Just because the NFL season is underway, doesn’t mean we can’t continue to search for value in the futures market. NFL odds are constantly shifting, and we can potentially find some value along the way to some overreactions. The Awesemo OddsShopper tool helps us identify the best books to place future wagers throughout the season, so make sure you continue to check there for the best place to make your NFL picks before you lock it in.
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NFL Picks: Player + Team Futures
It sounds ridiculous to say this early, but the odds tell us MVP is a three-man race. Patrick Mahomes (+350), Lamar Jackson (+550) and Russell Wilson (+600) all got off to fantastic starts, and we might only see these guys climb higher in upcoming weeks. If you like one for the award and still haven’t bet them, you might just want to bite the bullet early.
Aaron Rodgers (+1400) is next in line after throwing for four touchdowns in the win over the Vikings, but there’s really only one player I’d look to beyond the top three if you want a long shot. I locked in Kyler Murray (+1700) at +2800 before the season, but he’s still offered at a pretty good price. He has the ability to be a Jackson/Wilson type of player (Mahomes is on his own level), and having DeAndre Hopkins there could help unlock that potential.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+200) looked spectacular in his debut, and it boosted him to the ROY favorite — he’s as low as +120 at some books. But let’s not forget the No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow (+400) was as low as +200 as the preseason favorite. That’s a pretty big swing for one game.
Burrow nearly upset the Chargers in his debut, getting a game-winning touchdown pass called back, and then the Bengals missed a game-tying field goal. We just saw Murray have a pretty average season and win the award last year. And you may point to Murray’s rushing ability, but Burrow is no slouch, running one in himself in his debut. Get this one at +400 before he faces the Browns on Thursday Night Football, as a good game could pull him and Edwards-Helaire even.
Super Bowl Winner
The Super Bowl futures didn’t change all that much after Week 1, nor should they. The Chiefs and Ravens were already the top two teams on the board and got slight bumps following dominant performances. Like the MVP market, if you like the Chiefs (+550) or Ravens (+550), you might want to get that NFL pick in while it’s still early.
Betting divisions in season is one of my favorite ways to get an edge. Getting the right team at a better number after an outlier loss can be a good way to find an edge with your NFL picks. Here’s a quick look at each division after each team has played a game.
This was a two-team race from the start, but the Patriots (+115) closed the gap a bit on the Bills (+110). Before the season you could find the Pats as high as +140. As expected, the Patriots took care of the Dolphins (+1400) and the Bills handled the Jets (+1500), making those teams look even more unlikely as long shots.
The Ravens (-220) absolutely smacked the Browns (+1000) in their opener. Any Browns hype likely goes out the window once again. Cleveland is in a bounce-back spot on Thursday against the Bengals (+4200), who have no shot here, but do have Burrow. The Steelers (+300) are the intriguing value. I still feel Baltimore is too cheap to win this division for how dominant they are. But Pittsburgh looked very good in its Monday night win. My two concerns are that the win came against the lowly Giants and that key pieces could get injured again.
We have a new favorite. The Colts (+200) were the preseason favorites but suffered an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars (+1600) in Week 1. Obviously, I’m not buying in on the Jags, but I am fading the Colts. They lost Marlon Mack for the season, and the play calling was just awful. Philip Rivers was slinging the ball way too much and looked cooked. The Titans (+125) escaped with a narrow victory in Denver and are the rightful favorites. Even though we missed the value on them, plus money is still nice on Tennessee. The Texans (+435) come at an intriguing price. There’s no shame in losing to the Chiefs, but this offense just might not have enough firepower, and the defense has always been bad.
There is not much to discuss here. The Chiefs (-500) were -400 in some spots preseason and should only go up all season. If you parlay any division winners, the Chiefs are a piece you can use. I expect this to go over -1000 during the season. Hard pass on the Chargers (+850), Raiders (+1200) and Broncos (+1600).
The only 1-0 team in the division is the Washington Football Team (+1000). Are we betting them? Absolutely not, and I could still see Washington hitting the under if you got 5.5 wins. What we did learn during that game is that the Eagles (+175) have issues. I was higher on Philadelphia this year, but injuries are an issue once again. Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders should be back in Week 2, so let’s see how they look. I don’t love the price on the Cowboys (-110), but I do like them to bounce back over the Falcons, and give the Rams a good shot to beat the Eagles. This might be a good time to get Dallas while its still tied with Philadelphia. The Giants (+1500) are also in this division — no thanks.
The Vikings (+260) were the preseason favorites and got hammered by the Packers (+125) to swing that division early. If you still believe in Minnesota, there’s value here, but they are Week 2 dogs in Indianapolis. The Bears (+325) and Lions (+900) are afterthoughts here.
The Saints (-175) showed they are still king in the south, beating the Buccaneers (+225) in Tom Brady’s debut. The turnovers in Bruce Arians’ system are very concerning to me, so I wouldn’t back Tampa until we see improvements. But the Saints just lost Michael Thomas to a long-term ankle injury, so backing them while this heavily favored is also a pass. The Falcons (+1100) have a tiny bit of value, but that defense is just awful. The Panthers (+3000) are an easy pass.
The 49ers (+190) are still the favorites, despite the in division loss to the Cardinals (+775). I see Arizona as more of a .500 team when it’s all said and done, but you can’t ignore that value. The Rams (+350) also got an impressive victory over Dallas and could be in position for a bounce-back season. This is the best division in football, as we still haven’t’ mentioned the Seahawks (+200). I loved Seattle at +255 before the season and still think there’s value on them now. This could be Wilson’s MVP season if they finally cut him loose.
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