Simon Hunter’s Favorite Super Bowl 58 Futures: Time to Back the Bears?
Mike Mulholland/Getty. Pictured: Justin Fields.
I only have one thing to say about that Super Bowl. Yikes.
Not only am I an Eagles fan, but as all of you reading this column know, I also backed the Eagles heavily in the Super Bowl. The only thing compounding my losses from Super Bowl 57 is the fact that I can not watch another NFL regular season football game until September.
Of course, there are degenerates like myself who will look to turn a profit betting on the preseason a month earlier in August.
Fortunately, I have a few futures to give you so that you can root for a few teams as the NFL offseason unfolds. Before I deliver those picks, below are a few notes.
First, the Chiefs were +700 to win Super Bowl 57 at this time last year. You could have waited and bet on the Chiefs at +1000 or better at various points throughout the season.
Thus, this column with Super Bowl futures will not contain any picks on teams with short odds to win next year’s Super Bowl. We are looking to give you positional edges here.
For example, we gave out the Jaguars at 50-1 to win the Super Bowl before the offseason started last year. Prior to facing the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, you could have either cashed out of your future or hedged your position by teasing the Chiefs to win straight up against Jacksonville.
Again, my goal with this column is to give you surplus value on heavy longshots. Let’s get to the picks.
Chicago Bears (+6500)
I know, I know. The formula with Chicago follows last year’s Jacksonville recipe. The Bears have (hopefully) a stud quarterback, the number one overall pick and the most cap space of any NFL team (including $30 million more in cap space than the team with the second-most cap space).
If you tailed this future after the Super Bowl like my podcast host, Chad Millman, you would have the Bears +10000 to win next year’s Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the line has already moved as the Bears have been bet on to win Super Bowl 58 more than any other team.
Hearing the Bears are the most-bet team to win the Super Bowl may give you PTSD. After all, the Bears were the most-bet on team to win the Super Bowl before the club’s disastrous 2019 campaign.
Of course, Mitch Trubisky also received the most bets of any player to win MVP. A lot of people have similar questions about Justin Fields’ throwing ability that they had for Trubisky. So, is this situation all that different?
The answer is yes. A resounding yes. The Bears entered 2019, after losing the infamous “Double Doink” game to my Eagles, as +1700 to win the Super Bowl. The Bears’ odds for Super Bowl 58 are almost four times better. And Fields is certainly not Trubisky.
For reference, many regard Trubisky’s greatest asset to be his ability to rush the football. His career high in rushing yards came in 2019 when he rushed for 421 yards.
Fields ran for 1,143 yards last year, averaging eight yards per rush. Even in a base case where Fields can not throw the football efficiently – which I do not believe is the case – he is as effective of a runner as Lamar Jackson.
Jonathan Wood of Da Bears Blog, one of the sharpest Chicago Bears writers/tweeters out there, has a great thread on Twitter containing insight into Fields’ past season when passing the football.
To summarize, from week 5 (the week when Fields turned a corner) to week 15, Fields was seventh among all NFL quarterbacks in yards per attempt and eighth in quarterback rating, all while rushing for 95 yards per game.
He was also throwing to receivers such like N’Keal Harry and Equanimeous St Brown during this stretch. Good thing the Bears have a host of money and draft picks to address the receiver room in the offseason.
Beyond Fields, the Bears play in a division with the Vikings, Packers and the Lions. The Vikings finished the 2022 season winning more one-game scores than any team in NFL history; the team is due for regression. The Packers will likely be without Aaron Rodgers, and it seems like the Lions -whose odds to win the Super Bowl are among the top 10 in the NFL – are being overvalued.
Here is a list of the Bears opponents outside of the division at home: Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders and Cardinals. The Bears may be favored in each of those games.
Chicago will play the following non-divisional teams on the road: Chiefs, Chargers, Saints, Buccaneers, Commanders and Browns.
It is highly unlikely the Bears beat Kansas City and Los Angeles. All other four games are winnable, however. All you are looking for with a team that has 65-1 odds to win the Super Bowl is a shot at making dance.
The Bears have one and it is quite possible that the Bears will have both a stud quarterback surrounded by weapons via free agency and a completely rebuilt defense which could feature a game-wrecker in Will Anderson or Jalen Carter.
Pick: Chicago Bears +6500 to Win Super Bowl lVIII
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New York Giants (+4000)
No team in the NFC East has won the division in back-to-back years in 22 seasons. The Giants, meanwhile, have the reigning Coach of the Year, Brian Daboll, and evidently a long-term answer at quarterback in Daniel Jones.
Giants GM Joe Schoen had a great first draft class, which featured Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal and Wan’dale Robinson, and he will have at least nine more picks in the 2023 draft (and possibly two more due to compensatory selections). Add in the fact that the Giants have roughly $45 million in cap space and there is a lot to like about their upcoming season.
At home outside the division, the Giants will face the Rams, Seahawks, Patriots, Jets, Commanders and Packers. These are winnable games.
On the road, the Giants will face the Cardinals, Dolphins, 49ers, Bills, Commanders, Raiders and Saints. The Giants will be heavy underdogs against San Francisco and Buffalo, but again, the other road games are winnable.
We have seen the Giants surprise people in the postseason twice in the 21st century by winning the Super Bowl; 40-1 odds to do so again in 2023 is not bad value.
Pick: New York Giants +4000 to Win Super Bowl LVIII
Let’s get ahead of the curve here now. I will be riding the Broncos all year in 2023. If I liked them last year before the season, why would I not like them now?
The public is down on Denver after a disastrous 2022 campaign under head coach Nathaniel Hackett. Yet, the Broncos still have a great defense, an offense with several interesting parts and one of the best coaches in NFL history, Sean Payton.
Look, if Payton can not fix Russell Wilson, no one can. But, Payton is known to squeeze every possible bit out of his quarterback room as possible. When everyone else is betting against Payton fixing Wilson, I will bet on it happening.
At 35-1 odds, I do not mind locking in a future on Denver.
Pick: Denver Broncos +3500 to Win Super Bowl LVIII
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