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Using ESPN’s FPI to consider Super Bowl futures

We’re five weeks into the NFL season, and a handful of Super Bowl favorites are emerging.

A general view of the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the second day of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The NFL has two games remaining in the Week 5 schedule, but the top four Super Bowl contenders are settled coming out of the weekend. DraftKings Sportsbook updated Super Bowl 55 odds, and the Chiefs remain favorites at +400. They took a modest hit after losing to the Raiders, seeing their odds move from +350.

The top four teams right now are Chiefs (+400), Ravens (+550), Seahawks (+800), and Packers (+1000). The Saints (+1200) are next and face the Chargers on Monday. A win might nudge them loser to the Packers, but should not be enough to supplant Green Bay.

There are a variety of ways to approach Super Bowl futures to find some value. ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) offers an analytical approach. FPI looks to rank how good or bad each team is, and then offers projections for each team related to everything from making the playoffs all the way up to winning the Super Bowl.

The top four match up with current odds, but from there you can start to potentially find some value. The Bills and Rams rank fifth and sixth in playoff odds, and reversed when looking at Super Bowl odds. By comparison, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bills seventh in Super Bowl futures and the Rams ninth. The Steelers currently have the sixth best odds to win the Lombardi Trophy, while FPI’s projections have them ninth for winning it all.

FPI is simply offering projections. They give the Rams a 7.9 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl and the Bills a 6.3 percent chance. We’ll see ebbs and flows there, much like with Super Bowl odds as teams improve and struggle. FPI is not the be-all and end-all, but it offers an advanced look worth considering as you decide whether or not to dive in on a futures bet.

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