We are now just about a week away from the opening of NFL training camps, so it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the coming season. While some folks wait until they’ve seen a few games before betting on who will win the Super Bowl, others make their wager now, hoping to make the most of the current odds, which will change as the weeks roll on. I am going to place the teams into tiers, from legit Super Bowl candidate to rank outsider, and then return at the end of the season to see how I made out. Let’s get to it so you can get ready to make your bets against their NFL odds.
Ranking 2021 NFL teams into betting tiers
Legit Super Bowl Contenders
There are, in my mind, 6 teams that fall into this category, starting with the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They look stacked again and ready to make another deep run.
The Kansas City Chiefs are still the elite team in the AFC and are going to be tough to beat.
The Buffalo Bills took a huge step forward last season and probably got a little better in the offseason. Keep an eye on this group.
The LA Rams now have a legitimate starting QB in Matthew Stafford and will be ready to challenge.
The Baltimore Ravens look like the team most likely to take a run at the Chiefs in the AFC.
If Aaron Rodgers decides to go back to the Packers, then Green Bay needs to be in this group. If he does not, then they drop down into the second tier.
Dark Horse Teams
These are teams that look like definite playoff contenders and who could make a run if they get in. The New Orleans Saints need to be in this group despite no longer having Drew Brees.
The San Francisco 49ers have a QB decision to make, but they are still a solid team.
The Cleveland Browns made the playoffs last season and look poised to go deeper this time around.
The Indianapolis Colts are an intriguing prospect with Carson Wentz under center.
I am not 100% sold on the Seattle Seahawks, but Russell Wilson always gives them a chance to win.
The Tennessee Titans made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game in 2019 and are arguably better now.
The Arizona Cardinals have a great QB and have picked up a lot of talent this offseason. They are the definition of a dark horse.
Potential Playoff Candidates
I would expect the teams I have already mentioned to be in the postseason, but this tier could upset the apple cart. The Pittsburgh Steelers made it through the offseason in cap space hell. This will be the final run for Big Ben, so who knows.
The Miami Dolphins may not be fully sold on Tua Tagovailoa as their QB. This season will tell us a lot.
The New England Patriots have a decision to make at QB, but they might just be good enough to sneak in.
I was tempted to put the Dallas Cowboys in the group above, but I am worried about how Dak Prescott will do after returning from a bad injury.
The Chicago Bears state that Andy Dalton will start, but when will we see Justin Fields?
The Washington Football team made it to the postseason last year albeit with a losing record. That defense is dangerous, though.
The Las Vegas Raiders are a team with potential, but you just never know what you are going to get.
Zero Shot at the Super Bowl
A miracle would need to happen for any of the remaining teams to make the Super Bowl, with the playoffs even looking like a longshot. Those teams are:
- Atlanta Falcons
- Denver Broncos
- LA Chargers
- Minnesota Vikings
- Carolina Panthers
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Houston Texans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Detroit Lions
NFL Betting News
- NFL 2021 Regular Season: Seahawks vs Vikings Betting Analysis & Prediction
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- NFL Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Betting Analysis – Week 3
- NFL New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots Betting Analysis – Week 3