That’s right, the NFL season is right around the corner and what better way to get in the NFL spirit than by making some future bets? In this article I have presented you with what I have found to be the most intriguing futures bets offered by our good friends at Sportsbetting.ag (okay, maybe not “good” friends). The tough part about futures bets is how difficult it is to predict what will happen in six months time. In sports, ANYTHING can happen. That’s why when placing futures bets, I like to stay away from the favorites. If you’re going to take a shot on predicting something that will happen months down the road, you might as well find the best odds so you can get more bank for your buck. You could bet the Patriots winning the Super Bowl at +650, or you could take a chance on a better payout with a now healthy Dallas Cowboys team at +1600. If you want, you can risk less and still win a similar amount. I guess it’s based on preference, but for me, I like taking the most interesting odds. With all that being said, I present you with the NFL Futures Bets I love most.
*Disclaimer: I am responsible for the absurd amount of money you win from following this 😉
Detroit Lions to make playoffs (+400)
Last year was a tale of two halves for the Lions. They went into their by week with a 1-7 record and managed to finish the season at a respectable 7-9. A lot of this had to do with the play from their signal caller Matt Stafford, who really came into his own during the second half of the season. I expect the Lions to build off their post-bye week momentum and find a way to make the playoffs in 2016. Yeah, they lost Calvin Johnson, but he was nowhere near the Calvin Johnson that used to wreak havoc on opposing secondaries and he will be replaced by a more than competent Marvin Jones. Drafting Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker will surely help what was among the league’s worst offensive lines. As far as their running game goes, Ameer Abdullah showed flashes of his potential last season and I expect him to develop into their every down back. The potential is there for this Lions team, it’s just a matter of if they can turn it into production.
Detroit Lions to win NFC North (+1100)
In the words of Wiz Khalifa, “Everything I do, I do it big.” So why not step this prediction up a notch and take the Lions to win their division? I don’t expect the Bears to be much of a problem, but the Packers and Vikings will not let this happen easily. I’m not sure what to expect out of the Packers this year because I was pretty disappointed with them in 2015. Surprisingly, Vegas has them at -180 to win the division. They were lucky to go 1-1 against the Lions as their only win came from Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers. However, they do get back Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy fresh off a Jenny Craig program. Looking at the Vikings (+225), they are set to build off their impressive 2015 campaign. With one of the top defenses in the league and a budding quarterback, I expect them to give the Lions the most trouble. I like this bet because the Lions deserve much better odds than +1000; the difference in play level between the Lions, Vikings, and Packers is less than Vegas expects.
Oakland Raiders to win AFC West (+240)
The Raiders are a young team that have the potential to become one of the top teams in the NFL. Not saying I think they’ll do that this year, but I like their chances to win the AFC West. All you need to know is that the Broncos will probably be quarterbacked by Mark Sanchez and I’ll take Derek Carr over Alex Smith in a shootout a majority of the time. Oakland was in the wild card race for a majority of last season and with all their major pieces returning, I like them to take that a step further this year and contend for the division.
Houston Texans to win AFC Championship (+1600)
You can only go far when you start Brian Hoyer, T.J Yates, and Ryan Mallet at quarterback. The defense was there last season for the Texans, but their offensive struggles weighed them down. But things look to be different in 2016, with the additions of Lamar Miller and Brock Osweiler. No matter how you look at it, Osweiler is already a big upgrade from who the Texans were forced to start last season. In addition, Lamar Miller will provide a consistent running attack, something that the Texans were devoid of every time Arian Foster was injured (which was a lot). Based off the small sample size last season, Osweiler has the ability to be a good starting quarterback in the league. If he plays up to potential and the defense performs how we expect it to, I don’t see a team in the AFC that the Texans can’t compete with.
Corey Coleman to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+2000)
Everyones ready to pencil in Ezekiel Elliot (-150) to win this award, but I’m not so sure I’m buying the hype. Yes, he inherits the best offensive line in the NFL, but he also has a crowded backfield of former 1,000 yard rushers in Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. I think when you look at the odds, it’s tough to pass up on a guy like Corey Coleman. Coaches and reporters from the Browns’ camp are already raving about his work ethic and athleticism. He’s even being called their number one wide out. The former Baylor Bear combines blistering speed (4.37 40 yard dash) with the most explosiveness we’ve seen out of a rookie wide receiver in a while. The targets will definitely be there as I expect him to headline this Browns offense. At +2000, Coleman comes at great value as I wouldn’t be surprise if he had an Odell Beckham type rookie year.
Khalil Mack to win Defensive Player of the Year (+650)
Going into his third year, Khalil Mack has emerged as one of the NFL’s top defensive players. His 15.0 sacks last season was second in the league behind the Defensive Player of the Year, J.J Watt (17.5). According to Pro Football Focus, Mack’s 10.4 run stop percentage and 96.8 overall rating was just slightly behind the man who should have won the Defensive Player of the Year award, Aaron Donald (10.8 and 98.2 respectively). Now entering the prime of his career, I expect Mack to step things up a notch. This will be the season he puts his name right up there with the league’s elite.
New York Giants to win the Super Bowl (+2000)
I saved my boldest pick for last. And if you thinking I’m biased toward the Giants because I’m a New Yorker then you’re wrong. In fact, the only times I’ve actually been happy for the Giants was when they defeated the Patriots in two Super Bowls. I truly believe that, amidst a playoff drought, the Giants have a good chance to return as Super Bowl Champions. One characteristic of both Tom Coughlin’s Super Bowl teams were their dominant defensive lines. Then, it was the likes of Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. But now, could it be Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins and JPP? It’s tough to say because they have yet to play a snap together, but the talent is definitely there. Moreover, the Giants polished up their secondary with the addition of top talent Janoris Jenkins and first round round pick Eli Apple. Switching to the other side of the ball, a healthy Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Sharper will only add to their offensive prowess. Some are saying that this is the best the Giants offense has looked in years. Hell, NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison said that with Odell Beckham and the Giants new offensive weapons, he expects Eli Manning to be first team All-Pro. This prediction might be a bit of a stretch, but the Giants’ offseason upgrades and their tendency to become a top team out of nowhere makes this an intriguing bet at +2000.