One of my favorite things to do around the NFL halfway point is examine the futures markets.
As we approach Week 11 of the NFL, the heaviest hitters are obvious. Bettors love the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII, so bookmakers have shaded those odds to remove most of the value. And when a sportsbook lowers odds on certain teams, prices increase on everybody else.
Truth be told, I don’t really want to mess with Buffalo or Kansas City in the AFC. Those two teams are the least flawed in football and odds are good that one of them will emerge from a loaded conference. I am, however, more than willing to take a shot on a couple of NFC teams down the sheet.
PointsBet Sportsbook is currently dealing Philadelphia at an insanely low +250 price to reach the Super Bowl, but after Monday night’s loss to Washington, it’s clear the Eagles aren’t invincible. The thought of putting my money on Jimmy Garoppolo or Kirk Cousins to make a deep playoff run makes me squeamish, too.
So which team is worth a flier to make some noise in the NFC?
Odds to win NFC at PointsBet:
Philadelphia Eagles +250 ($100 wins $250)
San Francisco 49ers +400
Minnesota Vikings +450
Dallas Cowboys +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +700
Seattle Seahawks +2000
New York Giants +3300
Green Bay Packers +4000
Washington Commanders +5000 ($100 wins $5,000)
My first look is Green Bay at 40-1.
The Packers are favored in five of their seven remaining games and there’s no reason they can’t pull an upset in Miami or Philadelphia. I truly believe the team’s worst football is behind them and they’re capable of ripping off a bunch of wins if the offensive line stays healthy. Aaron Rodgers is dangerous in middle-finger mode and he’s quietly built some nice rhythm with rookie wideout Christian Watson (three touchdowns vs. Dallas). Please shop around because other books have 25- and 30-1.
The other squad worth a poke is New York at 33-1.
Mathematically speaking, the Giants have a 74% chance to make the postseason per Football Outsiders. Discredit quarterback Daniel Jones all you want, but he’s been super efficient under the tutelage of head coach and offensive wizard Brian Daboll. Assuming the Giants finish the job, they’ll be around 15-1 to win the NFC. And there’s a very good chance Big Blue will face Seattle or Tampa Bay in round one. You could get real creative with this ticket if they win a playoff game.
The key to placing NFL futures is betting the right team at the right price. Given the perceptional dip on Green Bay and the mounting disbelief that New York can keep winning games down the stretch, both bets are certainly worth a wager before the weekend gets underway.