The Super Bowl is the final game in the NFL season and is a culmination of months of grueling action as 32 teams begin the season dreaming of holding the Vince Lombardi trophy aloft. Super Bowl LVII in 2023 will take place at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12.
The game features the AFC champions against their NFC counterparts. The NFC champions won the last two Super Bowls after a brief spell of domination by the AFC winners, who triumphed in six of eight finals between 2013 and 2020.
We don’t yet know who will compete in the 57th edition of the Super Bowl, but the 14 playoff participants have been finalized.
The NFL playoffs are among the most exciting events in American sports. A hot favorite can have a bad day and get eliminated by an unfancied team. Even now, as a clearer picture emerges, American football experts cannot agree on the most likely Super Bowl 2023 winner. This article checks out recent predictions and looks into the teams tipped by NFL betting experts before the season’s start.
Before we proceed, let’s take a look at the playoff picture. The road to the NFL Super Bowl 2023 began on September 8, 2022, as the defending champions, the Los Angeles Rams, lost to the Buffalo Bills. Up until the 2021 NFL season, there were 16 games in the regular season. However, franchises now play 17 games each as part of the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was signed in March 2020.
Thirty-two teams began the season in the hunt for Super Bowl 2023; 16 in the AFC conference and the same number in the NFC. Seven teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. In each conference, there are four divisions comprising four teams apiece. The winner of each division (the franchise with the best record after 17 games) automatically qualifies for the playoff round.
For teams that don’t win their division, the franchises with the best overall regular season record take the final three spots in each conference, regardless of where they finish in their division.
For example, if the Tennessee Titans finished third in their division with a record of 10 wins and 7 losses (10-7) and the best second-placed team in the other three divisions had a record of 9-8, the Titans would qualify.
The team with the best record in their conference gets a double benefit. First, they get a ‘bye’ week and automatically qualify for the second playoff round, the divisional playoffs. Secondly, the top-seeded team gets to play at home in this match, and if they win, also play the following round at home.
Meanwhile, the other six qualifiers in a conference face off in the Wild Card playoff round. The three winners join the top seed in the divisional playoffs, while the losers are eliminated. The two winners of the divisional games meet in the championship game. Finally, the winner of each championship round will meet at Super Bowl LVII.
Here are the 14 qualifying teams:
The Eagles and Chiefs automatically qualify for the divisional playoffs, while the Wild Card matchups look as follows:
Now that we know the contenders, who are the Super Bowl favorites in 2023?
Before we look at current predictions, let’s investigate the Super Bowl odds 2023 at the beginning of the season and see what the betting experts said before a ball was snapped. Within hours of the Rams triumphing at Super Bowl LVI, the Super Bowl favorites for 2023 were released. Here is a look at the odds of the top six teams in the betting market at the time:
Fast forward to September 2022, and the Super Bowl favorites had changed, according to bookmakers:
It is fascinating that the odds of the Chiefs winning Super Bowl 2023 drifted. Anyone who backed the Chiefs at those odds probably feels pretty good now that their selection is already in the divisional playoffs.
What’s interesting is that Brett Anderson, one of the best-known NFL handicappers, tipped the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl at odds of 29.00. They are now among the most likely winners, with a home-field advantage and a bye to the second playoff round.
Warren Sharp, another NFL expert, tipped the Eagles at 26.00 to have the best regular season record in the league. His bet was looking likely until the Eagles lost two consecutive games near the end of the season. In the end, the Eagles ended with the joint-best record at 14-3, sharing the top spot with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Other teams that featured heavily in pre-season predictions included:
Of the above, the Broncos endured a miserable season while the Packers missed out on the playoffs after losing their final game. However, experts’ predictions have generally held up quite well, as most hotly-tipped teams have qualified.
Incidentally, hardly anyone tipped the defending champions, the Rams, to have a good season. This was another accurate prediction: the Rams finished the season with a 5-12 record and never threatened to make the playoffs.
At the time of writing, the Kansas City Chiefs are the narrow favorites. The Buffalo Bills are next on the list. The Bills had their game against the Bengals abandoned after a shocking incident featuring Damar Hamlin, who collapsed on the field with a cardiac arrest. Hamlin remains in critical condition but recently expressed gratitude to all his well-wishers on Instagram.
