NFL Futures Week 16: Bet Green Bay To Claim NFC’s Top Seed?

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during a time out in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Image Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg talks about expected win totals, division odds, Super Bowl favorites, and other NFL futures bets with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight.

It’s the official futures podcast of BetPrep, a free sports betting research site that empowers bettors with the same tools both the sharps and the sportsbooks use.

Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Futures Podcast.

Note: These write-ups are shortened transcriptions from the podcast episode. Be sure to listen to the podcast for full context on these NFL futures!

Baltimore Ravens: Over 9.5 Wins (+100)

Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson looks for an open receiver downfield in a 2021 home game.
Image Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Brad’s Take: The Ravens started as a very lucky team but have lost a couple of tough ones in a row. Harbaugh opted to go for two both times. Lost both games.

But here’s why I like this one. It’s the juice: Plus-100.

When I did their season wins I had them at 1.7,  closer to two then one. Pittsburgh at home. Rams at home. At the Bengals. I just think all those games are eminently winnable. And I’m assuming Lamar will be back. It’s not like I LOVE this.  But it merits a play. I think there’s at least a 51% chance this team wins two games because Pittsburgh at home I think they will win. The Rams game isn’t going to be easy. But the Rams to me are not a team that I really trust. Then it’s Cincinnati potentially for the division. I think that’s a 50/50 game. That’ll be a game that goes down to the wire. So I think there’s a better chance to get two wins than one. And I’m not laying any juice. (I’m assuming Lamar is going to come back now. Otherwise I do not like it.). 

New York Giants: Under 5.5 Wins (-190)

New York Giants running back #26 Saquon Barkley looks on from the sideline in a 2021 home game.
Image Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/ via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Brad’s Take: Mike Glennon has the lowest winning percentage in history. I don’t understand how he just keeps getting chances. He’s just not good. Daniel Jones isn’t either but he at least has athleticism. And Joe Judge is a dead man walking. The Giants organization is one of the worst in sports. The team stinks.

They have Washington at home. At the Bears. At the Eagles. I would actually pick against them in all three games.

But I have them at 1.1 wins. Again, they have to get to two. So again, I’m looking at minus-190 as a great price. If they win at Philly, that actually would be I think a pretty significant upset at this point in the season, even though they beat Philly in New Jersey.  They’ll be a double-digit dog in that game. They’re going to get killed in that game, I believe. Then it comes down to Washington at home and at the Bears. And when you’re trying to start a quarterback that shouldn’t be in the NFL, it’s going to be hard to win one pro football game, never mind two.

Atlanta Falcons: Under 7.5 Wins (-150)

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts makes a one-handed catch during a game
Image Credit: Todd Kirkland-Getty Images

Brad’s Take: Here are the three games and I give them much closer to one than two wins.

I think this Falcons team is maxed out on their wins. They’re awful.

At the Bills, I’m going to be really stumped if they win that one. Saints at home, fine it’s at Atlanta but New Orleans is a legitimate favorite there.  Lions at home (with Jared Goff back from COVID); that is probably a win, I will pick Atlanta. But that game is very, very losable for Atlanta. 

Miami Dolphins: Under 8.5 Wins (-185)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks downfield in a 2021 road game.
Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Brad’s Take: Last week we actually gave out over seven and a half wins, right? I bet numbers. I don’t bet teams. Now it’s 8.5, juice to the Under. It’s expensive. But, I’m looking at this schedule. 

It’s going to be hard for this team to go 2-1 when they play the Patriots at home, at the Saints and at the Titans. They will be underdogs in all three. 

Can they do it? Sure. But I think the odds are so low that I’m willing to lay this price. I’m playing with house money because I win my Over 7.5 if they do. But I expect Miami to finish 8-9. 

Denver Broncos: Under 8.5 Wins (-190)

Denver Broncos linebacker Baron Browning reacts after forcing a three and out in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys
Image Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Brad’s Take: Like if I said to you, Michael, you could lay $1.90 that Steph Curry makes the next free throw, I  hope you’d freakin’ bet your next mortgage on it.

This is just mispriced. Denver has Chiefs at home. Hard game. At the Raiders. Not an easy game. At the Chargers. Not an easy game.

I think it’d be very difficult for that team to win two games. And if Drew Lock is the quarterback (second concussion for Teddy Bridgewater in Week 15), it’s going to be next to impossible.

Green Bay Packers: NFC No. 1 Seed (-200)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling #83 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Image Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Brad’s Take: Tampa Bay is limited by injuries but even if they go 3-0 and the Packers go 2-1, the Packers look certain to win the tiebreakers. The only team the Packers lose a tiebreaker to is the Cowboys. So that’s the bet, again IF the Packers lose one time. Then Dallas would have to go 3-0. I have no problem taking the Cowboys at current odds to be the No. 1 seed for a small price to more than cover yourself if the Packers lose a game and Dallas sweeps. It’s like the Aaron Rodgers MVP bet last week as the hedge against Brady, which worked out spectacularly already. So you can get Dallas at 8-to-1. You put 200 to win 100 on Green Bay and you put 25 to win 200 on Dallas and you win no matter what.

What I’m doing is eliminating Tampa Bay from the No. 1 seed. I’m making that executive call because of the tiebreakers.

I don’t think there’s any way they can realistically get it done. Green Bay is at the Lions (probably without Jared Goff, who is playing very well), Vikings at home, Browns home. That’s a very favorable schedule. They’re going to be clearly favored in all three. But let’s say it’s a debacle: they go 2-1. Dallas would have to go undefeated. Dallas is at Philly, Arizona at home and the Washington Football Team at home where they will be a big favorite. But I just don’t think there’s a 50% chance the Cowboys go 3-0. Again though, betting both teams at current odds is smart, too. 

More NFL & NBA Futures

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers
Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For more of Brad’s picks, including NBA futures and an NFL future for Coach of the Year, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast.