Betting on NFL futures is a lot like day trading in the stock market. The numbers tend to change on a regular basis due to the betting money coming in. Also like the stock market, the numbers move on knee-jerk reactions and overreactions to market conditions.
Crowd favorites get preferential treatment from the betting public based on popularity while legitimate contenders slide down the board because of one bad loss. The fact of the matter is that no betting advice or expert handicapper’s opinion can predict what will actually happen down the road. This is true whether the results of a particular futures bet is one week out or five months away.
Early Reactions and Overreactions
The first few games in any new NFL season offer us clues as to what may happen over the course of the entire season. We already know which teams are legitimate contenders, but their early form still has a big impact on their NFL futures odds to win a division title, conference title or Super Bowl title.
What to Make of Early Football Betting Results?
Since turnover in the 12-team postseason field is still a major factor, early success by perceived pretenders can be a tricky road to navigate.
Back in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars were coming off six straight losing seasons. They won two of their first three games on the way to a 10-6 record, an AFC South Division title and a trip all the way to the AFC title game. Last season Jacksonville returned to form with just five wins.
Last season, the Chicago Bears were the biggest worst to first story in the NFL with a 12-4 record to win the NFC North. Every season there is going to be one or two teams that exceed expectations. However, fast starts out of the gate with some early wins do not always translate to a winning season with a deep playoff run.
Bettors need to take any early results at face value. If a team unexpectedly wins its first few games, maybe the teams they beat were overrated. If a top contender loses a game as a heavy favorite, maybe the team they lost to is better than expected.
The bottom line is to avoid overreactions to early results when grading out NFL teams. The betting public will do the exact opposite. This, in turn, drives down the betting value in teams that overachieved during their first few outings. It also drives up the value for good teams off to slow starts.
Slow Starts and Crowded Bandwagons
The best value on the early NFL futures board is on high-rated teams that may have stumbled out of the gate with a bad loss. This has a tendency to drive up their futures odds to win a division, conference or Super Bowl.
How To Adjust To Popular Football Teams With Slow Starts
NFL futures are also tied to team bandwagons. The public is constantly jumping off one bandwagon to jump on another. When that bandwagon happens to belong to a high-profile NFL team, the movement in every future odd is amplified. Football fans have a very bad tendency to bet with their hearts first and then their heads. There are no guarantees that a popular team’s hot start will last all season long.
Online sportsbooks have learned how to work the betting public with their NFL futures. Their goal is to play every side against the middle. What they payout on the actual winners will be far less than all the money they pulled in by manipulating the betting odds all season long.
Sometimes the best betting advice for NFL futures is taking a wait-and-see approach. You might want to let things shake out past the first few weeks of games before placing any bets.