The 2022 NFL draft is now behind us. It was a wild one that saw a number of trades, a record number of wide receivers taken in Round 1 and a record number of players drafted from one school (Georgia). Each year after the draft, the Super Bowl futures market undergoes some changes. The market is influenced in the offseason by free agency and by the annual NFL draft.
Heading into this offseason, the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams were not the overall favorite to repeat. The Buffalo Bills, who were eliminated from the playoffs for a second consecutive season by the Kansas City Chiefs, are the overall betting favorite to win Super Bowl LVII. Did the 2022 NFL draft have any effect on either of these teams and the rest of the Super Bowl betting board?
Bills Still at the Top
Under head coach Sean McDermott, the Buffalo Bills have built a consistent winner. In five seasons, McDermott’s Bills have had just one losing season. They have made the playoffs in four of five seasons and now are looking to take the next step.
Buffalo lost in the AFC championship game in 2020 and in the divisional playoffs in overtime last season. Both losses were to Kansas City. Regardless, Buffalo has been given the role of Super Bowl favorite. The Bills are given +650 odds to win it all next February.
The two-time AFC East champs had the NFL’s No. 1 defense in 2021 and they have one of the more explosive offenses with QB Josh Allen leading the charge. Buffalo added to both sides of the ball in free agency and through the draft. Pass rushing specialist and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Von Miller joins the Bills defense in 2022. CB Tre’Davious White is back from injury and the Bills drafted another elite CB in Kaiir Elam. They also added an offensive weapon in former Georgia RB James Cook.
The 2022 NFL draft only bolstered the Bills claim to the favorite spot on the Super Bowl futures betting board.
Brady is Back
After announcing his retirement, Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady had a change of heart and decided to return in 2022. The Bucs head coach, Bruce Arians, did decide to step down, but defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will take over and run the Tampa Bay ship.
When it was announced that Brady would return, the Bucs Super Bowl odds shortened and placed Tampa firmly in the top five. In fact, the Bucs are right behind Buffalo at +700 at online sportsbooks to win next year’s Super Bowl. The draft further solidified Tampa Bay’s hold on the No. 2 spot. The Bucs traded out of the first round in order to collect several picks later in the draft. They used those picks to get faster on the defensive line.
Chiefs Make Moves
The Kansas City Chiefs (+1000) had to make some offseason moves. With the huge investment in QB Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs decided to dump WR Tyreek Hill in exchange for a number of draft picks. Kansas City filled the gap left by Hill by signing former Steeler WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and former Packer Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The Chiefs then used their first two draft picks – both in Round 1 – to improve the defense. Kansas City took Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis, two players that will most likely make an immediate impact for the Chiefs defense.
Oddsmakers are not in favor of a Rams repeat as no NFL team has repeated as champion since New England did it in 2003 and 2004. Los Angeles is among the top ten on the betting board though as they are listed at +1000. QB Matthew Stafford returns as does the NFL’s top receiver Cooper Kupp. Stafford gets another weapon in WR Allen Robinson who was signed in the offseason.
Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, returns and L.A. who also signed former Seattle star linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Rams didn’t have a pick in this year’s draft until Round 3. It was the latest pick for a Super Bowl champion ever. L.A. used it on Logan Bruss, a guard from Wisconsin. The Rams lost two of their starting offensive linemen in the offseason.
Best of the Rest
Green Bay and San Francisco are among the top teams on the board. The Packers are given +1000 odds to win Super Bowl LVII at top sportsbooks. They picked not one, but two Georgia defensive stars in this year’s draft – Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt. That will instantly improve the Packers defense. The Niners (+1400) didn’t have a first-round pick but filled needs on the defensive line, at running back, and at wide receiver.
The Baltimore Ravens are listed at +2200, but that number might shorten. The Ravens may have had the best draft of all NFL teams. They got Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton to shore up the secondary. In Round 2, the Ravens got a Day 1 starter in All-American center Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa. Massive (6-8, 380) OT Daniel Faalele fell to Baltimore in Round 3.