Six Early NFL Futures Bets to Spot for the 2021-22 Season

The Kansas City Chiefs on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.   Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP
The Kansas City Chiefs on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP


The 2021-22 NFL season is fast approaching. And with just a little bit more than a month left before week 1 kicks off in September, there’s no better time to attack the futures market in search of early value NFL picks than right now.


So, without too much preamble, here are SIX NFL bets that bettors should spot today.


1. Kansas City Chiefs to win SBLVI +500


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter the 2021-22 NFL season as the defending champions but they’re tipped as the second best bet at +600. By and large, bookies peg the Kansas City Chiefs as the team to beat with SBLVI futures odds of +500 – or thereabouts depending on the preferred sportsbook in question.


The Chiefs won Super Bowl 54 and a year later returned to the ultimate game as the 3-point faves to clinch a second straight Lombardy Trophy. Although they failed to pull off the feat and lost in a lopsided contest 31-9 to the Buccaneers, reaching back-to-back Super Bowls is no mean feat. So long as Patrick Mahomes remains healthy, the Chiefs have a great chance to emerge as one of the top seeds in the AFC. And should it be the case when all is said and done in the regular season, there’s absolutely no doubt that the Chiefs’ odds to win Super Bowl LVI will shorten considerably across the board, diminishing their value considerably ahead of the playoffs.


Therefore, those that get on the bandwagon early will be in a great position come playoff time. Merely being in possession of a Chiefs ticket at the pinnacle of their value will give bettors options to play the field and hedge their bets as they see it.


2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win SBLVI +600


No hyperbole could have described what Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl glory last season and in turn winning his seventh Lombardy Trophy meant to the game, the league, his legacy and the history books. It was an astonishing feat by the 43-year-old veteran signal caller. That defied reason, logic, preconceived notions, expectations – you name it, the lot – as he was playing in only his first season with his second NFL team against the backdrop of a global pandemic, which had disrupted all the normal proceedings that go into a team’s preparations for an upcoming season, including practice, training sessions and preseason games.


And yet, as unthinkable as it may be, Brady appears to have upstaged himself and once again left all and sundry struggling to find the right words to describe his never-ending accomplishments. Word that he played the entire 2020-21 NFL season with a torn MCL leaked out last week – as if Brady’s legendary status needed further boosting. But there it is. So, in a nutshell, it turns out that he did what he did last season all the while playing on one leg!


Brady is super human. There’s no other explanation. And if that’s the case, tickling Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl futures is surely a must NFL bet at early doors. Just like the case made for the Chiefs above, should Tom Brady (on one or both legs) lead the Bucs into the playoffs again, it’s more than likely that Tampa Bay’s odds would shorten substantially. Thus, holding a Tampa Bay ticket worth +600 would be advantageous.


3. Green Bay Packers To Win SBLVI +2000


With Aaron Rodgers rumours slowly fading into the background and the impression that he’s likely to return to Green Bay in the coming season gaining more validity with each passing week as the regular season approaches, then Green Bay’s ridiculously large odds to win SBLVI are worth a flutter surely. After all, Aaron Rodgers is the reigning MVP and the Green Bay Packers reached back-to-back NFC Championship games. They’re practically knocking on Super Bowl’s door.


Even if Rodgers enjoys a smidgen of the success he did last term, the Packers will undoubtedly be considered serious contenders with his presence confirmed on the roster. And that will cause their NFL futures to plummet significantly at the start of 2021.


Of course, it’s still not a sure thing. The Rodgers saga may yet serve up another plot twist that could turn things upside down. But if it’s proven that all the hoopla was nothing but media-driven drivel to stir the pot…. Well, let’s just say, it would be a shame to see a market such as this one slip through one’s fingers because after the Buccaneers and Chiefs, there’s no other team that played better against legitimate opposition than the Green Bay Packers. Let’s not forget either that when it comes to quarterback class, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are on a level.



