Calling all bettors! The 2022 Los Angeles Rams finished with the worst record of any defending Super Bowl champion in history. Can this recently “great” franchise get back on track in pursuit of another title in 2024? More pressingly, how will free agency and the upcoming NFL draft impact their chances? The following betting odds are based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl 58 Odds and Futures
Last February’s early odds for Super Bowl 57 offered clues on what sportsbooks were thinking and how that wove into the thinking of the broader betting market.
For example, the Kansas City Chiefs were the top favorite (+650 odds) of winning the Super Bowl, while the Buffalo Bills were second. Not too shabby as far as year-long predictions go.
But the Rams and Green Bay Packers were Nos. 3 and 4, respectively — though, in fairness, Davante Adams’ status in Green Bay remained unclear at that point. The Tennessee Titans (No. 9) and Denver Broncos (No. 10) clearly underwhelmed, and the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t even in the top third.
The Rams’ +1100 odds following Super Bowl 57 dipped only slightly to +1120 when the 2022 season began. In other words, there was a general belief that they had the personnel to make another big run. Of course, things fell apart quickly.
To accurately assess their more realistic +3500 odds for winning Super Bowl 58, let’s dissect some key takeaways from their 2022 campaign.
Cam Akers, Cooper Kupp, and Other 2022 Season Takeaways
Last summer, it was reported that Matthew Stafford was dealing with elbow tendinitis. All of my Rams-related fantasy and betting articles that followed zeroed in on this news.
Normally, I try not to overreact to preseason ailments. But Stafford’s situation seemed different. He’d just made an incredible 741 throws the previous season. Historically durable (at least since 2011), he missed nearly half of the 2019 campaign with a back injury. He was also No. 14 on the all-time list for most regular-season pass attempts.
That’s a rough combination for a 34-year-old. And while there’s no evidence it contributed to his concussion and neck injury last year, knocking him out for eight games, it was clear that Stafford didn’t look right even when he did play.
In fact, if his name were not “Matthew Stafford,” and we simply analyzed him based on how he performed in nine starts — and the Rams hadn’t signed him to a massive contract that guarantees another $57 million once March 17, 2023 rolls around — perhaps they’d be shopping for their next franchise quarterback.
And we cannot understand the Rams’ chances next season without understanding what Stafford still brings to the table.
In fairness, Stafford was forced to lean heavily on Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee. Allen Robinson was a bust. Van Jefferson didn’t take a noticeable step forward, and the backfield was barely adequate (at least while Stafford was on the field).
But the future Hall of Fame QB (yes, I think we can call him that) continually labored, turning in his fewest passing yards per game since 2010 and the highest sack rate of his career. He led all quarterbacks in interceptions in 2021, and if he’d played every game last season, he was on pace to do it again (or at least tie Dak Prescott and Davis Mills for the league lead).
So the question is, will we see a markedly improved 35-year-old Stafford this year? Will the cash-strapped Rams — which have only two draft picks before the sixth round — have enough resources to bolster a surprisingly thin receiving corps and (for now) a Cam Akers-or-bust backfield?
Maybe, but probably not. Akers came on strong in the final four weeks. He’s always been an NFL-ready bell cow. And he’s netted only 365 touches in his first three campaigns. While Stafford needs to get close to his 2021 form, Akers needs to sustain a level of excellence we haven’t seen since he was at Florida State in 2019.
As for Kupp … rarely has an aging, elite star been so key to a franchise’s title hopes. Candidly, I’d be shocked if he plays out his long-term contract in L.A., and I’d be somewhat shocked if he’s still a Ram after this year’s trade deadline.
They’ll know by October whether they’re good enough to beat the Eagles, 49ers, etc. If they’re not, then why keep a 30-year-old wideout with more than a $26 million cap hit in each of the next three seasons?
2023 Offseason Moves
This might seem reactionary. The Rams won a Super Bowl, then collapsed, partly due to injuries. We get it. They might still be good in 2023.
And yet, these are some of the calculations heading into a win-now season. The Rams are tied with the Browns and Packers for the eighth-best odds to win Super Bowl 58. I think that’s too bullish for a squad that’s getting older at key positions — and not the good kind of older — while other teams get better.
NFL Free Agency
In the coming weeks, we’ll update this section with breaking news on key Rams arrivals and departures through free agency and trades, how it impacts their Super Bowl odds, and how it might inform our decision to somehow bet on them to win it all.
In early May, we’ll update this section on key Rams draft picks and UDFA signings, with an eye toward any players who could help catapult them to “solid long shot” status or better.