NFL Futures Bets: 3 Wagers To Make Before Week 11
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa.
I ran my simulations before the season and came up with my win total picks. Ahead of Week 11, I've revisited the NFL futures market and made three picks.
I set up a rest-of-season simulation to help tackle this market. Tagovailoa ended up showing the most value as I’m showing his fair odds closer to +220.
There are 11 contenders in this market but only 4-5 serious contenders. The main competition for Tagovailoa is C.J. Stroud, who has a 17-yard lead. I have Tagovailoa with a slightly higher projection going forward
Stroud has been phenomenal, but I think the Texans defense is starting to get better (Will Anderson is turning into a stud). Houston's run game is also heating up with Devin Singletary, which could be one way Stroud slows down.
Sam Howell is another serious threat as he already has a 180-yard lead, but he has a bye week coming up in Week 14 that could allow a few of these guys to pass him up. Same with Josh Allen, who's just nine yards behind Tagovailoa but has a Week 13 bye.
Mahomes is obviously a threat even though he’s almost 200 yards back. The Chiefs defense is playing at a high level, and that could prevent him from having too many huge games. Jared Goff and Dak Prescott are the other two but have some work to do.
The main thing with Tagovailoa will be whether he can stay healthy. If he can, he will have an even better chance to take this down. He spent the offseason working on avoiding taking big hits that can lead to concussions, so he’s running it less and sliding down. That’s only going to maximize his passing upside and help prevent injury.
Here are some other intriguing names in the market.
QB Dak Prescott
Prescott is a decent play, but I’m in line with him around 16-1. He has massive upside, but he’s using his legs a bit more, which could take away from his passing upside and also expose him to injury.
QB Josh Allen
Allen's turnover-worthy play rate is only 2.4%, which is ninth lowest among 38 qualified QBs. The Bills may lean on the run a bit more going forward and be more conservative to try to prevent more turnovers. He's also due for positive regression in terms of not throwing interceptions.
The Seahawks have had the fifth-easiest schedule to date and have the fourth-hardest the rest of the way with five road games compared to three home games. Seattle has a brutal stretch from Weeks 12-15 when they face the 49ers, Cowboys, 49ers again and Eagles.
Investing right now leading up to a pick‘em matchup against the Rams, who likely get Matthew Stafford back, makes sense.
Geno Smith has struggled this year. His turnover-worthy play rate is eighth-highest among active starting QBs
One of the things I noticed with my season simulation is that Seattle has the same chances of winning nine or 10 games (25% each), so 9.5 might seem like the perfect break-even win total. However, I am showing them with a bigger chance (21%) of only winning eight games vs. a 13% chance to win 11 games. That’s mainly due to their tough schedule.
Before the season started, I had Giants 20-1 in this market as a lean. I have them as slight favorites in this market now around +160.
The Cardinals and Patriots are the other contenders, but it’s really between the Panthers and Giants. Carolina is bad, but at least it has the first overall pick at QB. Bryce Young is only going to get better and the Panthers don’t have a first-round pick in 2024, so there's no real incentive to tank.
The Giants are a disaster right now with both Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor out for season. Tommy DeVito looks like he won some contest to be a starting QB for them
The Giants do have some incentive to tank because they might want a shot at one of the 2024 draft class' top QBs in Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.
Giants were +17.5 at Dallas last week (probably should have been +20). Panthers are only +10.5 against Dallas this week. So, removing home-field advantage, the market has the Panthers about 3-4 points better than the Giants, who have the 16th-easiest remaining schedule compared to Carolina's seventh-easiest.
It’s essentially a race to 3-4 wins between the two. The Giants already have two and the Panthers have one. However, the Giants haven't had their bye week yet, with it coming in Week 13. So, the Panthers have one more game to try to get to 3-4 wins. That's one of the reasons why I think grabbing the Giants at +250 right now is sneaky.