The NFL playoffs are still sorting out the Super Bowl LII contenders and already football bettors are thinking about the best sports bet picks for next year’s Big Game winner.
If you love to look ahead or if your favorite team is already out of the Super Bowl picture in 2018, these live long shots to win Super Bowl LIII in Georgia could turn out to be a solid investment – you just have wait a year for them to pay off.
Dallas Cowboys (18/1)
The Cowboys have a surplus of talent on offense, backed by Dak Prescott at quarterback and Ezekiel Elliott at running back. Dallas may have made the postseason cut this season had it not been for the six-game suspension to Elliott, which was delayed until later in the schedule. A full season with the NFL’s top running back makes Dallas a dangerous team, even with some unknowns in the receiving corps. The Cowboys will put up points, that’s for sure.
The big question for Dallas is on defense. The Cowboys have done well with little name-brand talent on the stop unit, but do have a budding star in pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence – granted he doesn’t chase big money as a free agent. The Cowboys need help in the secondary and a solid draft class and some offseason signings should sure up that defense.
Houston Texans (20/1)
Who knows what would have happened if rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson didn’t wreck his knee in practice before Week 9? Watson’s play had Houston looking like the front runner to win the AFC South, and looks like the Texans’ face of the franchise heading into 2018-19. Watson wasn’t the only notable injury for Houston either, losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus on defense – two massive blows to one of the better stop units in the AFC.
Houston does face a daunting schedule in 2018, with a lot of travel – 17,378 miles to be exact. The Texans matchup with the NFC East in non-conference play, have the Titans and Jaguars on the board twice in divisional competition (both playoff teams), and take on the AFC East – meaning another trip to Foxborough to face the Patriots. However, the Texans should have a nice balance on both sides of the ball, with Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins giving Watson two top targets, and the defense back at full strength.
Oakland Raiders (30/1)
The Raiders really did disappoint in 2017. After contending for the top seed in the AFC in 2016, a tougher schedule and lackluster offense sunk the Silver and Black. Enter new head coach Jon Gruden and his lengthy playbook. Most quarterbacks would be shaking in their socks, but Derek Carr is a very heady passer who is wise beyond his years in the league. It won’t take long for Gruden to maximize all the talent on the Oakland depth chart.
The AFC West will be as competitive as always in 2018, with Kansas City and the L.A. Chargers as Oakland’s stiffest competition. The Raiders 2018 schedule sees them facing the NFC West in non-conference play, which means the Rams and Seahawks, and rounds out with matchups against the AFC North, including a home stand with the Steelers.
Los Angeles Rams (18/1)
The Rams let playoff jitters get the best of them in the Wild Card Round loss to Atlanta, watching that mighty offense squeak out 13 total points. The pieces are all in place for Los Angeles to take the next step, earning a valuable lesson in what it takes to win games in January. With Todd Gurley and Jared Goff leading the offensive charge, and the defense boasting one of the most daunting lines in all of football, L.A. can only get better.
The Rams will be faced with a tougher schedule in 2018 and won’t have the element of surprise that they did this past season. There is plenty of tape circulating on Sean McVay’s systems, so it could be a bit of an uphill climb for this young Rams team – that now has a target on its back. Next season’s schedule is headlined by non-conference clashes with the AFC West and non-divisional matchups against the NFC North. Los Angeles also has a home game against Philadelphia and a road game in New Orleans.