The NFL season is finally over, and the Philadelphia Eagles have their eyes set on competing for the Super Bowl in 2022. They’ll have six months to shape their roster before the season begins in September.
FanDuel has already released their earliest odds for the Super Bowl LVII champions. The Eagles are tied for the 17th highest probability in the league despite being one of only 14 teams coming off a playoff appearance.
Betting odds are not actual odds. Bookmakers need to consider other factors when setting the lines for futures bets. Some odds catch the public eye much more than others, which can bring in significantly more revenue for sportsbooks. This is certainly the case with one overly publicized NFC East rival this year.
Odds also change drastically throughout the offseason. This year, the looming quarterback shuffle will play the biggest factor in the changing value of future bets leading up to training camp.
While the Eagles aren’t among the favorites entering the offseason, legitimate cases can be made about their ability to compete with any NFL team in 2022.
Top Tier: Buffalo Bills (+700), Kansas City Chiefs (+750), Los Angeles Rams (+1200)
The Eagles would have to surpass expectations drastically to outperform the Bills, Chiefs, and Rams in 2022. However, the same could’ve been said entering the 2017 season when the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys entered as the three NFC teams with the lowest Super Bowl odds. All three abruptly missed the postseason while the Eagles took home the Lombardi Trophy.
The Bills enter the 2022 season hungry to avenge playoff losses to the Chiefs in consecutive seasons. Josh Allen has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he hasn’t led his team over the hump onto the game’s biggest stage yet.
The narrative of playoff frustration for Buffalo aligns with the struggles of the Indianapolis Colts against the New England Patriots during Peyton Manning’s prime years. The Colts ultimately rebounded and won the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, and Allen hopes to lead the Bills down a similar path.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have advanced to four consecutive AFC Championship Games, winning two and earning one Super Bowl ring after the 2019 season. They should expect to be in the conversation as a championship contender entering every season for the foreseeable future.
The Rams deserve consideration in the top tier as the defending champions, but they are not an insurmountable team atop the NFC. The uncertain future of head coach Sean McVay and dominant defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Von Miller will define their offseason.
Second Tier: Green Bay Packers (+1300), San Francisco 49ers (+1500), Baltimore Ravens (+2000)
In each season the Packers enter with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback, they immediately qualify as a contender. The 49ers have done an excellent job surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo with a complete team and making deep playoff runs in two of the past three seasons, and they will likely count on Trey Lance to take them to the next level.
The Ravens are a well-run franchise with two Super Bowls since their relocation to Baltimore in 1996. The ebbs and flows of NFL success affected them in 2021 when they missed the playoffs on the last day of the season. John Harbaugh, one of the most underappreciated head coaches in the NFL, has a great chance to utilize a healthy Lamar Jackson and help Baltimore rejoin the conversation as a contender.
Overvalued: Dallas Cowboys (+1300), Cincinatti Bengals (+2000), Denver Broncos (+2200), Cleveland Browns (+2400), Indianapolis Colts (+2400)
The Cowboys draw more attention than any other NFL team despite a glaring lack of playoff success over the past quarter-century. Handicappers sometimes inflate odds because of the assumed public interest, and Dallas rarely gets good value as a futures bet. The defending division championships also face the bizarre anomaly that no team has repeated as the NFC East winner since the Eagles in 2004.
The Bengals are logically high in the pecking order as the defending AFC champions. However, they caught lightning in a bottle to withstand poor offensive line play during their playoff run. They’re unlikely to break the trend of Super Bowl runner-ups experiencing struggles the following season.
The Broncos, Browns, and Colts will rely heavily on offseason quarterback upgrades. The handicappers likely protected themselves from customers taking flyers on longshot odds with the hope of a star quarterback changing homes before training camp. As it currently stands, all three teams have inflated odds.
The Eagles shouldn’t fear this level of competition in 2022.
Realistic Longshots: Los Angeles Chargers (+2400), Arizona Cardinals (+2400), Tennessee Titans (+2400), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2600), New England Patriots (+2800), Philadelphia Eagles (+3300)
The Chargers, Cardinals (if drama with Kyler Murray fizzles), and Patriots expect to enter the season with talented young quarterbacks hoping to take the next step into stardom similar to the way Joe Burrow did for Cincinnati in 2021.
The Buccaneers are the biggest wild card in the NFL. They (supposedly) lost Tom Brady, but any capable replacement could step in and take advantage of a talented roster with stars like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Vita Vea. Head coach Bruce Arians shouldn’t be underestimated with such longshot odds just over a year after earning his first Super Bowl ring.
The Titans hope to rely on a healthy Derrick Henry out of the backfield in 2022. Their lack of highlight-reel style distracts from their status as the defending top seed in the AFC, and they have significantly better value than the expected powers of the conference.
The NFL changes year-to-year more than any other major professional sports league, and the Eagles know that as well as any other franchise. They capitalized on a weak schedule late in the 2021 season to sneak into the playoffs, and they will need to take a major step forward to contend in 2022.
Their plentiful draft capital will provide offseason flexibility to make the necessary improvements during their second season under head coach Nick Sirianni. Their previous head coach Doug Pederson defied the odds in dramatic fashion and with a victory in Super Bowl LII after his second season in Philadelphia.
The Eagles bring significantly more value as a futures bet than most of the 16 teams with higher Super Bowl odds entering 2022.
Declining Franchises: Seattle Seahawks (+3300), New Orleans Saints (+3400), Las Vegas Raiders (+5000), Pittsburgh Steelers (+6500)
The Seahawks might trade their long-time franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and find themselves in a difficult spot without a realistic chance to contend next year. Even if they retain Wilson, the gradual decline of talent surrounding him since their Super Bowl victory after the 2013 season doesn’t bode well for Seattle. The gradual decline of the Steelers is similarly inevitable.
The Saints have consistently failed in big games over the past decade despite the national media’s lauding of former quarterback Drew Brees former head coach Sean Payton. Now that both have departed from New Orleans, the outlook is bleak.
The Raiders have the second-highest odds of any returning playoff team behind only the Steelers, partly as a reaction to the unlikelihood of withstanding major turmoil and moving parts in key positions within the organization.
If the Eagles finish below any of these four teams in the standings next season, they should be considerably disappointed.
Pipe Dream Bets
FanDuel lists 10 teams other than the Raiders and Steelers with odds between +3600 and +18000. If any of these teams can win the Lombardi next season, they’d stun the NFL landscape as much as any team in history.
However, only the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions entered the 2021 season with lower odds to win the Super Bowl than the Cincinnati Bengals. Never say never.
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