Here’s a look at the most recent Super Bowl odds 2023:
Outsiders include the Jacksonville Jaguars at 51.00, the New York Giants at 67.00, and the Miami Dolphins at 81.00.
Several experts are sticking with the Eagles, not least because of the advantages bestowed by their #1 NFC status. However, the Eagles lost two of their last three regular season games and limped over the line. The Chiefs have the #1 AFC ranking and the associated privileges, but its defensive metrics are concerning, according to many American football experts.
The consensus is that Buffalo is the strongest team in the NFL and can finally win a Super Bowl. That is, if the shock of seeing a teammate collapse on the field doesn’t damage morale.
San Francisco is on a long-winning run as its third-string quarterback, Brock Purdy, continues to impress. However, there are concerns about how the rookie will handle the cauldron that is playoff football. The Bengals are generally considered the best of the rest.
Regarding outsiders, the Los Angeles Chargers, available at odds of 26.00, are hitting form at the right time and could spring a surprise. The Jaguars are another franchise on the up and are available at 51.00 to win Super Bowl 2023 before the final round of games.
Despite a strong-looking regular season record, few experts think Minnesota will triumph. The Vikings have a staggeringly poor points difference compared to their win-loss record. They may get past the Giants, but the team’s underlying numbers suggest elimination is likely if and when they play San Francisco, Dallas, or Philadelphia.
Now that the playoff picture is set, it’s time to discuss the most likely road to Super Bowl 2023, according to American football specialists. Here is a reminder of the Wild Card games:
As the 49ers have defeated the Seahawks twice in the regular season, it seems likely that they will march on and eliminate their divisional foe.
The Vikings probably have enough to defeat the Giants, but no one would be shocked if New York triumphed.
It is foolhardy to write off Tampa Bay, since they have Tom Brady as QB. This is especially true since Dallas has a history of playing poorly in the playoffs after a strong regular season.
In the AFC, the Chargers versus the Jaguars looks like a genuine pick-em’. Buffalo should prove too strong for Miami, while the Ravens won’t go down without a fight against the Bengals.
Here are how the divisional playoffs could look:
The Chargers versus the Jaguars is tough to call, but assuming the Bills qualify, you would have to fancy Buffalo to beat either side. The Chiefs should handle the Ravens or Bengals.
Even if the Cowboys get past the Buccaneers, they would be underdogs to beat the thriving 49ers. The Eagles should prove too hot for the Giants or the Vikings.
That would lead to the following championship games:
The above are two fabulous matches, with all four teams having a realistic chance of victory. We suspect that the well-rounded Bills can repeat their narrow week six victory over the Chiefs. Due to the abandonment of their game against the Bengals, an AFC Championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would take place at a neutral venue.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are a different team from the one that lost four of its first seven regular season games, and could edge it in Philadelphia.
In this hypothetical scenario, Super Bowl 2023 would take place between the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. If it happens, experts will almost certainly have split opinions on the outcome!
The NFL’s structure, which includes a salary cap and draft pick preference for poorly performing teams, means it is among the most competitive sports leagues in the world. Choosing a Super Bowl winner is always extremely difficult; this is again the case in 2023.
Of the 14 remaining teams, one can make a strong case for at least four, with another three or four qualifying as solid contenders.
There remains plenty of support for the Eagles, but many experts believe this is the year the Buffalo Bills finally end their Super Bowl hoodoo. However, the 49ers and the Chiefs are hard to discount. Live underdogs include the Ravens, Chargers, Jaguars, and Cowboys, and we have probably missed out on others!
For the record, the respected statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight says that the Chiefs are the most likely winner, with a 26% chance of winning Super Bowl 2023. Moreover, there is an 80% chance of the champion coming from one of the Chiefs, Bills, Eagles, and 49ers.
Playoff football in the NFL is fast, furious, and unforgiving. A single dropped pass, fumble, interception, or missed kick could spell the end for even the strongest squad. Regardless of who wins Super Bowl 2023, excitement is guaranteed.
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