The 2013 NFL season is 98 days away. This means we know nothing about how well teams will perform. But it does mean that we can make way-too-early NFL Power Rankings, because power rankings are fun, especially when people take them too seriously. Come at me, Raiders fans. Oakland is stupid and Matt Flynn sucks.
Instead of pretending I am some sort of ESPN-hired, pretend prophet, I will use the best predictors of future value, betting odds. The best people at predicting outcomes of sporting events (for the most part) choose to profit on their rare ability and willingness to crunch numbers. Betting markets are much more accurate than self-proclaimed “experts.” Unsurprisingly, sports betting sites already have lines up for Week 1 NFL games. But, for our purposes, we will look at futures odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII, because this is America: if you don’t win the Super Bowl, you are a failure and should give all of your ticket sales to starving children. Philanthropize up, Jerry Jones.
(Odds are different in different places, but we will use these for the sake of consistency. The odds are the amount of dollars you would win on a $100 bet. For example, +527 on the Broncos means that a $100 bet on them would earn you a profit of $527.)
1) Denver Broncos (+527)
The Broncos let Brandon Stokley go, but signed Wes Welker. More Caucasian ability means more completions for Peyton Manning.
2) San Francisco 49ers (+577)
Jim Harbaugh has successfully cloned Colin Kaepernick and taught him to play wide receiver, rendering Michael Crabtree’s departure meaningless.
3) Seattle Seahawks (+676)
Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin, Beast Mode, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate. No. 1 in the Madden Power Rankings.
4) New England Patriots (+711)
Nobody knows what roster moves they’ve made, but sources say that Bill Belichick’s deal with the devil has been renewed for two years and four Jets players’ harvested souls to be named later.
5) Green Bay Packers (+1100)
Aaron Rodgers is alive.
6) Atlanta Falcons (+1300)
Welcome to Atlanta, where the players are sixth-most likely to play in the Super Bowl, because they are good at football.
7) Houston Texans (+1400)
LOL Matt Schaub LOL
— Justin Baisden (@The_Jmoney) January 13, 2013
8) New Orleans Saints (+1600)
Sean Payton will be back. The defense is still yet to be conceived. If the guy is on bottom, a defense spawns. Payton hopefully has discerned this during his layoff.
9) Baltimore Ravens (+1700)
Yes, oddsmakers are aware that they won last year. That should tell you what they think about Baltimore’s chances.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers (+2200)
But number one in the hearts of Pittsburgh bartenders.
11) New York Giants (+2200)
If they make the Super Bowl, they get home-field advantage. That would be a giant edge. Hi-yo!
12) Washington Redskins (+2700)
If RGIII is indeed recovering in superhuman fashion, this could be low. If he is sub-Adrian Peterson, it’s probably too high.
13) Chicago Bears (+3200)
The Bears lost Brian Urlacher! (Oddsmakers do not care.)
14) Dallas Cowboys (+3200)
You only make $3,200 by having $100 worth of faith in Tony Romo to win a Super Bowl. There are no refunds.
15) Indianapolis Colts (+3300)
Andrew would be lucky to receive a capable defense in the next three years.
16) Cincinnati Bengals (+3700)
A ginger quarterback at 37-to-1 odds? There are more fun ways to burn money.
17) Miami Dolphins (+4000)
They decided against Tim Tebow, so they have that going for them.
18) Minnesota Vikings (+5100)
The Purple People-Eating Adrian Petersons still have Adrian Peterson. They also still have Christian Ponder. (But they have Samantha Ponder!)
19) Detroit Lions (+5200)
The Lions’ odds are more than double what they were near the start of last season. (But they are the Lions.)
20) Philadelphia Eagles (+5300)
If you believe in Chip Kelly and his fancy offense and science and innovation, take this bet. If you do not, you are like oddsmakers.
(On a serious note, I personally believe in the blubbery wizard.)
21) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5400)
22) St. Louis Rams (+5500)
Remember when Sam Bradford signed a record-breaking contract? Coincidentally, his poor play is also a broken record.
23) Carolina Panthers (+5600)
24) Kansas City Chiefs (+5900)
Chiefs, you’re not talking me into emptying my wallet.
25) San Diego Chargers (+6800)
Norv Turner is gone. We will now see if he was the problem. Well, if Philip Rivers decides to be less-than-awful.
26) Cleveland Browns (+9500)
If the Browns weren’t from a cursed city and starting Brandon Weeden, there would probably be value here.
27) Arizona Cardinals +11600)
Carson Palmer is totally the answer. I have the utmost confidence in him and I applaud that transaction.
28) Buffalo Bills (+12500)
The BuffaLOL Bills shoud trade for BiLOL Powell.
29) New York Jets (+13000)
The smart thing to say would be that the Jets’ value could not possibly get any lower. The smarter thing to say is that they are an injury away from calling Vinny Testeverde or Chad Pennington, and I say that mostly without snark.
30) Tennessee Titans (+14900)
Titans management has made the contrarian decision to feature Chris Johnson on offense.
31) Oakland Raiders (+23000)
It’s OK, Oakland fans. When Matt Flynn doesn’t pan out, you have cornered the market on non-NFL-caliber Big Ten quarterbacks. The Least Talented QB in the NFL, Matt McGloin, and the Most Talented Useless QB in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor.
32) Jacksonville Jaguars (+32600)