Givin Futures: Before NFL Week 12

Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp (10) on his way to a touchdown during the NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams on December 5, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.
Image Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via 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 week with an award we have not touched on before: Offensive Player of the Year. You are making two bets here, Jonathan Taylor at 3/1 and Cooper Kupp 2/1. 

Brad Feinberg: The QB has the MVP typically so this is a non-QB award. They’re basically saying it’s going to be very, very hard for non-quarterbacks to win MVP. Almost impossible. It would take me a litany of events. If you average the two out, you’re basically laying $1.30 that one of these two wins it. I would set the odds right now at minus-300. I think those guys are taking up 75% of the pie. I think for you to lose that bet, they both need to get injured

We just said it’s almost impossible for a non-QB to win the MVP and here you are betting Taylor 25/1 as a pizza bet (meaning a small wager).

Brad: If Jonathan Taylor rushes for 2,000 yards with a 6.0 yards per carry, why wouldn’t he get the award? This is 63% of the season and if the voting was right now, you’re saying Jonathan Taylor would win four times out of 100? No way. At least 25 times. I get that Brady is the favorite now and probably would win it, but people are sick of Brady and may not vote for him and he has had bad games recently. Plus Brady could get hurt. I think the odds for Taylor winning are just too high. (Of course, you can bet Brady to win and Taylor to win and cover the Taylor bet very easily that way. Then root for the bigger payoff.)

Speaking of Taylor, another pizza bet, Colts 20/1 to win the AFC. But the Vikings are 30/1. Are the Colts more likely to win their conference than the Vikings?

Brad: Great thought about the Vikings. I thought about the Vikings. But I’m going to tell you why the better bet of the two is Indianapolis. And I love being challenged on these because then I get to talk about my process and not just the bet. I came very, very close to giving out the Vikings. They were my biggest bet in the summer for the Super Bowl. But the reason I didn’t was the path that each team has to get there. The Vikings may not make the playoffs. The Colts are almost certainly going to. That right there is a big deal. I think the Vikings will make it. But I’m much more confident in the Colts. The NFC also has five legit good teams. Who is the best team in the AFC? The Bills? Buffalo has laid egg after egg and the Colts just destroyed the Bills in Buffalo.

But you do like the Vikings over 8.5 wins and minus-110 to make the playoffs.

Brad: They’ve been the unluckiest team in a league based on what your record should be, minus-1.5 wins. They’re 5-5. But they’ve been leading all 10 games they played this year by a touchdown or more — the only team to do that. Here’s their schedule: At San Fran, slight dog. At Detroit, big favorite.  Pittsburgh at home, they’re going to be a nice-size favorite. At Chicago, favorite. Rams at home, slight dog. Slight dog at Green Bay. Chicago at home, big favorite.  I think they give you a chance in every one of these games. I’m saying they’re going to go at least 4-3. And if they don’t, I’ll take my medicine.

Finally, Ravens minus-130 and Bengals 4/1 to win the AFC North. 

Brad: This is why I like coupling these two, although I like both bets independently. The Bengals have to win the division 20% of the time for this to be a breakeven bet. I think the Bengals win this division at least 25% of the time. And I think the Ravens win it 60%. I give Pittsburgh and Cleveland virtually no chance. Why do I give Cleveland no chance? Anyone but Baker Mayfield’s mom and Progressive Insurance knows that Mayfield stinks right now.  I don’t want to call him Tim Boyle; that’d be disrespectful. But, this is like the manager of Apollo Creed when he’s fighting Drago just throwing in the towel. Mayfield’s going to get killed and he’s going to kill Cleveland. He is legitimately god-awful right now. And right now, I have no doubt in my mind that the backup quarterback, Case Keenum should be playing. Pittsburgh is game and I respect Mike Tomlin but this offense just cannot function at a contending level and they have other injuries, too. We can’t trust Ben Roethlisberger anymore, either.

For more of Brad’s picks, including his three favorite World Series future bets, listen to the full Givin Futures podcast..