It is creeping up on us, but NFL season is less than a week away. Holy moly. To commemorate the occasion, I’ve found five bets on FanDuel that are attractive for me:
1) Bears +12.5 vs. Lions (Week 1)
This is a Pat McAfee super boost bet, where you’re essentially getting 9.5 free points on the line. Even though this isn’t an ironclad guarantee like when they give you free money on Lakers +75 or thereabouts, boosts like this are highly positive expected value and you should take advantage of them when they’re available.
2) Los Angeles Chargers under 8 wins (-120)
The Chargers went 5-11 last season, star safety Derwin James is already out for the year. Tyrod Taylor is opening the season as starter, as the team develops sixth overall pick Justin Herbert behind him. I just don’t see how this winds up being an above .500 team.
3) Tennessee Titans over 8.5 wins (-125)
I think the market is underrating Ryan Tannehill here. With Tannehill starting last year, the Titans went 7-3 in the regular season, and won two playoff games — which included the kill shot to the Patriots dynasty — before losing in the AFC title game to the Patriots.
4) Aaron Rodgers NFL MVP (+2300)
This is admittedly a little bit of a homer pick because I’m a Packers fan. There seems to be a school of thought out there that Rodgers is going to sulk over Green Bay’s decision to trade up and draft his potential successor, Jordan Love. I think it’s more likely that Rodgers comes out supremely motivated to hold him off a la Tom Brady and Jimmy G. I recognize that people like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Russell Wilson are more likely to win MVP than Rodgers, but 23-1 is solid value; you could bet $50 and get back over $1,000.
5) Tua Tagovailoa Offensive Rookie of the Year (+800)
Brian Flores is saying that he plans to take things slow with Tua, but the thing about this time of year is you can’t trust anything that comes out of a football coach’s mouth at face value. Maybe he’s telling the truth, maybe he’s not, but his saying this out loud does not have any bearing on what the decision will actually be a couple weeks from now. Expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to start Week 1 vs. the Patriots but from then who knows. Reports out of training camp have been positive for Tua, and I kind of think we’ll see him before the end of September. +800 feels like good value here.