"Who is going to win the Super Bowl this year?"
That's one of my least favorite questions. Whenever I inform people of my profession, invariably the first question they ask is about who will win the championship of whatever sport is currently in full swing. And since Football Is King, more times than not the question is about who will win the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, I am not a fortuneteller. I am a professional handicapper. And that means that my financial maneuvers are less about predicting the far-off future than they are about assessing value and taking advantage of market weakness. This is especially true when considering a wager on NFL Super Bowl futures or long-term NFL Super Bowl prop bets.
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I generally feel that long-term NFL futures plays on odds to win the Super Bowl are sucker bets. Even if you have a great read on which team you like, there are still so many things that need to break your way - injuries, turnovers, fluke bounces, tough playoff wins, etc. - in order to cash in on an NFL Super Bowl prediction that you made seven, eight or even 10 months out. And, in my opinion, Super Bowl odds rarely reflect exactly what the payouts on these wagers should be.
However, last week the Westgate Superbook became the first Las Vegas sportsbook to release odds on NFL playoff propositions for the 2017-18 season. These 2017 NFL prop bets are on which teams will simply make the playoffs in this upcoming season. Considering that 12 of the 30 NFL teams will make the postseason this year - just shy of half of the field at 40 percent - that is a much wider net to cast as opposed to trying to find the one team of 30 (3.3 percent) that is going to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Obviously, the payouts on these playoff prop bets are going to be smaller. But the odds of actually winning your wager have increased more than ten-fold. Betting on playoff props in July can be a savvy futures wager and a moneymaker. Betting on NFL Super Bowl odds in July is buying a lottery ticket.
Below is a quick breakdown of some of the best value plays among the Westgate's 2017 NFL Playoff Prop Bets. In this analysis I am not making full-on playoff predictions. I am simply assessing the market and tabbing what I think are the best and worst potential wagers based on the odds:
2017 NFL FUTURES ODDS - Playoff Prop Bets
Best Bets On Who Will Make The 2017 NFL Playoffs:
Arizona Cardinals - YES (+175)
This team was one of the favorites to win the NFC last year and is just one year removed from a 13-win campaign. The Cardinals were massive underachievers last year, and I think they could be in a solid position to bounce back. Arizona lost three games by four points or less and had a tie in a game they outgained the opponent by 200 yards. I have no faith in Carson Palmer, who is a proven loser. But I do have faith in Bruce Arians, and the talent on this team is undeniable. Getting nearly 2-to-1 on this wager makes it a no-brainer.
Atlanta Falcons - NO (+130)
I know this seems like a bold maneuver. But take a step back; don't the odds on this wager just feel off? New England, the team Atlanta faced in the Super Bowl, is paying +1500 if they miss the playoffs. Green Bay, the team Atlanta faced in the NFC Championship is at +260. So why are the Falcons' odds so short? The clear reason is the so-called Super Bowl curse. Atlanta's epic collapse in the Super Bowl is bound to linger and could infect this season. Further, over the last 18 years teams that have lost the Super Bowl have missed the playoffs 50 percent of the time. I'll take the extra 40 cents on a wager that is basically a 50-50 bet.
Kansas City Chiefs - NO (+130)
Look, it is tough to bet against Andy Reid missing the playoffs. He's led his team to the playoffs 12 times in 18 years and in three of his four seasons in Kansas City. But the Chiefs are getting old on defense and their offense still stinks. The AFC is improving steadily. And the Chiefs have a rough schedule that is littered with short weeks and brutal road games. This one is bold. But I think the Chiefs are worth shorting.
Washington Redskins - YES (+330)
I know the Redskins have been a disaster this offseason with a load of front office drama. But the team on the field is still pretty decent. Washington has finished above .500 in each of the last two years, and they made the playoffs in 2015. The offense lost some key pieces. But Washington's defense has steadily improved. And the fact is that I don't think the Giants are three times better than the Redskins, and I don't think the Eagles are twice as strong as Washington. This number should've been around +230.
Minnesota Vikings - YES (+160)
Here is another team that people have forgotten about after a lackluster effort in 2016. But the foundation of Mike Zimmer's team is rock solid. Their defense should again be one of the best in the game. And I think that a new offensive scheme, and a full offseason with Sam Bradford, should lead to a significant improvement out of the attack. The Vikings also have a favorable schedule. They get five of their first seven games at home and a neutral site game against feeble Cleveland in London. I think the Vikes will be nipping at Green Bay's heels this year.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past five years, earning nearly $14,000 in total football profit. He has also posted five of seven winning seasons and Robert tallied over $20,000 in football profit between 2011 and 2016, including his amazing 2013 NFL season in which he hit 62.1 percent (95-58). Robert has produced 18 of 29 winning football months and an amazing 41 of 64 winning football months over the past decade. Robert has eight of 10 winning NFL preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 800 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted three of five winning seasons Robert is looking to follow up a winning 2016 with more profit this fall.
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