2 NFL Futures Offering Value Following Week 4
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12).
- 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 5 kicks off.
We are one-quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL season. The Patriots, Chiefs and 49ers are the remaining undefeated teams, and 24 of 32 teams are .500 or better.
Four teams, the Bengals, Broncos, Redskins and Dolphins, are 0-4. Only one 0-4 team, the 1992 Chargers, have ever made the playoffs. It is fair to say the season is over for these teams. But for the rest of the league, the playoffs and a Super Bowl run are possible.
With that in mind, 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 heading into Week 5.
Odds as of Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Patriots, Chiefs and Rams are among the most likely teams to reach the postseason and win the Super Bowl. Should bettors feel confident backing these squads?
By comparing our model to the betting odds at PointsBet, we have found a division and playoff bet worth making before Week 5 kicks off.
Green Bay Packers to Win NFC North
- Current odds: +150, Implied Probability: 40.0%
- Packers win division 43.2% of the time
Green Bay just lost its first game of the season, falling at home to Philadelphia in Week 4. The team’s run defense was exposed, allowing 176 rushing yards to the Eagles. The Packers failed to sack Carson Wentz after recording 12 sacks in their first three games. It wasn’t just the defense that disappointed.
Aaron Rodgers led the offense into the red zone seven times and came away with only three touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, the Packers had the ball on the Eagles one-yard line and Rodgers threw four consecutive incompletions.
It was an ugly game for Matt LaFleur’s team. Of course, it is important to not overreact to one result. Green Bay still ranks ninth in DVOA and is 3-1 on the season. Most importantly, the Cheeseheads are 2-0 in the division with wins over the Bears and Vikings.
Chicago is 1-1, Minnesota 0-2 and Detroit hasn’t played a division game yet. The NFC North is expected to be tough and divisional records and tiebreakers could be important. Even though the Packers lost last week, the team is sitting pretty in the division.
Buying low on the Packers at +150 is a smart move.
San Francisco 49ers to Make Playoffs
- Current odds: -134, Implied Probability: 57.3%
- 49ers make the playoffs 62.7% of the time
The Niners are one of the league’s surprise teams, jumping out to a 3-0 start. This is the first time San Francisco has started 3-0 since 1998. In the past two seasons, it has taken until December before the team recorded its third win.
Kyle Shanahan’s team is getting it done by running the ball and playing defense. San Francisco is averaging 175 rushing yards per game, second most in the NFL. This is a huge improvement for the team that ranked last in rushing DVOA in 2018.
Last year, the Niners defense had just two interceptions — the fewest in NFL history. San Francisco was expected to see positive regression in the turnover category and it has. In the team’s three wins, the 49ers have five interceptions — second most in the league behind the Patriots.
Before the season began, San Francisco was +200 to make the playoffs. With three wins under their belts, the 49ers are -134 to reach the postseason. The team’s betting odds have improved and so have the projections.
Our model gave Jimmy Garoppolo & Co. a 30.3% chance of sneaking into the postseason before the season began. Following a hot start, the team’s probability has increased to 62.7%.
San Francisco is the fifth-most likely playoff team and a smart bet at -134 odds.