Crystal Ball: When Betting Super Bowl Futures, History Says Stick To Medium Favorites

Written By Sean Chaffin on September 4, 2018
Super Bowl Futures

Football is the biggest season for the American sports betting world. For pro football fans, that all culminates with the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. No doubt many bettors are already getting in on the fun with their Super Bowl futures bets.

With so much parity in the NFL, the good news for sports bettors is that there is always hope. Each year it seems a low-wrung team manages to emerge and make a run to the playoffs, and occasionally the Super Bowl. But overall, bettors should steer clear of these longshots if recent history means anything.

In 2017, the Eagles opened at around +5000 (50/1) before beating the Patriots 41-33 in February to bring home the title. The Patriots started as a 13/4 favorite. A hundred bucks on the Eagles would have earned a lucky bettor $5,000. That would certainly fund a nice vacation – after the season of course.

Parity makes those longer-odds teams seem possible for Super Bowl or conference champions. But a quick look at teams over the last decade shows that out of nowhere long-odds champions are rare. The Eagles were an outlier.

The futures betting sweet spot seems to be in the +1200 (12/1) to +1800 (18/1) range before the season gets underway. Here’s a look at those winners and their pre-season futures odds courtesy of

  • 2018 – Eagles (+5000)
  • 2017 – Patriots (+800)
  • 2016 – Broncos (+1000)
  • 2015 – Patriots (+1500)
  • 2014 – Seahawks (+1200)
  • 2013 – Ravens (+1200)
  • 2012 – Giants (+1500)
  • 2011 – Packers (+1200)
  • 2010 – Saints (+2500)
  • 2009 – Steelers (+1800)
  • 2008 – Giants (+3000)

In this span of 11 Super Bowls, only three longshots (27.3 percent) won it all. But teams with odds between +1000 and +1800 brought home the Lombardi Trophy eight times (72.7 percent). So you’re looking at the Browns at 80-1 or up and coming squads like the Titans (+3400) or Chiefs (+2800), that money might be better spent.

This year, only around 10 teams fall within that betting range from the Rams and Vikings at +1100 to the Saints and Falcons at +1800. While the smart money should probably go there, the thrill of hitting on a bet on recent Super Bowls champs like the Giants, Saints, or Eagles convinces many bettors open the wallet for that longshot.

As the season approaches, here’s a look at every NFL teams’ odds to win the Super Bowl at the various online sportsbooks in New Jersey:

Kansas City+250+275+250+250+250
LA Rams+375+350+350+375+375
NE Patriots+350+333+350+350+350
New Orleans+180+175+175+180+180


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Sean Chaffin

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and host of the True Gambling Stories podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PokerTraditions.

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