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Best NFL Future Bets – May 2023

Last week we took a look at some NFL win total bets to consider after the draft, so today, we are going to take a look at some other markets. Now that we have a pretty solid understanding of each team’s depth chart, we can start to build hypotheses surrounding each team. Of course, injuries and other factors can and will take their toll, but for now, let’s focus on where there is value in the NFL future bets market, and let’s dive into what we should bet on now.

NFL Future Bets- Best Bets for May

New York Jets to Win the AFC East +230 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

The AFC East has turned into arguably the toughest division in football. The Bills and Dolphins both made the playoffs last season, the Patriots have the best coach of all time, and now the Aaron Rodgers-led Jets are a threat. Despite the Jets being the little brother in the division for much of the last decade, the script should finally be flipped.

First off, let’s look at the other teams in the AFC East. In order for the Jets to win the division, they probably have to win at least four of the six divisional games they have. While Buffalo is touted as this juggernaut, their inability to win in the playoffs, and their inability to add more talent in the off-season, leads me to believe the Bills are overrated. New England seems to be improved, but they have the worst quarterback of the bunch, and there surely was some disconnect across the team last year. Finally, Miami looks great on paper, but they, too, have questions under center, and their defense is the worst unit of all four teams.

Getting Aaron Rodgers is one thing, but having Rodgers ingratiate himself with the Jets is another. We have all seen the videos and tweets about Rodgers in the Garden, throwing to the young Jets receivers, and hanging out with other Jets. While it may seem menial on the surface, this is a huge deal. This signifies that Rodgers is all in. Even though Rodgers, by many metrics, was not great last year, it is hard to dismiss the former MVP. Did he play poorly last year at times? 100%. But was he playing poorly because he is deteriorating or because he was simply finished in Green Bay? I believe it is the latter.

The Jets have a stout defense which kept them in games last year. New York is going from literally the worst QB in all of football to one of the best in the game’s history. New York needs to develop a run game, and a lot of that will have to do with their offensive line staying healthy. My final concern with the Jets is head coach Robert Saleh – he comes off to me as corny, and I believe he is one of the worst head coaches in football. With that being said, Rodgers took other terrible head coaches (McCarthy, LeFleur) to multiple division titles, and I think the Jets are in for the dream season they have been waiting for since 2013.

Carolina Panthers to Make the Playoffs +145 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

I understand that asking a rookie QB to take a bad team to the playoffs is a really, really tall task, but the Panthers were not your ordinary bad team last season. Carolina did not have the No. 1 overall pick – they had the No. 9 pick, and they traded a hefty haul to get their passer of the future. Is Bryce Young going to be a great NFL player? That is the million-dollar question, and while time will tell, I am of the belief that Young will certainly elevate this team.

When looking at the division, the Saints and Falcons are being touted as the top two teams, with Carolina and Tampa Bay behind them. While I do not disagree that the Saints are more talented on paper, and the Falcons are much improved from last season, I don’t understand why the market is sleeping on the Panthers. New Orleans has the best QB in the division, but it is very plausible that the Panthers have the 2nd best. Also, there is a strong argument to be made that Carolina has the best defense in the division.

Assuming the Panthers split their divisional games 3-3, they would probably need to make the postseason via one of the three Wild Card spots in the NFC. Considering how weak the NFC is and how many winnable games the Panthers have on their schedule, there is value in the Panthers making the playoffs. Carolina has what should be easy matchups against the Packers, Vikings, Texans, Bears, and Titans next season. If Carolina can steal a win against the Lions, Jaguars, Dolphins, Seahawks, Colts, or Dolphins, that is nine wins and should be good enough for a playoff spot in the NFC.

How much of this is on Bryce Young’s shoulders? Considering the Panthers should have a run game and a great defense, I do not think there is too much pressure on Bryce. He will have to not lose games more than he will have to win them, and given his accuracy, poise, arm strength, and pocket presence, I expect Young to be the real deal right away. The Panthers should be in for a great season next year.

Denver Broncos to Finish in 2nd Place in the AFC West (+280)

The AFC West was touted as the best division in football last season, and as it turned out, that could not have been further from the reality of the situation. Outside of Andy Reid, it was the worst-coached division in the NFL. We saw how bad Russell Wilson was last season, but we also saw this defense play exceptionally well at times last season. Denver knows that Russ will be under center for the next few years no matter what, so all they can do is try to maximize what he has in him, and that is exactly what the Sean Payton hire will do.

Looking at the AFC West, unless Mahomes gets hurt, there is just no way the Chiefs are not on top again this season. The Chargers are supposed to be this great team, but they have arguably the worst coach in football, and their incompetence shows year after year – they neglect areas on the field where they need help, like on defense. While I do not think Josh McDaniels was as horrible as he was criticized for last year, it is clear that talent-wise, the Raiders are still the worst team in the division.

So, all things considered, this leads me to believe the best spot for Denver to land would be in 2nd place in the AFC West. The Broncos have the only distinct home-field advantage in football, they now have a proven head coach who has a shot of saving Russ, and they have an elite defense. If Russ can limit turnovers and make easy throws, which Payton should be able to cook up for him, I like the Bronco’s chances of finishing 2nd in the AFC West.


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