It is extremely difficult to repeat as a Super Bowl champion. Just ask the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI and then suffered through an injury-filled 2022 season and wound up 5-12 and came nowhere near making the postseason.
The Kansas City Chiefs will attempt what no team has done since the 2003-04 New England Patriots…win back-to-back Super Bowls. The Chiefs have won seven straight AFC West Division crowns and have been to the AFC title game in five straight seasons. It’s no surprise that the Chiefs are the early favorite to win Super Bowl LVIII. Kansas City is listed at +600 currently.
Kansas City’s roster shouldn’t have too much turnover. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are two of the best players in the NFL at their respective positions. The offensive line has improved and the defense is good enough to win championships.
There are a handful of other NFL teams built to do the same. Buffalo, Philadelphia, and San Francisco are all next on the betting board at +800 and the Cincinnati Bengals (+900) are the only other teams listed under +1000 at top sportsbooks. Are there any sleepers out there that could pull off a Super Bowl win in 2023?
The Dallas Cowboys (+1600)
Between Week 2 and Week 14, the Cowboys were one of the most impressive teams in the league last year. They went 10-2 with losses to NFC champion Philadelphia and an overtime defeat to Green Bay. Then, the offense fell apart.
The Cowboys scored 12 or fewer points in two of their last three games after averaging almost 28 a game. All the pieces are still there, starting with QB Dak Prescott. Dallas did get rid of OC Kellen Moore and head coach Mike McCarthy will likely take over the play-calling duties. With a top-10 defense, the Cowboys make for an intriguing prospect in 2023.
Moore’s New Team
With Moore taking over as the OC for the Chargers, Los Angeles is set to make a move. QB Justin Herbert has had three outstanding seasons despite playing for guys – Joe Lombardi anyone? – that haven’t utilized his full skill set. Enter Moore, who called plays in Dallas in 2021 when Prescott threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns. With WRs Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, the Chargers offense is ready to explode.
Don’t forget, the Chargers have a top-10 pass defense and two of the best pass rushers – Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack – in the NFL. Their biggest obstacle to a championship is, of course, Kansas City, but the Chargers at +2200 (Everygame.eu) could make some noise in 2023.
Other Worthy Sleepers
Of the past six Super Bowl winners, the 2021 Los Angeles Rams had the longest preseason odds (+1400). Tampa Bay in 2020 was the only other team with preseason odds of +1000 or greater. The Bucs opened at +1000.
It’s also worth noting that the AFC has won seven of the last 11 Super Bowls. The No. 1 seed in the AFC has advanced to the Super Bowl in seven of the last 11 seasons. The AFC’s No. 2 seed has made the Super Bowl in two of the last four seasons. The NFC stat that stands out is this. The NFC West has sent a team to the Super Bowl in seven of the last 11 seasons.
All that said, here are some worthy sleeper candidates in 2023. Jacksonville surprised everyone by winning the AFC South. Then, they upset the Chargers in the playoffs and came close to pulling it off again in a 27-20 loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round. With QB Trevor Lawrence back and some great young talent, Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson makes the Jags a strong sleeper at +2500.
With all of the offseason fuss about Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are a worthy sleeper at +2200 (SportsBetting.ag). If Jackson can stay healthy, remember that the Ravens have one of the league’s best defenses and running games. Those are two qualities that most Super Bowl teams have.
As ridiculous as it may sound, the Cleveland Browns (+4000) and Chicago Bears (+7000) make for serious long shot prospects. Deshaun Watson will get his first full season under center in an offense that is one of the best on the ground. The defense has pass rusher Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney and the roster is solid.
Matt Eberflus took some lumps in Year 1 in Chicago, but the Bears have the best rushing attack in football. QB Justin Fields is primed for a breakout season and the Bears have $95 million in cap space to address their deficiencies.