5 2019 NFL Futures To Bet On Right Now
One dark-horse MVP candidate has massive upside
With the NFL season quickly approaching, it’s time to take a close look at some futures that possess legitimate upside. These five stand out above the pack on the DraftKings Sportsbook:
5. Chiefs: Over 10 Regular-Season Wins (-155)
Kansas City has been a model of consistency throughout Andy Reid’s tenure, posting double-digit wins in five of six years. Last season, the first in which Patrick Mahomes was the full-time starter, the Chiefs broke out and won 12 regular-season games en route to an AFC Championship appearance.
The Chiefs signed Bashaud Breeland and Tyronn Mathieu in an effort to overhaul their secondary (last year’s major weak spot) and also signed defensive end Alex Okafor and linebacker Damien Wilson to help cover the losses of Justin Houston and Dee Ford. Most importantly, the NFL decided not to suspend Tyreek Hill and the offensive core will remain in tact.
The Chiefs open the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions, creating a logical possibility of a 4-0 start.
4. Drew Brees: Under 4200.5 Passing Yards (-110)
In 2018, Brees was sensational yet again, throwing for 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns and five interceptions (115.7 rating). Completing 74.4 percent of his passes (364-for-498), Brees’ efficiency benefitted from the newfound reliance on New Orleans’ running game. For reference, he attempted 536 passes in 2017 and 673 passes in 2016.
Although Mark Ingram left in free agency, the team signed like-minded between-the-tackles runner Latavius Murray to fill his void while also adding pass-catching tight end Jared Cook. Expect much of the same from the Saints offense this season, which would make Brees’ chances of hitting the over on this very difficult, especially if Michael Thomas’ contract holdout extends into the regular season.
3. Lamar Jackson: Over 875.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
Lamar Jackson had a 170-to-147 pass-run ratio last season and completed just 58.2 percent of his throwing attempts. In 16 games (seven starts), the ultra-athletic signal-caller rushed for 695 yards and five touchdowns, establishing himself as the NFL’s most deadly runner at the position.
When asked whether or not Jackson would eclipse Cam Newton’s career-high in rushing attempts (139) this year, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he’d bet the over.
“I don’t think we know the exact numbers or the math,” Harbaugh told the NFL Network this week. “... What’s the next era going to be? Well, we’re about to find out. We’re about to find out what the limits are on that. I think it’s going to open up opportunities for quarterbacks. … It’s going to make it tough on defenses, and that’s the idea.”
At this point in his career, despite the offseason work he’s reportedly put into his passing fundamentals, Jackson still poses the biggest threat with his legs. Barring injury, he has the clear potential to even surpass the 1,000-yard mark.
2. Patriots To Win The Super Bowl (+700)
Believe it or not, New England is favored to win next season’s Super Bowl. The reigning champions have lost some key pieces, but have also brought in some logical reinforcements. Let’s be honest: they’ve always figured out a way to get it done and their roster doesn’t really matter, does it?
Since 2001, New England has gone 86-24 against the AFC East and 134-44 against everyone else. That’s not a coincidence. At +700, there’s still considerable upside despite the obvious safety that comes along with the bet — after all, Brady and the Pats have won the Super Bowl six times in that span and are always in the mix.
1. Derek Carr To Win NFL MVP (+8000)
En route to a 4-12 season in 2018, Derek Carr completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 4,049 yards along with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Unfortunately for him, he had no real downfield threat, as indicated by the fact that tight end Jared Cook was the team’s leading receiver with 896 yards and running back Jalen Richard led the squad with 68 receptions. Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts were his two most heavily-targeted wideouts.
Enter Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.
Brown provides a consistent, elite possession receiver for Carr while Williams’ big-play ability down the field adds another layer.
Although Oakland brought in some defensive talent in the draft and also signed Brandon Marshall and veteran Vontaze Burfict to add some toughness to the front seven, it’s worth noting that the Raiders were among the worst defensive units in the league last season. They allowed their opposition to score 467 points, the highest in the NFL.
While another year of defensive struggles could result in some high-scoring affairs and would undoubtedly hurt the Raiders’ overall chances at making any kind of run, Carr would certainly benefit from an individual standpoint. After all, those opportunities can lead to an additional chance to rack up more passing yards and touchdowns than any quarterback who has the luxury of taking the field after a stout defense.
While it wouldn’t make sense to take a second mortgage out on your house to bet on Carr, he’s worth taking a flyer on. If the Raiders make the most of their new signings and miraculously rebound from last season’s disappointment to make the playoffs, it’s hard to imagine that it wasn’t due to Carr’s success.
The MVP voters wouldn’t ignore that.
If betting on NFL futures is really not your thing, then check out our NFL odds page for odds, lines and spreads for Week 1.
All statistics were found on Football-Reference.com. The advice above conveys the writer's view and does not represent the stance or interest of BetQL.