On the heels of the 2019 NFL draft, sportsbooks have posted fresh odds for the upcoming season. Will your favorite team make (or miss) the playoffs? Win the division?
With over/unders and Super Bowl odds as well, there is plenty of value out there.
Here are five notable futures that caught my eye.
All odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook unless noted.
Kyler Murray over 3,100.5 passing yards (-200, FanDuel)
Murray is the new face of the franchise after the Josh Rosen deal, and the Cardinals are ready to ride or die with their top pick. He will have ample opportunity to surpass this mark, as the NFL has become extremely pass-friendly, and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury will put the ultra-athletic Murray in advantageous situations and formations. Last season, 21 NFL quarterbacks surpassed 3,100 passing yards, and of the ones that did not, all were limited with injury or poor play. Murray's short stature (5-foot-10, 207) could make injuries a potential issue, but if he can avoid hits, he should pass this mark.
Arizona Cardinals (make playoffs at 10-1)
This longshot bet is unlikely to connect, but it only needs to hit one of 11 times for it to be mathematically advantageous. There is a high variance situation for Murray and Kingsbury to formulate a wild offensive scheme that disrupts opposing defenses. Remember: Lamar Jackson had a unique system in Baltimore that posted a 6-1 record (and made the playoffs), even if teams started to adjust later in the season. Plus, Arizona's defense is above average, and the stadium provides a solid home-field advantage. Yes, it's a competitive and improved division, but the 10-1 odds are juicy.
New Orleans Saints (miss playoffs at +250)
New Orleans would likely have reached the Super Bowl if not for an egregious missed pass interference call. Drew Brees was the MVP runner-up and the offense overwhelmed most opponents. However, the 40-year-old Brees showed significant regression down the stretch. In his first 10 games last season, Brees completed 66 percent of his attempts at least 15 yards downfield (8 TD, 0 INT). After that, his completion percentage dropped to 42 percent (3 TD, 4 INT), including the playoffs. Perhaps it was just fatigue, but the deep ball is the first attribute to fade for aging quarterbacks, and that's significant for a guy who relies so heavily on accuracy. Additionally, division rivals Carolina and Atlanta battled significant injuries in 2018 and figure to be much more competitive in 2019.
Buffalo Bills (make playoffs at +500)
The Jets have generated AFC East buzz with the addition of running back Le'Veon Bell, but I believe Buffalo is poised to contend for a playoff spot. Josh Allen still needs to develop as a passer, but the Bills have a playoff-caliber defense and head coach. The defense ranked second in yards allowed and defensive efficiency last year, and added a terrific player in Ed Oliver at No. 9 overall. Plus, the schedule sets up perfectly for a strong start. The Bills play consecutive road games at the same nearby stadium against the Jets and Giants, before hosting the Bengals.
Green Bay Packers (make playoffs at +120)
This one is simple: I am banking on Aaron Rodgers to thrive now that Mike McCarthy is no longer roaming the sidelines. Moments after McCarthy was fired last December, ESPN colleague Ryan Clark shared on SportsCenter that he still recognized Green Bay's plays from when he faced the Pack as a member of the Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl. To say McCarthy had an archaic approach would be an understatement. New head coach Matt LaFleur figures to have a basic grasp of decision-making on fourth down and offensive creativity. And I am not a believer in Kirk Cousins or Mitchell Trubisky within the division. Rodgers took the Pack to eight straight postseasons before battling injuries the past two years. Two first-round picks on defense (Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage Jr.) should help as well.