NFL Odds and Predictions: A Guide to NFL Futures and Prop Betting
Welcome to SharpSide’s guide to betting NFL futures and prop bets. The NFL is the most popular sports league to wager on, and futures and prop bets are some of the most interesting and entertaining wagers to make. Futures are a great option to hit big paydays or receive valuable hedging opportunities, all while delivering a season-long sweat. This is especially true for Super Bowl futures. Super Bowl futures bets can be some of the most valuable and fun to sweat.
Futures bets have long been more popular than prop bets, but in the growing world of legal sports betting, prop bets are rising fast. Prop bets provide a much more immediate result than futures bets, and they’re arguably more entertaining to sweat.
Whether you’re brand new to NFL betting or someone who has dabbled before and is looking to expand the variety of wagers you make, this guide will help give you the tools you’ll need to be a winning NFL futures and prop bettor. Let’s get started.
What is an NFL futures bet?
|What is an NFL futures bet?||A wager on a future NFL event. Most commonly, it is a bet placed on the outcome of an NFL event in the current or upcoming season.|
An NFL futures bet is a wager on a future NFL event. Most commonly, it is a bet placed on the outcome of an NFL event in the current or upcoming season.
The most popular NFL futures bets are wagers made on teams to win the Super Bowl. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers provide the odds for every team, usually first listing the odds following the conclusion of the most recent season.
Once posted, odds are subject to change both leading up to the season and as the season progresses. In the offseason, NFL futures see the most changes at the height of free agency and then immediately following the NFL Draft. During the season, futures odds can change much more frequently given the week-to-week nature of the league.
While the odds a sportsbook offers on a futures bet might change, once you place your wager the odds you booked it at are locked in. Depending on the line movement on the odds, it’s not uncommon for bettors to bet more at a different price.
The most common NFL futures bet is for teams to win the Super Bowl.
Example of an NFL futures bet
As an example of an NFL futures bet, let’s say you wager $100 on the New England Patriots to win next season’s Super Bowl at +400 (4-to-1). You place this bet before the season starts and are looking at a payout of $500 if the Patriots win the championship ($400 profit plus the return of your original $100 bet). Your price at +400 is locked in. Now, let’s say the Patriots start off the season going 0-2. The sportsbook may update the odds to something such as +600. If you believe the Patriots are just off to a slow start and you still believe they have a really good chance at winning the Super Bowl, you could place another bet. This time, you’d be getting a better price of 6-to-1 on your money.
Price changes can go the other way, too, which would mean additional bets on the same wager could give you a worse price than the one you first received. In these cases, bettors don’t often put more money down but they do appreciate holding a wager ticket that has a better price than what the market is currently at.
Picking the Super Bowl winner isn’t the only NFL futures bet you can make. Other types of NFL futures often include betting on teams to win their conference or win the division they’re in. Sportsbooks also commonly offer odds on which player will win the NFL MVP and which players will lead the league in passing, rushing, and receiving yards.
What is an NFL prop bet?
|What is an NFL prop bet?||An NFL prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a type of side bet that is placed on something not determined by the final outcome of a game, such as a specific statistic for a given player. Bets that are tied to players are referred to as NFL player props.|
An NFL prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a type of side bet that is placed on something not determined by the final outcome of a game, such as a specific statistic for a given player. NFL prop bets that are tied to players are referred to as player props.
Although not as popular as NFL futures bets, NFL prop bets are gaining more and more popularity. Many fantasy and daily fantasy sports (DFS) competitors have a growing interest for NFL prop bets, and DFS leaders who have expanded into sports betting, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, have put emphasis on offering NFL prop bets.
NFL prop bets are commonly offered as over/under or yes/no choices.
Example of an NFL prop bet
An example of an NFL player prop bet could be Tom Brady to throw for over or under a certain number of yards in a game, where each side offers payout odds.
- Brady over 300.5 passing yards (-200)
- Brady under 300.5 passing yards (+150)
In this example, if you bet $100 on the over at a price of -200, you would be paid out $150 total for a profit of $50. If you wagered on the under at +150, a winning bet would be paid out $250 for a profit of $150.
NFL prop bets aren’t always tied to just players. These prop bets can also be tied to teams. For example, will the New England Patriots go over or under 450.5 total yards in a game or will the New England Patriots score a touchdown in the first quarter?
The Super Bowl is known as the king of sports betting events for NFL prop bets. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook is well known for its hundreds, if not thousands, of NFL prop bets for the Super Bowl each year, and newer sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel have quickly followed by offering tons of Super Bowl prop bets.
The bigger the game, the more exotic the prop bets, too, and the Super Bowl is a great example of this. For the Super Bowl LIII, sportsbooks are known to expand offerings to include more exotic and cross-sport prop bets, in addition to all of the regular prop bets that bettors are used to seeing. For example, you can bet on if the coin toss will come up heads or tails, or if the national anthem will go over or under a posted time. An example of a cross-sport prop bet for Super Bowl LIII was Giannis Antetokounmpo Points vs. Los Angeles Rams Points (-.5), with bettors picking which side would be greater.
Season-long prop bets
In addition to NFL prop bets you can make within a specific game, prop bets can be made on statistics that are tied to a whole season. Think of these types of NFL prop bets are a combination of a prop bet and a futures bet.
