We are into September which means one thing – the return of the NFL as the 2023 season gets underway in the early hours of Friday morning with 32 franchises once again dreaming of success at the Super Bowl in February.
Kansas City Chiefs had that earlier in the year when they knocked off the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chiefs go in search of a third title in five years but there are a number of teams who have strengthened in a bid to stop them.
2022 – Kansas City Chiefs
2021 – Los Angeles Rams
2020 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2019 – Kansas City Chiefs
2018 – New England Patriots
2017 – Philadelphia Eagles
2016 – New England Patriots
2015 – Denver Broncos
2014 – New England Patriots
2013 – Seattle Seahawks
The Kansas City Chiefs go into the 2023 season as the 6/1 favourites to keep hold of their crown at the Super Bowl. Usually when a team wins a Super Bowl it breaks up and the team struggles the following year but that isn’t really the case with the Chiefs so they look like they are geared for another deep run. The fact that they are so dominant both in the West and the Conference as a whole is very much a positive for them and it would be a surprise if Kansas City are not in the mix at the turn of the year, unless Patrick Mahomes picks up a significant injury.
The Buffalo Bills saw their challenge for the Vince Lombardi Trophy come to a close in the Divisional round of the playoffs last term and that will be motivation for them to go better this time around but they are in a potentially tougher division this season which might hold them back a little. The last couple of campaigns they have been untested in the East but with the Jets expected to be much improved there might only be minimal value with regards to the Bills at 10/1.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been beaten in the Super Bowl and then in the AFC Championship game in each of the last two seasons and they are 11/1 to finally go all the way to glory. They have been boosted ahead of the campaign with the news that the concerning injury to Joe Burrow is not as bad as was first feared. They have secured the services of Orlando Brown to give Burrow better protection which was needed so now the only concern is whether their defence will be up to the mark. If it is the Bengals shouldn’t be far away.
A lot more will be expected of the New York Jets this season after the eye catching additions of Aaron Rodgers and Dalvin Cook the offense looks like it is going to come on leaps and bounds, particularly with Garrett Wilson already there and Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard moving from Green Bay to New Jersey with Rodgers. The Jets’ defence was already one of the best in football so there are no doubts over that side of the ball. This is the Jets and optimism should always be cautious but this does look a big chance for a deep run at 18/1.
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The Philadelphia Eagles came up one match short last season when they went down to the Kansas City Chiefs and they are 8/1 to go one better than last term. The initial thing to appreciate is the hangover that losing Super Bowl teams can often suffer but if they overcome that, which isn’t guaranteed in a tricky division, then you would imagine they will be at the playoffs at least but for me there will be one or two better in the NFC.
One of those could be the San Francisco 49ers who made it all the way to the NFC Championship game last season despite their injuries. Those injured players, particularly Brock Purdy, are all sorted ahead of this campaign and if they can stay injury free they should be huge players this season. The 49ers are in a division which is among the weaker in the league if you take them out of it so they should coast their way to the playoffs in a good position and could be the team to beat.
The Dallas Cowboys were dumped out in the Divisional round of the playoffs last season having previously beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wildcard round. There has been change in Texas with offensive co-ordinator Kellen Moore getting the chop so this is going to be much more of the run first offense Mike McCarthy looked to run in Green Bay. That will help Dak Prescott and his decision making and with a stud defender in Micah Parsons the Cowboys should go well but whether they can topple the Eagles to win the division would probably determine whether they are value at 18/1 or not.
Detroit Lions are the surprising fourth favourites to win the Super Bowl among teams in the NFC. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2016 so that will be the immediate aim of a team who are undoubtedly improving under Dan Campbell. In terms of their roster, a Super Bowl run might come a year too soon for them but the NFC North will never be weaker on paper than it is heading into this campaign so you can see why bookmakers will only offer 25/1 on a Super Bowl ring making its way to Motown.
Super Bowl Betting
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the season. I think the San Francisco 49ers are the team to beat this term. I just don’t see a scenario where they are not a top two seed in the NFC and it might well be that they are the number one and the road to the Super Bowl goes through Levi’s Stadium. The good thing about the 49ers is should they go deep in the playoffs and the old adage that defences win championships rings true San Francisco are well covered in that regard while their offense could stand up to anything in the game if they stay injury free. San Fran should have their division won early enough to plot their latter season schedule to peak when it is needed and even at a single figure price I’m happy to be on Purdy, Kittle and co.
Over in the AFC I’ll take the chance that Aaron Rodgers gets the tune out of the New York Jets that he has left Green Bay to find. The Jets have had a more than competitive defence for a while now and they have had individual playmakers on offense but they have lacked the reliable triggerman to take them to the next level. That is very much Rodgers and with him having a top class running back in the form of Dalvin Cook to rely on too I expect the Jets to go very well. Unlike San Francisco, the Jets aren’t guaranteed to win their division but going away from home and winning playoff matches has never been an issue for Rodgers and if Cook is fit in January it won’t be for this lot either with the ability they have on defence. I’m expecting a very good season out of the New York Jets at 18/1.
Back San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl LVIII (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 10.00 with William Hill (1/2 1-2)
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Back New York Jets to win Super Bowl LVIII (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 19.00 with BetVictor (1/2 1-2)