Why Right Now Is The Best Time To Bet On NFL Futures

Written By Martin Derbyshire on September 3, 2021 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022
super bowl power rankings

If you’re like most red-blooded, age-of-majority Americans, you’re chomping at the bit to bet on NFL football again. Betting on practice squad hopefuls in the preseason was never a good idea to begin with, and it certainly hasn’t satisfied your craving for real NFL betting action.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for America’s Team to face the defending Super Bowl LV champions in the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday, Sept. 9. That’s because right now, just before the season starts, is absolutely the best time to wade into the NFL futures markets at sportsbooks all across the country.

NFL futures favorites

Why is now the best time to bet on NFL futures? Because the odds on the true favorites to win the Super Bowl will never be better than they are right now, ahead of the start of the season.

The truth is, that by the time certain teams start running away with their division, earning a playoff spot, and proving themselves to be among the best teams in their Conference, the odds drop so low you may have to lay money to make any money betting on them to win the Super Bowl.

Ahead of the season, the odds on teams like the defending Super Bowl champions and the team they beat to win it are long enough to make even a small bet pay off pretty big.

In other words, you’ll never get a better price on a real contender to win Super Bowl LVI than you will right now.

Betting multiple NFL futures favorites

As usual, the participants in last season’s AFC and NFC Championship games are the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season. However, like we just outlined above, ahead of the season, the odds on the favorites to win the Super Bowl are long enough to make for some pretty good bets.

Take a look at the prices on the AFC and NFC Championship game participants from last year a week ahead of the season:

Super Bowl LVI Winner

FanDuel SportsbookDraftKings SportsbookBetMGM Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers


(Note: See current Super Bowl odds for all teams right here)

As you can see, you can bet $100 or more on each one of these teams and still make a profit if any one manages to win Super Bowl LVI next February.

The only way you’ll lose is if one of them doesn’t. Of course, the key to spreading a little money around and making multiple bets in the NFL futures market like this is to make sure winning the lowest paying bet you place still covers the cost of all your bets.

In this case you’re betting $400 total; $100 on each team. The Kansas City Chiefs are offering the lowest odds at +500. A $100 bet on the Chiefs to win would pay $600 ($500 plus your $100 bet back).

That’s $200 more than the $400 you bet, which means you would still make a $200 profit on your lowest paying bet. Obviously, the profits will be even larger if any one of the other three teams wins.

Plus, if you’re willing to give up a little more of your potential profits, you can even add a fifth team here, betting another $100. You would only make a $100 profit on a Kansas City Super Bowl win, but you’d have a total of five teams that would pay you with a Super Bowl LVI victory.

It’s true that you’d have a better chance to win if you waited and bet on five teams that prove themselves to be true Super Bowl contenders this season. Unfortunately, by the time five teams do that, the odds will drop significantly and no longer add up.

Ahead of the start of the season is generally the only time the odds are long enough in the NFL futures market to make multiple NFL futures favorites bets like this make sense.

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Make a flyer bet on a Super Bowl longshot

The case for betting NFL futures favorites ahead of the season is clear, but what about longshots?

The truth is that the odds on big longshots to win the Super Bowl may get even better throughout the season, but the chances of longshot winning, or you winning a bet on a longshot, will probably not.

That’s why it’s a good idea to bet longshots in the NFL futures markets ahead of the season as well.

Longshot bets are all about taking advantage of long odds. You do that by making small bets that offer the chance at a big payday with very little exposure or risk. If you wait for a longshot to prove itself to be a contender first, you’ll miss out on the long odds. If you wait for the odds to get even bigger, your chances of winning will drop so much, it’s almost as if you’re giving your money away.

The fact is, the week before the season starts, the odds are long enough on several teams to make it worth making a small bet. The trick is to try to identify a team that may be ready to shock the world and turn itself into a Super Bowl contender in a year where nobody thought they would be.

Perhaps a team that was on the playoff bubble in 2020 and looks like they may have improved through the draft or free agency. Or, a team that was only a few good breaks away from a winning season last year, but never could catch one. A team that appears ready to take a big step up.

The Denver Broncos (), could be that team. They have a new starting QB in Teddy Bridgewater and a championship-level defense. Or, the Arizona Cardinals () could be. After all, QB Kyler Murray was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, a Pro Bowler last year, and could be ready to lead the Cardinals to the promised land.

Perhaps you think the Philadelphia Eagles () combination of Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, and now Gardner Minshew at QB is the answer in the previously woeful NFC East and beyond.

Either way, there’s no better time than right now to bet on these longshots or others. By the time they’re no longer longshots, it may be too late.

Current Super Bowl odds

To bet on any NFL team to win the Super Bowl this year, check the current odds at legal online sportsbooks below. Click on any odds to go right to the sportsbook, claim your free bonus and start getting your account registered. Use the menu on the right to change your legal betting state.

Photo by Ed Zurga / Associated Press
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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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