We’re essentially in the “fourth quarter” of the NFL year with four more regular-season weeks remaining. This final stretch is great for betting NFL futures picks for the remainder of the year — especially ones that end at season’s end such as division titles and Most Valuable Player honor.
There’s four futures wager, in particular, that deserve your betting attention right now. Not only is there a lot of value in these bets, but also enough evidence to suggest how it might play out. Let’s dive right into our gambling predictions:
NFC East Champion
As you can see, Bovada has this division race a virtual toss-up between New York and Washington. Both are coming off monster road wins in week 13 — the Giants upsetting the Seahawks, while Washington snapping Pittsburgh’s unbeaten streak. The teams are 5-7 respectively, but New York holds the tie-breaker due to a better conference record.
Our money is on Washington. For one, it’s remaining schedule is more favorable. Next up for them is the 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers, and Eagles. On the other end, the G-Men finish up with the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and Cowboys. How we look at is Washington is facing only one playoff contender, while the Giants have three.
Second, wouldn’t you just be poetic for Alex Smith — two years removed from almost getting his leg amputated — to come in mid-season and turn Washington around for a playoff run? A story like that would give The Blindside a run for its money in Hollywood. But we really believe it’s going to happen.
In crunch time, we just have more faith in a tried-and-true quarterback like Smith over an unproven Daniel Jones of the Giants, who is currently hobbled with a hamstring injury no less. Take the plus-money and bet Washington here.
Betting pick to make: Washington
Not unlike the NFC East, this division is a two-team race per online oddsmakers. Both the Titans and Colts currently stand at 8-4, but with a superior divisional record, Tennessee owns the tie-breaker.
It feels appropriate to mention each team’s remaining opponents. Both teams share games against the inter-division foes, Jacksonville and Houston. In the other two matchups, the Titans get Detroit and Green Bay, whereas the Colts face the Raiders and Steelers. It’s close, but Tennessee has the scheduling advantage thanks to a cupcake game against the Lions, who just fired their coach two weeks ago.
Beyond the schedule, we also feel the Titans are the slightly-more complete team. That and their style of play — a run-heavy attack that controls the clock — is tailor-made for late-season games. Teams that can run the rock excel under these cold-weather conditions and against depleted, injured players on their last legs.
And welp, few teams are better on the ground than the Derrick Henry-led Titans. They rank fourth overall in rushing yards and Henry might end up being the rush leader in back-to-back seasons (though, Dalvin Cook is right on his tail). Tennessee should edge Indy in the standings by year’s end.
Betting pick to make: Tennessee
NFL MVP Winner
Surprise, surprise — the present-day MVP frontrunners are all signal callers (with the exception of Henry, who is a longshot). A non-quarterback hasn’t won the honor since Adrian Peterson back in 2012.
That trend will continue in 2020 and it’s hard to believe it won’t be Mahomes winning the award for the second time in three years. His stat line for the season thus far is eye-popping across the board — 3,815 yards passing (best in the league by about 300 yards), 31 touchdowns (third highest), only two interceptions, and a QB rating of 113.8 (second best).
However, if you’re feeling risky, an insurance bet on Aaron Rodgers isn’t a bad idea either. It’s not unimaginable for him to leapfrog Mahomes and at his current odds, you’re getting a lot of betting value.
Quietly, Rodgers is having a career season for the Packers. His current QB rating of 118.5 is the second-best of his career. He not only leads the NFL in this category but touchdowns (36), as well. And he has very favorable foes left to play — Lions, Panthers, Titans, and Bears. Rodgers could “run the table” from here on out and steal the MVP from under Mahomes nose.
So in summary, lay a bigger futures bet on Mahomes, but a small wager on Rodgers is the perfect back-up plan. The MVP will in all likelihood come down to these two all-timers.
Betting pick to make: Patrick Mahomes
Bonus Bet: NFC Conference Championship
Alright, this bet isn’t as dire as the aforementioned three since it can still be bet on after the regular season concludes. Nonetheless, we couldn’t help ourselves given how competitive the conference has been up to this point.
But if we had to pick one team to make it out and earn a Super Bowl spot, it would have to be the Saints. Here’s a team that’s lost three straight NFL playoff games on the very last play. If not for some bad postseason breaks — a blown pass interface call and a Minnesota miracle play — it could’ve had an extra championship by now.
This time around, though, they’ll get over the hump. These aren’t the Saints of old because the defense is winning them games now. Regardless, its offense can still put up points, especially once Drew Brees returns in the mix. New Orleans is the go-to choice for this futures wager.