Guide To NFL Futures Betting - Prediction Machine

What Are NFL Futures Bets?

An NFL Futures bet is simply a wager on a future season-long outcome that will be decided later on in the NFL Season.

While there are many NFL futures markets (see below) you can get into, the most popular way to bet the market is to lock in a wager on which team will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy and win the Super Bowl.

Oddsmakers set NFL futures odds immediately after the prior season’s Super Bowl, and adjust the odds depending on a number of factors as time passes. The entertainment value and “fun factor” of betting the NFL Futures market is high because of the “slow burn” effect. For instance, if you bet the Chicago Bears +6600 and they start the season 6-1 and begin to open eyes, then you might as well buy a Justin Fields jersey because you’ll be watching Bears games closely the rest of the season.

Bets on NFL futures before the season starts can be profitable, but a word to the wise – wagering big chunks of money on an NFL futures ticket can tie up your money, giving you less ammunition for Weeks 1-18. Another risk of betting NFL futures markets is that injuries to star players can quickly derail your bet.

Super Bowl Futures

Super Bowl betting is definitely the most heavily bet NFL futures option for football bettors. This market is fluid and moves quickly during the offseason based on market pressures and news.

For example, the New York Jets were +4000 prior to landing former MVP Aaron Rodgers and they now sit at +1400 after that splash. Getting out ahead of big news like that can be profitable, as we saw when Tom Brady signed with Tampa Bay in 2020 and immediately won another ring. 

Using the Jets as an example, a $100 bet on them today would win you $1400, plus your $100 back. That hypothetical aforementioned Bears bet would return you $6,600 plus your original $100 wager back. Chicago fans, how juicy does that sound?

You can also make Super Bowl bets during the season. For instance, maybe you’re checking out Prediction Machine’s Power Rankings around Week 6 and notice a team quietly climbing up the charts that the hasn’t gotten a lot of hype in the national media market. Putting a wager in on that squad when you notice it getting hot could make that ticket look like a bargain once the playoffs roll around.

Hedging NFL Futures

Keep in mind, an NFL Futures bet doesn’t have to cash in order to make you profit. That may sound strange, but savvy bettors can use hedging techniques to extract winnings from a losing NFL Futures Ticket.

For instance, last season the Eagles had +2200 Super Bowl odds during the preseason. Though the Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs, someone with that $100 Super Bowl ticket to win $2300 ($2200 + $100 original bet) could have bet $800 on the Chiefs (+100) to win the game. This would create a scenario where they lose that $800 bet, but still take home $2300 or they lose their original $100 bet and still take home $800 thanks to the Chiefs winning.   

Division And Conference Futures

Conference and Division futures bets are also popular betting options. Instead of gambling on a team to make it all the way through the unpredictable gauntlet that is the NFL Playoffs, wagers can be made on teams to win their respective division or conference.

Of course, compared to Super Bowl bets, these wagers are far more likely to happen, but pay much less too.

For example, the 49ers are currently +150 to win the NFC West, the Giants are +800 to win the NFC East and the Jaguars are +1200 to capture the AFC crown.

Player Performance Awards

The “slow burn” fun of NFL Futures can also be found in the player award market. You can wager on things like which player will win the league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), and OPOY. Comeback player of the Year and Coach of the Year are popular as well (Dan Campbell at +850, anyone?).

Player futures are also an option, for instance you can bet that Patrick Mahomes will lead the league in passing yards (+475) or that Zay Flowers will have the most receiving yards among rookies (+1000).

Other NFL Futures Options

The number of ways to bet in the NFL Futures market is seemingly endless. Some sportsbooks allow you to bet the exact season win total for a team prior to the season. For instance, if the Browns win exactly 13 games, it would pay +1400.

Bettors also have the option of pairing together a specific exact super bowl result. For instance, a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl (Chiefs over Eagles) would pay +2800.