An Ultimate Bargain Shopping List For 2022 NFL Futures Bets
If you can bear some delayed gratification in today's day and age, NFL futures bets can pay off your patience in a big way. It's a long, arduous season to sweat out if you're placing wagers before Week 1, but the wait is well worth it. Plus, now is the time to get some of the best value possible for those longer-term bets.
Which brings us to this: The ultimate bargain shopping list I could muster from all the NFL futures markets. I didn't feel the need to place bets on every single individual prop, yet I did take swings at a great many of them that felt good. While you'll see the standard Super Bowl and playoff props on here, we've also got team win totals, recommendations on key awards races, and some other player-centric lines worth exploring.
Included herein is a combination of the
written typed word and my humble beginnings on TikTok trying to justify my logic behind some of these proposed bets. Still working out the cobwebs. You'd think training as an actor and being adept enough at audition self-tapes would help, but let me tell you, it's easier (at least for me) to memorize specific lines word-for-word than to more or less off-the-cuff these TikToks from a general outline! SO BEAR WITH ME, OK? TikTok is a thing and I'm trying to stay hip as my 30s keep stubbornly hurtling forward.
Super Bowl winner (Bet here) / Conference champion (Bet here)
Top favorites - Bucs +750 / +350, Chargers +1500 / +750
Second-tier bargains - Bengals +2000 / +1100 Eagles +2200 / +1000
Dark horses - Dolphins +4000 / +2000, Raiders +4000 / +2000, Vikings +4000 / +1700
Moon shots - Jaguars +12500/ +6000, Panthers +12500 / +5000
More on the Panthers, Raiders, Eagles, Dolphins and Vikings in a minute. I will stick to the big guys up top here.
I'm predicting a Chargers-Buccaneers matchup for Super Bowl LVII. It brings me no pleasure to fade the Bengals — still attractive at +1100 to come out of the AFC — but I think it's Justin Herbert's turn to step into the limelight for the Bolts, who are the sixth favorite overall, whereas Tampa trails only Buffalo (+600). Herbert hasn't been to the postseason yet, and with the upgrades his defense has made this offseason, I'm thinking another LA team represents in the Big Game.
Although I'll have mentioned this in my playoff preview, it bears repeating: Tom Brady has played in six of the past 11 Super Bowls.
The turmoil of TB12's swift unretirement, his sudden exit in the middle of training camp, and his banged-up offensive line are all reasons to be concerned. For a guy who just threw for over 5,300 yards, is in a mediocre division, the weaker overall conference and has 18 weeks of season to straighten things out, I'll take my chances that Brady will figure it out. He always seems to no matter what. No wonder his peers still view him as pro football's best player at age 45.
Top favorites - Rams (+125), Eagles (+150)
Best bargains - Vikings (+270), Dolphins (+475)
Worth a flier - Raiders (+650), Jaguars (+700)
I'm really into the idea of the Rams at plus money in the NFC West. That's a crazy bargain. They have Matthew Stafford in the same system for a second year. All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is now at the heart of their defense, giving them a second-level stud to complement Aaron Donald up front and Jalen Ramsey on the back end. Lead back Cam Akers should be back healthy and closer to his normal, explosive self. I'll circle back to the reigning Super Bowl champs in due time.
Trey Lance is so unproven that I can't back the 49ers to take the division, nor can I endorse Arizona given the Cardinals' penchant for late-season collapses. They're also without DeAndre Hopkins for six games to kick off 2022. And the Seahawks are the Seahawks.
The loss of left tackle Tyron Smith for the Cowboys hinders their offense, which already suffered from a lack of weaponry. Throw in the widely-cited high variance of turnovers year over year in the NFL, and their defense is likely to take a step back as well. Crazy to think I trust Nick "Systems" Sirianni over any coach ever after that disastrous opening presser he had over a year and a half ago.
