With four weeks remaining in the expanded NFL regular season, forecasters are busy looking at all the possible playoff scenarios. It has been a year when parity in the league has been more apparent than ever. What does parity mean? Well to put it in perspective, technically speaking there are 24 teams still in the running for a playoff spot. That is an unprecedented number, even taking into account the fact that since last year there are 14 spots available for postseason play.

With that many teams still in contention, it is nearly impossible to predict how it will all play out. So instead of trying to figure every possible scenario, let’s make it simpler. In the end, only one team from each conference will make it to the big game in February. So we are looking at the Super Bowl Futures odds by conference to see if any teams offer obvious value going into Week 15.


AFC Conference

Here are all the teams that on paper still have a chance to make the playoffs.

Kansas City (10-4) = +500
New England (9-4) = +700
Tennessee (9-4) = +2000
Baltimore (8-5) = +3000
Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) = +2800
Indianapolis (7-6) = +3000
Buffalo (7-6) = +1500
Cleveland (7-6) = +5000
Cincinnati (7-6) = +4000
Denver (7-6) = +10000
Pittsburgh (6-6-1) = +17500
Las Vegas (6-7) = +32500
Miami (6-7) = +22500

After a rough start to the season, defending AFC champion Kansas City went on a roll. They won seven straight to emerge as a force once again. Still, to accept +500 on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl you’d have to believe they are back to where they were at this time in 2019 and 2020. Arguably the offense is close, but the defense would make still a futures bettor nervous.

The problem with the rest of the AFC is no one else really passes the eye test. There are good football teams, but honestly, none of them look like Super Bowl teams. Since the NFC is stacked with Super Bowl-caliber teams, bettors need to make sure they get real value if they bet on an AFC team to win it out.

The Chiefs are marginally appealing at +500, but the Baltimore Ravens might offer the best value at +3000.


NFC Conference

Again, we include all teams that have any chance to still make it to the postseason.

Green Bay (10-3) = +675
Tampa Bay (10-3) = +475
Arizona (10-3) = +1100
Dallas (9-4) = +1300
Los Angeles Rams (9-4) = +1200
San Francisco (7-6) = +3300
Washington (6-7) = +15000
Minnesota (6-7) = +10000
Philadelphia (6-7) = +10000
Atlanta (6-7) = +30000
New Orleans (6-7) = +17500

The Arizona Cardinals looked like the best team in Football until week 14 when the Los Angeles Rams took them to task in Arizona. Realistically, both of these teams are deserving of being ranked as two of the best teams in the NFL. If a bettor were going to place a Super Bowl futures wager on one of these teams, they might consider a hedge on the other team at the same time.

Defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay, with legend Tom Brady, is still scary good. However, the odds seem a little low for a team that is definitely going to be challenged just to win the NFC Championship. The same thing could be said for the Green Bay Packers. At this time, the Dallas Cowboys look like a good team, but QB Prescott has a habit of being a no-show when the playoffs roll around.

This is a tough call. It’s really hard to get past a Tampa Bay offense that leads the league in scoring with a total of 410 points over 13 games. Still, it’s hard to accept +475 in a conference that has three or four other quality teams.

In the final reckoning, the Cardinals have a better defense than the Rams. Therefore, a main wager on the Cardinals at +1100 and a saving bet on Tampa Bay could be the winning approach.