Searching For Hidden Value In The NFL Futures Market

It's the most wonderful time of the year: football is back! And that means we're definitely going to need to lock in some NFL futures that we can grind all year long. With these types of bets, it's incredibly important to do your homework because these are going to be your long-terms sweats. Week in and week out. This is no sprint. This is a marathon. So make sure you've got the right shoes, so to speak.

The first question on everyone's list is who is going to win it all? Now, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the dreaded Patriots and if I'm honest with myself, I think they have an excellent chance to repeat given their legendary coach, seemingly ageless QB and offseason moves to shore up the defense. But there's simply no value there. I'm thinking the winner will be a little further down the line. There's some great value on the Cowboys (+800), but I just don't think these youngsters have quite proven themselves in the playoffs and I'm a little worried about those off-the-field issues. I love the Pittsburgh Steelers (+1000) to take it all. They have one of the most potent, lightning quick offenses in the NFL, a reliable QB and a gutsy coach. Pittsburgh has the talent to dethrone the Pats and then take out anyone out of the NFC.

Looking to the NFC, I'm seeing a lot of potential with a few teams to make some dramatic moves up. I think it's going to be a changing of the old guard this season. I'm shaky on the Cowboys, the Giants bite is worse than their bark (ahem…Odell) and the Packers just keep getting older and older ever year it seems. I'm thinking we're in for a surprise and I'm going out on a limb. I know it sounds crazy but I'm going with Washington (+2400). Kirk Cousins will finally live up to his absurd contract and Josh Norman is still one of the greatest cornerbacks in the league. The entire defense is underrated. I know it's crazy. But sometimes you've got to take a shot.

Moving into the specific divisions there are some interesting propositions on the table. Some of the easiest money out of there takes us to the Pacific corner of the country. The NFC West is pure trash, plain and simple. No other team is even in the same league as Seattle. This won't be close. Pay the juice and take the Seattle Seahawks (-300). I also don't really understand the NFC South. I'm thinking Carolina's Super Bowl trip was sort of fluky, whereas Atlanta should be hungry after their devastating loss. The Falcons will be firing on all cylinders all year, right out of the gate. The Atlanta Falcons (+150) will take home this division.

Now, finally, for some fun props because, listen, I always want to be honest with my readers and I thus thoroughly vet all my picks. But we all need to let our hair down so to speak. So, to finish, here are my unofficial top three "Take it to the Banks" ridiculous picks:

  1. Marcus Mariota - Most Regular Season Passing TDs (+3000)
  2. Perfect Regular Season by Any Team (+700)
  3. Miami Dolphins AFC East Division Winners (Cutler & Crew!) (+750)