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Sizing up the Super Bowl contenders

The NFL season has already produced some dramatic storylines and unexpected results, but as we head into November, the standings are beginning to take shape and the contenders for Super Bowl glory are emerging from the pack.

The betting markets are extremely busy and any NFL fan looking for the bet of the day will have plenty of betting options to choose from, but those who prefer to take the longer view have been studying the Super Bowl and Conference futures markets carefully. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the teams that are currently riding high in the standings and in the futures betting.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were the Super Bowl favorites at the start of the season and nothing we have seen has given us any reason to doubt their status as the leading contender.

So far, their offense is ranked behind only the Kansas City Chiefs. In Josh Allen, they have an elite quarterback who is accurate, mobile and who can perform in clutch situations. Their off-season moves have allowed them to strengthen the defensive side of the ball, and although the New York Jets have surprised us so far this season, the Bills shouldn’t have any trouble dominating the AFC East on their way to the playoffs yet again.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Bills were expected to be the favorites to come out of the AFC, but nobody was expecting the Eagles to be quite so dominant in the NFC. As ever, being undefeated in the NFL can become a burden as teams raise their performance levels in an attempt to end the run, but so far, Jalen Hurts and the rest of the lineup have handled that pressure well.

The Eagles have a solid defense and an array of weapons in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders and others. Crucially, Hurts is a strong leader and they have shown repeatedly already this season that they can cope with pressure and overcome setbacks. Victory over the Cowboys has put them in a great position in the NFC East and they are deserved favorites to win the Conference.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are once again a threat as the duo of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have been guiding them to solid Super Bowl contender status once again despite being in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. The Chiefs have proven they have what it takes to succeed after making the Super Bowl twice in the last three seasons, including a 2019 victory.

On the other side of the ball, there is some uncertainty. Even if the Chiefs have the best offense, it is harder to trust their 24th-ranked defense. Tyrann Mathieu’s departure has caused further problems in that department, and it is worth noting that their defense has not finished in the top nine in recent years.

Still, the Chiefs have always demonstrated their ability to overcome defensive shortcomings, and 2022 seems to be no different as they have made a strong start by dominating the AFC West and setting themselves up for another push deep into the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have lost three out of six games and there are ongoing problems in the dressing room.  Tom Brady has been a distracted figure in the opening weeks of the season, but he is still the most successful quarterback of all time, and his experience come playoff time is invaluable.

The Bucs also have the advantage of being in a weak division and have plenty of winnable games coming up in a relatively easy schedule. Winning the division looks to be a strong possibility. From there, assuming Brady is back to his best, another Super Bowl run is well within their capability.

Baltimore Ravens

There are reasons why bettors might be reluctant to bet on the Ravens to win the Super Bowl. Defensively, they have not been convincing, and, with the exception of Mark Andrews, their receiving group looks underwhelming.

However, those issues are balanced out by the presence of Lamar Jackson whose leadership and compelling quarterback play make Baltimore one of the most watchable teams in the NFL. His strength and mobility make him the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the NFL. It is fair to say that Jackson hasn’t been at his best in the playoffs, and his tendency to have the occasional bad game could also be a problem, but the Ravens should be able to come through the AFC North to reach the playoffs. After that, Jackson will make them extremely dangerous opponents.

 

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