But tip your cap to the guy. While he didn't win the press conference that day, Sirianni sure enough seems like the right man to captain this Eagles ship and keep Jalen Hurts' progress on track. Gosh I love that clip. Any excuse I can find to use it, boom there it is. Plenty of Philly guys here at Barstool, so I gotta take my scant opportunities when they present themselves.
Back to division futures talk: Minnesota's line looks good due to the lack of competition in the NFC North outside of Green Bay. Maybe the Packers' offense falters without Davante Adams, and the Vikings' new regime is a breath of fresh air that helps them realize their potential. Miami is tied at second with New England for the AFC East crown behind Buffalo. With the way the NFL is going, I can't imagine the Fins finishing below the Pats given the latter's awful cast of wide receivers, apparent o-line issues and uncertainty over who the fuck is calling the plays. Yikes man.
Quickly on the Jaguars: they can only go up without Urban Meyer. A Super Bowl-winning coach in Doug Pederson could very well unlock Trevor Lawrence and help Jacksonville stun the NFL. Not sure it means a worst-to-first move, yet I wouldn't be gobsmacked if it happened given the chronically dubious state of the AFC South.
Now we've moved to the pro-Raiders portion of this expansive preview. Given what I've said before about Justin Herbert and the Chargers, it's no surprise he's one of the favorites I'm advocating for MVP, along with my guy Joey B. and Matthew Stafford in Year 2 of the Sean McVay offense. But while Trevor Lawrence's talent alone is worth a minimal wager, and Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa have excellent weapons around them to potentially mount MVP campaigns, no one's supporting cast is quite as unique as that of Raiders QB Derek Carr.
Most Valuable Player (Bet here)
Top favorites - Justin Herbert +1000, Joe Burrow +1300, Matthew Stafford +1400
Second-tier bargains - Jalen Hurts +2500, Derek Carr +2500
Dark horses - Tua Tagovailoa +5000, Trevor Lawrence +8000
Coach of the Year (Bet here)
Mike McDaniel +1700, Josh McDaniels +1700
A good ole McDaniel-McDaniels combination! You might've guessed i was going here based on the "dark horses" couple from that opening section.
As is the case with some awards (to the point where I'm not even bothering to throw down on them), the odds are so tightly stacked on this one. Figured I'd go with a couple decent contenders who trail seven other coaches, yet the co-favorites (Kevin O'Connell, Vikings and Brandon Staley, Chargers) are close by at +1400.
Mike McDaniel is going to be the breakout coach of the year, regardless of whether he wins any hardware or not. I'm all-in on him. As Kyle Shanahan’s right-hand man for many years, McDaniel was a key architect of outstanding running game schemes and a one-of-one, charismatic leader whose tape cutups and ability to get his best out of players are already renowned around the league.
Now we move to Josh McDaniels. If he can win the AFC West, or help the Raiders improve, can finally emerge from Belichick's shadow and make the most of his second chance at a lead job. Again, this is a four-time Super Bowl champion who made lemonade out of lemons as far as skill position talent for most of his years in New England.
Credit obviously goes to Tom Brady for executing the Pats' sustained offensive prowess on the field. Still, McDaniels has immense knowledge, schematic acumen and was grinding and game-planning with Brady for all those years and all those epic triumphs.
Team Win Totals
- Panthers Over 7.5 (+175)
- Jaguars Over 6.5 (+106)
- Patriots Under 8.5 (+103)
- Seahawks Under 5.5 (+110)
- Commanders Under 7.5 (+110)
Most receptions (Bet here)
Top favorites - Justin Jefferson +800, CeeDee Lamb +1600
Second-tier contenders - Keenan Allen +2000, Mark Andrews +2500
Sleepers - Allen Robinson +5000, Kyle Pitts +5000
I found slightly more value on the "most receptions" prop as opposed to "most receiving yards", and it seems easier to project target share anyway. Justin Jefferson went from 88 catches in Year 1 to 108. Only Adam Thielen really stands in his way for targets. I feel like Jefferson might break defenses at this point. CeeDee Lamb has double the odds, so given his talent level and caliber of his QB Dak Prescott, doesn't hurt as a hedge play.
