Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 NFL Preview -- Interesting Look at NFL Futures

Colt, I'm so sorry for unintentionally cursing you! You know I love you!
(All betting lines are from

In a miraculous series of events, I was able to singlehandedly complete all 8 division previews in a week AND the podcast up and running again. Honestly, you can't ask for a more productive period of time from me. It's just not doable. Of course, you could argue that the preview and the podcast was crap...and you'd be right. Still, you should know what to expect by now. Nothing. And that's exactly what I accomplished. Couldn't be prouder.

Thankfully, there are other ways of forecasting the NFL future. For one, you could listen to Rex Grossman and pick the Redskins to win the NFC East. This is not advised, however, as it is likely to be even more inaccurate than my predictions. Unless, of course, Grossman literally eats the rest of the division...which is entirely possible at this point. For another, you could listen to Rex Ryan and pick the Jets to win the AFC East, the Super Bowl, and the World Championship of the world. This is also not advised. Unless, of course...well, just insert Ryan's name for Grossman and you'll get the idea.

One piece of information that I find endlessly fascinating is the lines on NFL futures betting. These lines are obviously set up with money in mind, but they provide an interesting insight into what the NFL season could hold. Let's look at the current lines on and see what we can glean from them.

(Note: I do not intend this post to be an endorsement of gambling. Likewise, I do not intend this side note to be an indictment of gambling and I am not interested in making any moral statements. For various reasons, I have never gambled and I likely never will. However, I make it a point to not judge an individual who is capable of gambling responsibly. This post is solely intended to be an interesting look at who the oddsmakers favor.)

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles (-140)
Dallas Cowboys (+300)
New York Giants (+300)
Washington Redskins (+2000)

Wow! Washington! +2000! I wonder if Sexy Rexy put his money where his mouth is. He probably needs to win big to afford future medical costs related to his obviously high cholesterol.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (-220)
Chicago Bears (+450)
Detroit Lions (+550)
Minnesota Vikings (+850)

Not surprising that Green Bay is the heavy favorite, but the Vikings seem pretty undervalued. Keep in mind, Green Bay didn't win the division last year, so it's not like they're a sure powerhouse on the level of New England or Indianapolis. Minnesota looks like they'll finish under .500, but they're only one year removed from nearly making the Super Bowl. They still have a lot of that talent left. For them, it all depends on what McNabb has left.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (+120)
New Orleans Saints (+130)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+450)
Carolina Panthers (+2000)

1. They're about even, but Atlanta is way overvalued. I don't care what they did last year, I think it was partially a fluke. New Orleans at +130 is a solid value.

2. Tampa Bay at +450 is a GREAT value. They're really young and they did nothing in free agency, so it's hard to peg them with any accuracy, but it won't be too surprising if their young stars take the next step. With young studs at nearly every impact position, Tampa Bay could easily have a breakthrough season.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers (+185)
St. Louis Rams (+185)
Arizona Cardinals (+275)
Seattle Seahawks (+500)

I seriously can't believe San Francisco is favored alongside the Rams. Horrible. The entire division is a stay away.

AFC East

New England Patriots (-155)
New York Jets (+180)
Miami Dolphins (+800)
Buffalo Bills (+2200)

How is Miami that much better of a wager? They really suck!

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (-105)
Baltimore Ravens (+115)
Cleveland Browns (+900)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1600)

I hate to say this--and I really feel dumb doing it--but I kinda think Cleveland at +900 isn't a horrible value. Call me crazy. I love Colt...I think he's going to be good this year.

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts (+105)
Houston Texans (+180)
Tennessee Titans (+600)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+700)

They must be really worried about Manning's injury to make so tight between Indy and Houston. Is there an over/under for "Houston losses caused by Gary Kubiak?" Whatever that number is, I'll take the over.

AFC West

San Diego Chargers (-240)
Kansas City Chiefs (+425)
Oakland Raiders (+550)
Denver Broncos (+1200)

Wow, that's a lot of confidence in Norv Turner. A bit too much confidence...I like Kansas City's value at +425.

NFC Champion

Philadelphia Eagles (7/2)
Green Bay Packers (15/4)
Atlanta Falcons (15/2)
New Orleans Saints (8/1)
Dallas Cowboys (9/1)
New York Giants (12/1)
Chicago Bears (14/1)
Detroit Lions (15/1)
Minnesota Vikings (15/1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16/1)
San Francisco 49ers (22/1)
St. Louis Rams (22/1)
Arizona Cardinals (30/1)
Seattle Seahawks (40/1)
Washington Redskins (50/1)
Carolina Panthers (75/1)

1. Philly and Green Bay are almost dead even on odds, and that makes total sense. Of the two, I still like Green Bay more.

