5 of the NFL’s Top Dark Horses for the 2024-25 Season

Led by Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs have taken home their third Super Bowl title under Andy Reid. Anyone who argued that a dynasty wasn’t taking shape in Missouri now has proof—but that doesn’t mean the NFL lacks powerful contenders. As the offseason continues, many NFL fans are looking to select an early winner for next year’s season.


That’s right—some are already focusing on which team could lift the Lombardi Trophy in 2024-25. This comes down to two factors. First and foremost, DraftKings sportsbook, like other brands, offer high-value futures bets on the NFL at this time. Fans who can select a dark horse or an underdog stand to win huge, as there’s limited information for oddsmakers to work with. 

Second, now is a popular time for fans and analysts to speculate about the coming year as the NFL Draft approaches and free agents look to sign new contracts. As players move from team to team, there’s a toss-up period in which almost anything feels possible—especially for teams on the cusp of greatness.

Let’s take a closer look at five of the top underdog picks for next year’s Super Bowl. 

New York Jets

The Aaron Rodgers’ effect is still in full swing for the New York Jets. Despite the fact that the quarterback is in his final few years of play and is coming off a serious injury, there’s still plenty of hope surrounding the Jets’ future. Not only do they have Rodgers, but he’ll be working with a quietly powerful lineup. For now, most fans are hoping it’s enough to help the team land a few much-needed wins in the regular season. But some are also selecting the Jets as their outside futures pick for next year’s Super Bowl.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions might have odds that are too high to be listed here as a dark horse. However, given the team’s slow and painful rebuild over the last few years, it’s worth pointing out how far Detroit has come. And given the team has yet to lift any silverware, they’re particularly worth rooting for

Throw in a promising QB in Jared Goff, along with an elite supporting group that includes Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery and Detroit look to have a winning formula. While many Lions fans are rightfully questioning the decision-making of head coach Dan Campbell, he’ll most certainly be motivated not to drop the ball next season.


Green Bay Packers

Those who thought Rodgers’ departure from Green Bay would spell disaster were soon righted by the performance of QB Jordan Love. Though they were bodied off the win by the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs, many would rightly say the Packers outplayed the Super Bowl contenders.

With a brand new defensive coordinator coming onto the team and a profound sense of momentum behind them, the Packers are one of the more likely dark horses heading into next season.

Atlanta Falcons

Changes in the front office can have a huge impact on a team—just look at the Atlanta Falcons. Last year, the team shattered expectations with a solid regular-season finish. Given the team will hold onto most of their offensive line coming into the 2024-25 season, there’s plenty of motivation to back the Falcons for success.

However, it’s still unclear what sort of impact new coach Raheem Morris will have—and whether he’ll be able to find a quarterback who’s up for the job in Atlanta. For now, Morris has solid backing among fans and analysts.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have two not-so-secret weapons heading into the next season: a healthy Justin Herbert and a wily head coach in Jim Harbaugh. Harbough will have to work overtime to beat last year’s terrible season, but he’s certainly done so in the past.

At the moment, all eyes are on the NFL Draft to see what sorts of moves Harbaugh’s Chargers will make. The team has a more limited budget than others thanks to a number of pricier veteran players, which is one of the first issues that must be addressed.