Super Bowl Odds: Why These Favorites Can Win It All (Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles, More)
Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.
With every team's first game now in the books for the preseason, the 2023-2024 NFL season is officially off and running.
The regular season kicks off in under a month, and the playoffs and Super Bowl will be here before you know it.
So who will win it all? Recent history says it will probably be one of the favorites at the top.
The last five Super Bowl champions ranked third, fourth, third, second and first in preseason Super Bowl odds — all at +1200 or shorter to open the season.
A lot can change between now and February, but right now, there are eight teams with +1800 odds or better to win this year's ultimate prize.
Here's why every one of them can win the Super Bowl — and also why they won't.
All odds via FanDuel as of Aug. 13.
Why the Chiefs Will Win the Super Bowl …
Patrick Mahomes — need I say more?
Fine, happy to add a few more obvious reasons: Andy Reid, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones and a dominant offensive line.
How do the Chiefs win it all? That formula isn't much of a mystery. Just keep Mahomes upright, round that defense into shape late like usual, head back to the AFC Championship Game (for the sixth straight time) and hope Mahomes wins two more.
As long as you have Mahomes, you're the favorite. Them's the rules.
Why the Chiefs Will Fall Short …
The interior of the offensive line is still great, but will new tackles Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor keep Mahomes healthy and safe?
Reid and most of his staff are intact, but longtime offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy departed for the Commanders. Will the Kansas City attack miss his direction, or was this just Reid all along?
The Chiefs are short on receiving options again as top wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster left while Travis Kelce turns 34 in October. With an average-at-best defense and increasingly little help on offense, how long can Mahomes do it all on his own?
Why the Eagles Will Win the Super Bowl …
Again, this one doesn't require much imagination.
Philadelphia is mostly running it back after a dominant regular season that culminated in a Super Bowl appearance last year. The Eagles have the best roster in the league top to bottom, and it starts by dominating in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Now that Jalen Hurts has broken out, he's turned Philadelphia's quarterback position from a question mark into an exclamation point. Add in D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny at RB — plus A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith at WR — and this team is loaded.
Time to finish the job.
Why the Eagles Will Fall Short …
It's hard to repeat a magical season.
Nearly everything went right for Philly last season. The push play was unstoppable, and it felt like every fourth-down decision paid off.
Outside of a late-season Hurts injury that barely mattered as the team rested for the playoffs, the team stayed remarkably healthy. What if the health doesn't hold for a second straight year, particularly with some key linemen aging quickly?
And then there's Hurts — just how real was his leap? Is he an annual MVP contender? Is he "just" the best QB in the NFC and a clear top-10 guy? Will his physical style of play catch up to him with another injury and only Marcus Mariota behind him?
The Eagles lost some of the spine of their roster and both coordinators. Last year was magic. But what if the magic is gone?
Why the Bills Will Win the Super Bowl …
In an alternate timeline, the Bills might be defending Super Bowl champions.
Their team was arguably just as good as the Eagles. The Bills finished first in DVOA and were top four in offense, defense and special teams. Josh Allen was the MVP favorite midway through the season, and everything seemed to be lining up for that first ring.
Then it all fell apart.
Allen got hurt and never fully recovered. Injuries mounted on both sides of the ball — none of them bigger, of course, than Damar Hamlin. Last year's team seemed hamstrung by the emotional fallout following Hamlin's injury. This year's can be inspired by his return.
Buffalo runs back most of its roster, Allen stays healthy and makes another run at MVP and the defense gets far healthier — most notably star pass rusher Von Miller and a depleted secondary.
This time, Buffalo stays healthy, peaks in the playoffs and finally circles those wagons and wins the Lombardi.
Why the Bills Will Fall Short …
It's more of the same for the Bills, as they look spectacular early but fade over the back half of the season as opponents catch up.
The defense is more average than great without a new defensive coordinator, the offensive line fizzles again and the passing game is inconsistent as the Stefon Diggs drama persists throughout the season.
Allen is superb, but almost too valuable. He's asked to do far too much, which leads to those occasional crippling mistakes and possibly a late-season injury.
Maybe next year, Bills fans.
Why the 49ers Will Win the Super Bowl …
The 49ers shape up as this year's version of the Eagles.
Philadelphia entered last season with the best roster in football outside of QB, then saw Jalen Hurts leap to stardom with the perfect supporting cast and coaching around him.
Enter Brock Purdy.
Kyle Shanahan has finally found his guy, and Purdy remains undefeated in games he actually finishes. Mr. Irrelevant is the new Tom Brady and makes a sophomore leap to lock the QB job up for good and push himself into stealth MVP consideration.
The rest of the roster takes care of itself. No team has more weapons with the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. And the defense, the best in the league a year ago, remains deep and nasty.
Heck, the Niners might have won it last year if Purdy stayed healthy. This time they get the job done.
Why the 49ers Will Fall Short …
A team that has continually been snakebitten by injuries over the years gets the bug again.
