NFL Conference Futures
I'm going to begin with a simple and fundamental premise. Feel free to disagree if you'd like, but when I'm betting on long-term propositions, I need to feel like I'm reaping tremendous value. Otherwise, what's the point?
This is not to say I always demand gargantuan odds, but one thing I simply will not do - under any circumstance - is bet my money on a team that has a minus (-) sign next to its name.
For newbies, this simply means, I'm not laying more on the bet than what they will be willing to pay me at the window if I win.
Quickly, this eliminates teams like the LA Rams (-350) to win the NFC West, and Jacksonville (-160) to win the AFC South. As likely as those teams are to win their respective divisions, these are horrible bets. Don't even get me started on New England who is a whopping -500 to win the AFC East. If you have $500 to be on New England, do you really need the $100 you'll make for getting through an entire NFL season as a division champ? I feel sorry for people who bet their money on such lunacy. I really do.
Sorting through the odds
So sorry for that little trip to negative town. I just can't watch people throw money at poorly-valued, high-risk/low-reward futures. So now that we've set the ground rules, which teams offer fair to excellent wagering value?
Here are three furtures that stand out this NFL season:
- Minnesota +450 to win the NFC
- Dallas +350 to win the NFC East
- Baltimore +240 to win the AFC North
Betting opinions are a dime a dozen, so let's get into the meat of why these three plays stand out. I'm purposefully not getting into an X's and O's discussion here, but rather, I'll discuss why these plays offer the most value on the board.
Minnesota +450 to win the NFC
Why it's good value: There's no denying that Minnesota is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They are listed at +950 to win the whole thing, and let's not forget that it took an absolute miracle for the eventual-champion Philadelphia Eagles to beat them last year in the playoffs. I like what I've seen through the first two weeks out of these Vikings and they should carry plenty of motivation with them all season long. The LA Rams are favored to win the NFC EAST at +333, but Minnesota is the better team and much better play. Philadelphia is +600 and Green Bay is +700 to take the NFC, and I like Minnesota's chances against either of those teams. It's really a four-team race and I feel fortunate that the others are taking this much money.
Dallas +350 to win the NFC EAST
It's not that I love Dallas; it's that I really despise Philadelphia at -160 to win the NFC East. In fact, I could be talked into taking another team. Somebody, anybody challenge the Eagles! The Philly squad was extremely fortunate to win the Super Bowl last season, and I just have a gut feeling the luck runs out in 2018. Dallas seems to have enough talent to capitalize and we are getting something close to good value here.
Baltimore +240 to win the AFC North
The Ravens looked pretty bad in the first half of that Thursday night game in Week 2 against the Bengals, but remember that this is a long season. Also remember how they looked in the second half before ultimately losing.Pittsburgh (+130) has certainly lost its stranglehold on this divsion and QB Ben Roethlisberger isn't getting any younger. I like Baltimore although I wish the price were a little bit sweeter.
The bottom line
Let's say you disagree with every bet I've suggested. No worries. I still want you to come away with one notion: find the best value for your wagering capital possible. Remember that you can bet any of the frontrunners at -110 to cover a point spread any given Sunday. Don't take the worst of the odds betting futures. Find the right team at the right price.