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Favorites and sleepers for Super Bowl 58

Favorites and sleepers for Super Bowl 58 | Tipico
Favorites and sleepers for Super Bowl 58 | Tipico
Alex Valdes
Published: 2023-03-08

By Sasha Yodashkin, Rotowire

We're less than a month removed from Super Bowl LVII, but it isn’t too early to start thinking about Super Bowl LVIII, especially if you have your eye on a sleeper pick. This way-too-early Super Bowl 58 preview will go over the favorites to win the Big Game next February as well as some intriguing picks that might be flying under the radar.

The early Super Bowl LVIII favorites are the same teams that were in the mix for Super Bowl LVII. The champion Chiefs have opened as modest favorites, though they are still substantial underdogs compared to the field. With Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce leading Kansas City’s passing attack, plus a crop of productive 2022 rookies set to become even bigger contributors moving forward, it’s no surprise the Chiefs are the team to beat heading into the 2023 season.


Close behind Kansas City are four teams that were also viewed as contenders for Super Bowl LVII: the Bills, Eagles, 49ers and Bengals. Cincinnati fell to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, while the 49ers lost the NFC Championship Game to the Eagles, who went on to take a 10-point halftime lead against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl before ultimately falling 38-35. The Bengals made it to Super Bowl LVI and the 49ers played in Super Bowl LIV, so these teams have enjoyed sustained success in recent years.

The Bills haven’t matched the success of other teams in this group, but they came into last season as Super Bowl betting favorites and continue to be grouped with this elite company despite having made just a single AFC Championship Game in Josh Allen’s five years under center. Allen’s Bills have lost twice to Mahomes’ Chiefs and once to Joe Burrow’s Bengals over the past three postseasons, but Buffalo still boasts a 37-12 record in the regular season over that span and is 4-0 in the playoffs against teams besides Kansas City and Cincinnati.


One team falls between the top contenders and the rest of the pack, and that’s the Cowboys. Dallas hasn’t been to the NFC Championship Game since 1995, but with perennial NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate Micah Parsons leading the defense and Dak Prescott showing flashes of brilliance under center, the Cowboys can’t be counted out. Like the Bills, the Cowboys were among the last eight teams standing this past season, beating the Buccaneers in the wild card round before falling to the 49ers in the divisional round.

Now that we have covered the conventional favorites, let’s get to some intriguing Super Bowl 58 sleepers. Two teams that stand out in the AFC had similar seasons in 2022, with outstanding defenses ultimately failing to make up for poor offenses hindered by bad quarterback play. Another two AFC sleepers have promising young quarterbacks who just led their teams to the playoffs.


The Broncos had high hopes after trading for Russell Wilson in 2022, only to watch him throw a career-low 16 touchdowns as Denver went 5-12 despite holding opponents to 320.0 yards per game – seventh fewest in the league. Denver paid a king’s ransom for Sean Payton in hopes that the coach who found tremendous success with Drew Brees for years can work wonders with another undersized quarterback in Wilson. If Payton can get Denver’s offense turned around, the Broncos could vault themselves back into contention, even playing in a tough AFC West with the Chiefs and Chargers.

Another team that could contend with an improved offense is the Jets, who made great strides in 2022 and started the season 6-3 before fading down the stretch en route to a 7-10 finish. New York’s Super Bowl 58 hopes hinge on upgrading the quarterback position after the combination of draft bust Zach Wilson, Mike White and 37-year-old Joe Flacco shockingly didn’t cut it. The Jets were previously linked to Derek Carr, but after he signed with the Saints on Monday, the team’s attention will be turned toward Aaron Rodgers.

If the Jets are able to add an established quarterback to a young core led by Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner, New York’s contention window could open in 2023. New York’s defense allowed just 311.1 yards per game in 2022, which was fourth-fewest in the NFL, while Gardner led the league with 20 passes defensed.


While the Jets and Broncos are trying to get things sorted offensively, the Chargers and Jaguars already have their centerpieces in Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence. Herbert has thrown for over 14,000 yards over his first three NFL seasons, but he lost his playoff debut to Lawrence’s Jaguars in January.

The Chargers are hoping to bolster Herbert’s supporting cast and learn to stop blowing leads, while the Jaguars will look to keep adding pieces around Lawrence, who was drafted first overall in 2021 and came into his own with a 25:8 TD:INT in his second NFL season under coach Doug Pederson.

The AFC is stacked with both contenders and sleepers, but a couple of NFC sleepers are capable of challenging the Eagles, 49ers and Cowboys for a spot in the Super Bowl. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI but went 5-12 in 2022 as injuries derailed their season. Los Angeles can contend again with better health in 2023, especially if quarterback Matthew Stafford (neck) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (ankle) can regain their pre-injury form.

An even deeper sleeper is Carolina, who is in the Broncos and Jets mold in the NFC. The Panthers’ bend-don’t-break defense limited opponents to 22.0 PPG in 2022, as they went 7-10 with the mix of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker under center. Carolina’s expected to draft a QB and/or sign a veteran. With underrated play in the trenches, the Panthers have a clear pathway to success under new coach Frank Reich in a weak NFC South if they can add a playmaker or two for their next quarterback.

IMAGO/Icon Sportswire

Favorites and sleepers for Super Bowl 58 | Tipico


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