Making Some Daily Pigskin Futures

Figured what the hell, let’s take 100 bucks and make some futures bets on the 2015 NFL Season.  I wanted a wide spread and figured right here was a good forum to talk about my (likely losing) bets.

Bet #1:  $1 on New York Giants to win Super Bowl.  Winning bet pays +55

I needed to make some stupid long shot bets.  The Giants are a notoriously schizophrenic team.  They won the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011.  In 2007 the 10-6 Giants got hot in the playoffs and in 2011 the 9-7 outscored Giants (PF 394 PA 400) got just as hot.  If I’m going to dig into the long shot bin then who better to toss a buck on than someone who has done this twice before?

The NFC East is no lock so it wouldn’t be earth shattering if the Giants won 9 or 10 games and eeked out the division crown.  I do also think the offense could be pretty good – Eli Manning is a nice fantasy football pick for those of you who like to wait a bit on QB.  Buuuuut that defense looks like it’ll be a burning dumpster fire of shit.  Oh well, at least when the Giants beat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl because Rueben Randle caught an 85 yard pass that bounces off all 11 Patriot defenders I will get a piece of the winnings.

Bet #2:  $1 on Carolina Panthers to win NFC Championship.  Winning bet pays +40

One more idiot bet (it’s a buck, who cares).  I think the NFC South is still incredibly unimpressive and very winnable for Carolina.  While the Panthers seemingly took a huge blow losing Kelvin Benjamin I do think the defense will be strong throughout (kind of like 2013).

Now here’s my real reason for taking a NFC long shot.  What if Seattle stumbles a little bit based on their devastating Super Bowl loss?  What if making two straight Super Bowls just takes a toll and the S’hawks have to regroup for a year?  (By regroup I mean 11-5, lose divisional round.  I certainly don’t mean 6-10 or anything like that).

Ok, so pretend that happens, Seattle takes a step back.  What if the Packers stumble a little bit based on that horrifying NFC Title game loss?  What if they can’t come close to replacing Jordy Nelson’s production?  That leaves the NFC without the Seahawks or Packers as the favorites.  So shit, where do we go after this?  I’ll roll the dice on a strong defense.

Bet #3:  $5 on Baltimore Ravens to win AFC Championship.  Winning bet pays +60

Effing love the value of this bet.  The Patriots, Colts, and Broncos to win the AFC all pay DICK.  They pay between +300 and +400.  The Ravens pay +1200!!!!  Everyone is all geeked up on the Colts but they still have a porous defense (that just lost Arthur Jones), an iffy head coach (rumors are Pagano is on thin ice fair or not), and for as GREAT as Andrew Luck is, waaaaaaaay too many postseason turnovers.

Then you have the Broncos.  The roster is rock strong, don’t get me wrong, but even a 100% Peyton Manning browns out his undies in the playoffs (11-13 career, wooooofff!!!!), let alone an ancient Peyton Manning who struggles to throw the ball down field.

And lastly the Patriots are trying to repeat which is flat out brutal to do in today’s NFL.  Losing Revis and Browner doesn’t exactly give you warm and fuzzies come playoff time.

The Ravens have proven to be a rock solid perennially contending playoff squad.  When they get into the dance they don’t whimper out like General ‘One and Done’ Peyton Manning.  Joe Flacco is 10-5 with ZERO one and dones.

If you want to criticize the Ravens I would say that the regular season is more hiccup prone than the Patriots, Colts, or Broncos but in their defense, the AFC North is EAAAAASSSIIIILLLLYYYY the strongest division in the conference.

At the end of the day I put the AFC contenders like this:   Patriots/Ravens…… Colts……. Broncos/Steelers.  This bet is just nothing more than bang for your buck, end of story.

Bet #4 & Bet #5:  $20 on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.  Winning bet pays +150.  $20 on the Packers to win the Super Bowl.  Winning bet pays +150

As I’ve written about several times this preseason, the last few Super Bowl matchups have NOT been shocking:  Pats vs Seahawks, Broncos vs Seahawks, Ravens vs 49ers.   I am willing to say that this season extends that to four straight unshocking Super Bowls.

Additionally, due to the fact that the betting public sees the Colts, Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks, and Packers all as co-top dawgs, you are getting decent ok odds for a favorite.  +750…. shit, not bad.  So here I’m basically just saying, gun to my temple, which of those five teams do I see playing in the Super Bowl?

I got Patriots – epically pissed off from the deflategate saga – and the Packers – for the kajillionth time, Aaron Rodgers is just tooooooo good to not win another SB or two.

