NFL Futures – The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More

The allure of NFL futures betting lies in its ability to transform the passionate predictions of football fans and sports bettors into significant monetary gains. Whether you’re forecasting the next Super Bowl champion, divisional winners, or the season’s MVP, NFL futures betting opens up a world of opportunities well before the first kickoff. In this context, understanding the broader landscape of American sports betting can be beneficial. Sports Betting Guide to American Sports Betting Operations.

In this guide, Sports Hub’s NFL experts dive deep into the strategic world of NFL futures, offering insights into making educated bets, understanding odds, and ultimately, enhancing your NFL season experience. Make sure you check GameAdvisers all season long for great tips like the advantages of betting first half NFL lines.Let’s get started.

What is NFL Futures Betting?

At its core, NFL futures betting involves placing wagers on the outcomes of league events scheduled to happen at a future date. This could range from team performances over the season to individual awards for players and coaches.

The most popular of all NFL futures bets is on the Super Bowl winner. Usually, the day after the previous Super Bowl, the NFL futures market for the next Super Bowl opens. Super Bowl odds are set and bettors can begin placing early bets on the next Lombardi Trophy winner. We’ll talk more about strategy and when to place your NFL futures bet later.

NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
Understanding odds is a key to successful NFL futures betting.

The great thing about NFL futures, or those in other sports, is the long odds. Bettors can get a huge Super Bowl favorite at some very enticing odds. Take two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City as an example. You can bet on the Chiefs right now at +600 odds to win a third straight Lombardi Trophy.

Betting on NFL futures can lead to some substantial payouts. They also add an exciting dimension to an entire NFL season. There are some drawbacks as well, which we will address later. 

NFL Futures Betting Tips

Success in NFL futures betting doesn’t just come from blind luck. It demands a keen understanding of the sport, teams, and the betting market. Before betting on NFL futures, make sure you understand each of the following.

  1. Understand the Odds: Odds in futures betting offer a snapshot of how bookmakers predict the season might unfold. They reflect the probability of certain outcomes and are influenced by team performances, player moves, and historical data. Getting a grip on reading these odds is foundational to making informed bets. NFL futures are great because in most markets you can find favorites at plus-money. Depending upon when you place your bet (something we will also discuss), you can get some great payouts betting on NFL futures.
  2. Analyze Teams and Players: Beyond just being familiar with the big names, successful futures bettors dig deeper. They look at offseason moves, coaching changes, draft picks, and even schedules to evaluate team prospects. Player injuries, comebacks, and even potential MVP candidates require similar scrutiny. Making sound NFL futures bets takes a great deal of research and preparation. Don’t bet blindly. Dive deeper into quarter betting strategies to maximize your insights: Expert Guide on Betting NFL Quarters
  3. Timing Is Crucial: When you place an NFL futures bet can be as important as the bet itself. Timing is of the essence. Odds fluctuate throughout the season. For example, Super Bowl odds were released right after the completion of last season’s big game. Those odds have changed somewhat through the offseason moves and the 2024 NFL draft. Even betting NFL futures during the regular season requires impeccable timing. Identifying the right moment to lock in your bet can maximize value, often before the general betting public causes odds to shift.

The Best NFL Futures Markets This Season

While every NFL season offers a unique set of opportunities and challenges, certain types of futures bets consistently offer value. Here are some top markets to consider.

  • Team to Win the Super Bowl: Betting on the ultimate champion is the most classic of all NFL futures bet. Look beyond the favorites for teams that have strengthened significantly during the offseason but might still be flying under the radar. Heading into 2024, we have a two-time, back-to-back Super Bowl winner. No team has ever won three straight Super Bowls. That’s something to keep in mind when you bet this market in 2024.
NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
The most popular NFL futures bet.
  • Division Winners: With smaller pools of competitors, divisional bets can sometimes offer clearer insight into potential outcomes based on historical performances and offseason changes. In English, that means you only have to choose from four teams. You can dial in the research and make a much more well-informed choice for an NFL division winner. The odds won’t be as favorable, but you’ll be more likely to cash on a winner.
  • MVP and Individual Awards: Individual awards are trickier but can be rewarding. You can bet on the MVP, Rookies of the Year, and even Coach of the Year. Analyzing player performances and team reliance on star players can identify potential MVP candidates. Offensive and defensive ROTY year candidates can usually be identified early and locked in at plus-money odds.

