Rejoice! Hard Knocks has debuted, preseason football is underway, and your fantasy commissioner has reached out asking for that entry fee — which can only mean one thing. NFL football is right around the corner.
Before we throw the brats on the grill and ignore our Sunday household chores, it’s time to put on our fortune teller costume and peak into the crystal ball of NFL futures.
Today, we decide who is going to win Super Bowl LVII.
Buffalo Bills +650 (Bet $100 to win $650)
The preseason favorite Bills enter the season with a quarter-sized chip on their shoulder. Ousted in overtime without touching the ball was a slight so harsh that the NFL changed their OT possession rules. Now, the upstate New York juggernauts enter the year with one goal in mind: hoisting the Lombardi trophy.
With upgrades to the offensive line and a shiny new pass rusher in Von Miller, Buffalo has a roster worthy of a Super Bowl run. However, the loss of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll could harm the otherworldly offense, as will a tougher regular season schedule. Buffalo was a measly 2-4 against teams that made the playoffs last season
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +750
Remember when Tom Brady retired? That was cute. The 2020 champions have retained almost every piece of their dominant run two seasons ago and hope to crown Brady once more in his likely final year with the team.
The NFC looks to be the easier conference to navigate and that could help the Bucs survive the slog of their 17-game schedule. Bruce Arians is no longer the head coach as defensive coordinator Todd Bowles stepped into the role, but can Brady flourish without his partner in crime Robert Spike Gronkowski?
On a serious note, the Bucs have real problems with the interior of their offensive line. Pro Bowl left guard Ali Marpet retired in the offseason, right guard Alex Cappa now protects Joe Burrow, and the ‘enforcer’ of the offense, center Ryan Jensen, went down with a preseason knee injury.
Los Angeles Rams +1100
The defending Super Bowl champs may have lost Odell Beckham and Robert Woods from their stellar receiver core but enter Allen Robinson, a dynamic 28-year-old boundary receiver who has been toiling away in Jacksonville and Chicago over the past few seasons. Sean McVay has a new toy to play with and the sky’s the limit.
Mystery surrounds quarterback Matthew Stafford, though. More specifically his right elbow, as he has developed a case of ‘thrower’s elbow’. Camp fatigue in the throwing arm of your elite quarterback is worrisome and reports saying that issue continued to linger even after an anti-inflammatory shot is downright terrifying.
Los Angeles Chargers +1400
Time for the cool kids pick. Justin ‘Future-Of-The-League’ Herbert captained an aggressive, high-powered and nigh unstoppable offense last season. The Achilles heel of that team was the porous defense. They let up the third-most rushing yards per game last season and the fourth-most points per game.
General Manager Tom Telesco opened up the checkbook in the offseason, acquiring six-time pro bowler Khalil Mack, cornerback JC Jackson — who is tied for the most interceptions in NFL history through a player’s first four seasons — and some run-stuffing stalwarts in Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson.
The cavalry has arrived.