We’re inching our way toward the 2021 NFL season, but there’s still plenty of time to get some futures action in play. At this time of year, we have a sizeable number of markets to choose from including the Super Bowl winner, team win totals, odds to make the playoffs and league awards. Here are some of my favorite NFL futures bets right now at Tipico Sportsbook.
Super Bowl 56 Winner – Los Angeles Rams +1200
We can’t understate the importance of a good quarterback in the NFL. The Rams reached their apex with Jared Goff, and it simply wasn’t good enough for Sean McVay. So the team went out and got itself an upgrade in Matthew Stafford. With Stafford under center, McVay can really open up his playbook and the offense should look significantly more explosive than it did with Goff at the helm. The Rams also figure to have a workhorse running back in Cam Akers. Oh, and they also have one of the league’s best defenses. It’s going to be tough to get by the Bucs in the NFC, but the Rams have the offensive firepower and shut-down defense to do so.
Also worth playing: Rams to win the NFC +600, Rams to make the playoffs -180
To Make the Playoffs –New England Patriots +130
Bill Belichick and company uncharacteristically attacked free agency and beefed up the Patriots pass rush along with adding the 12-personnel-ready combo of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. While the Pats are decidedly behind the Bills and just a tick back for Miami in the AFC East, this was a 7-9 team last year. So we really can’t count them out given the offseason upgrades. However, this is a play to get favorable odds in case New England is able to pull off a deal to trade for Julio Jones. If they’re able to do so, we’re going to get some favorable closing line value here.
To Make the Playoffs –Washington Football Team +150
Favorable odds on a team that made the playoffs last year and has a better roster on paper heading into 2021? Yes please. Washington sneaked into the playoffs last year after making it through the pitiful NFC East. But it’s fair to argue that the Football Team gave Tampa Bay as good of a game as anyone did in last year’s playoffs, and they did so with Taylor Heinicke under center. This year, Washington will have some magic at quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Ron Rivera’s squad also boasts one of the better defensive units in the league.
While all the attention seems to be elsewhere with Trevor Lawrence (+300) and Justin Fields (+600) both with shorter odds, Lance is in arguably the best situation to succeed among this year’s rookie signal callers. Unlike Lawrence and Zach Wilson, Lance isn’t penciled in as a Week 1 starter. However, history has shown us that quarterbacks selected in the top five of the NFL draft get the starting job in September. Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo will be the “starter” for much of the offseason/preseason, but don’t be shocked if Lance is the guy right from the gate. With his dual-threat ability and the 49ers’ impressive weapons, he’s a sneaky bet to beat out Lawrence. Lance also offers better value than Fields, who comes with much more uncertainty as to when he’ll take over in Chicago.
Dak Prescott is the obvious chalk pick here. But at +185, he offers no value. So let’s take a shot on a player who has already proven to be the league’s most lethal weapon at his position. McCaffrey managed to play just three games last season, but he scored a whopping six touchdowns in those contests. McCaffrey won’t keep that pace up in 2021, but if he’s a good bet to pace all NFL running backs in scrimmage yards and total scores.
Regular Season Wins – Miami u9.5 -140
Don’t get me wrong — this is a very interesting team that took a big step forward last year. But 10 wins is a lot for a team that is essentially starting an unproven rookie quarterback. Yes, Tua Tagovailoa did play last season, but Brian Flores also had the luxury of being able to go to Ryan Fitzpatrick anytime he didn’t think Tagovailoa wasn’t hacking it. With Fitzpatrick out of the mix, Flores doesn’t have a relief pitcher on the roster. Jacoby Brissett just isn’t going to come in and bring the magic. So it’s likely going to be a bit of a bumpy ride for Dolphins’ offense this season. That’s enough to warrant an under bet here.