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AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

Early 2023 NFL Championship Value Picks


The days are flying by, and NFL football will be back before we know it. Fantasy football teams will be selected, and predictions will be made. If you bet on football, chances are that Super Bowl LVIII futures will be something you consider. With that in mind, this is how I rank the teams with the best odds to win it all after the top eight. Rankings are weighted by odds—e.g., I like the Saints at +3500 more than the Lions at +2200, but I do think Detroit has a better shot to win it all.

 

New Orleans Saints (+3500)

Let’s start with a New Orleans squad that looked incredible in their first preseason drive led by new quarterback Derek Carr, going right down the field for a touchdown against the Chiefs. Michael Thomas is healthy, Alvin Kamara was handed just a three-game suspension, Chris Olave is emerging as a second-year playmaker, and the tight end room is one of the best in football. Playing in a winnable NFC South, and with a defense that could get back on track with more turnover luck this year, the Saints might be the best darkhorse pick to hoist the Lombardi in February.

 

Los Angeles Chargers (+3000)

The Chargers were a bit of a trendy Super Bowl LVII selection last preseason, and it seems the playoff collapse from last January has left a sour taste in people’s mouths. But this is a team led by one of the league’s most talented players in quarterback Justin Herbert, operating in a new offensive attack with coordinator Kellen Moore—along with Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, first-round rookie Quinten Johnston, and tight end Gerald Everett behind what should be a very good offensive line. On defense, Brandon Staley has high-end players at key positions, and it’s no doubt a determined bunch after how last season ended.

 

Detroit Lions (+2200)

Detroit beefed up on both sides of the ball during free agency and the draft, with Jahmyr Gibbs, David Montgomery, Jack Campbell, Brian Branch, Cameron Sutton, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson among the additions. If the defense steps up and the team plays like they did in the second half of last season, there’s a case to be made that the Lions are the second- or third-best team in the NFC entering 2023. That upside is reflected in the Super Bowl odds, as they are in the top ten. However, +2200 could still be intriguing for true believers in Dan Campbell and Jared Goff.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2500)

Patrick Mahomes was at less than 100%, but the Jaguars were closer than people probably remember to knocking off the Chiefs in Arrowhead during the AFC Divisional Round last postseason. Now, the Jags add Calvin Ridley officially to the mix as he returns from his sports gambling suspension, and Trevor Lawrence could be primed for a massive jump in his third NFL season and Year 2 in Doug Pederson’s offense. If 2022 first overall pick Travon Walker can make a leap opposite Josh Allen off the edge, watch out.

 

Seattle Seahawks (+3500)

Finally, while I like the Seahawks and think they can push the 49ers for an NFC West title, I’m not sure they have quite the upside of the Saints at the same +3500. Though they have upside as a young unit, the defense had trouble last postseason and ultimately might not be as reliable as New Orleans’ group. Pete Carroll gets a lot out of his players, though, and no one should be shocked if they take a step forward on that side of the ball to complement an underrated offense that added Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet in the draft.