We’re back! I can’t believe it, but the NFL is really back! It still seems very surreal to me, but now that Week 1 is finally here, a rush of adrenaline is starting to hit me. I’ve finished crunching all the numbers and researching after all of the roster moves after last weekend’s cuts. Thursday can’t get here fast enough! This week I’ll be posting some of my favorite AFC & NFC futures picks, my favorite bets for the Thursday night season opener, and of course, my favorite picks for Week 1.
AFC 2020 Futures Picks
When it comes to the AFC this season, the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs are just a level above the rest of their competition. But, that is already built into their numbers by oddsmakers when it comes to their season totals. For that reason, I’m skipping both of those teams when it comes to my season total bets. But, we will revisit them later in this piece, once it gets to my Super Bowl picks.
So, what futures picks do I like in the AFC? Let’s head to Buffalo for my first pick.
Buffalo Bills over 9 wins
Tom Brady is gone, so if not now, then when for the Bills? I really think this is the year the Bills finally win the AFC East. While I still think the Patriots will be dangerous due to their coach and defense, the Bills are the better overall team.
Let’s look at a few of their pros: An upgrade at RB with dynamic Zack Moss replacing Frank Gore, a solid coaching staff, continuity due to a ton of returning starters, a nasty defense, an offensive line that returns four of its five starters and the addition of WR Stefon Diggs to help QB Josh Allen.
I also love that Buffalo has won at least nine games in two of three seasons under head coach Sean McDermott. I’d be really surprised if the Bills don’t win at least 9 games to push. My systems have them winning 11 games this season, so give me the over.
Cincinnati Bengals under 6 wins
As much as I love Joe Burrow, and the Bengals are headed in the right direction, I don’t see this team making a four-win jump this season. If anything, the poor guy will be running for his life being that putrid OLine that ranked 26th in pass blocking last season. And, while they have made a ton of changes to that defense, we still need to take into account how bad they were against the run last season. No team allowed more rushing yards than them. Let’s see if the new guys can live up to par and maybe it was a coaching/ scheme issue and not the talent alone?
Unfortunately for them, they also play in one of the best divisions in all of football in the AFC North. The Ravens are the class of the division and both the Browns and the Steelers should be better this season barring major NFL injuries. Yes, anything can happen, but the Bengals have a long way to go before making this big of a win total jump.
#1 AFC Futures Pick – New York Jets under 7 wins
From everything I’ve heard and read, it seems like Adam Gase is not well liked by both his team and his fanbase. Can you blame them after how bad the Jets have been since he has gotten there?
Offensively Le’veon Bell back and healthy should help, but their offense will be one dimensional so teams might stack the box. I like Sam Darnold, but who will he be throwing to this year? At best, their WR core is suspect and injury prone.
The club also lost their two best defensive players in Jamal Adams (traded away) and C.J. Mosley (COVID opt-out). Couple that with the fact that they have no real pass rush, and this might be one of the worst defenses in all of football this upcoming season.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if they are contending for the worst record, so if you feel the same way, you can bet on that at 15/1 in some books.
Baltimore Ravens 8-1 to win Super Bowl
Per BetMGM, the majority of futures picks in the AFC are on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl. While I love the Chiefs and don’t see them skipping a beat, I’m rolling with the Ravens to win it all this year.
I liked all their offseason moves and draft pieces, love their QB in Lamar Jackson (who doesn’t), they return 21 of 22 starters, and more importantly, their coach in John Harbaugh. No matter the roster, Harbaugh always has his teams ready to play. Both of those guys will comeback with a vengeance this year after getting upset in the Playoffs last season.
I do like their schedule after some more research. While going through it, it really felt like they would easily make the playoffs. Kind of a chalky bet, so I’m not going out on a limb here, but out of the AFC, they are my futures pick to make it.