The most common types of these NFL prop bets are over/under win totals, but you can also often bet on whether or not a team will make the playoffs and total season statistics for a player or team.
Get NFL props in the SharpSide app
If NFL prop bets sound interesting to you, you should download the free SharpSide sports betting app, available now for iOS and Android. The app is completely free with no real money wagered, but it’s the perfect tool to dive in more on sports betting.
As it pertains to NFL prop bets, there are hundreds of NFL prop bets offered in the SharpSide app each week. Plus, with the amazing contests SharpSide is known to host, you have a chance to win some great prizes, and it’s all for free.
How to bet NFL futures and props
Sports betting in the United States has recently expanded to more than just the State of Nevada. In the first half of 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to allow sports betting in New Jersey. From there, sports betting has expanded greatly, with states such as Mississippi, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. hopping onboard the legal sports betting train. Many more states are currently working to push through legislation.
Before this new age of sports betting, Nevada was the only legal place in the United States to place a sports wager, including NFL futures and prop bets. Now, many more states are offering sports betting.
Although not available in every single state, the good news is that bettors don’t have to be a resident of a given state to place a sports bet. Let’s say you live in California, for example. You can travel to Nevada, find one of the many legal sportsbooks, and place a wager. The slight drawback is that you have to make the trip to the sportsbook to place the bet and to collect any winnings. With the growth of mobile sports betting, though, bettors now simply have to have a registered mobile account with a legal sportsbook and be physically present in the respective state to place a wager.
We know how fun, entertaining, and profitable it can be to place NFL futures and prop bets, so find a legal sportsbook near you in a state with regulated sports betting to place your bets. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news and happenings as more and more states adopt legal and regulated sports betting, so stay tuned to SharpSide and RotoGrinders Sports Betting.
Advantages of betting on NFL futures and props
Betting NFL futures and prop bets has two big advantages. First, doing so provides enhanced fun and entertainment when watching or following the sport or attending an NFL game. Second, there’s money to be made. With the second advantage, it’s important to remember the first. Here’s why.
Most casual sports bettors are wagering on overs and favorites, which can cause sportsbooks to adjust the lines so that they are inflated. Casual bettors do this for a couple of reasons, but mostly because of the entertainment factor. In the mind of a casual bettor, it’s no fun to root for an under to come in – whether that’s fewer points, fewer yards, or something else. Also in the mind of a casual bettor, bets deemed as “favorites” are the sides more likely to come in. Oddsmakers know this and will apply heavy odds in a lot of instances.
The most general rule of thumb when it comes to NFL futures and prop bets is to fade the public. For futures, the means ignoring the heavy favorites and looking elsewhere. For prop bets, it often means taking the under or the less popular and “obvious” side.
In addition to fading the public, you’ll want to buy low when you can. This is another way the best NFL futures and prop bettors gain an additional advantage. When there is a lot of hype around a team or player, the stock is high and you rarely, if ever, want to be buying high. When it comes to NFL futures, the best time to place these wagers can be before the season starts and very early in the offseason. Once the season starts, oddsmakers will be quick to adjust and prices won’t be as good as they once were. Line movements can also be dictated by the amount of money coming in on a side, and public bettors will often wait until the last minute to place a wager. You know the saying “the early bird gets the worm,” right?
An NHL bettor, Scott Berry, once hit a 250-to-1 shot on the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup. Berry found a good opportunity to buy low and NFL futures bettors can learn from success.
The rise in popularity of DFS has helped a lot of sports enthusiasts win some big paydays. If you’re someone who feels successful in the world of DFS, you may have an advantage when it comes to NFL player prop bets, applying the same sort of analysis and selection you would when rostering DFS players to targeting valuable NFL player prop bets.
More NFL futures and prop betting links and resources
As with any sports wager, if you want to be profitable, then you’re going to need to use all information and resources available to you. One great resource is SharpSide, where our experts regularly post sports betting content from the NFL. This guide will be continually updated with links, news, tools, and whatever else we feel gives you the advantage to be on the sharp side of NFL futures and prop bets.
The first area we’ll point you to is the landing page where you can access the dedicated player props pages for each NFL player. On this page, you can look through each team and click on a player’s name to go to the player’s prop page, where you can see news, information, and prop stats that can help you be a better player prop bettor. You can find it by clicking here.
An undertaking of the SharpSide team is division betting previews that go over the odds, win totals, and more for each team in each division. Check those out at the links below.
- AFC East Betting Preview
- AFC West Betting Preview
- AFC North Betting Preview
- AFC South Betting Preview
- NFC East Betting Preview
- NFC West Betting Preview
- NFC North Betting Preview
- NFC South Betting Preview
We also review the NFL MVP betting odds and provide insight into some of the favorites and underdogs on that list.
Another resource available is a look into the mind of a successful sports bettor. James Salinas has an incredible record in the Las Vegas SuperContest, which is centered around the NFL and widely considered the greatest sports betting competition in the world. Following the close of the 2018 SuperContest, we spoke with Salinas about his process and what he believes has turned him into a winning sports bettor.
Scott Berry, another sports bettor, won big with an NHL futures bet. While the NHL isn’t the NFL, there are several things we can learn from Berry’s wager that we can take and apply to the NFL futures market.
Remember to check back here for more on how to conquer NFL futures and prop bets!