Favorite NFL Futures Bets: NFC North
I will be doing a series on all 8 NFL divisions and targeting the NFL Futures Bets that I like. I’m not going to bet on every team. I am looking for value in the bet and picking my spots for bets I like. After reviewing offseason moves, NFL Draft picks, Strength of Schedule and more, these are the bets I like for the NFC North.
-Current Win Totals are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook. Obviously shop around for the best lines. I used the same Sportsbook for consistency.
-The NFL Strength of Schedule – see the full list and all the details here.
Current Win Total: 6.5 wins (OVER +120/ UNDER -140)
Strength of Schedule: T-24th
Departures: QB Andy Dalton, RB Damien Williams, WR Allen Robinson, WR Jakeem Grant, TE Jimmy Graham, OL James Daniels, OL Elijah Wilkinson, OL Germain Ifedi, EDGE Khalil Mack, DT Akiem Hicks, DT Eddie Goldman, DT Bilal Nichols, S Deon Bush, P Pat O’Donnell
Draft: CB Kyle Gordon, S Jaquan Brisker, WR Velus Jones, OT Braxton Jones, EDGE Dominique Robinson, OT Zacharty Thomas, RB Trestan Ebner, C Doug Kramer, G Ja’Tyre Carter, S Elijah Hicks, P Trenton Gill
My Favorite Bets:
-UNDER 6.5 Wins (-140)
The Bears are in full rebuild mode. A new coach, a new GM, and a lot of departures, most notably Khalil Mack, make it hard to get excited about the 2022 Bears. They will continue to develop QB Justin Fields, but unfortunately, he does not have a lot of weapons to work with outside of Darnell Mooney.
I know they have a very easy schedule, however, I also think they are going to be one of the weakest teams in the league themselves. I think 6 or less wins is very likely this season for the Bears this season.
Current Win Total: 6.5 wins (OVER -110 / UNDER -110)
Strength of Schedule: 28th
Additions: WR D.J. Chark, CB Mike Hughes, S Deshon Elliott
Departures: EDGE Trey Flowers, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
Draft: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, WR Jameson Williams, Edge Josh Paschal, S Kerby Joseph, TE James Mitchell, LB Malcolm Rodriguez, LB James Houston, CB Chase Lucas
My Favorite Bets:
-OVER 6.5 Wins (-110)
-LONG SHOT ALERT:
If you REALLY believe in the Lions taking a step forward and want to get wild, grab the Make the Playoff bet on FanDuel Sportsbook at +410. Remember, the path to the playoffs is much easier in the NFC than the AFC.
While the Lions only won 3 games in 2021, they played hard for first year coach Dan Campbell. Now in his 2nd season, I believe both Campbell and this young team will show a lot of growth.
The question is how much does QB Jared Goff grow in year 2 in this offense? If Goff’s growth is somewhat substantial and with the weapons and offensive line he has, I think this could be a sneaky good offense. The defense is young, but improved, especially with the addition of #2 overall draft pick Aidan Hutchinson.
The biggest factor going for the Lions win total, is the 4th easiest schedule. I absolutely can see the Lions winning 7 or more games this season, so I’ll take the OVER.
Green Bay Packers
Current Win Total: 10.5 wins (OVER -160 / UNDER +135)
Strength of Schedule: 22nd
Additions: DT Jarran Reed, P Pat O’Donnell, WR Sammy Watkins
Draft: LB Quay Walker, DL Devonte Wyatt, WR Christian Watson, G Sean Rhyan, WR Romeo Doubs, G Zach Tom, EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, LB Tariq Carpenter, DL Jonathan Ford, OT Rasheed Walker, WR Samori Toure
My Favorite Bets:
I’m not placing any bets on the back-to-back NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers that have won 13 games in each of the last three seasons? Nope. Feels weird. The main reason is I don’t know what this offense will look like without wide receivers Davante Adams and Marques Valdes-Scantling. I know Rodgers lifts up all his receivers and I know somehow, the Packers are 7-0 in the Matt LeFleur era without Adams. But Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Robert Tonyan are going to have to step up in a big way. Because I don’t see the rookie wide receivers the Packers drafted being able to immediately fill the shoes of Adams and MVS.
The other issue is paying the high vig of -160 for the Packers to get 11 wins. I think it is very plausible they win 11 or more games, I just don’t like the price. Of course making the playoffs and winning the NFC North, you are also paying a high vig as well. And I actually like another team to win the NFC North (see below).
Current Win Total: 8.5 wins (OVER -160 / UNDER +135)
Strength of Schedule: 20th
Additions: EDGE Za’Darius Smith, DT Harrison Phillips, LB Jordan Hicks, OT Jesse Davis
Departures: TE Tyler Conklin, C Mason Cole, DT Michael Pierce, DT Sheldon Richardson, LB Anthony Barr, LB Nick Vigil, S Xavier Woods
Draft: S Lewis Cine, CB Andrew Booth, G Ed Ingram, LB Brian Asamoah, CB Akayleb Evans, DL Esezi Otomewo, RB Ty Chandler, OT Vederian Lowe, WR Jalen Nailor, TE Nick Muse
My Favorite Bets:
-10 Wins (+125)
-To Make Playoffs (-110)
-NFC North Winner (+300)
Long Shots I’ll Sprinkle:
-NFC Champion (+2000)
-Super Bowl Champion (+4000)
-If you are sprinkling a little money on the Vikings to win the NFC and the Super Bowl, then it makes sense to sprinkle a little money on Kirk Cousins MVP (+4000) and Kevin O’Connell for Coach of the Year (+1600). Again, these last 4 bets are just long shots that I’m going to have some fun with.
You might be able to tell that I’m very bullish on the Minnesota Vikings this season. There are so many reasons I will list them in bullet form:
- I love the head coaching hire of Kevin O’Connell. I think he will open this offense up to be more pass heavy and play to his skill position players’ strengths. It also helps that he worked with QB Kirk Cousins in Washington as his QB coach in 2017.
- Kirk Cousins had one of his best statistical seasons in 2021 and I think he will build on that in O’Connell’s offense. One struggle for the Vikings in 2021 was 3rd down percentage, as I noted in a past NFL Futures article. The Vikings were ranked 26th in 3rd down percentage, while the Rams ranked 7th with O’Connell as the Rams offensive coordinator. If that statistic is vastly improved, that is could go a long way to their bottom line wins/losses.
- Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn, and Irv Smith. Just pure offensive fire power!
- The defense is improved, as they invested on that side of the ball both in free agency and the NFL Draft.
- Like the rest of the NFC North, the Vikings have an easier strength of schedule.
For all these reasons I’m going to skip the OVER, and bet the Vikings to win 10 games at +125 at FanDuel Sportsbook. I also like the Vikings to not only make the playoffs, but win the NFC North at +300.
I’ll be choosing a couple long shots to sprinkle a little money on to win the conference and Super Bowl, and the Vikings are one of my favorite NFC teams to make a couple long shot bets.
What do you think of my NFC North bets? Will you be tailing any of these bets with me?