NFL Futures: Best Super Bowl, Playoff Bets Following Week 3
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacoby Brissett
- We ran 10,000 simulations of the 2019 NFL season to determine the most likely playoff and Super Bowl contenders.
- Using our projections, we have highlighted two future bets to place before Week 4 kicks off.
Change comes quickly in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season and Drew Brees is sidelined with a thumb injury. The Bills, who won six games last year, are undefeated while the Browns, a preseason darling, are 0-2 at home.
It has been an interesting first few weeks of football. Of course, it is important not to overreact to early-season results, but the wins and losses count.
With three games in the books, what does the playoff picture look like heading into Week 4?
Odds as of Wednesday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
We ran 10,000 simulations of the 2019 NFL season using player and team statistics adjusted for strength of schedule to produce projected playoff and Super Bowl probabilities.
The Patriots, Chiefs, Rams and Ravens are among the most likely teams to reach the postseason and win the Super Bowl. But should bettors feel confident backing any of these squads?
By comparing our model to the betting odds at PointsBet, we unearthed one Super Bowl and one playoff bet worth making before Week 4 kicks off.
New England Patriots to win Super Bowl
- Current odds: +350, Implied Probability: 22.2%
- Patriots win Super Bowl 29.3% of the time
Betting doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes the answer is staring you in the face. The Patriots are the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl and there is no reason to think Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won’t win a seventh championship.
The Pats are 3-0, have the best point differential in football and New England’s defense ranks No. 1 in defensive DVOA. Not only is this one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but it faces one of the softest schedules.
As a result, the Patriots are the most likely team to reach the playoffs, win their division and earn a first-round bye. All of these increase the likelihood of this team returning to the Super Bowl.
According to our simulations, there is nearly a 50/50 chance that New England plays in a fourth consecutive championship game. With a 29.3% chance to lift the Lombardi Trophy, the Pats’ odds to win the Super Bowl should be closer to +240 than +350.
Indianapolis Colts to Make Playoffs
- Current odds: +121, Implied Probability: 45.2%
- Colts make the playoffs 58.7% of the time
The Colts were a disaster in 2017 when Andrew Luck missed the season due to injury. Many predicted a similar fate following Luck’s retirement, but not us.
Before the season began we listed Indy (+360) as one of the best bets to make the playoffs. There were many reasons to think this time around would be different.
For starters, Jacoby Brissett was forced into the lineup in 2017 eight days after being acquired from the Patriots. He prepared this offseason to start Week 1 in the likelihood that Luck would miss the opener with an ankle injury.
Also, Frank Reich has proven to be a more capable coach than Chuck Pagano, which means the Colts would have more success utilizing Brissett’s strengths.
The offensive line is a stronger unit than what we saw in 2017 with All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson leading the way. The Colts’ big guys upfront allowed only 18 sacks in 2018 — the second fewest in the league.
With proper protection, Brissett will be able to take full advantage of his offensive weapons that include receiver T.Y. Hilton, running back Marlon Mack and tight ends Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle.
The defense was a major issue in 2017, allowing 25.3 points per game — third worst in the NFL. The 2018 version conceded only 21.5 points per game (10th) and was 10th in defensive DVOA.
Nearly everything we suggested would happen has come to fruition. The Colts are one bad kicking performance from Adam Vinatieri away from being 3-0.
Our simulations give Indianapolis a 58.7% chance to make the playoffs — fifth-best odds in the AFC. The Colts are legit and there is still value betting them to make the playoffs.