NFLSports Betting Strategy

Finding Value Betting On NFL Futures

Here's how these long-term bets can pay off.

  • Keep close tabs on what changed in the offseason before betting NFL futures.

  • Shop around for the best odds on the line that you’re betting.

  • It’s best to wait until later in the offseason to bet on overs as injuries can derail your bet.

Every year around this time the professional handicappers and the casual bettors both line up to place their money down on NFL futures. While their success rates might vary from person to person, their approaches to NFL futures betting should be the same regardless of the fact that the results indicate that clearly isn’t the case. We took the time to construct an outline that all bettors can use in order to improve their bottom lines when it comes to betting NFL futures regardless of whether it’s a pro or a “joe” placing the wagers. Here is a look at how to find value betting on NFL futures.

Do Your Homework

The first step should be the most obvious: Do your homework. The NFL is evolving 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with the draft, free agency, trades, coaching moves and management changes constantly pushing change throughout the league.

On top of the team personnel, schedule releases, strength of division and other factors need to be taken in to account. While the actual games that count won’t kick off until Week 1, the most effective handicappers are the ones that take it seriously and constantly do their homework to stay of notable changes.

Make Sure You Shop Around

Another important step to successfully handicapping NFL futures is to shop around for the best available lines. While the majority of sportsbooks will have similar odds, there will always be different numbers available to the betting public and it’s important to maximize your potential value.

For example, let’s assume that you are very high on the New England Patriots having a successful season. Sportsbook A has their NFL futures win total line set at 11.0. Sportsbook B has New England’s season win total line set at 10.5. Which sportsbook do you want to bet with? The obvious answer is Sportsbook B, since you gain the benefit of 0.5 win.

If you take the Over with Sportsbook A and the Patriots go on to record 11 wins, then the bet results in a PUSH. However, if you took the same Over bet with Sportsbook B and New England registers 11 wins, then the wager result is a WIN.

While the different in those lines is obvious, there are also more subtle differences in odds that you should keep tabs on. For example, let’s pretend that both sportsbooks had the Patriots season win total listed at 10.5. Sportsbook A has the line for the Over at -120 while Sportsbook B has the Over at -150. Once again, there is a key difference between those odds and it is definitely worth taking New England with Sportsbook A.

Similarly, Sportsbook A could have the Patriots listed at +1200 to win the Super Bowl while Sportsbook B could have them listed at +1500. Obviously, it would make more sense to take that New England to win the Super Bowl bet with Sportsbook B.

One last thing to keep in mind with shopping around is looking for middling or scalping opportunities. With college football, you might see something like Syracuse over wins 9.5 +120 at one sportsbook and Syracuse under 9.5 wins at +110 at another shop. If you bet the max on both sides, you win either way.

Make sure that you shop around in order to lock in your NFL futures with the best available lines as well as the best available odds.

Fantasy Football As A Weapon

Fantasy football has exploded in recent years with millions and millions of new users signing up with different leagues on different sites. However, even if you have no interest in playing fantasy football you can still use it as a sports betting tool. Every year there are a number of magazine publications and fantasy football league host sites that develop in-depth projections for the upcoming year.

While you might not want to purchase those projections to help you with a fantasy football team, you could use them to help navigate where the best value is when it comes to player props. For example, let’s say that you are interested in betting the OVER on Antonio Brown’s receiving yards for the 2019 season. The next step would be to shop around and find the lowest possible line that you can bet the OVER on. Once you find the most favorable line, you could cross-reference it with fantasy football projections for Brown. If the fantasy football projections are in line with the OVER bet that you initially wanted to place anyways, then you could move forward making that bet with even more confidence.

Only Bet The Unders Early

One of the biggest mistakes that NFL futures bettors make is that they bet on Unders far too early. It’s important to remember that the majority of the betting public prefers to bet the OVER in general rather than betting on the UNDER. Therefore, the sportsbooks tend to set the NFL futures a little higher than they probably should be in order to account for those tendencies.

If you want to bet on the UNDER for any given NFL future, then you should probably jump on the lines when they are first released in order to take advantage of the favorable lines. However, if you want to bet the OVER then you definitely want to wait. In addition to the fact that the lines could change in your favor if you want to bet the OVER, there is also the obvious aspect of injuries that could dramatically change team projections. The rule is simple: Bet UNDERS early, wait on OVER bets.

Understand How NFL Futures Work

The final rule for all NFL handicappers interested in betting on NFL futures to follow is that it’s important to understand how they work. Once you place your bet, it’s locked in long term. Injuries happen, teams overachieve and underachieve and no matter what happens the NFL futures bet is locked in for the season once it is placed. The fact that handicappers are placing bets that encompass entire seasons so early in the year comes with some obvious risks. There is nothing wrong with betting on NFL futures, which could actually be very favorable if done right. However, it’s important to know what you are getting in to before you place your bets.

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