This week, BetPrep Sharp Brad Feinberg discusses his top NFL futures plus bonus scalps and middles before Week 3 of the 2021-2022 NFL season with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. Futures include the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, and more.
Listen to the full episode of the Givin Futures podcast here.
Week Two is in the books. Let’s go over where you see value in the current futures, Brad. And for those reading the transcript, note that on the podcast only, we have early Christmas presents on risk-free bets that you can middle for huge profits. We’ll start with the Bengals over 5.5 wins, +115.
Brad: Cincinnati’s pre-season win total was 6.5. They had .40 and .45 chances in their first two games. So they should have about .85 wins. Right now they have one win. So certainly they're not below expectations. They're at par. But you're loaning me one full game? There's just value there, my friend.
How does the current state of the AFC North play into this?
Brad: I think it's worse. So why has this number gone down a full game?
Next the Chiefs under 12.5 wins, minus-120.
Brad: This is because of the division. We thought this would be the hardest division in our preseason coverage. Some people were down on Las Vegas. Some weren't as high on Denver as I was. But I thought this would be the hardest division. And it's even looked much harder. Now the Chiefs had about a 70% chance to win both games so they should have 1.4 wins, or would have two many times after two games. Instead, they have one and are under expectations; yet the line has not moved.
The Chiefs are giving me a Marino Dolphins vibe. I love the quarterback. I love the passing game. I really don't like anything else on this team.
Brad: You really are being fair. They get away with games because of the magnificence and brilliance of Patrick Mahomes. I think this team has some real issues. We got a free peak at 12.5 wins. It has not moved. And they've been below expectations.
The Dolphins under 9.5, minus-130.
Brad: When I look at the Miami schedule I'm like, “Where am I getting my definite wins?” I don't think they're a team that can definitely beat anyone. Looking at their schedule, I just don't see 10 wins. I think it's a far better chance for seven wins than for 10. Again, I got my free look at two games and am not impressed. I’m not impressed with the quarterback, and he’s hurt to boot.
Saints under 9.5 wins at +125.
Brad: This was a true 8.5 over/under when the season kicked off. So let's see what's happened. They win as a 38% underdog. They lost as a 62% favorite. So they're expected to win one and how many have they won? One. Now you may say, “Well, that 38% win share in Week 1 is inflated because of the explosion against the Packers.”
But the Panthers beat the Saints as bad or worse than the Saints beat the Packers. So even that’s a wash.
Brad: That’s a great point. They're probably not going to be as bad as I thought. I thought they could be 4-13 bad. And they still could win 10 games because I recognize they're going to be a decent team. But with Jameis, I think he's a far below average quarterback. I want the Saints to stick with him instead of Taysom Hill, but I don’t even really fear a switch to Hill.
The Chargers over 8.5 wins.
Brad: The referees severely affected the Chargers ability to win that Dallas game. They were a 45% favorite in Week 1. And about 60% in Week 2. They're 1-1, right at expectations. But they’re being penalized one game. Why? I would love to know.
You don't need anything else to go well to win 10 games when you have an All-Pro-level quarterback
Brad: That's exactly right.
And they're not that bad everywhere else. They're fine. I think they're better everywhere else than the Chiefs are.
Brad: I agree with you.
Now the Raiders, over 8.
Brad: They have like 1.5 more wins than expected. So they should be 8.5 versus their preseason 7.0. But I’ll make a bold comment here. The most underrated player in the NFL is Derek Carr. But he's a guy that is pigeonholed into being at best average. He’s much better than that. And the Raiders have shown they’re a decent team.
One more, the Cowboys to win the NFC East, minus-125.
Brad: Dallas is over/under 9.5 wins. I think that’s the right number. The other teams are no more than 7.5. That translates into more than a minus-125 favorite, way more. What did we want to see out of Dallas? A healthy Dak Prescott and he looks terrific. We wanted to see Tony Pollard playing because it's pretty obvious he's better than Ezekiel Elliott. We’re getting that. Rookie Micah Parsons is a superstar on defense. They played a really good Los Angeles team down to the wire and win a coin-flip game. They played a really good Tampa Bay team last and lost on the last play of the game. Okay, they got some breaks in that one. But they're clearly the best team in this division. I made a pretty big bet on this, even though the coach could be completely overmatched.