Getting Ready to Bet the 2018 NFL Season
That time of the year is finally just around the bend, so it's time to get caught up on the ins and outs of where the online sports betting world sees the 2018 NFL Season. The evolution of the sports betting industry has brought options most novice bettors could not have even dream about, between traditional betting types, futures, props and live betting. There are also an ever wider range of betting apps that give sports fans the freedom to place a wager from their smartphones while they are on the go, or even while sitting watching the game unfold.
Getting a feel for how sportsbook's view the season going prior to Week 1 serves some importance to me. Let's get a quick view of the sports betting landscape of the upcoming NFL season by looking at the odds for Super Bowl favorites, MVP favorites and who will lead the league in receiving yards. (odds listed prior to preseason Week 1)
Super Bowl Favorites
Last year's Super Bowl teams lead the current favorites to win the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots the overall favorite at +600, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles at +850. The Eagles aren't the only ones at +850 though, with the Minnesota Vikings, the other NFC Championship representative last year, equaling the top odds in the NFC.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are at #4 on the favorites list paying $900 on a $100 bet with the Los Angeles Rams rounding out the top five at +950. Each of these teams have their own questions, like will Brady have anyone to throw to or how will Wentz' knee hold up after a very late season ligament tear? If the Rams and Aaron Donald can get on the same page as far as a contract, and get him in the middle of that d-line, can anyone beat them?
Since the year 2000, only four times has a position other than quarterback won the NFL MVP award (Associated Press NFL MVP), and all four times that other position was running back. Since 2006, when LaDainian Tomlinson was the league MVP, there has been only one occasion when a QB was not chosen, and that was Adrian Peterson in 2012.
The last posted odds will reflect this with the top 5 favorites all being quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers tops the list at +450, followed by Tom Brady (+500), Carson Wentz (+600), DeShaun Watson (+950) and Drew Brees (+1150).
If this is the year someone other than a QB wins, there is great value to be had. How about a guy like Todd Gurley? Can he help lead the Rams to the league's best record, racking up insane stats while doing it? He's currently at +3000. How about Joey Bosa? Do you even know which defensive player won the league MVP last? It was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. If you think Bosa will break this trend, he's worth $10k on a $100 bet.
Receiving Yards Leader
The only two players to appear in the top five list of receiving yard leaders in the past three years are Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. The only two players to be on the same list in the same time frame twice are Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. This group of talented wide receivers make of four-fifths of the favorites to lead the league in receiving yards. Keenan Allen is the other.
With his late injury last season, and talk of him gimped up already in training camp last, at +250, Antonio Brown is the favorite. Julio is second at +300, with Allen (+600), Hopkins (+700) and ODB (+850) stating their case to be the frontrunner.
I love futures because they are a bet that runs for the life of the season. Even if your team is virtually out of the running come Week 5, you'll still have your future bets to rely on. Give the odds for all preseason MVP candidates, Super Bowl favorites, receiving yards leaders and the rest of the large futures betting menu a look to find some value and get your futures in before the odds change too much out of your favor.