Regardless of When The NFL Season Starts, Here Are Three Wagers You Should Make

Illustration for article titled Regardless of When The NFL Season Starts, Here Are Three Wagers You Should Make
Illustration: Getty/Eric Barrow

For any sports bettor, this has simply been a bad time. Not that a lack of betting comes anywhere near the life-threatening plight facing so many right now. It doesn’t. We understand the insignificant place sports and sports betting holds in the grand scheme of things at the moment. What follows is an attempt to give those who need it or want it, a brief respite from the frightening and uncertain reality within which we are all living.


With that in mind, the NFL is one of the few leagues where future bets are up and running. And with a bevy of landscape-altering free-agent signings and trades that occurred in the past few weeks, there is plenty to explore.

If you are looking to get ahead of the action for the upcoming NFL season – whenever it might start – take a look at these three wagers:

Colts Over/Under Win Total: 8

The Colts had a franchise emergency seven months ago when franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, 29, suddenly retired. Making matters worse for the Colts, it happened relatively late in training camp.

Even so, Indianapolis managed to churn out a respectable showing last year with backup Jacoby Brissett under center, finishing 7-9 while playing in a division that boasted two playoff teams. With Houston losing DeAndre Hopkins, the Titans likely coming down from a peak and the Jaguars being the Jaguars, it would seem the AFC South will be a little easier next year, indicating an open window for the Colts to capitalize.

Enter Philip Rivers. The 16-year veteran QB joined Indy from San Diego and represents a clear upgrade that can maximize the potent weapons around him.

Remember, T.Y. Hilton is one of the elite wide-outs in the NFL when healthy. Marlon Mack is a legit stud with the skills that could make him a top-five tailback. There’s also two more above-average options in the passing game in Jack Doyle and Zach Pascal.

The club also made a bold, but wise, move dealing the No. 13 overall pick for interior lineman DeForest Buckner. That will only improve a defense that was already pretty good. The secondary, outside of Kenny Moore and Malik Hooker, could use some improvement, but that’s what the draft is for.


Taking all this into account, banking on the Colts to at least be .500 looks like a bright call.


Jerry Jones (r.) hiring Mike McCarthy to lead the Cowboys makes Boys the smart play to win NFC East.
Jerry Jones (r.) hiring Mike McCarthy to lead the Cowboys makes Boys the smart play to win NFC East.
Photo: AP


The Chiefs appear to have the AFC West locked up before Week 1 even starts. But with unfriendly -500 odds to once again topple the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders, though, there just isn’t much value in taking K.C. here.


Meanwhile, everywhere else looks like a crapshoot, with the exception of the NFC East.

Half the field in this division is bad (New York and Washington). So, let’s toss them aside. That leaves the two teams who just fought it out for the division title last season: Philadelphia and Dallas. In other words, you basically have a 50/50 bet to work with – and each comes with plus odds, to boot.


Technically, you can bet both the Eagles (+140) and Cowboys (+125) to win the division, and so long as one of them wins, you’ll bank a profit. But why settle for that? If I’m picking between the two rivals, I say ride the Cowboys, who clearly should improve after underachieving with Jason Garrett. The same foundation is in place and now they have an actual proven winner in Mike McCarthy as head coach.



Tom Brady joins the Buccaneers, or a morbid organization that hasn’t been to the playoffs since Brett Favre was a Packer.


Brady is arguably the most dependable man to lean on in betting across all major sports the last two decades. And when you see his new team getting +1200 odds to win the Super Bowl, you take note.

Some might say Brady is on a downward trend. I say his demise is over exaggerated. The fact remains that in each of the last 11 seasons, Brady has guided his offense to more than 26 points per week, finishing no worse than seventh in scoring for all those years.


Now, he’s taking the helm of one of the most dynamic wide-receiver duos he’s ever had with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Plus, one of the smarter head coaches out there in Bruce Arians, who has a system in place that can allow Brady to flourish again.

Sure, the Bucs reside in arguably the toughest division in football, but if they can survive that, there’s nothing like Brady in the playoffs. Additionally, their odds are sizable enough where if they do make it to the Super Bowl, you’ll have the ability to hedge and still generate a considerable profit.