Trent Williams misses time, dooming an underwhelming offensive line and leaving his quarterback scrambling for his life. McCaffrey, Kittle and Deebo rotate through their usual injuries, and Nick Bosa returns from his holdout out of shape and pulls a muscle early. It's another one of those years in San Francisco.
And don't forget about Purdy's elbow. The injury that doomed Matthew Stafford and the Rams last season takes down a far less talented QB, and it's another disaster quarterback year for San Francisco.
The Niners rotate through Purdy, Sam Darnold and Trey Lance and never find a rhythm, finishing the season longing for the halcyon days of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Why the Bengals Will Win the Super Bowl …
The Bengals are back in the mix again as Joe Burrow has an MVP season throwing to Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Joe Cool puts up 5,000 yards and 40 TDs, lighting up opposing defenses all season.
Cincinnati continues to have Kansas City's number, beating them in the regular season to clinch the 1-seed, then taking them down again in the AFC Championship.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo makes all the right adjustments, and this top-heavy roster gets back to the Super Bowl and gets the job done this time.
Why the Bengals Will Fall Short …
Burrow misses the first couple games due to his calf injury, and that ailment lingers for half a season as the Bengals fall out of the race for the 1-seed and languish in the league's toughest division.
Unable to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole after Burrow-less losses to the Browns and Ravens, the Bengals find themselves in a dogfight for the Wild Card in the loaded AFC.
The old offensive line woes rear their ugly head and the offense struggles to find success with the run game. The team ekes into the playoffs, but the Chiefs beat them again and leaves Cincy an offseason full of question marks.
Why the Cowboys Will Win the Super Bowl …
Ezekiel Elliott and Kellen Moore are addition by subtraction.
The Cowboys find a more explosive run game with Tony Pollard, and that's complemented by a pass-first Mike McCarthy offense. Brandin Cooks gives Dallas the WR2 it lacked last season, and Cooks and CeeDee Lamb form one of the league's best 1-2 WR punches and vault Dak Prescott into MVP contention behind a healthier offensive line.
Micah Parsons wins his first of many Defensive Player of the Year awards and leads the defense to a third straight top-two DVOA finish.
The Cowboys sweep the Eagles and Prescott is the best QB in the NFC as Dallas roars to a 14-3 record and the NFC 1-seed. Then they ride an easy path to the Super Bowl and win one for Jerry Jones.
Why the Cowboys Will Fall Short …
Jerry meddles like always, and the Cowboys screw around and teach Zach Martin a lesson, letting their star guard hold out the first month of the season. McCarthy struggles calling plays and does an even worse job managing the clock and game situations with his attention divided.
The defense doesn't find its usual big play turnovers, Prescott unfortunately still does and whispers about Sean McVay moving east to Texas start early and often.
And besides … it's the Cowboys.
Why the Ravens Will Win the Super Bowl …
The Ravens finally get — and stay — healthy.
J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards lead a revitalized rushing attack behind Ronnie Staley and a healthy line; David Ojabo and Tyus Bowser provide the pass rush this team has been lacking.
Baltimore's defense closed last season strong after trading for Roquan Smith and gets even better with the added edge rush, and the offense takes a leap under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. A healthy Lamar Jackson leaps back into MVP contention — this time not with his legs, but with his arm — striking down field early and often in a wide-open offense that features Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman.
The Ravens win the Super Bowl and set the new formula for the next wave in coaching hires as Monken and Mike Macdonald come over from the college ranks to transform the league.
Why the Ravens Will Fall Short …
Monken's offense is exposed as gimmicky. The transformed receiving corps falls short like usual, and Jackson continues to struggle in the passing game and is reduced to being a runner again, which inevitably leads to another midseason injury.
The injuries pile up, and the team finally decides to move on from John Harbaugh. Jackson is worn down by December, and the offense continues to have no answers on the biggest stage of the playoffs.
Why the Jets Will Win the Super Bowl …
The team that had everything but a quarterback finally got its man.
Aaron Rodgers is everything New York fans dreamed he might be. Just like 2020 and 2021, Rodgers is the best QB in the league and wins another MVP wearing green.
Garrett Wilson is the new Davante Adams, Breece Hall returns for a monster sophomore season and the Jets finally have an offense to match the filthy defense.
Sauce Gardner talks smack all year, Rodgers and the offense back it up and A-Rod finally gets his second Super Bowl ring.
Why the Jets Will Fall Short …
Rodgers is New York's worst nightmare.
He struggles outside the Wisconsin media bubble and can't stay out of New York Post headlines, and his impact off the field is bigger than his play on it. Rodgers turns 40 in December and looks his age, struggling through a forgettable season behind a porous offensive line that gives him happy feet all season.
The defense takes a step back in a loaded division, and the offense learns why new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett got fired in Denver.
The Jets remain the Jets, and their second attempt at bringing in a Packers QB legend goes even worse than the first.