As the 2021-22 NFL season inches one step closer to its completion, the Super Bowl futures market has never been tighter.
On Sunday the AFC Championship and NFC Championship games will determine which teams head to Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13.
Four teams remain, and there’s one clear favorite and one clear underdog. As a result, the NFL futures market at VA sportsbooks has them priced accordingly.
As we now get ready for what’s essentially the NFL “Final Four,” it’s time to pick your team. And if you want a decent-sized payout for your Super Bowl bets, you may want to place them before this week’s games.
Super Bowl futures heading into NFL Conference Championships
“Futures” bets are pretty much what they sound like. Rather than betting on a game or event that day, you’re wagering on something that’s going to happen further into the future.
Before the NFL season, football bettors fired off their futures bets on the divisional, conference and Super Bowl winners. Depending on the state and its sports-betting laws, bettors can even sometimes bet on season wins totals, major award winners and even who will be a team’s draft picks.
However, though the season started with 32 hopefuls, we’re now down to just four. And they meet this Sunday, Jan. 30. Here’s the broadcast schedule for NFL Conference Championship weekend:
- AFC Championship: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (3 p.m., CBS)
- NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (6:30 p.m., FOX)
As of Wednesday afternoon, these were the best Super Bowl futures odds for each team.
- Chiefs: +130
- Rams: +210
- 49ers: +475
- Bengals: +850
So, if you were to bet $100 on the Chiefs (+130) and they win the 2022 Super Bowl, you’d net $130 in winnings. With the Rams, you’d earn $210 in winnings.
The 49ers, meanwhile, would get you $475, and the long-shot Bengals would net you $850.
NFL futures throughout 2021-22 season
The Chiefs’ odds of winning the Super Bowl were never worse than +1300 this season.
The Rams? Just +1500.
But the Bengals? Their odds swelled to +18000 (or, 180-to-1) after a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears.
The 49ers’ odds had also climbed substantially after a Week 9 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals. The loss dropped them to 3-5 on the season and pushed their Super Bowl odds to +12000.
In other words, with 28 other teams eliminated, the futures market has never been tighter.
Once Sunday’s games conclude, the NFL futures market for the current season will be gone. So, too, will those above odds. Once we have our official Super Bowl LVI matchup, we’ll likely have one modest favorite and one modest underdog.
So, if you’re looking for a slightly bigger payout with your Super Bowl pick, consider placing your bets this week.
Previewing AFC and NFC Championships
Things kick off on Sunday afternoon with the AFC North champion Bengals (10-7) heading to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the AFC West champ Chiefs (12-5).
The Bengals won their regular-season meeting with the Chiefs, 34-31, earlier this month. However, they face a stiffer test this time around when they hit the road and head to KC. QB Patrick Mahomes is clearly in Super Bowl form, as are Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
The Cincinnati defense has come up big in the postseason, though. The Bengals and QB/MVP candidate Joe Burrow will need that D to show up again this weekend to pull off the upset.
Can they do it? The oddsmakers and bettors have their doubts. As of Wednesday afternoon, most Virginia sportsbooks had the Bengals as seven-point underdogs. On the moneyline, the Bengals were +275 with the Chiefs -350. And the total for the game was a healthy 54.5.
The 49ers (10-7) look to continue their improbable playoff run when they meet the NFC West champ Rams (12-5).
The 49ers have won seven straight games against the Rams. However, Los Angeles is favored this time around.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford has avoided throwing interceptions in the postseason while working efficiently. The 49ers, meanwhile, have relied on their defense and special teams in recent weeks.
As of Wednesday, all Virginia sports-betting apps had the Rams as 3.5-point favorites, with -175 to -190 on the moneyline. The total for the game was 45.5 to 46.