NFL Futures Bets to Make This Season

The first market to attack in the NFL futures market is the most popular – Super Bowl LIX. Almost immediately after last seasons’ Super Bowl, NFL futures odds for Super Bowl LIX were released. They moved somewhat as a result of some offseason trades and the 2024 NFL draft, but the favorites remain in place. 

In the history of the NFL, there has never been a team win Super Bowls in a row. Kansas City has won each of the last two. Their opponent in Super Bowl LVIII, San Francisco, was installed as the early favorite. The 49ers are given +550 odds to win it this coming season.

NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
The 49ers are favored to win Super Bowl LIX.

Kansas City is right behind at +600 and the only other team with better than +1000 odds is Baltimore (+950). Interestingly, the NFL recently announced that Kansas City will host the Ravens in the 2024 NFL kickoff game on Thursday, September 5. It is customary for last year’s Super Bowl winner to host the first game of a new NFL season.

There are several contenders among the top teams in this category. Cincinnati, Detroit, and Buffalo all check in at +1300. The Bills odds have lengthened since the trading away of WR Stefon Diggs to Houston. Cincinnati lost Super Bowl LVI to the Los Angeles Rams and then lost in the 2022 AFC Championship game to the Chiefs. Detroit made it to the NFC Championship game last season.

Here’s a look at the NFL futures market for Super Bowl LIX.

  • San Francisco 49ers +550
  • Kansas City Chiefs +600
  • Baltimore Ravens +950
  • Cincinnati Bengals +1300
  • Detroit Lions +1300
  • Buffalo Bills +1300
  • Philadelphia Eagles +1400
  • Dallas Cowboys +1500
  • Houston Texans +1600
  • Green Bay Packers +1900
  • Miami Dolphins +2300
  • Atlanta Falcons +2400
  • New York Jets +2700
  • Los Angeles Rams +3200
  • Cleveland Browns +4000
  • Chicago Bears +4000
  • Jacksonville Jaguars +4500
  • Los Angeles Chargers +5000
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +5000
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +5500
  • Indianapolis Colts +5500
  • Seattle Seahawks +7500
  • New Orleans Saints +8000
  • Las Vegas Raiders +8000
  • Arizona Cardinals +8000
  • Minnesota Vikings +8000
  • New York Giants +10000
  • Tennessee Titans +13000
  • Washington Commanders +15000
  • Denver Broncos +15000
  • New England Patriots +18000
  • Carolina Panthers +30000

2024 NFL Division Winners

While the odds aren’t as favorable, bettors have a much easier path to success betting NFL futures in the division winners market. Take the AFC West as an example. The Kansas City Chiefs have won the division eight years in a row. Guess who’s favored to win the AFC West in 2024?

Kansas City is a -220 favorite to capture a ninth straight AFC West title. Now, if you don’t like the payout ($22 bet to win $10), you can always look at the other divisions where there may be more favorable odds.

Bettors can find some real value in divisions like the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins, under head coach Mike McDaniel, have become the latest offensive juggernaut. The Dolphins finished the 2023 season second in the NFL in scoring (29.2 ppg) and won the AFC East Division for the second consecutive season. 

What’s interesting is that the Buffalo Bills are favored to win division in 2024. Buffalo is a +160 favorite followed by the Dolphins at +185. However, the team to watch is the New York Jets (+210) who will have QB Aaron Rodgers back from an Achilles tear. Rodgers will have tons of talent around him, including the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, WR Garrett Wilson. The Jets also signed WR Mike Williams in the offseason. 

Another solid division to check out is the NFC North. Detroit won the division and advanced all the way to the NFC championship last season. Head coach Dan Campbell is building something special and the Lions are favored this season at +145 to win the division again. They’ll be challenged by the Packers (+185) who also made the playoffs last season. It will be interesting to see if No. 1 overall draft pick QB Caleb Williams can bring the Bears (+320) some prosperity.

Betting 2024 NFL Futures – Player Awards

There are a number of NFL player awards among the 2024 NFL futures bets. Bettors can wager on the league’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year as well as the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.

