If you’ve read this blog for any significant amount of time, you know I’m a sucker for future bets. I like game lines as much as the next guy, but you’ve never really lived until you hit Mike Budenholzer for NBA Coach of the Year at +7500. I guarantee you I was happier than Budenholzer himself when that announcement broke. Electric moment.
Betting on the NFL week-to-week gets pretty difficult. There’s no other spreads out there that get worked as much an NFL line and I don’t find a ton of value in them. However, I’m here today to make a pick on every single category listed in the NFL Futures category on sportsbook.ag. They’re the most organized on the web and they probably put out more than anybody else.
Russell Wilson Passes for Over 4,500 Yards +800
Russell Wilson is now engaging in sexual intercourse again. And it’s with Ciara. That’s gotta give a man some newfound confidence. He threw for just over 4,000 a year ago, a career high. Each year of his career, he’s increased his number of pass attempts and yards. His 68% completion percentage and 34 passing TDs in 2015 were both career highs. Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and Tyler Lockett are all back at WR and Jimmy Graham is back at TE after having an injury-shortened debut season with the Seahawks. At 8-to-1, it’s a pretty reasonable bet that Wilson will continue his upward trend and hit this mark in his fifth season.
Any Player to Have a 99 Yard Pass Play in Any Game +800
There have been 11 in the 50 seasons since the merger. At that rate, that means there’s a 22% chance that it happens in a season. But since the game has changed from the “3 yards and a cloud of dust” era, there’s been five in the past 14 seasons (36%). That ratio is a lot closer to 2 or 3-to-1, than it is the 8-to-1 that it’s listed at. In addition, we haven’t had one since 2011. Listen, there’s no real rhyme or reason why it’s going to happen this year, but it’s kinda like a volcano. You don’t know exactly when it’s going to erupt, but you know it’s supposed to erupt soon. And if you’re not buying any of that (don’t blame you), would you rather root for 99 yard touchdowns or not root for 99 yard touchdowns?
Earl Thomas +2500
The guy with the best odds is last year’s leader, Marcus Peters at +900. No one has led this category two years in a row since Everson Walls in ’81 and ’82. This category is kind of a crapshoot, but I promised you picks, so picks you’ll get. To narrow it down, I used a couple of factors. One, I wanted to pick a safety. I think corners are easier to avoid throwing at. Two, I wanted to pick a guy on a good team that would face more situations where teams are desperately passing at the end of games. So I landed on Thomas. He’s played every game in his six-year career and he has 21 career interceptions, reaching five in a single season on three separate occasions.
Carlos Dunlap +2000
Dunlap is in his seventh season with the Bengals. He’s recorded 49 sacks over his first six years and after recording 4.5 sacks in his second season, he’s been climbing in numbers every year. He had 13.5 last season. I look for guys with durability and he hasn’t missed a game the past three seasons. You really can’t go wrong with the top three guys on the board – JJ Watt, Khalil Mack, and Von Miller – and they still have decent odds, but I prefer to take guys up in the four figure range.
Eddie Lacy +4000
Big comeback year for Fat Eddie. He averaged 12 total touchdowns over his first two years before dipping to five a season ago, when he became Fat Eddie. After an offseason spent with that psycho P90X guy, he’s back in shape and had a good preseason. The underrated element of Lacy’s game has been his pass-catching. He’s caught 97 balls in his three seasons and scored six touchdowns off of them. I think another element that helps him out is Jordy Nelson coming back this year. That should ignite an often stagnant offense in 2015 and allow for more scoring opportunities for everyone.
Most Receiving Yards
Amari Cooper +3000
I also liked Keenan Allen at the same number, but for all of the balls that Allen catches, he only averages about 10-11 yards per catch and the Chargers added Travis Benjamin (big play guy) in the offseason. Cooper had 1,070 receiving yards last year in his rookie season and is by far the top option in the offense. He eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and he only caught 72 balls (14.9 ypc). The reason I like him to go up in numbers this year is the fact that he was targeted 130 times. Drops were a problem for him often last year, but you’d expect him to rectify that this season. In addition, it’s another year with Derek Carr and you’d expect the chemistry to be even better.