Side tangent – the Packers have been my gambling cash cow.  In 2010 I was on a bachelor party in Vegas and the last morning before catching my flight I had one objective… find the Mirage’s sports book amidst my sleep deprived hung over state and toss a hundo on the ascending Packers to win the SB at 9-1.  Bam, boom, son!  Then in 2013 nobody was running away with the NFC North… hmmmm…  the Packers were 7-2 odds of coming back and winning division (at like the week 12ish mark).  50 beans on that, please.  Now I honestly thought Rodgers was going to return from his broken collarbone sooner than he actually did.  I got lucky that Matt Flynn made that sick comeback versus the Cowboys and that the Bears/Lions crapppppped the bed.  But that 4th down toss to Randall Cobb to clinch the division… sheer porn. #GoPackGo!

Bet #6:  $10 on the Vikings to make the playoffs.  Winning bet pays +17

I wrote about the Vikings being my surprise team this year.  The over/under on wins is a laughable 7.5.  Unfortunately everyone else agrees and the over pays -250.  So let’s raise the stakes and toss some loot on them making the playoffs.  If you want my reasoning click that link…

Bet #7:  $20 on the Arizona Cardinals over 8.5 wins.  Winning bet pays +22

I always feel like I talk up a big game on wins over/unders every year.  Then you stare at all 32 teams for an hour and talk yourself out of every possible scenario.  On top of that, any direction you are feeling on a team the betting public is thinking the same thing.  Translation, pays jack shit.  So after pondering over these over/unders I decided to go with just one team and that being the Cards.

99.9999% of the reason for choosing the Cardinals is Bruce Arians.  I just think the guy is a helluva coach.   He helped guide the 2012 Colts to 11-5 while Chuck Pagano was out, then has gone 10-6, and 11-5 in two seasons with the Cardinals.

Let me put it this way, Bruce Arians feels like a coach who is gonna maximize the amount of wins he squeezes from his roster.  If the Cardinals are shy of 9 wins we aren’t going to be saying, Arians let this week, that week, and the other slip away.

Bet #8:  $15 on the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East. Winning bet pays +30

In my surprise team article I mentioned that two divisions feel most up for grabs – NFC East and NFC South.  I looked over the NFC South and it’s so up for grabs that I’d really just be making a guess.  That guess would have been the Panthers but I don’t like the idea of two bets on one team.

That leaves me with the NFC East.  The Eagles are -140 while the Cowboys are +200.  I know the thing to do today is to lick Chip Kelly’s balls but I kind of like the Cowboys more.  They are at least a coin toss.  Couldn’t you see Sam Bradford not making it through the year?  When that happens do you like Mark Sanchez much?   Bradford/Sanchez or Romo?

No brainer.  Give me the tastier odds.  Give me the Cowboys

Bet #9:  $3 on Russell Wilson to be the NFL MVP.  Winning bet pays +90

We all know what the NFL MVP is right?  Unless some running back has a SIIICK season (like LT in 2006 or AP in 2012) then the QB on one of the league’s best teams will win it.

Russell Wilson got paid this offseason – translation:  it’s your team now, kid – and also got a nice shiny red zone weapon in Jimmy Graham.  Couple that with rookie standout Tyler Lockett and I could see Wilson leading the Seahawks to a 12-4 record throwing for 30 TD’s, scrambling his balls off as effectively as ever, and eeking out a MVP vote.

As stupid as it is, writers do get bored of voting for the same players year in and year out.  If RW gives a reason to vote for him over Rodgers, Brady, Manning, etc then I think this could happen.

Bet #10:  $2 on the sack record being broken.  Winning bet pays +28

Michael Strahan’s 22.5 sacks in 2001 is still the record.  The last few years though this thing is being peppered with close calls:

Jared Allen 22 in 2011
Justin Houston 22 in 2014
JJ Watt 20.5 in 2012 & 2014

Of all the goofy record bets I liked this one.  Plus, fuck offense, they get all the glory today.

Bet #11:  $3 on Amari Cooper to be offensive rookie of the year.  Winning bet pays +24

Predicting rookie of the year is not easy at all.  I am basically placing this bet on opportunity.  Amari Cooper is the absolute #1 WR in Oakland.  Derek Carr appears capable so, shit, 8 to 1 odds… I’ll give it a go.

So there you have it, folks.  $100 worth of futures bets.  I’ll be sure to recap at the end of the year when I’m down significantly.  Happy gambling!