NFL season betting preview: Super Bowl LVI picks and specials best bets

Planet Sport tipsters select their best picks to win Super Bowl LVI and top tips for some of the NFL player awards for the 2021/22 season.

Planet Sport NFL tipster Paul Higham sticks his neck on the block and pulls out his top betting picks for the season ahead. Perhaps he can help you bash the bookies too.

Click on the links to have a punt with Planet Sport Bet.

(All text odds correct at time of publication and are subject to change)

Who will win the Super Bowl?

The new season is upon us and, I've said it before so will say it again, there's never been a better chance of a Super Bowl repeat in recent memory - but can we find value elsewhere?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs in their home Raymond James Stadium to make history back in February, and here's why the two sides are favourites to get back to the big dance again.

Firstly, the Bucs (13/2) return all 22 starters from last season, something which is unheard of in this business. While Tom Brady may be a year older, he's had a full year and now full pre-season with the team. They'll be better this year.

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Secondly, the Chiefs' (9/2) only real problem last year was protecting Patick Mahomes in that big game, which they've addressed big time in totally re-vamping their offensive line so, again, they should be a better unit.

The Chiefs have to contend with the Buffalo Bills (11/1)Baltimore Ravens (14/1) and the Cleveland Browns (14/1) as their main contenders and it'd be no surprise to see any of those challenging. But, I just think if Mahomes is fit and firing his x-factor just makes the difference.

While Cleveland would be my each way shout as I think they can finally live up the perennial hype train they produce every season.

The 28/1 on offer for the Tennessee Titans might not last given they had the second-best attack in the league last year and added future Hall of Fame receiver Julio Jones in the summer.

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It's a move that tells you the franchise things it has a Super Bowl calibre team there - and with double rushing champion Derrick Henry and dominant wideout AJ Brown playing with QB Ryan Tannehill then it's hard to argue.

The Titans, who also reside in one of the kinder divisions, have added some pieces to improve their defence and will be tough to put away in the play-offs.

Over in the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams (12/1) have a huge chance to follow Tampa Bay's lead and play a home Super Bowl in LA next February. They had the top-ranked defence last season and have traded for strong-armed quarterback Matthew Stafford in the summer.

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'Defence wins championships' often rings true, but a QB with Stafford's play-making ability can also get you over the hump alongside a fearsome defensive unit.

The San Francisco 49ers (12/1) are a bit short for me given the big questions surrounding them - will their injured defensive stars come back as good as new? And will the muddy QB situation between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance cost them?

Coach Kyle Shanahan is a master on offensive and could play this perfectly, but it could all get a bit complicated and until you've seen it in action it's hard to back it.

Why the Green Bay Packers can win the Super Bowl

That leaves just one more genuine contender for me in the NFC and it's a team that could just go all the way and be a huge story after a summer of worry - and that's the Green Bay Packers.

Now, I may be getting carried away with the narrative of it all, but future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers wins the MVP last season, then almost leaves because of a fall-out with the team's general manager, then returns again to play out what could be one last season.

All very Michael Jordan isn't it? But what a 'Last Dance' this could be for Rodgers who is fully committed to the team and the fans, but hardly 100% committed to playing on the team beyond this season.

After Tom Brady won last year, you can just see Rodgers winning his second Super Bowl, in his native California, and riding off into the sunset - maybe to Denver - but certainly with a different team.

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And, at 14/1 to go all the way, it's not like they are exactly no-hopers beyond all the romanticising over Rodgers.

A bad team doesn't get to back-to-back NFC Championship games, and within just a couple of bad coaching calls of beating Brady's Bucs last season.

They'll be better this year, wideout Davante Adams will have a stellar campaign and Rodgers has already proven he can put his off-field issues aside.

After all, he "played angry" last year after the team drafted his apparent replacement - imagine how good he'll be this season!

NFL season specials betting tips - Who will be the NFL MVP?

