With the NFL season ready to kick off on Thursday, we are in the final days to bet season-long props. Though you can often find season-long bets that offer value, they do tie up a piece of your bankroll for the entire year, so a lot of less-serious bettors shy away from laying big coin. But you don’t need to lay big coin to be entertained. Even a $5 or $10 season-long bet can keep you engaged for months and bring new excitement to that yearly snooze-fest between the Jaguars and Titans on Thursday Night Football. Let’s look at a few favorites for this year.
The Best 2017 NFL Season Props
AFC wins Super Bowl 52: pick’em
Why ride the AFC? Because you’re likely to be riding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick if you do, which means you’re likely to be riding the favorite come February. The Patriots are heavy favorites to win the AFC (33/20) and reach their eighth Super Bowl since 2001. They have been favored in five of their last six Super Bowl appearances (dating back to 2003) including last year when they closed at -3. They’ve also been seven-point favorite (twice) and 12-point favorites in that span.
If New England reaches Super Bowl 52, they are likely to be favored once again, potentially by a lot. Therefore locking in a pick’em spread now is good value. Even if the Pats don’t reach the Super Bowl, Pittsburgh could very easily be the favorite depending upon who represents the NFC. If everything goes right for the “Killer Bs,” the Steelers will have an even more potent offense than New England. And if they make the Super Bowl, chances are everything went right. They’re a great Plan B.
While you could bet on the Pats winning it all at roughly 4/1, taking the AFC as a whole guarantees you’ll have a team in the final game while likely giving you a better spread than what will be available in February.
Chuck Pagano is first head coach fired: 9/1
The Colts may once again be the most disappointing team in the NFL. Former GM Ryan Grigson took much of the blame for Indy failing to win while Andrew Luck was on his (relatively) inexpensive rookie contract, and Pagano is likely to be the next scapegoat. Luck is going to miss time early in the year dealing with his shoulder injury. With Scott Tolzien under center, the Colts will be in tough to win a game, notwithstanding the fact that they have early-season games against the Rams (Week 1), Browns (Week 3), and 49ers (Week 5). Even if Luck is back in the lineup by Week 2, the Colts have crucibles against Arizona (Week 2) and Seattle (Week 5), plus a road tilt with the up-and-coming Titans (Week 6). They could easily be sub-.500 at the end of October, when they head into a tough three-game stretch against the Texans, Steelers, and Titans. If things go from bad to worse at that point, Pagano could be out. This is a team that thinks it should be in playoff contention, not at the upper end of the 2018 draft board.
Jared Goff throws over 17.5 touchdowns: 23/20
Last season, 22 quarterbacks threw for at least 18 TDs. Of those that played in at least 15 games, only Brock Osweiler, Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, and Carson Wentz did not go over that fairly low total. Goff was bad in limited action last season. That said, new head coach Sean McVay is offensively oriented and got the most out of Kirk Cousins during his time in DC. McVay will be much more aggressive in the passing game than former coach Jeff Fisher.
Furthermore, the off-season has been dedicated to surrounding Goff with weapons and shoring up his protection. Los Angeles traded for wideout Sammy Watkins, signed linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, and drafted a tight end (Gerald Everett, 44th overall) and wide receiver (Cooper Kupp, 69th overall) with their first two picks.
Goff was the first pick in the 2015 draft and threw for 96 touchdowns in three years at Cal. He may prove to be a bust, but whether he ends up being a franchise player or not, he should throw for close to 20 touchdowns this season unless he gets hurt. There is no risk of him being replaced, and the Rams will be trailing a lot; that means plenty of pass attempts.