The NFL futures market can be pretty tough to beat. That’s especially the case when you’re betting against the odds to win the Super Bowl, the conference, and the divisions. The value really just isn’t there.
Think about it. If you’re betting a team to win the Super Bowl, you only have a 1-in-32 shot of cashing that wager essentially. The bettors who had the Falcons at 100/1 at the beginning of the 2016 season were feeling great when they were up 28-3 in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, and they still didn’t cash those tickets.
The favorite to win in 2019 (2020 Super Bowl) is the New England Patriots at +600. That’s just terrible value and not even worth making a wager on. The other Super Bowl favorites are only slightly better values with the Chiefs (+700) season up in the air – so much so that there are no season win totals on them and the Saints at (+800) with little-to-no value at that price.
There will only be two conference winners as well, which is basically a 1-in-16 chance. You have a 1-in-4 chance to win a bet on the division, but more times than not you’ll be laying juice on a favorite, which is rarely worth your time.
The NFL futures market that I feel is the most beatable with the fairest odds is with the season win totals. Most of them are around -120 odds, which is similar betting the spread on a game. Unlike the Super Bowl odds, where you can only bet ON a team, you can actually bet AGAINST teams on the season win totals market.
The season win totals give the handicapper a chance to actually go through the schedule and predict which games a team will win and lose. Most books have odds on every game through Week 16 up before the season starts, so you can see which games a certain team will be favorites and underdogs in. By using these week-by-week lines, you can make a reasonable guess as to how many games each team will win (we will provide this in an update once all line estimates are out).
This year’s first-available over under win totals from Bookmaker are posted below. The Patriots are projected for the most wins, while the Dolphins are projected for the least. The two teams expected to show the biggest improvements are the Packers and 49ers. This isn’t too surprising considering they were both hit with injuries
|Team||Division||2018 Wins||2019 Win Total||Over||Under||+/- Wins|
|New England Patriots||AFC East||11||11||-128||+105||0|
|Los Angeles Rams||NFC West||13||10.5||+108||-130||-2.5|
|New Orleans Saints||NFC South||13||10.5||+104||-125||-2.5|
|Chicago Bears||NFC North||12||9.5||+100||-120||-2.5|
|Green Bay Packers||NFC North||6||9.5||+108||-130||+3.5|
|Indianapolis Colts||AFC South||10||9.5||-135||+115||-0.5|
|Los Angeles Chargers||AFC West||12||9.5||-126||+104||-2.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles||NFC East||9||9.5||-148||+122||+0.5|
|Atlanta Falcons||NFC South||7||9||+106||-129||+2|
|Cleveland Browns||AFC North||7||9||-119||-101||+2|
|Dallas Cowboys||NFC East||10||9||-124||+103||-1|
|Minnesota Vikings||NFC North||8||9||-125||+103||+1|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||AFC North||9||9||-125||+103||0|
|Baltimore Ravens||AFC North||10||8.5||+105||-126||-1.5|
|Houston Texans||AFC South||11||8.5||-109||-111||-2.5|
|Seattle Seahawks||NFC West||10||8.5||-120||+100||-1.5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||AFC South||5||8||-115||-106||+3|
|San Francisco 49ers||NFC West||4||8||+106||-125||+4|
|Tennessee Titans||AFC South||9||8||-116||-103||-1|
|Carolina Panthers||NFC South||7||7.5||-120||+100||+0.5|
|Denver Broncos||AFC West||6||7||+101||-122||+1|
|New York Jets||AFC East||4||7||-143||+118||+3|
|Buffalo Bills||AFC East||6||6.5||-135||+112||+0.5|
|Detroit Lions||NFC North||6||6.5||-110||-110||+0.5|
|Tampa Bay Bucs||NFC South||5||6.5||+116||-140||+1.5|
|Washington Redskins||NFC East||7||6.5||-116||-104||-0.5|
|Cincinnati Bengals||AFC North||6||6||-120||+100||0|
|New York Giants||NFC East||5||6||+108||-130||+1|
|Oakland Raiders||AFC West||4||6||-120||+100||+2|
|Arizona Cardinals||NFC West||3||5||-135||+112||+2|
|Miami Dolphins||AFC East||7||4.5||-145||+120||-2.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||AFC West||12||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|