In the main it's a quarterback and it's pick your poison from the favourites in the betting as Patrick Mahomes (9/2), Aaron Rodgers (8/1) and Lamar Jackson (16/1) are all recent winners, while Josh Allen (12/1) was on track last season until falling away slightly.

Matthew Stafford is interesting at 16/1 to win and in a LA Rams team primed for a big run, but a lot of their best work will come on defence. Dak Prescott is back for the Dallas Cowboys, and he'll have to throw it a ton given their defence is still not as good as you'd like.

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But you've got to go with one of the top two though. I think the Chiefs and Packers will make the Super Bowl so both Mahomes and Rodgers will have great seasons, but it's the way Mahomes gets his yards and TDs that catches the eye so much.

They both have points to prove but with side-arms, gusty scrambles and no-look passes, Mahomes will make his just a bit more emphatically.

Who will in NFL Comeback Player of the Year?

This is a loaded market this year with so many high-profile players going down with injuries in the Covid-hit season last year - led by Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (2/1).

He should have a big year if he's healthy as he was flying before getting injured last season and has two top-level receivers and running back Ezekiel Elliott by his side.

Saquon Barkley (7/1) is worth a shout here though - if the New York Giants running back is anything like his best he'll be a huge part of their attack, both running and receiving and it's that kind of do-everything ability that gets you noticed.

He'll stand out in a team that could surprise a few and running backs returning from serious knee injuries always get a good press.

Who will throw the most passing yards?

Mahomes and Rodgers will be right up there again as they pretty much always are. Meanwhile, last year's winner Deshaun Watson won't play for the Texans so the door is open for a new champion and Cowboys triggerman Dak Prescott (5/1) can walk right through it.

Tom Brady has some great receiving weapons and must be respected at 13/2 after finishing third last year with 4,633, but that Bucs defence is much better since the start of last season, and he may have less work to do at times.

Dallas' defence is nowhere near as good, and Big Dak will need to come to the rescue of Big D on more than one occasion.

He got hurt last season but threw for 1,856 yards in just five and a bit games, which would've put him on pace for almost 6,000 yards!

Now you'd think it'd be impossible to keep up those numbers given Peyton Manning's passing record is 5,477, but it still shows that Prescott was and will be needed to air it out, and he's well capable of delivering.

Who will win Offensive Rookie of the Year?

This is a fascinating market and one with a touch of value in it given that Trevor Lawrence is the stand-out favourite (3/1), but can he produce the quality of performance needed in a bad team like the Jacksonville Jaguars?

He's quality and I've no doubt he'll be a big NFL star, but this season it'll be tough for him to produce numbers like Justin Herbert achieved last season in a decent team. Lawrence will likely be hustled and harried in most games; he'll learn a lot but may not be able to show his true potential.

Similarly, Justin Fields (13/2) will be a superb QB and is a great addition for the Chicago Bears, but they've anointed veteran Andy Dalton as their QB1.

That surely won't last but the longer it takes Fields to actually get on the field then his chances diminish.

Again, we'll only see flashes of Trey Lance (7/1) in San Francisco.

Tight end Kyle Pitts (17/2) is a monster and catching balls from Matt Ryan creates huge upsides, but he may be eased into NFL life, where players hit a lot harder than college.

I think it's between two rookie QBs, with Zach Wilson (8/1) of the Jets and Mac Jones (6/1) of the Patriots already looking like NFL starters who could be more than useful for their teams.

Let's face it, if Wilson shows anything like some sort of promise he'll get rave reviews from that success-hungry fan base, while Jones will have what should be a fierce Bill Belichick defence to back him up and a Josh McDaniels offence that will make his life easier.

Don't rule out Najee Harris (10/1) having a big rookie year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Jones will have all eyes on him given he's stepping into Tom Brady's shoes so every bit of skill he shows will get him noticed.

Also on Planet Sport:

NFL 2021/22 AFC betting preview: Browns and Titans set to challenge the Chiefs for the championship

NFL 2021/22 NFC betting preview - Can anyone stop the Bucs?