Most Rushing Yards
Doug Martin +1500
It’s been boom or bust for the Muscle Hamster through his first four years in the league. He’s book-ended two seasons where he didn’t reach 500 rushing yards with two seasons where he eclipsed 1,400 yards. Health has been the key and there are no signs of trouble heading into the season. He’s got largely the same O-line in front of him again this year and in Year 2 of Jameis Winston you would expect increased production from the passing game, allowing for better running lanes for Martin.
Most Passing Yards
Russell Wilson +5000
Kind of an insane number when you think about the fact the leader the past three seasons hasn’t reached 5,000 yards and it’s only 8-to-1 for Wilson to reach 4,500. He’s a durable guy. If you’d like to diversify, I also like Blake Bortles at +2500.
Next Coach Fired
Gus Bradley +1300
I want to be behind the Jags. I really do. But Bradley has won 12 games in three seasons and the schedule sets up for a quick hook if the Jags feel it’s necessary. They open with the Packers, then they go across the country to play at San Diego before taking on the Ravens at home. Week 4 is against the Colts in London before a bye week. If they’re 1-3 or 0-4 at that point, I could see Shahid Khan pulling the trigger.
Seattle Seahawks – No – +300
This one’s hard because there’s not many with decent value that are in the “Yes” category. If you want to take one with a decent sized longshot, you’re better off just taking them to win their division. So I picked a “No”. I realize this goes against my Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas picks. Whatever. The defense only seems to be slipping. They keep losing guys because they can’t afford them after their rookie contracts. Bruce Irvin is now gone. Beastmode is gone from the offense now and their O-line is still questionable with their pass protection.
Super Bowl Winning Division
AFC South +1500
Longest odds of any division. This is a stupid bet no matter what division you pick. I could go into a long explanation with math and numbers and shit, but how about I just say don’t do it.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Derrick Henry +1800
The answer is probably Ezekiel Elliott at +110, but we don’t pick favorites here. Just like the MVP, QBs and RBs are pretty much the only people that usually win these things. Dak is gonna be cannibalized by Zeke. Carson Wentz is probably gonna stink this year and possibly forever. I’ll take Henry for the Titans. He’s the backup to DeMarco Murray, who’s probably going to get hurt and/or stink, so Henry might get the head job.
Defensive Player of the Year
Kwon Alexander +15000
Dunlap is +10000 and Thomas is +6000 and I won’t give them again, so here, take my homer pick in Alexander. The Bucs have three players of the 50 guys with odds and Mike Smith takes over as DC. He may not be good as a HC, but he can coach a defense and there’s a chance the Bucs have an elite defense this year. Alexander had 93 tackles in 12 games as a rookie.
Coach of the Year
Bill O’Brien +4000
Big odds for O’Brien, which surprises me. If Brock Osweiler is good, couldn’t you see the Texans going like 12-4 with how shitty their division is? You’re right, he’s not good and Houston is perpetually 8-8. Whatever.
Eli Manning +3000
Super Bowl Possible Matchups
Giants vs. Steelers +9000
This is so stupid. I can’t believe people make actual bets on this.
NFC East – Giants +195
Whoops, took a favorite.
NFC North – Vikings +380
The Packers were not nearly good enough to be this big of favorites, regardless of who’s QB for the Vikings.
NFC South – Falcons +775
Panthers are definitely winning.
NFC West – Rams +1500
The Hard Knocks teams are always awesome, everyone knows that.
AFC East – Bills +800
I just want to root for T-Mobile and the Ryan brothers.
AFC North – Bengals +190
Do people forget how good Andy Dalton was before he got hurt last year?
AFC South – Titans +725
When the division is terrible, you take the one with the longest odds…unless they’re starting Carson Wentz and have a HC that literally everyone thinks shouldn’t be a head coach.
AFC West – Raiders +280
The video is Chris Berman being obnoxious (himself) for two seconds.
Super Bowl Champion
Boy, that got repetitive.