NFL odds: 3 best futures bets to make after big trades and signings
By Geoff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL Analyst
After what happened in the NFL during the league’s free agency period, now is a great time to bet on some NFL futures that I like.
After a crazy few weeks, these are the teams – as they are currently built – that I would sprinkle a few bucks on. And, as always, the odds are via FOX bet.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -275 to win the NFC South at FOX Bet (bet $10 to win $13.64 in total)
I don’t mind throwing juice on a bet like this. Tom Brady is back, and with him came the return of center Ryan Jensen, a resignation from Playoff Lenny, Carlton Davis signing a three-year contract, a trade for right guard Shaq Mason and the signing of Russell Gage. Oh, and Chris Godwin is back from injury. This group is talented, but more than anything, this bet is about what other teams in the division don’t have. Elite quarters.
The Carolina Panthers wanted Deshaun Watson but will again have to settle for Sam Darnold – unless the team picks someone up. The New Orleans Saints are stepping back with Jameis Winston and a new head coach and forward. The Atlanta Falcons have signed Marcus Mariota to be their quarterback, but who is he throwing to besides the tight end?
Tampa Bay has the best roster in the division and THE Hall of Fame quarterback who played exceptionally well last season. Barring something drastic, the Bucs win the division.
Indianapolis Colts +120 to win the AFC South on FOX Bet (bet $10 to win $22 in total)
It may be an overreaction to dumping Carson Wentz, but this roster is better than the Titans. The Colts need to add a left tackle, but otherwise they’re firing point guards all over the field and have improved the quarterback position dramatically.
It’s fair to wonder if Matt Ryan is on the decline as his expected ranking in points added has fallen from ninth in 2019 to 15th in 2021. But I think Ryan was a product of his surroundings. We saw last season how a change of scenery changed Matthew Stafford’s fortunes. Although Ryan lacks the physical tools of Stafford, he has a much improved roster and coaching staff.
The Titans had an offseason that flew under the radar as other teams made splash signings, but they improved their roster with Robert Woods and Austin Hooper. However, their offensive line is of great concern to me. Taylor Lewan struggled with injuries last season, left guard Rodger Stafford was released and they lack a reliable right tackle.
Tennessee also has an upcoming first-place schedule that includes the Bengals, Packers and Bills, making their path to division victory more difficult. And let’s not forget that the Titans went 6-1 in regular season games decided by three runs or less. This stat usually tends to even out the following season.
Ultimately, it’s up to the Colts to have a better squad and a quarterback who can help them win the division. Please give me the Colts to win the AFC South.
Buffalo Tickets +333 to win AFC at FOX Bet (bet $10 to win $43.30 in total)
It’s hard to find someone who continually selects the Chiefs to win the AFC more than me, but after the Tyreek Hill trade, it’s irresponsible to keep betting on them. Kansas City can add playmakers to the roster by the start of the season via second wave of free agency and the draft, but will that be enough to win the AFC? Probably not.
The Bills were the best team on paper entering the AFC playoffs and were 13 seconds away from beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. I feel comfortable saying the Bills would have beaten the Bengals in Buffalo and made the Super Bowl.
Buffalo returns a loaded squad, and they’ll recover Tre’Davious White from injury and add Von Miller. Miller is here for the last month of the season and the playoffs, that’s it. And as we’ve seen time and time again, it always happens in those times.
I’m slightly concerned about the loss of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to the New York Giants. Daboll was able to unlock Josh Allen and turn him into one of the best quarterbacks in football, which was no small task. Can Ken Dorsey take over and do the same? We will see. But I think this team is too good to ignore as favorites to win the AFC.
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Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started as a right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.
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