This week, BetPrep Sharp Brad Feinberg discusses his top futures before Week 13 of the 2021-2022 NFL season and top NBA futures as of November 30 with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. Futures include the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Tom Brady, Myles Garrett, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA Scoring Title, and more.
Let’s start with a team that actually lost in Week 12, the Colts, who you like Over 8.5 wins laying juice (minus-200).
Brad: You had a nice piece that I enjoyed, saying the Colts lost a 50/50 game. I agree. That loss actually made me feel good about the Colts. I have them now at 9.2 wins. So you say, “But that’s not that big a difference from 8.5.” Here's the thing: 0.7 wins for five games is like two wins of differential in the preseason, which would be a huge edge we all agree. So this difference is very significant. Minus-200 may scare some people off. But I think this bet should be closer to minus-400. I’ll give you the schedule. They’re at 6-6. They’re at the Texans this week and at the Jaguars to end the season. That’s two wins. Raiders at home, they’ll be a favorite. At the Cardinals is a tough game. But they can win that game. And at home against the Patriots. Everyone is saying how good New England is. I don’t think the Colts are worse. So are they going to go 3-2 or 2-3. I say at least 3-2 and I actually think they’re going to go 4-1.
Next a team you’ve faded all year and are fading again: Saints Under 8.5 wins.
Brad: Saints Under 9.5 wins was my biggest bet of the season. They're 5-6. They have six games left. I’m going to win the 9.5 bet since they’re not going 5-1. Can they go 4-2 to go Over their current number? This week, they have about a 30% chance to beat the Cowboys and I have to say I do like them at those odds this week. But Dallas is about a 2.5/1 favorite to win this game. They’re at Tampa Bay, also very likely to lose. Carolina at home. At the Jets. Miami at home. At the Falcons. I'm the first to admit that it is an easy schedule. I get it. But I am a little concerned with my Miami Under 9.0 bet that the Dolphins are going to run the table. Carolina is so bad at QB but are the Saints a better team? They’re better than the Jets and Falcons but it’s not like those games can’t be lost by the Saints, who are not good themselves. I think this team is really, really bad. They don't have anything on offense.
The Lions are expected to win 1.5 games and you’re going Under.
Brad: Who the hell are the Lions beating? Vikings at home, at Denver, Arizona at home, at the Falcons, at Seattle, Packers at home -- they are going to be legitimate underdogs in all six of those games. I would have set this over/under at 0.5, probably juice to the Over. I'm going to dare them to get two wins. Their best chance of winning a game is against the Packers the final week if the Packers don’t need it. But I think Green Bay will need it. I really like this Lions Under 1.5 wins play quite a bit.
The Packers +450 to win the NFC.
Brad: The books have cemented them as the best team in the NFC. Here's what it comes down to: they have a good chance of winning out and guaranteeing the top seed. The only game where they are not a heavy favorite is at the Ravens and I don’t think the Ravens are good. Even though the Packers have been a playoff disappointment with Aaron Rodgers, generally, they are 5-3 with Rodgers at Green Bay with one of those losses occurring since the 2013 season. So I think their advantage at home is more than that. Am I arguing with you that Tampa Bay actually is the best team? No, I'm not. But that’s like, do you like chocolate ice cream better or vanilla? Who knows. If they played 100 times, these teams would probably go 50-50. And I’m down on all the other favorites in the NFC, including the Cardinals. We talk all the time about Kyler Murray being healthy and we have not seen if he’s healthy yet. He never stays healthy for long.
Tom Brady at +350 to win the MVP
Brad: We’ve played 12 weeks. So at this exact moment in the NFL season, we've completed about 70% on the year. Brady now is clearly the most likely winner. There's nothing bad to say about him. Yards, touchdowns, wins, everyone loves him. Aaron Rodgers has a case but COVID and his vaccine stance and that whole controversy with him will cost him votes and it doesn’t take much to lose. I don’t think Rodgers can win a close vote. The Bucs have a very favorable schedule. They could win out. Brady has dominant stats, averaging 308 yards a game and with 30 passing touchdowns that leads League. He's right up there in QBR. He should be maybe plus-200 right now. He’s about 30%, 33% to win it, not the implied 18% here.
Miles Garrett +250 for Defensive Player of the Year. If you look at the past winners, they’re all on big-time winning teams. Is that a problem for Garrett?
Brad: I think that’s just a coincidence that all those past winners have been on 11/12-win teams. It’s not like QB. To be MVP you have to be on a winning team because we all know that QBs win games. No one thinks having the best defensive player means you have to be a winning team. Your model is interesting and I love that you do them. But I’m going to say it’s not meaningful in setting these odds. Garrett is the best defensive player and I don’t think it’s close. So I think he wins it.
For more of Brad’s picks, including NBA award futures, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast..