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2018 NFL Futures: Which Teams Look Like Solid Bets in Week 2?

2018 NFL Futures: Which Teams Look Like Solid Bets in Week 2?

The 2018 NFL season is already a week old. That sounds crazy to say, seeing as it felt like an eternity since Super Bowl 52 ended.

But just like that, pro football isn’t just back, but it’s quickly advancing to its second week. Before long, mid-season will be here, we’ll be talking about who can make the playoffs and once again the Super Bowl will be a thing of the past.

Time is a heck of a thing. Not only does time race through our lives and through sports seasons, but it also has us changing our opinions and betting stances. This past week, for instance, had people doubt the Saints, Packers, Lions and Chargers. In that same breath, the Buccaneers, Jets, Ravens and Chiefs all got our respect.

It’s tough to know what to believe in week one, but as sports bettors, all we really know is that Vegas will adapt and if you pick your spots wisely, you just might be able to capitalize on it.

That’s precisely why I’m taking a look at all of the top 2018 NFL futures each week – at least the ones the top NFL betting sites keep up or continue to update. As the weeks pass on and we get more intel, we can really start to formulate our stances and place confident bets.

Or we can just watch in horror as the preseason wagers we felt good about wither away in front of our eyes.

Super Bowl 53 Odds

Top Contenders

The New England Patriots (+600) still stand atop the league with the best Super Bowl 53 odds, per Sportsbetting.ag and most pro football betting websites.

That should shock nobody. New England beat the Houston Texans fairly convincingly in week one and in week two can add to their resume with a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In fact, the Rams (+750), Vikings (+900) and Jaguars (+1800) did nothing in week one to pull you off of them as strong title threats.

Those three, joined with the Pats, currently appear to be the most rock solid teams in the NFL right now.

Next Teams Up

Philadelphia (+1100) and Green Bay (+1400) are also solid bets. They both won in week one, but neither escaped without some flaws or injuries.

The Eagles definitely need Carson Wentz back to be taken seriously, though, while Aaron Rodgers may have proved again that Green Bay is dead without him. I lost a little faith in the likes of Pittsburgh (+1600), Atlanta (+1600) and New Orleans (+1600).

The Steelers couldn’t even beat the Browns, the Falcons looked atrocious in the red-zone and the Saints got housed by Ryan freaking Fitzpatrick. None of those teams looked like sturdy title threats, but of the three I tend to trust the Steelers to figure it out the most.

I won’t overreact to the Chiefs (+2000), Ravens (+2500) or Panthers (+2800) getting off to a nice start. Baltimore was facing the lowly Bills, the Panthers beat up on what for the moment looks like a bad Cowboys team and it was one big outing from Patrick Mahomes. I’ll need to see more on all accounts.

Sleeper Alert

The Redskins (+4400) are a team I’ve been propping up as a sleeper throughout the offseason.

I’m not fully sold on their cast of geriatric players can really get it done, but their title odds have spiked. Their defense does look like it could be legit, too.

The New York Jets love (+8000) probably needs to cool down a bit. They looked great across the board in week one, but beating the Lions doesn’t mean much. No rookie quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl, either.

As for teams that got hit with an L in week one, the Bears (+4000), Giants (+5000) and Colts (+10000) are the most appealing Super Bowl sleepers. Chicago is good defensively and may have the goods on offense to turn into a real force.

Please Note:
The Giants gave the Jags all they could handle and are another team with the balance to make some noise. Indy probably should have won in week one and I’m not ready to count out Andrew Luck just yet.

The Rams, Vikings and Jaguars are still your best non-Pats Super Bowl 53 wagers. I just don’t see any reason to go against New England yet.

Pick: New England Patriots (+600)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

Division Winner Odds

AFC East

The AFC East seems forever spoken for, as Sportsbetting.ag lists the Patriots as massive -900 favorites.

I’m sure they still win for what feels like the 100th year in a row, but both the Jets (+900) and Dolphins (+900) are 1-0 and looked pretty good in getting there.

If you’re taking anyone not named New England in this division, aim high with New York.

Pick: New England Patriots (-900)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

AFC North

The Steelers still don’t have top rusher Le’Veon Bell back, yet they carry nice value (+100) to win this division. That’s a pretty good bet, especially considering virtually everyone picked them before week one.

That being said, Cleveland (+800) was pretty pesky and probably should have won in week one. Boy, we could be talking about them differently if they could have just closed things out. Cincinnati (+550) and Baltimore (+200) are both 1-0 and look to have the balanced needed to really push the Steelers.

I’m going to need the Ravens to play an actually good team before jumping on board with them. As luck would have it, both of these rivals face off in week two and may clear things up for us.

For now, consider week one a mulligan for the Steelers. They didn’t lose after all.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (+100)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

AFC South

Everyone picked the Jaguars (-110 to repeat as AFC South champs and I don’t see what change after a week. The Colts (+700), Texans (+220) and Titans (+600) all lost in week one and don’t feel like realistic threats.

As things stand, I think Tennessee is the worst of the bunch.

Indy might have a shot with Luck, while the Texans remain your best pivot off of Jacksonville. The Jaguars probably aren’t losing this division, however.

Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (-110)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

AFC West

The Chargers (+175) were the top pick to take the AFC West crown during the preseason, but I never fully bought it. KC (+150) tried to improve under center by turning to Patrick Mahome and for at least one week it looks like an amazing decision.

Denver also won this past week and showed flashes of having a pretty viable offense to go along with a solid defense. I’m not a full buyer on Case Keenum, but the Broncos at +250 is interesting.

Please Note:
Jon Gruden got burned in his return to football. The Raiders actually gave the Rams a good fight initially, which makes me think Oakland could be better than advertised. Derek Carr imploded in the second half, though, reminding me that he’s not quite as good as people want him to be.

Keep an eye on Denver and I’m sure the Chargers aren’t completely dead, but my preseason sleeper (Chiefs) are already where they need to be.

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (+150)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

NFC East

This division feels wide open. Judging by week one, only the Cowboys (+550) don’t really look like a threat.

Dallas can defend a bit and Ezekiel Elliott is a boss, but their o-line is in shambles and Dak Prescott looks borderline laughable.

I’d take the G-Men (+800) over them right now. Eli Manning is a liability, but he’s got a solid defense and pretty explosive offense around him. This is a sweet price for Big Blue.

The Eagles (-200) simply survived in week one and will look to do so again in week two. What they do with Nick Foles means very little. The real question is if Carson Wentz returning helps them instead of somehow hurting them.

I’m not sure I believe that, but the Redskins were a fun sleeper before the season started and now at their +500 price I’m a little interested. Adrian Peterson can’t keep this up for much longer, though, right?

Philly is still the easy call here, but the value with the Giants and Redskins is worth noting.

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (-200)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

NFC North

The Minnesota Vikings (+100) were the preseason NFC North favorites and did nothing in week one to take you off of their scent. Kirk Cousins makes their dynamic offense even better and their defense remains a problem.

Green Bay remains the best pivot inside this division at +175, though. Aaron Rodgers saved his team in week one, but it’s worth wondering if he’ll last long enough to keep them afloat later in the year.

Detroit looked horrendous in every way in their first game of the year. Nothing will get me to pounce on their crazy +1200 price tag.

Chicago, however, has me intrigued. The Bears (+500) were about to house the Packers before Aaron Rodgers rose from the dead and they simply too their foot off the gas. Khalil Mack makes an already good defense potentially elite, while Mitchell Trubisky actually attacking down the field could make an interesting offense pretty tough to stop.

The Packers are a fine bet here, but the Vikes make more sense for the moment.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings (+100)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons (+200) are still tied for the best odds (Saints at +200 as well) to win this division. That’s pretty odd, seeing as both are 0-1 and the other two teams in this division are 1-0.

I like both of these teams and think they’re still in it. In fact, the Falcons were my pick before the season started. You can’t ignore the Panthers at +240, though.

Tampa Bay is a weird one. Ryan Fitzpatrick had the game of his life and while what he did truly is not sustainable, it has to pique your interest. The Bucs at +575 are a little tempting, but it’s still such a reach.

I’ll stick with my guns here and say the Falcons rally at some point. Losing on the road to the defending champs isn’t exactly a death sentence in my book.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+200)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

NFC West

A week has come and gone in the NFC West and not much has changed. The Rams (-400) easily handled the Raiders in Oakland and emerged as the lone team in their division to win in week one.

Please Note:
The 49ers (+450) were supposed to be trendy sleepers and maybe they’ll still cause some issues. I just don’t trust them yet. Arizona looked flat out bad in week one. I still have respect for David Johnson and they have a talented defense, but even at +3300 I’m really not that interested. Ditto for the Seahawks (+1000), who seem primed for a huge fall this year.

San Francisco is worth monitoring, but if they’re L.A.’s only real challenger in this division, I’d hop on them before their price tag gets way out of control.

Pick: Los Angeles Rams (-400)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Sam Darnold (-110) got his career started off with a bang. First he tossed a pick-6 on his very first pass as a pro, but then he bounced back to help his Jets trounce the Lions, 48-17.

It’s just one game, but Darnold is understandably the early (slight) favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

Check out the full odds over at Sportsbetting.ag:

  • Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets (-110)
  • Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (+250)
  • Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills (+900)
  • Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals (+1400)
  • Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos (+1400)
  • Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (+1600)
  • Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (+2000)
  • Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (+2000)
  • Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (+4000)
  • Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots (+4000)

Darnold was pretty impressive in week one, but let’s consider the Jets still have a lot to prove and he personally didn’t drop eye-popping stats.

The main threat has to be preseason ROY favorite, Saquon Barkley. He busted a sick 68-yard touchdown against a stout Jaguars defense and he’s going to be a key part to what the Giants do this year.

Barkley is still the call for me and considering he gets you way more value at +250, he makes a lot of sense from a betting perspective.

The only other guy on this list I’d seriously consider is Mayfield. He has a great +1600 price and I have to think he’ll see the field eventually. He’d need Darnold to struggle considering the Jets passer has the leg up on him, but he’s still an interesting pick.

I can’t fault you for falling in love with Darnold after one game, but I’ll take the value with Barkley.

Pick: Saquon Barkley (+250)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

2018 NFL MVP Odds

Aaron Rodgers was my top NFL MVP pick before the season started and after week one, I’m not sure I’ll be straying.

A-Rod needs to stay healthy and put together more complete games moving forward, but that epic comeback against the Bears keeps him on pace to claim the award.

That had to have boosted Rodgers’ MVP stock, as he’s now a +350 favorite to take home MVP honors. He was the top favorite to begin with, but he and Tom Brady were neck and neck.

Brady (+800) also played well in week one and he actually offers way more value. He looks to be an elite pivot off of Rodgers, especially with Rodgers dealing with a knee issue. Other big week one performers with interesting NFL MVP odds include Drew Brees (+1400), Jared Goff (+2000), Patrick Mahomes (+2000), Todd Gurley (+2000) and Alvin Kamara (+2500).

I’m still only looking at Brady and Rodgers from this collection of options, but everyone here should be on your radar. If you want some sleepers, keep Case Keenum (+6600) and Alex Smith (+7500) in your NFL betting thoughts.

For now, I’m sticking with A-Rod. If his health deteriorates, Brady is the call.

Pick: Aaron Rodgers (+350)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

Who Will Be Tampa Bay’s Starting QB For Week 4?

The last NFL prop bet I’m looking at going into week two is who the Bucs could end up starting under center in week four.

That’s when Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension dries up and he could return to take back his starting gig from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Judging by week one, that could be easier said than done.

Fitzmagic went absolutely bonkers in that game, putting up over 400 passing yards and five total scores en route to an insane 48-40 win over the New Orleans Saints. That has to be an outlier performance, but if Fitz wrecks the Philadelphia Eagles and leads Tampa Bay to a 2-0 start this weekend, the buzz is going to heat up.

Still, I don’t think what he did in week one is sustainable and Winston is the franchise quarterback.

Here’s how you can bet on this wager at Sportsbetting.ag:

  • Jameis Winston (-300)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (+200)
  • Ryan Griffin (+3300)

Griffin isn’t an option. You’d need Fitzpatrick to get hurt and the team to bypass Winston and that just isn’t happening.

It’s between Fitz and Winston and it all comes down to what happens over the next two games. I have to assume Fitzpatrick doesn’t play nearly as well moving forward and the Bucs ultimately go back to their top guy.

The value isn’t great, but that’s likely what will happen.

Pick: Jameis Winston (-300)

PLACE YOUR BET!
 

Summary

Overall, this is a very exciting time of year to start placing bets on NFL futures.

You already could have started that process months ago, but now that actual information is trickling in and you can see with your own eyes how things could begin playing out, you can feel a lot better about the wagers you target.

I’d certainly try to keep in mind that it’s just one week that has passed. Next week when I take another look at whatever 2018 NFL futures are still up, I’m sure quite a bit will change.

The NFL season is long and fluid, but I think there is a nice balance between sticking to your guns and adapting on the fly. Hopefully I shed some light on how you may want to bet going into week two and ideally can continue to do so over the course of the season.

However you decide to wager, I wish you luck and enjoy the week two NFL games!

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