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September 07, 2022 3 min read

There is something about the start of football season that takes the sting away from summer being over. Pigskin and pumpkin spice move to the forefront. At this point, fantasy football drafts are complete and even the moderate fan has some idea of what to expect from their favorite team this season.

The beauty of starting anew is that anything can happen and every fan is full of hope. Some hopes will be dashed, while others will land anywhere from surprised to shocked. Just last year we watched Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals defy the odds and make it to the Super Bowl. The odds of them winning it all were +15000 (150-1) before the 2021 season began. *For those new to betting, here’s a handy odds converter to work with.

According to the website, TheLines, the 1999 St. Louis Rams are “The longest of all Super Bowl longshots from the modern era” to win it all. They began the season +15000. What started as the longest of long shots ended as the "Greatest Show on Turf" and helped propel Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce into the Hall of Fame.

Most recently, the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles did what they had never done before, they won their first Super Bowl... the win made even sweeter having come against Tom Brady and the perennial powerhouse New England Patriots. QB Carson Wentz helped get the Eagles there, but Nick Foles picked up the pieces and then some after Wentz went down to injury. The Birds preseason odds were +4000. Not since the 2001 New England Patriots (+6000) had a team won the Super Bowl with such steep odds.

The Washington Post recently took a stab at 2022 NFL predictions. No surprise that the odds favor the Bills, Bucs, Chiefs and Rams at the top of the list. The 49ers, Packers and Eagles follow. As risk/reward goes, they suggest three teams to take a chance on – San Francisco at +1600 preseason odds, Philadelphia at +2500 and Las Vegas at +4000.

Odds are, the teams themselves don’t care about the odds. As athletes, they’re geared toward one thing… winning the day they play. They worry about the next opponent, not the next Super Bowl. Rams QB Matthey Stafford told CNN.com he sees last year’s Super Bowl win as a thing of the past. "It's a brand-new year, brand new group of guys that we have, brand new season. It'll be cool to see [the Championship banner hanging from the rafters], but at the same time, we got a task at hand. We're ready to go."

John Breech of CBSSports.com put a detailed list of his 2022 predictions together, but not before setting the table, “…if you're wondering how I did last season, I predicted the exact win total of five different teams. I also correctly predicted the entire NFC divisional round of the playoffs. Not only did I predict that the Packers would play the 49ers, but I also predicted that the Rams would play the Buccaneers.” He also admitted to whiffing on the Eagles. 

Here’s who Breech sees at the top of each division: 

AFC East                     AFC North                   AFC South             AFC West

Bills: 13-4                   Ravens: 12-5               Colts: 10-7                Chargers: 12-5

NFC East                      NFC North                   NFC South                   NFC West

Eagles: 11-6                Packers: 12-5              Buccaneers: 10-7        Rams: 11-6

His super bold prediction has the Broncos beating the Packers in the Super Bowl. If there’s a way to bet against that prediction, I’m throwing some money down.

Cincinnati’s rise from the ashes in 2021 (they won more games last year than they combined to win the two previous seasons), has prognosticators making bold predictions across the board. If the Bungles can become Bengals again, going from 4-11-1 in 2020, to the Super Bowl in 2021, their first since 1988… then why not go out on a limb this year. The parity in the NFL grants every team at least a chance.

Bleacherreport.com makes nine bold predictions, including the Chicago Bears going a dismal 1-16 and the Washington Commanders winning the NFC East. If that latter is to happen and Carson Wentz is the one to carry the team, count on seeing the finest rage Eagles fans have to offer.

Since we’re getting an early jump on Super Bowl predictions, let’s get an early jump on the holiday shopping, too. Sportsvaultshop.com has 25% off all NFL merchandise. They have some great memorabilia to choose from… except pumpkin spice. You’ll have to stop at Starbucks/DD for that fix.