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. But the fact of the matter is that none of those tickets cashed.
The favorite to win in 2018 is the New England Patriots at +500. 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 Eagles (+950) and the Packers (+1000).
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 just not 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. And 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. And most books have odds on every game through Week 16, 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.
Every half-win is worth about 50 cents in juice on these season win totals. At 5Dimes, you will eventually have many different options on which numbers to bet on every team. Not all books will have this many options, and some will only have one number to choose from, so you’ll have to use your best judgment.
This year’s first-available over under win totals from 5Dimes are posted below.
|+/- Wins||Team||Division||2017 Wins||2018 Win Total||Over||Under|
|-1.5||New England Patriots||AFC East||13||11.5||-140||+100|
|-2.5||Philadelphia Eagles||NFC East||13||10.5||-115||-125|
|-2.5||Pittsburgh Steelers||AFC North||13||10.5||+100||-140|
|+3||Green Bay Packers||NFC North||7||10||+120||-160|
|-1.5||LA Rams||NFC West||11||9.5||+105||-145|
|-3.5||Minnesota Vikings||NFC North||13||9.5||-110||-130|
|-1.5||New Orleans Saints||NFC South||11||9.5||-130||-110|
|-1||Atlanta Falcons||NFC South||10||9||-140||+100|
|-2||Carolina Panthers||NFC South||11||9||+100||-140|
|0||Dallas Cowboys||NFC East||9||9||-155||+115|
|-1||Kansas City Chiefs||AFC West||10||9||+135||-175|
|+3||San Francisco 49ers||NFC West||6||9||+120||-160|
|0||Seattle Seahawks||NFC West||9||9||-115||-125|
|-0.5||Baltimore Ravens||AFC North||9||8.5||+120||-160|
|+4.5||Houston Texans||AFC South||4||8.5||-135||-105|
|-1.5||Jacksonville Jaguars||AFC South||10||8.5||-150||+110|
|-1||Detroit Lions||NFC North||9||8||+110||-150|
|-1||LA Chargers||AFC West||9||8||-150||+110|
|+2||Oakland Raiders||AFC West||6||8||-245||+175|
|-1.5||Tennessee Titans||AFC South||9||7.5||-160||+120|
|0||Cincinnati Bengals||AFC North||7||7||-155||+115|
|+2||Denver Broncos||AFC West||5||7||-245||+175|
|+1||Miami Dolphins||AFC East||6||7||+110||-150|
|0||Washington Redskins||NFC East||7||7||-125||-115|
|-1.5||Arizona Cardinals||NFC West||8||6.5||+100||-140|
|-2.5||Buffalo Bills||AFC East||9||6.5||-125||-115|
|+1.5||Chicago Bears||NFL North||5||6.5||-130||-110|
|+1.5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||NFC South||5||6.5||-130||-110|
|+3||NY Giants||NFC East||3||6||-150||+110|
|+1.5||Indianapolis Colts||AFC South||4||5.5||-300||+220|
|0||NY Jets||AFC East||5||5||-150||+100|
|+4.5||Cleveland Browns||AFC North||0||4.5||-120||-120|
CG Technology has released lines for the first 16 weeks of the 2018 NFL season. We used these spreads, plus our own projected Week 17 odds to come up with a probability each team has to win each game (Week 17 is a little harder to project as some teams end up resting players, which is why CG Tech leaves them out).
For example, a favorite of -10 has an implied probability of 84% to win the game outright, so a team favored by 10 points is given 0.84 wins for that game, while their opponent is given 0.16 wins. The aggregate for each team gives us how many wins they should be expected to win. We then compared these numbers to our win totals above to give our recommendations for win total bets for the 2018 season.
We are only recommending those teams projected for a full game more or less than their posted win total odds. That being said, there is still definitely value in teams that are off by only a half point as well. Best of luck!
|Teams||Away Wins||Home Wins||Projected Wins||Win Total||Bet On||Games Off|
|New England Patriots||5||6.5||11.5||11.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||5||5.5||10.5||10.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Philadelphia Eagles||4||6||10||10.5||No Bet||-0.5|
|Green Bay Packers||4||6||10||10||No Bet||0.0|
|LA Rams||4||5.5||9.5||9.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Minnesota Vikings||4||5||9||9.5||No Bet||-0.5|
|New Orleans Saints||4||5.5||9.5||9.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Atlanta Falcons||3.5||5.5||9||9||No Bet||0.0|
|San Francisco 49ers||3.5||5.5||9||9||No Bet||0.0|
|Kansas City Chiefs||3||5||8||9||UNDER||-1.0|
|Dallas Cowboys||3.5||5||8.5||9||No Bet||-0.5|
|Houston Texans||3.5||5.5||9||8.5||No Bet||0.5|
|Baltimore Ravens||3.5||5||8.5||8.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Oakland Raiders||3.5||4.5||8||8||No Bet||0.0|
|Tennessee Titans||3.5||4.5||8||7.5||No Bet||0.5|
|Cincinnati Bengals||2.5||4||6.5||7||No Bet||-0.5|
|Washington Redskins||2.5||4||6.5||7||No Bet||-0.5|
|Miami Dolphins||2.5||4||6.5||7||No Bet||-0.5|
|Denver Broncos||3||4||7||7||No Bet||0.0|
|Buffalo Bills||2.5||4||6.5||6.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2.5||4||6.5||6.5||No Bet||0.0|
|Chicago Bears||2.5||4||6.5||6.5||No Bet||0.0|
|NY Giants||2.5||4||6.5||6||No Bet||0.5|
|Indianapolis Colts||2||3.5||5.5||5.5||No Bet||0.0|
|NY Jets||2||3.5||5.5||5||No Bet||0.5|