Find year-round coverage of betting news and insights for all sports by visiting our Betting section and subscribing to push notifications.
With another Super Bowl victory for the Chiefs in the rearview mirror, there’s no better time to look back at the biggest long-shot winners in the 2023 betting season.
Remember, hindsight is always 20/20, so don’t let these potentially missed opportunities entice you to take more swings next season. Rather, let them serve as a reminder that there are extremely profitable futures bets that can be made if you know where and when to look.
Here are the 10 most profitable NFL singles bets that could have been made since August.
Buccaneers: Win NFC South (+900)
Texans: Win AFC South (+900)
Alright, we’re cheating right out of the gate with two selections at +900 to make it 11 total bets, but since it’s a tie, we’ll consider these as one.
The Buccaneers and Texans both surprised the league by winning their respective divisions. The Bucs did it with a recycled Baker Mayfield, who started for his third team in two seasons. The Texans leaned heavily on C.J. Stroud, who earned Offensive Rooke of the Year honors after getting Houston to the playoffs.
Before the season, it was clear the south divisions in both conferences were the two weakest, so taking a shot at either the Bucs or Texans to win what were likely more wide-open races than the odds indicated was a sharp decision that paid off. That’s something to keep in mind for next season.
Chiefs: Win the Super Bowl (+1000)
The Chiefs’ odds this season were as long as +1000, available at many different points, including in the lead-up to their wild-card game at Arrowhead against the Dolphins.
Perhaps that was warranted at the time since question marks surrounded the Chiefs’ offense. But in hindsight, they probably shouldn’t have had the fifth-longest odds come playoff time. This team comes to life in the postseason and winning on the road against the Bills and Ravens proves – so long as Mahomes and Andy Reid are together – the Chiefs should never be considered underdogs.
Cowboys: Highest scoring team (+1200)
You had to search a little harder to find this market before the season, but if you stumbled across the Cowboys to lead the NFL in points, well done.
Looking back, the Cowboys’ schedule was very favorable. They got to tee off twice on the Commanders‘, Giants‘, and Eagles‘ defenses. Dallas also played the Patriots, Rams, Panthers, and Seahawks, averaging 38.75 points in those games.
Lamar Jackson: Win MVP (+1800)
There was a lot of hype surrounding the Ravens going into the campaign, especially with the addition of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. Although he didn’t call his best game in the AFC championship, Monken’s offense dominated during the regular season and allowed Jackson to claim his second MVP award.
Panthers: Worst record (+2000)
Not all rookie quarterbacks are going to excel like Stroud did in their first season. That was the case for No. 1 selection Bryce Young, who struggled mightily in his rookie campaign, leading many to believe the Panthers made a massive mistake with the first pick in the 2023 draft.
In Young’s defense, the Panthers lacked talent all over the field. They traded away their top wideout, DJ Moore, to acquire the rights to draft Young and replaced him with an aging Adam Thielen. They also signed Miles Sanders in the offseason, but he quickly fizzled out and was replaced by Chuba Hubbard. To make matters worse, Carolina fielded one of the league’s worst offensive lines.
The Panthers hired Dave Canales shortly after their disappointing 2023 season ended with the expectation he can put Young in a much better position to succeed in his sophomore season.
Exact Super Bowl result: Chiefs to beat 49ers (+2200)
This would have been a tough one to call at any point in the season, and you could argue the odds should’ve been longer than +2200.
However, it was never outlandish to think that the best team in the NFC would reach the Super Bowl. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see Mahomes hoisting the Lombardi trophy when all is said and done. Combine those two possibilities and you have yourself a +2200 winning ticket.
Christian McCaffrey: Most rushing yards (+3000)
This one is a head-scratcher, because in hindsight, why was McCaffrey priced so long to be the NFL’s leading rusher?
He’s proved to be the best running back in the league and works in the 49ers‘ explosive offense. There are likely plenty of people who cashed this ticket a few weeks ago at a price that’s guaranteed to not be available next season.
Raheem Mostert: Most rushing TDs (+4000)
This win for Mostert was a lot harder to see coming but also makes sense given how the Dolphins’ season unfolded.
Miami scored at will a lot of the time, highlighted by a 70-point outburst over the Broncos in Week 3. Mostert benefited from an efficient offense and rumbled in 18 rushing touchdowns, three clear of Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen.
Kevin Stefanski: Coach of the Year (+5000)
The final two most profitable bets are related, starting with Stefanski winning Coach of the Year.
Stefanski led a Browns team riddled with injuries and poor play at quarterback to an 11-6 record. The +5000 odds on Stefanski were available while Cleveland was 4-3 at the end of October before the club went on an incredible run and signed Joe Flacco off the street.
Joe Flacco: Comeback Player of the Year (+8000)
Flacco wasn’t in the league until Dec. 3 and not in the conversation for Comeback Player of the Year until he won his first game on Dec. 10. Even then, placing a wager on Flacco to chase down heavy favorite Damar Hamlin would have been a big risk.
But Flacco won four straight with the Browns to finish the year with a 4-1 record and allow himself to sit out the final game of the regular season.
What voters revealed by giving the award to Flacco is that on-field performance really matters even when up against a strong narrative. Hamlin coming back from a cardiac arrest was nothing short of a miracle, but he struggled to find consistent playing time with the Bills, which allowed Flacco to swoop in and steal the award in the regular season’s final month.