Givin Futures: Before NFL Divisional Round & NBA Futures

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.
Image Credit: Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Each week, BetPrep Sharp and NBC Sports Betting Analyst Brad Feinberg discusses expected win totals, division odds, Super Bowl favorites, and potential award winners with host and BetPrep Editor Michael Salfino of The Athletic and FiveThirtyEight. It’s the official futures podcast of BetPrep, a free sports betting research site that empowers bettors with the same tools both the sharps and the sportsbooks use.

Here are some highlights from the latest episode of the Givin’ Futures Podcast.

Let’s start this episode of Givin Futures in the NFL with one week of the playoffs in the books. And all the related fallout. Your big takeaway is that you like the Bills at +550 to win the Super Bowl.

Brad: There’s not a ton of value in this. And each of the plays I give, I usually try to have a lot of value. But it just isn’t here in abundance, though if you can get +550 – and it’s out there – I do think it’s worth doing it here in one shot versus stepping up the ladder this week and the next two games (where Buffalo will probably be a favorite). It’s close. You can keep pressing your bet. It’s called a mechanical parlay. If you can only get five-to-one, the mechanical parlay according to my math is slightly better. But again, +550 is out there. Buffalo in my opinion is really the only team in pro football at this point that is legitimately good on offense and defense. And I know Kansas City over the last eight weeks has allowed the lowest fewest points. But I still do not trust the Kansas City offense. I know what they did to Pittsburgh, which is a rotten team. Do you believe in the Chiefs that crushed the Bills in the AFC Championship last year or the Bills team that crushed the Chiefs this season? I think it’s somewhere in the middle. I think it will be a really good game. But I like the Buffalo defense if the Chiefs have to score at the end of the game and I like Josh Allen and the Bills offense if the Bills have to score at the end of the game. But I’m not stealing here. I’m really not. I just think Buffalo is winning the Super Bowl.

Now an award involving the other conference favorite. You like Aaron Rodgers to win MVP at minus-1200.

Brad: When I say something is free money, I mean it. I’ve said that three times in my life. One was Trevor Lawrence to be the first pick in the draft. I put up $100,000 to win $1,000. We talked about this on the show and you said I was basically buying a Trevor Lawrence life insurance policy for one day. No, he didn’t die in 24 hours. Another one was Donald Trump minus-1700. not to win the electoral college by 180 votes. That meant he would have had to win New York and California, which was like a zero chance in a billion. I put up a substantial amount of money laying 17-to-1 and should have done more because it couldn’t lose. I should have almost put up my whole net worth because the bet simply could not lose. Now I thought Rodgers was 12-to-1 to win the MVP last week and I got 6-to-1. I thought he was a 93% favorite. But now we have the same AP voters giving him All-Pro over Brady by 34-to-16. And it’s the same voters. So it’s not possible, to me, that many voters are going to switch to Brady over Rodgers when they just voted Rodgers over Brady. I found my smoking gun. It’s a massive thing. Brady is a 99% favorite, at least.

Now let’s move to the NBA where you like the Hawks to finish below the 10.5 seed, meaning 11th or lower in the East.

Brad: It’s interesting. They’re in 12th place. So they need to jump two teams. Washington is four and a half games ahead. Charlotte is five and a half. Toronto is four games ahead. Boston four. Knicks three and a half. They have to leapfrog two of those teams. I don’t think they’re going to do it. I never want to be (former Bears GM) Ryan Pace – the definition of a general manager who proved he didn’t care about being right; he wanted to be consistent. And that is how you lose as a sports gambler. I bet Atlanta to win the division. That bet is officially in the toilet. But this team has been good only for a couple of months over the past two seasons. Just thinking out loud, if you do believe in them, you can bet them to go over their total. There’s no way you can lose both bets. They’re going to have to finish strong to beat these teams ahead of them, none of which are going to win 30% of their remaining games or something ridiculous. But I would just stick with this bet. Atlanta is not going to finish in the top 10.

The Magic under 20.5 wins, minus-130.

Brad: This is my favorite bet on the board. This I made a large wager. In fact Michael. you’re gonna have to Pay Pal me to get in on this. I’m gonna have to put this in your portfolio. This team is 8-37. Okay. So they have to go 13-24 to beat me. That’s a 29-win pace. They are on a 14.6-win pace. They’re going to be twice as good the rest of the year as they’ve been? Are you freaking kidding me? This is an A-Plus play. And I don’t say that often. I’ll eat $1.30 juice. This isn’t free money. This isn’t in the Aaron Rodgers thing. But I win this bet five out of six times. This is one of my all-time favorite bets in the history of this podcast.

America’s team, The Lakers Under 42.5 win, +130.

Brad: This team’s 22-22. They need to go 22 -17, which translates into about a 46-47-win team. Here’s the thing: I don’t think this team’s good. I know Anthony Davis should be back. But even when Anthony Davis played at no point in this year has this team been better than average. I bet on the West where I have the Suns, the Jazz, and the Warriors all getting nice odds. And I didn’t even count the Lakers as a team to think about. The Lakers are brutal. LeBron is playing amazingly. I give him such credit. But I think this team has been mediocre all season. And what are you getting? +130? That’s a nice bonus on top of it. You don’t have to lay juice (like you should), you’re getting +130. Could they do it? If Anthony Davis comes back and the team gets on course, they could. But we are deep into the season. I don’t think they’re sleepwalking. I do not think that they’re going to win 43 games. I think they’ll probably settle closer to 41-41.

For more NBA picks and Brad’s thoughts on the Coach of the Year futures, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast here.