4. Pittsburgh Steelers To Win AFC North


The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2021-22 NFL season as the reigning AFC North champions. They’ve won three of the last five titles and finished runners-up in the two years that they missed out on the division crown to the Baltimore Ravens (2018 and 2019). As well, Mike Tomlin, who’s the longest active serving head coach after Bill Belichick, has never had a losing season in 14 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


If all that isn’t a ringing endorsement of the Steelers, then what is? Evidently, it’s not. At least not for bookmakers as across multiple sports betting sites, the Steelers are being tipped as the third-best bet in the AFC North at +380 to win a second consecutive crown after the top tandem of the Ravens (+135) and Browns (+145).


Should the markets be severely underrating the Steelers in favour of the public’s vogue NFL picks the Ravens and Browns, grabbing the Steelers at their current price could prove to be the savvy move. Certainly, as the season gets underway, the NFL lines and odds in this market will move in accordance to the division’s performance and if the Steelers get off to a hot start again their odds to win the AFC North will dwindle in value.



Let’s face it, the Steelers have the pedigree. By contrast, the Ravens struggled in the wake of the high expectations that were placed on them last season following a standout 2019 campaign. It remains to be seen how well they bounce back in 2021 after failing to live up to those in their AFC North defense campaign. The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, are a bit of an unknown. Kevin Stefanski and Co., were the surprise package of 2020, but they are in unchartered territory having to repeat what they did last season, if not do better. How well they deal with the weight of expectation is yet to be seen.


5. Miami Dolphins To Make Playoffs: No at -140


The hype surrounding the Miami Dolphins is reaching a fever pitch now that their chosen future franchise quarterback looks to be the bona fide No.1 starter. Gone is the auspicious presence of “The Beard” looming over Tagovailoa’s shoulders, the able journeyman who plays with pizzazz and flair that’s so endearing he can’t help but win over fans of the Dolphins and neutrals alike. Gone is Brian Flores’ insurance policy of a second-string quarterback that can turn things around and contribute to a teams win column. It’s all on Tagovailoa’s shoulders now. [Insert dramatic shiver]


Miami fans will finally get to see what the Alabama Crimson Tide standout is made of and whether he can hack it over the course of an entire NFL season. Whether he’ll be able to singlehandedly improve on last season’s mark remains to be seen though.


The Dolphins are coming off a solid 10-6-0 SU season that very nearly propelled them into the playoffs. Tagovailoa, who took over the starting job after Miami’s bye week, won six of his nine starts, but he nevertheless failed to win the games that mattered the most down the stretch. There’s also an argument to be had that the Dolphins benefited from New England’s demise last season as did the Buffalo Bills as they won their first AFC East crown in forever.


As the New England Patriots look to bounce back in 2021 and the Buffalo Bills look to underscore their AFC East winning credentials, it’s hard to see how the Tagovailoa-inspired Miami Dolphins will compete, let alone keep up. As such, the value bet in early NFL betting markets here is to bet against the Dolphins reaching the playoffs at the tempting price of -140. Once the season kicks off, these odds are likely to swell if the Dolphins fall behind in the first few weeks of the season. And to look at their NFL schedule is to get a sense of the real possibility of exactly that happening – at Patriots, vs. Bills, at Raiders, vs. Colts and at Buccaneers are just the first five games of their NFL season. Yikes.


6. Dallas Cowboys Season Win Totals: UNDER 9 +115


Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys are under pressure to put together a winning season following the debacle that was 2020-21. Granted Dak Prescott’s injury played a factor as the Cowboys imploded right before our eyes. But there were chinks in the armor right from the off, particularly in the relationship between the new coaching staff and players that just never looked right or seemed to be on the same page. Things weren’t gelling as one would have expected, the team wasn’t playing to the sum total of its individual potential and totally checked out of the season after Prescott’s ankle injury.


By and large, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to enjoy a renaissance in 2021. Across the board, their NFL odds are favorable to win the NFC East and to make the playoffs. Elsewhere, they’re dubbed as potential contenders for Super Bowl 56, albeit with modest odds of +3000. Yes, Prescott has a new deal and he’s well on the road to recovery. But that in of itself is no guarantee of success next season. What if the Cowboys are simply being overrated yet again? If that thought strikes a chord, then betting against the Cowboys could prove profitable in the long run.

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