This week, BetPrep Sharp Brad Feinberg discusses his top futures before Super Wild Card Weekend of the 2021-2022 NFL season and top NBA and MLB futures as of January 12, 2022 with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. Futures include the Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and more.
Let’s start this week’s Givin Futures with the NFL playoffs, where you have one pick: Packers plus-170 to win the NFC.
Brad: Look, is this a great bet? No, it's not a great bet. It's not a bet with a ton of value at all. But I think there's a little bit of value. Green Bay being the number one seed, they're probably going to play the Rams-Cardinals winner. I think even if they play the Rams, the harder game, they’re legitimately minus-200 to win that matchup. And it comes down to me for this, even if they're a two-to-one favorite in the first game, and three-to-two in the second game, that translates into a 40% chance that they win the NFC. And they should be plus-150. So to me getting plus-170 is a slight value. I think whoever they get in that first game, they should win.
If the Niners upset the Cowboys and play the Packers, do you like this less?
Brad: I would like it less. I still think the Packers win because I honestly don’t like the head coach for the Niners. I don’t think he trusts Jimmy Garoppolo enough. But they have excellent players all around. They are dangerous. If you make this bet, you want Dallas to win. You don’t care if you get the Rams or the Cardinals in Green Bay.
No thoughts on the AFC?
Brad: I gotta be honest. I've watched Kansas City all year. I am so unimpressed with the Chiefs. I can never describe to you how unimpressed I am. And this team has gone 9-1 in the last 10 I've never been more unimpressed with the team that went 9-1 in my life. The team I would say that I like the best is Buffalo. Look, they're number one in yards per play differential. They’ve run the ball more of late. I think that Josh Allen's a superstar player, their defense has been very good even without Tre’Davious White. But they can lose to anyone. However, they can easily beat the Chiefs in Kansas City in the next round.
Let’s move to the NBA, where you like the Pacers Over the 12.5 seed, meaning 13th in the conference or lower.
Brad: I like some of their players. But I don’t think they’re going to be on the team much longer. The’re in the 13th seed right now. Forget Orlando and Detroit. The Pacers will finish ahead of those two. But they’re 15-26. Can they beat Atlanta, somehow, which is 17-22? I don’t think so. Can they beat the Knicks at 20-21, that’s five games? Same for Boston at 20-21.They’re six games behind the Wizards. These are big gaps and the team they’re closest to, Atlanta, is just way more talented. I would be really surprised if they could pass on any of those teams, because they might be trading one of their players to one of them or at least lose one or two to someone else. I think this team's in real trouble. It will end up closer to the 14th slot than the 12th.
You like the Bucks to finish higher than the 3.5 seed.
Brad: There are some good teams at the top of the East. Right now you have Chicago, Brooklyn, Miami. Philadelphia by the way I gave out under 47.5 and now it’s 48 and I would be over 48 because of how Embiid is playing. He’s just on fire. But for this bet, I still think Milwaukee is a more talented team than the rest. You know where I’ve been on the Bulls all year; it’s like I own the team. I think that's gonna be a close battle. What I'm saying is, I think there's a real chance for the Bucks to finish as the No. 1 seed because I think they’re the most talented team. And there’s a far greater chance than not that Milwaukee finishes with a top-three seed.
Hornets Over 43.5 wins.
Brad: They need to go 22-19 to take the Over here. So they have to do exactly what they’ve done. But they’ve lost four overtime games. They should be 2-2 in those. Right off the bat, that's the pace of a 48-win team. Now as we record, they've had 17 home games. And they're 12-5 in them. They have 24 road games and are 10-14. Now that flips. So in their next 41 games, I think they go 24-17 or 25-16. They finish with 46-47 wins. I think this team is really good. I love their talent. This is flat out a really good roster. If this team is healthy, and with the home games they have, I think they're closer to a 50-win team.
Is this Hornets Over your favorite bet on today’s show?
Brad: I haven’t thought of it but you know me too well. Yes. You’re right. It is.