Here in the last week of February and the first week of March you might start feeling the effects of football withdrawal as the attention of the collective sports world turns mostly to basketball. After all, the NBA playoff race is heating up and the tip-off of the NCAA’s March Madness is within sight.
But did you know you can still bet on football? Or that now may secretly be one of the best times of the year to do it?
NFL and NCAA offseason alternatives
After more than 30 up and down years in existence, the Arena Football League will kick off another campaign in late April. This season will include only six teams, which should make it easier than ever to pick winners.
Plus, a new alternative to NCAA and NFL football has emerged and is promising to help you get your football betting fix during the offseason.
The fledgling Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicked off its inaugural 10-week regular season on Feb. 9 and several legal US sportsbooks are already taking bets on games.
Various AAF betting markets are available online in New Jersey at:
In fact, now may be the best time to start making a few AAF bets. After all, there’s bound to be some value out there, considering oddsmakers have very little past history to go on when setting the lines.
In addition to sports betting moneylines, spreads, and totals on individual games, you can also take a flyer on an AAF future. Most sportsbooks will have odds posted on which of the league’s eight brand new teams will become its first champion and no team can be considered a true favorite at this point.
NFL and NCAA football futures bets
For that matter, most sportsbooks will let you bet a variety of big-time football futures right now as well. And it’s a very good time to do it. In fact, most of the NFL and NCAA football futures odds posted at legal US sportsbooks will never be better than they are at this moment.
Next season’s NFL rosters are not even set, but you can already bet on who will win the Super Bowl. Plus you can book a bet now knowing that the odds will only go down as a team’s chances improve with high-quality off-season moves, and regular season and playoff wins.
For example, you can bet on the New England Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champs next season at +700 on FanDuel Sportsbook right now. Last season, by the time there were just eight teams remaining in the NFL playoffs, only the true underdogs to win another game had better odds. In fact, 888 Sport had the Patriots at +600 and listed three other teams with even lower odds.
NFL underdogs come at a particularly attractive price this early in the offseason as well.
Think the Denver Broncos trading for QB Joe Flacco will turn around the Broncos’ fortunes in a big way next season? SugarHouse Sportsbook has Denver at +6600 to win next year’s Super Bowl, a number that really can’t go anywhere but down if the Broncos contend.
The same holds true for NCAA football, where you can currently bet on the Clemson Tigers to repeat as National Champions at +175 on Golden Nugget Sportsbook. Should all go as planned for the Tigers and returning Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence next season, that’s a number that is sure to go down.
Outside the box sports betting
Plus, there’s some real value to be found in the offseason if you’re willing to bet outside the box.
In fact, outside of the teams projected to be among the top four in NCAA football next year, the odds start at around +1000 right now and only go up from there. If any of the top schools falter and other teams emerge as contenders, those odds are bound to drop hard and fast, making now the best time to place an NCAA football futures bet.
Some sportsbooks are also allowing punters to have even more fun with NFL futures.
Caesars Casino & Sports has NFL futures odds posted on a variety of different categories, including passing, rushing, and receiving yards leaders for next season.
Plus, PointsBet will let you place a bet on who will be the first pick in NFL draft on April 26.
Big time football may be on vacation until the fall, but there’s still plenty of pigskin action to get in on at legal US sportsbooks all year long.