lost seven games by one score or less. They blew double-digit leads to both Super Bowl participants, leading the Chiefs by 11 points and the Bucs by 17. They also blew a 17-point lead to the Saints before losing in overtime. This team was plagued by poor coaching and a lack of aggressiveness when playing with a lead. And don’t forget that Derwin James is back for this defense. Any future bet cashing goes through the Chiefs, but we’ve seen the Super Bowl hangover plague teams, and we’ve seen Patrick Mahomes miss time with injuries. It’s the NFL; crazy stuff happens.
Grabbing 30-1 with an elite talent like Herbert at the most important position is good value for a team that finally has a chance to set itself up for better fortune in close games.
Tennessee Titans (30-1)
Bruce Marshall: Given that the Titans have qualified for the playoffs the last two years, reached the AFC title game in 2019 and seem to have a clear path to another AFC South crown, this price is definitely intriguing. With only the Jaguars (1-15 in 2020), Colts (likely minus Carson Wentz for some period) and depleted Texans (likely without Deshaun Watson) to worry about in the South, the division should cause little friction.
Mike Vrabel squeezed 11 wins out of last year’s team without much help from a defense that ranked among the NFL’s worst in third-down conversions and sacks, prompting GM Jon Robinson to clean house. He prioritized pass-rushers in free agency, notably getting ex-Steelers OLB Bud Dupree, and added defensive depth in the draft. Vrabel has surrendered the defensive coordinator role he assumed jointly with his head coaching position in 2020, with Shane Bowen promoted to run the defense out of a new-look 3-4 alignment.
Improvement from that unit will be welcomed by a potent offense that averaged better than 30 PPG and has added WR Julio Jones to team with playmaking WR A.J. Brown and still featuring chops-busting RB Derrick Henry, off back-to-back rushing titles. This will make life easier for QB Ryan Tannehill, whose career revival in Nashville continued a year ago when he tossed 33 TD passes against just seven picks. Vrabel has established his credentials as a top-level coach who has molded a Super Bowl-caliber offense the last two years, and the simple fact the revamped defense can’t be any worse in 2021 should be enough to make other contenders very wary of the Titans.
New England Patriots (35-1)
Matt Youmans: Betting on Bill Belichick is never a bad idea. Belichick, still by far the sharpest coach and game-planner in the NFL, is primed for a bounce-back year. The Patriots are off a 7-9 finish, Belichick’s first losing season since 2000 and his first regular season with fewer than 10 wins since 2002. The New England defense was decimated last year, and the quarterback situation was chaotic. There is a lot more to like about this rebuilt roster, beginning with the strength on the offensive and defensive lines. The Patriots were big spenders in free agency and were fortunate to get former Alabama QB Mac Jones with the 15th pick in the draft. If the Cam Newton experiment starts to fail, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will go to Jones, who has the aptitude and skills to run the Tom Brady offense.
This team will be physically tough on both sides of the ball. It’s a lot to ask of the Patriots to be Super Bowl contenders, but they have much of what you look for in a long shot, and the 35-1 odds at Circa Sports and DraftKings are attractive enough to take a shot. Who else is up for a Belichick-Brady Super Bowl showdown?