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NFL futures best bets: Ride the Jaguars and the Falcons


How soon is simply too soon to reassess NFL teams? For bettors, the chance may be in waiting too long somewhat than not waiting long enough.

NFL teams often don’t conform to their preseason expectations, so you will need to be ready to alter your mind based on latest information and never stay locked into your August assumptions. It’s never too late to take a look at season-long propositions, even when lots of one of the best prices might be found before the season begins.

The duty facing us now could be in some ways easier than the duty we faced in August; we’ve got 4 weeks’ value of knowledge and need to handicap only 13 more games, whereas throughout the offseason and preseason we were attempting to handicap 17 weeks largely using speculation and supposition.

To judge a season-long bet once the season has began, you may depend on projections — either those available online or ones you make yourself — or use an easy comparative metric that allows you to get a way of a team’s strength, preferably one which also adjusts for strength of schedule. Projections provide a definitive number to check to oddsmakers’ prices, but in some cases an easy comparison between teams will get you all the data it’s good to make a choice.

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For instance, the Atlanta Falcons opened with a season win total of 4.5, tied for the bottom within the NFL with the Houston Texans, meaning bettors had to make your mind up whether the Falcons would win roughly than 4.5 games. Atlanta has a record of 2-2 heading into Week 5, when the Falcons are on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As of Wednesday morning, the Falcons’ updated win total was 5.5 at DraftKings (at -150 odds, meaning you’d wager $150 to win $100). The entire, which has since gone up, was also 5.5 at Caesars (-169 odds) and 6.5 at FanDuel (-110). Clearly, Atlanta is exceeding preseason expectations, with just a number of more wins needed to hit the over. And the schedule should help the Falcons soar above the entire.

In response to Football Outsiders, Atlanta has been the Eleventh-best team in defense-adjusted value over average, which measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on each play to a league average based on situation and opponent. The Falcons have five games remaining against teams in the underside six: the Carolina Panthers twice, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders. Wins in 4 of those matchups would money the over-5.5-wins wager. Atlanta also will face the Pittsburgh Steelers (twentieth in DVOA) and Latest Orleans Saints (twenty second), giving them an actual good probability to go over six and possibly seven wins. I’m comfortable playing over 5.5 wins at -250 odds or higher and over 6.5 wins at -150 or higher.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one other surprise team, thanks largely to a training change (to Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson) and the maturation of second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the primary overall pick in 2021. Lawrence has been the Eleventh most dear passer of 2022, per ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (he was twenty eighth last season), and has dropped his interception rate by almost half in a single 12 months after leading the league with 17 in 2021.

A fast take a look at the AFC South shows Jacksonville has a great probability to win the division and make the playoffs. Football Outsiders has the Jaguars because the league’s fourth-best team through the primary 4 weeks, behind the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. The opposite AFC South teams — the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts — rank twentieth, thirty first and thirty second, suggesting that is hardly expected to be a competitive division down the stretch. Yet as of Thursday you might still find the Jaguars at +160 odds (wager $100 to win $160) to win the division and +110 odds to make the playoffs. I’d put fair prices for those props at +110 and -160, respectively, meaning there’s value available.

One team that has exceeded expectations but may be value fading is the Latest York Giants. Big Blue is a surprising 3-1, but after their red-zone defense, first-quarter offense and performance within the second half when the rating is close, Football Outsiders estimates they ought to be 1-3 or 2-2. Latest York’s net yards per play (minus-0.5, which ranks twenty fifth) and net success rate (rate of series that gain a primary down or touchdown, minus-2 percent, twenty fourth) also suggest this squad has more in common with teams in the underside third of the league than those near the highest.

Latest York’s schedule can also be about to get much tougher. The Giants will face the Green Bay Packers and Ravens in the following two weeks, and so they still have two games against the Eagles. The Minnesota Vikings and Jaguars also ought to be tough matchups. I might estimate there’s a 60 percent probability the Giants fail to complete higher than 8-9, so a wager under 8.5 wins at -150 odds or higher is value a glance. As of Thursday, DraftKings was offering the Giants under eight wins at +100 odds.

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