It is time to start thinking about football heading into this week’s Hall of Fame Game. While the start of the new NFL regular season is still six weeks away, every team is hard at work in summer camp with high expectations.
One way to put things into the proper perspective is the betting odds for each of the 32 teams as far as making into this season’s NFL playoffs. Teams like New England (-800) in the AFC and New Orleans (-300) in the NFL lean heavily towards YES. However, the best betting value at the online sportsbooks offering this prop are a few solid teams offering positive money in their odds.
Betting Hype Over Substance
The reaction of the betting public has more to do with the posted odds than the actual team. Heading into the 2018 NFL regular season, the San Francisco 49ers were a hot betting team as far as making a playoff run. Their star quarterback Jimmie Garoppolo went down early due to injury and the 49ers went on to win four games that year. San Francisco’s betting odds to make the playoffs this season heavily favor NO at -240.
How and Where To Find the Smart Money When Betting Sports
The most overhyped team heading into the 2019 NFL season has to be the Cleveland Browns. Baker Mayfield took over the reins at quarterback last season and helped lead the team to seven wins. This was a major improvement when you consider that the Browns had won a combined four games in their previous three campaigns.
The betting odds that Cleveland makes it back to the postseason for the first time since 2002 are set at -125 for YES. It added a huge target for Mayfield in wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns also used their first four draft picks to bolster a defense that was 21st in the NFL in points allowed.
With Pittsburgh expected to take a step backwards this year, the betting public has anointed Cleveland as a +140 favorite to win the AFC North this season. This is a classic example of betting hype over substance. The Browns are definitely heading in the right direction, but 16-straight seasons of missing the playoffs is still a fact of life.
Betting Value Against the Public
Every new NFL season creates quite a bit of turnover in the postseason. The Jacksonville Jaguars went from an appearance in the 2017 AFC title game to a 5-11 record and a last-place finish in the AFC South last year. The Chicago Bears had finished last in NFC North from 2014 through 2017 before turning things around last season at 12-4.
Understanding an Online Sportsbook’s Strengths and Weaknesses
One team on this year’s betting list to make the playoffs that stands out in the NFC is the Seattle Seahawks at +150 odds. The Los Angeles Rams are heavy -175 favorites to win the NFC West followed by Seattle as a +275 second-favorite. The Seahawks have remained one of the more stable franchises in the league under the direction of Pete Carroll. During his nine-year tenure, this team has been to the postseason seven times, including last year as a wild card team at 10-6.
Another value pick on the board from the AFC South is the Houston Texans at +150 odds to make the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts have caught the eye of the betting public as -125 favorites to win the division with -225 odds to make the playoffs.
Houston has qualified for the postseason in three of the last four years. The Texans were 11-5 last season in Bill O’Brien’s best season at the helm as head coach. The talent level on both sides of the ball remains high to add even more value to this team’s odds to return to the postseason this year.