3 Best Dark-Horse Super Bowl Bets for 2021 NFL Season

Three best dark-horse Super Bowl bets for the 2021 NFL season.
Three best dark-horse Super Bowl bets for the 2021 NFL season. / Mark Brown/Getty Images

Preseason Super Bowl predictions are a time-honored tradition. While the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the clear-cut favorites, there are plenty of other contenders that could surprise some people.

Here are the three best dark-horse Super Bowl bets, ranked outside the top 10 in FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL futures odds.

Super Bowl Odds 2021

3. Arizona Cardinals (+4800)

Look, the Arizona Cardinals probably aren't going to win the Super Bowl. There's a reason this team is a whopping +4800 to hoist the Lombardi this year. The roster has some real holes, both offensively and defensively. But it does have one saving grace – Kyler Murray. He looked to be on the verge of a true breakout season last year before tailing off toward the end. Defensively, this pass-rush could be elite if Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt turn back the clock. Having an elite pass-rush and quarterback can mask a lot of issues on both sides of the ball. Mix in some solid veteran additions and talented youngsters like Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins and Rondale Moore, and this team could surprise some people. The Cards are an interesting value at +4800.

2. Miami Dolphins (+3200)

The Miami Dolphins' entire 2021 campaign rests on the shoulders of Tua Tagovailoa. He didn't do much as a rookie to suggest he was capable of being a Super Bowl-caliber QB. But prior to suffering a devastating hip injury in 2019, Tua was viewed as one of the best QB prospects in recent memory. And the early returns suggest he could be returning to form. He's looked like a new man at Dolphins training camp, flashing the accuracy and athleticism that made him a star at Alabama. He's also looked tremendous in his limited preseason action. And Miami did a lot to help him this offseason, bringing in dynamic athletes in Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle. We already know what this Brian Flores-led defense can do, having ranked top-six in scoring defense and top-12 in DVOA last year. If Tua breaks out (admittedly a big "if"), the Dolphins could be real contenders.

1. Los Angeles Chargers (+3300)

The Los Angeles Chargers are one of the most popular breakout picks of the year. New head coach Brandon Staley turned the 17th-ranked 2019 Los Angeles Rams scoring defense into the league's best unit in 2020. It's not hard to envision him doing something similar with the Chargers. On paper, this team is loaded defensively. Offensively, Justin Herbert just turned in one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history. He looks primed to take another leap behind LA's revamped offensive line, which was ProFootballFocus' third-worst pass-blocking unit in 2020. That group added the best center in the NFL in Corey Linsley, spent a first-round pick on Rashawn Slater and brought in Matt Feiler. Herbert could work some real magic now that he should finally have some protection. At +3300, LA is a compelling value.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.