Keenan Allen has 100+ receptions in four of his last five seasons. I feel like another year with Justin Herbert might produce his greatest output yet. Then, the Ravens have very few viable wideouts, leaving tight end Mark Andrews as Lamar Jackson's security blanket who had 107 grabs in 2021.
I want to focus on the sleepers here for a minute. Kyle Pitts is the freakiest tight end I've ever seen. Marcus Mariota could throw jump balls to him 15 times a game and it'd probably work out OK. Not much competition for high-volume targets in Atlanta outside of Drake London and…yeah that's about it. Pitts is the epitome of a matchup nightmare, and the Falcons should get him the ball as often as possible. I suspect they'll be trailing often and therefore throwing the ball a lot, too.
No one seems to be talking about how much the Rams seem to have upgraded at the WR2 spot with Allen Robinson, who, like Cooper Kupp before him, is about to be introduced to the best QB he's ever played with in Matthew Stafford. Kupp went nuts in 2021, while Allen Robinson kept toiling away in Chicago and got hurt. In the two preceding seasons, Kupp averaged 93 receptions with Jared Goff as his QB. Robinson was even worse off in Chicago and averaged 100 catches across those years. What I'm saying is, they could be the seventh duo in NFL history to have 100+ receptions in the same season. As defenses sell out to stop the Triple Crown winner Kupp at all costs, I believe Robinson is gonna EAT.
Most sacks (Bet here)
Top favorite - Nick Bosa +1000
Second-tier bargains - Trey Hendrickson +2000, Micah Parsons +2500
Dark horse - Rashan Gary +3300
Nick Bosa is a downright beast and doesn't have much competition on the 49ers to vulture sacks from him. He had 15.5 last season coming off a torn ACL. That's not normal. If I had to pick two out of these four, I really like Bosa and Rashan Gary.
To tackle the second-tier guys real quick: Trey Hendrickson has more depth behind him in Cincinnati but is still the obvious star pass-rushing threat for the Bengals. I imagine Dan Quinn could slide veteran Anthony Barr to linebacker so that Micah Parsons can rack up snaps on the edge. He's too special and dynamic at that spot not to get more play. Even with only 307 pure pass rush snaps in his rookie year, Parsons had 13 sacks. Just a question of opportunities. For comparison's sake, Bosa had 613 pass rush snaps.
Preston Smith's productions is a year-over-year roller coaster. Rashan Gary is a former No. 1 consensus recruit who's settled into his role in Green Bay as an ascending edge defender whose power and athleticism are incredible. Had 9.5 sacks last year without the benefit of Jaire Alexander in coverage. Should create even more opportunities, plus another year of growth and Year 2 in Joe Barry's system.
Don't go against the GOAT
- Tom Brady Over 4,550.5 passing yards (-104)
WR target practice
- Amon-Ra St. Brown Over 880.5 receiving yards (-106)
- Brandin Cooks Over 950.5 receiving yards (-112)
- Cooper Kupp Over 1,325.5 receiving yards (+105)
On Brandin Cooks and Amon-Ra St. Brown: Both of them should be the clear go-to guys in their offenses. St. Brown will see his stock go down a tick once Jameson Williams is back from his ACL injury. Still, to have 90 catches last year as a rookie shows St. Brown is going to be a high-volume option no matter who else is on the field. A classic possession receiver right there. In Houston, Cooks is the Texans' clear WR1, is playing with a seemingly ascending QB in Davis Mills and has over 1,000 yards receiving in six of the last seven years. That's worth banking on again, I think.
Aaaand that'll do it on this ultimate bargain shopping list for NFL futures bets. Hope you enjoyed reading along. Let me know on the social medias and the comments and stuff what lines you like, especially if you have some sleepers you're hoping to hit big on. As always, please bet responsibly. Let's have a hell of an NFL season, shall we?
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