I chose to put together a quick guide on betting NFL Futures for a couple of reasons. One, there are not very many comprehensive futures betting guides out there. Two, unless you want to bet Madden, NB2K, and MLB simulations, futures are pretty much all we’ve got at the moment.
Although, this is focused on NFL betting, the principals and strategy crossover to other major sports as well.
No. 1 Find Your Futures
The first step is to find a trustworthy betting outlet to begin your venture into futures betting. One of the top places to bet is Bookmaker, according to SBR you can read their review here. Pick a couple of places and check the lines against each other; one shop might have softer lines than another. In addition to this, don’t go in with a predisposition for a specific team. Let the lines dictate which teams you investigate further.
No. 2 Cross-Reference the Teams Various Future Lines
The best time to really dig into futures betting is directly after the early spread lines for the season have been released. One of the first to do this each year is the South Point in Vegas.
Season Wins Totals
The first thing I like to do is browse the season wins totals lines looking for one that stands out as a little high or a little low. If I find one that jumps out, the first thing I’ll do is look at their early spreads for each game and ask myself, ‘how many games are they favored to win?’
Next, I’ll look at the team’s odds to win their division and then dig into each team in their division. Going back to the early lines, I’ll check to see what the bookmakers think about their meetings with each division rival. What’s their favorite to dog ratio in their division.
Then it’s a good idea to look a little deeper into those teams. If one is clearly a bad team, or clearly a better team, you can give them a cursory glance. But the teams that are on par with your team should be investigated further. Why? Because it could very well be one of those teams that either puts your team over or under the win total – if that is the futures line you choose to bet on.
Now take all of the knowledge you have garnered and really start handicapping. There have been times that I planned on betting a team to win their division but swapped to the OVER or the UNDER in their season win totals. Conversely, there have been times that I thought I was going to bet a season wins line and switched to the team winning their division.
Obviously, this isn’t an exact science. Nothing in sports is. Look at last year, many of the futures and season-long player props bets bit the dust within the first few weeks of play after the NFL was riddled with injuries.
This is another aspect to look at, especially if leaning towards season wins wagers. How good is the backup QB, how deep is their running back corps? If one player goes down, does it hamstring the whole team?
Let’s use the NFC North as an Example:
|75123||Green Bay Packers||+125|
The Packers are the odds-on favorites to win the NFC North, followed closely by the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers season wins total is set at OVER/UNDER 9.5 wins with the UNDER favored at -120 and the OVER at even money. The Vikings are set similarly but at 9 wins, so if they land on 9, you get a push.
Looking at the Packers opponents in 2020. I believe they will win 10 games. This is without seeing the early lines. They face the 49ers, Saints, Vikings, and a Tom Brady-led Bucs on the road. At least two of those games are likely to be losses. But their home schedule is pretty weak. They have a good shot at winning all of their home games, perhaps they lose to a Titans team that has made big road wins a habit in 2019. Then you factor in a couple of random losses and figure the Packers lose 5 perhaps 6.
Get out there, analyze and have some fun with this year’s futures!