Betting on the NFL still accounts for the majority of the action that comes in at both the big offshore sportsbooks operating online and with the private bookies booking bets with the help of a Pay Per Head service. While the countdown to the start of a new season of games to bet on starts the day after the previous season’s Super Bowl, these is still a wealth of betting opportunities throughout the entire offseason when it comes to odds for NFL futures.
Starting with futures odds for winning the next season’s Super Bowl, online books will quickly start to add odds for winning both the AFC and NFC title. As the offseason progresses, you can find futures odds to win each of the eight divisions as well as money line odds for each of the 32 team’s projected win total for the upcoming season. By the time May rolls around following the annual NFL Draft, futures odds for offensive and defensive rookie of the year will be added to the list. You will also start to see odds posted for other regular season awards for coach of the year as well as league MVP to go along with odds for individual performances at select skill positions.
It is easy to see that the top sportsbooks in the game today are always pushing the envelope when it comes to the shear amount of betting odds they will release for NFL futures, but to take full advantage of the situation as a sports bettor you need to learn how to spot the betting value in the numbers.
Picking the winner of the next Super Bowl is hard to do given the number of competitive teams that have a legitimate shot to win. By betting on conference futures you can immediately cut that number of teams in half across both bets. The better value might be found in wagering on the winning team of each division since you are now down to handicapping just four team’s chances.
The one thing that all three of these types of NFL futures have in common is that the actual betting odds are weighted heavily towards public perception. There are a certain amount of fans that will bet on teams like Dallas or Green Bay given the overall popularity of these franchises. The sportsbooks are well aware of this phenomenon and they will inflate the betting odds for the most popular teams accordingly. One betting strategy when it comes to all of these futures is to track the actual movement of the odds as you get closer to the start of a new season. You may find a team that you feel has a good chance to win sitting well under the radar with very favorable betting odds.
Picking the OVER or UNDER on win totals can also be a very difficult task. Historical trends can offer some valuable insight as to how a particular team may fare in the upcoming season, but given the inherent parity in the NFL worst to first (as well as first to worst) scenarios occur on a pretty regular basis. A good betting strategy for picking win totals is to focus your energy on just one or two teams. You need to be able to take a very objective look at their actual schedule to try and pencil-in the wins and losses as the season wears on.
Individual player futures can also be tough to predict, especially when it comes to rookies making that tough transition from the college ranks to the pros. It may be easier to try and place a bet on something like the quarterback that will throw for the most yards in the regular season given the ability to narrow the field down a bit.