With the NFL 2022 season underway, many sports betting apps in the Google Play Store are beginning their annual round-up of the NFL teams most likely to win the league. ESPN released the first look at their Football Power Index (FPI) for 2021 on Monday. It generates a strength rating for each club in the preseason using expected starting quarterbacks, former performance, returning starters, and anticipated win totals. All this is in an attempt to provide bettors the most accurate predictions. Nevertheless, it remains a mere prediction, and not an actual guarantee of winning.
With a total FPI of 6.6, the Kansas City Chiefs lead all NFL clubs. This includes 5.9 for offensive (1st), 0.8 for defense (1st), and 0.0 for special teams (17th). ESPN ran 20,000 simulations of the 2021 season using this measure to determine the likelihood of each team making the playoffs, winning their division, and progressing to the divisional, conference, and championship rounds.
The chiefs didn’t actually acquire anybody of significance out of this year’s draft, but it is easily understandable why it wasn’t a factor that affected their chances in any way given the existing strength of their squad. The chiefs had only a couple of challenging distant matches vs Ravens and Titans with all their other far away fittings proving to be rather straightforward on paper and Kansas City was given some really positive fixtures for this term. Much of their difficult games are in their homes, and Kansas City will be more than delighted with teams like Steelers, Browns, and Bills on travels in Oklahoma to take on the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are expected to conclude the freshly enlarged 17-game season with an 11.5-5.5 record — that is, 12-5 or 11-6 — which is also the best in the league, according to FPI. The Buccaneers, who lead the NFC with a 26.8% chance of making the title game, are the Chiefs’ most likely opponent. However, according to FPI, Kansas City will have stiff competition within its own league. The Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns round out the top five teams in the AFC. In the first five weeks of the season, the Chiefs will face all three of them.
While this conclusion isn’t out of the question, the way Kansas City’s season has gone thus far seems implausible. The Chiefs, ranked No. 13,330, are 7-2 following Week 9 after defeating the Browns, Ravens, and Bills (together with the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles). In Week 9, the Chiefs might easily lose to the Packers, but would they also lose to the Washington Football Team, Tennessee Titans, or New York Giants during that four-game stretch? Or would they lose half of their remaining eight games, which appear to be the easiest portion of their schedule at the moment?
The Kansas Chiefs should be the winning team and come February, they will go home with the Lombardi trophy. They are the most likely to overpower all other teams on the scoreboard. Led by Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs officially are at 2.5 points ahead of their next best.
While the FPI is a reliable source for predicting the chances for the entire season, don’t overlook the rest of the league. Regardless, a large number of future NFL bets are placed far in advance of the 2021 NFL season, but the true market value of sports betting is found in the super bowl odds. Choosing a winner of the Lombardi Trophy from a field of 32 teams is undoubtedly challenging, although many clubs can be withdrawn from consideration. Nevertheless, you should always understand that no prediction can tell you with certainty how things will play out.