The biggest of all the NFL awards, though, is the league MVP. The NFL futures market for the MVP is usually the most-bet of all the awards. Typically, quarterbacks rule the category as the last 11 straight MVPs were QBs. 

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson have won four of the last six. The other two in the past six seasons were won by Rodgers when he was with Green Bay. Rodgers won those two consecutively in 2020 and 2021. The last NFL player to win an MVP playing a position other than quarterback was RB Adrian Peterson in 2012. 

NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
Mahomes is the favorite to win the 2024 NFL MVP.

Not surprisingly, this year’s favorite to win the 2024 NFL MVP is Mahomes at +500. Jackson, who won the award last year, is fifth on the board at +1400. Green Bay’s Jordan Love is also given +1400 odds. 

After Mahomes, it’s Buffalo QB Josh Allen (+800), Houston’s C.J. Stroud (+1000), and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow (+1000). None of those three have ever won the award. The first non-quarterback on the board is San Francisco star RB Christian McCaffrey. He’s listed at +5000. Miami WR Tyreek Hill is given +10000 odds to win the MVP in 2024. 

Drawbacks to Betting on NFL Futures

The biggest disadvantage to betting on NFL futures is the time that a bettor’s money is locked up. If a bettor places a $100 wager right now on Baltimore to win Super Bowl LIX, that $100 is off the books from now until after Super Bowl LIX has concluded. 

That $100 could be invested elsewhere in the sports betting markets. A bettor could take that $100 and turn it into $500 or $1000 betting each week throughout the NFL season. You have to be okay with giving up whatever you bet on NFL futures. You won’t be able to touch it until the season has come to an end. 

NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
Having your money tied up in a futures bet means you can’t use it during the season.

One of the other drawbacks is the juice you’ll be charged. You probably don’t see it, but sportsbooks will typically charge a hefty premium on NFL futures bets. That premium is usually in the 20 to 40 percent range for online sportsbooks.

The juice on NFL futures bets may be confusing to many bettors, but it is actually easy to determine. Take all of the odds being offered on each team or player and convert them to implied probability. When you add these numbers, you will find that they reveal a total well more than 100 percent. The difference is the juice. Again, it’s roughly 20 to 40 percent in the NFL futures market.

Learn from Past Success Betting NFL Futures

You can actually learn a lot from past successful NFL futures bets. Each year, there are typically  a handful of teams that have a roster that is built to win a Super Bowl. Likewise, there are only a few players – almost always quarterbacks – that can win an MVP. 

When Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay, it was worth a shot betting the Bucs to win Super Bowl LV before Brady even took a snap. The Bucs had a standout defense and the offensive weapons needed to win a championship. 

NFL Futures - The Good, Bad, Ugly, and More
Successful betting on NFL futures takes time and preparation.

It’s a similar story in the Rookie of the Year markets. The Bears drafted Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall. They didn’t draft him to sit on the bench. You can bet he will start in Week 1. That means he’ll have plenty of opportunities to build the type of stats worthy of a Rookie of the Year. Williams is the NFL Offensive ROTY favorite at +170 odds.

Bet NFL Futures & Win

NFL futures betting enriches the football season. It turns every game and every performance into a piece of a larger puzzle. By analyzing odds, paying close attention to team and player developments, and choosing the right time to place your bets, you can significantly increase your chances of success. For more on winning football bets this season, consider the insights here: Win More Football Bets This Season.

Have fun betting NFL futures in 2024 and best of luck!

NFL Futures FAQ

How does an NFL futures bet work?

An NFL futures bet is a wager on an event that has yet to be completed and will be finished sometime in the future. For example, you can bet on the winner of Super Bowl LIX, even though that game won’t be played until February of 2025.

Can you parlay NFL futures?

Absolutely! Just like you can with most any other bet, you can parlay NFL futures. You could parlay two NFL futures bets – Super Bowl champion and MVP, for example – or you might want to parlay a college football bet with an NFL futures bet. The bottom line, though, is, yes, you can parlay NFL futures.

How do you hedge an NFL futures bet?

Hedging a futures bet protects a bettor from losing the entire profit from a wager. You bet $100 on the Jets to win the Super Bowl at +600. The Jets play the 49ers in the Super Bowl. You bet $1,000 on the Niners to win at +200. You are guaranteed a win and profit no matter which team wins the big game.