2. Again, I think Atlanta's being overplayed...big time. They should probably be right there with Dallas at 9/1. Other overvalues include the Giants and Lions.

3. New Orleans is a great value at 8/1! Other good values include Dallas and Tampa Bay.

4. I love that the best odds for an NFC West team starts at 22/1. What a craphole of a division!

5.Even at 50/1, the Redskins are massively overvalued. How about 875,000/1? Probably still too high...

AFC Champion

New England Patriots (3/1)
San Diego Chargers (11/2)
New York Jets (6/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (13/2)
Baltimore Ravens (15/2)
Indianapolis Colts (17/2)
Houston Texans (14/1)
Kansas City Chiefs (20/1)
Miami Dolphins (28/1)
Oakland Raiders (33/1)
Jacksonville Jaguars (35/1)
Tennessee Titans (35/1)
Cleveland Browns (40/1)
Denver Broncos (40/1)
Cincinnati Bengals (50/1)
Buffalo Bills (75/1)

1. Are you surprised New England is the overwhelming favorite?

2. How are the Jets 6/1? I mean, I know they made two straight conference championship games, but really? They lost 3/4ths of their receiving corp, their leading rusher is pretty much broken down, and their defense is aging quickly. Also, their QB still sucks! What's not to like? Other overvalued teams include San Diego, Baltimore, Miami, and Oakland.

3. I can't believe Pittsburgh can be had for that cheap. Seriously, didn't they just win the AFC last year? Other good values include Kansas City and maybe Indianapolis.

Super Bowl

New England Patriots (13/2)
Green Bay Packers (7/1)
Philadelphia Eagles (7/1)
San Diego Chargers (11/1)
New York Jets (12/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (14/1)
Atlanta Falcons (15/1)
Baltimore Ravens (16/1)
New Orleans Saints (16/1)
Dallas Cowboys (18/1)
Indianapolis Colts (18/1)
Houston Texans (25/1)
New York Giants (25/1)
Buffalo Bills (150/1)

1. Hate: San Diego, New York Jets, Atlanta, New York Giants
2. Love: Pittsburgh, New Orleans


Like I said, I've got New England and Green Bay in the Super Bowl, with New England winning. Pretty risky picks, huh?

Here's a few interesting "prop" bets that Bodog has listed:

AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Julio Jones (5/1)
Cam Newton (11/2)
Mark Ingram (6/1)
A.J. Green (13/2)
Daniel Thomas (10/1)
Christian Ponder (12/1)
Ryan Williams (14/1)
Andy Dalton (15/1)

Cam Newton? Seriously? They must have gotten this mixed up with "First Rookie to be Cut." By the way, Blaine Gabbart at 22/1 isn't a horrible play. It's only preseason, I know, but he looked competent in the first game.

AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Von Miller (11/2)
Patrick Peterson (6/1)
Marcel Dareus (15/2)
Nick Fairley (15/2)
Aldon Smith (12/1)
Jimmy Smith (12/1)
Bruce Carter (15/1)

I guess I'd lean towards Peterson or maybe Dareus, but with no certainty. Robert Quinn of the Rams has gotten significant buzz, and he's a great value at 16/1. DeQuan Bowers at 18/1 isn't bad either. If you're looking for more of a sleeper, Jabaal Sheard at 25/1 isn't bad.


Aaron Rodgers (11/2)
Tom Brady (13/2)
Peyton Manning (15/2)
Michael Vick (17/2)
Drew Brees (10/1)
Phillips Rivers (10/1)
Chris Johnson (16/1)
Ben Roethlisberger (18/1)
Matt Ryan (18/1)
Adrian Peterson (20/1)
Field (10/1)

Really like Rivers at 10/1. He had an incredible year in 2010, and getting Vincent Jackson back will only help. If the Chargers turn it around (which is likely) then he'll earn significantly more buzz. A good sleeper pick might be Tony Romo at 20/1. I think Dallas will bounce back, and a big comeback year by Romo would definitely fall under the "Best Story" category that so often determines the MVP race.


Within the next few days, I'll be doing a podcast with Prince and Laney in which we go through the over/unders for each teams win total. It's definitely a rip-off of Bill Simmons, but who cares? He's definitely never heard of us! Anyways, it should be fun. Keep an eye out for it.

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