The NFL season may have just ended a few weeks ago, but bettors are trying to get an early start on the 2023 campaign and have eyed a few sleepers in the process. Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen teams with long odds ultimately defy them by making a run to the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles did that this year after opening at 20-1 to win the NFC, and the Bengals first opened at 50-1 to win the AFC two years ago when they marched to a Super Bowl LVI berth.
As bettors look to find that next emerging club on the verge of a breakout season, the early action says that it could be the Detroit Lions and/or the New York Jets. Both clubs missed out on the playoffs last year, but are currently the most popular bets to win their respective conferences at Caesars Sportsbook.
The Lions currently are sitting at 12-1 to win the NFC next season and reach Super Bowl LVIII. Despite owning the fourth-lowest odds, they’ve garnered more money to win the NFC than the top three teams (49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys) combined. Detroit has the most amount of tickets and handle to win the conference. Caesars notes that the franchise currently owns 29.7% of the handle — double the amount of any other NFC team — and 21.2% of the tickets. The only other team in double digits with ticket percentage is the San Francisco 49ers at 11.1%.
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Meanwhile, the Jets have seen so much action that they are now 16-1 to win the AFC after opening at 20-1. New York has 14.8% of the tickets, edging out the Bengals at 12.2%. However, Cincinnati does sit above them slightly when it comes to the handle as they are at 18.7% and the Jets are 17.3%, but it’s still a noticeable spot they find themselves in especially after a last-place finish in the AFC East last year.
Of course, New York has reportedly been aggressive in its search for a quarterback with the likes of Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers being linked to the Jets, so fans could be looking at that possibility and trying to jump on these odds before that shoe drops.
While the Jets and Lions are the most popular teams in their respective conferences, it is worth pointing out that the Chicago Bears are also among a favorite by bettors at this stage of the offseason. Despite being 30-1 to win the NFC, the Bears have the third-most amount of tickets (9.2%) and the fourth-most amount of handle (7.9%).