Givin Futures: Before Week 7 & NBA Futures

Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears drops back to pass during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 45-30.
Image Credit: Stacy Revere/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.

Brad let’s start with football before going to some NBA bets with the season starting this week. You like the Chiefs Under 11.5 wins now.

Brad: I see a bunch of losable games on their schedule and only one game, at home against the Giants, that’s a slam-dunk win. In no other games do I think they’ll be a touchdown favorite. So the math to get to 12 wins just is not there. They’re closer to a 10-win projected team is my honest answer.

That sounds crazy with Patrick Mahomes but I remind listeners that the Chiefs are getting outgained per play, getting outpassed per pass attempt. And there’s also the chance of an injury not just to Mahomes but to Tyreek Hill (quad), who when he was out against the Redskins in Week 6 transformed the Kansas City offense into something very ordinary. 

The Eagles Under 7.5 wins.

Brad: Last week we gave out Eagles over six wins. I bet it. So they lose. They actually get utterly destroyed by Tampa Bay, forget about the score. So they lose that win probability. But instead of going down, they go up 1.5? You can’t make this stuff up. Doing quick math here they have to have a winning record from this point on to beat you. Is that possible? Of course. But there is not one game on their schedule that they can’t lose. They can lose to Detroit, for example. So I’m going to dare the Eagles to go 6-5 to beat me.

The Bears Over 6.5 wins.

Brad: They’re 3-3. So is there a better chance this team goes 3-8 or 4-7? That’s the bet. I think 4-7 easily. I have them at 7.3 wins when I do my math with their schedule and that’s with me thinking Matt Nagy is 32nd of 32 NFL head coaches. He’s that bad for me. I’m not even expecting Justin Fields and their offense to get significantly better and I’m still at 7.3 wins.

The Browns under 10.5

Brad: They’re the most injured team in the NFL now. Every week they lose more players. If healthy, I think they’re almost as good as anyone. But they’re 3-3. Are they going 8-3 the rest of the season to beat you? They are not, for me. They’re far more likely to win nine games than 11. Under 10.5 is just a phenomenal bet.

Is it even better because they have to play the Bengals twice and the Bengals are good? 

Brad: Well let’s look at that. I see I actually have the Bengals at nine wins and I didn’t bet it for some reason even though their O/U is 7.5. And you know what, 11-1 to win the division? I think that’s a fair bet.

They’re seventh now in point differential and they entered the week sixth in net yards for minus allowed per pass attempt and are doing really well in plain old yards per play differential.  

Brad: I’m intrigued. The Bengals to win the division is probably worth a pizza bet; I wouldn’t go huge on it because I do think that right now the most likely winner is Baltimore. But Over 7.5 seems very low. I look at their schedule. They have to go 3-8 to lose this bet. No way are they doing that in the absence of horrible injuries, which apply to any team.

You’re a little on the fence with the Raiders Over 8.5, but pulling the trigger?

Brad: I think this Raiders team is pretty good. Maxx Crosby has been just terrific on defense. The Raiders have to go 4-7 or worse from this point on for you to lose this bet. I think they have a very reasonable chance of winning against Philadelphia at home, at New York, at least one against the Chiefs, at home against the Bengals is winnable, Broncos, at the Browns, at the Colts, Washington at home. When I look at this schedule, getting to nine wins seems very easy.

Seattle Under 8.5.

Brad: I bet this last week. Seattle loses and the line doesn’t move. In Pittsburgh, with Geno Smith, they had about a 32% win probability but that’s 100% of a loss now. They can lose to anyone without Russell Wilson given that defense that just cannot get off the field. I see them at 3-6 at best when Russell Wilson gets back. So they have to go 6-2 with Wilson to beat you, with this defense and with us not even knowing how well Wilson is going to be able to throw the ball with his finger injury. If he’s on the long-end of that injury forecast before returning, they probably go 1-3 at best so then are 3-7. Then Wilson has to go 6-1 to beat you. No way.

Let’s move to the NBA where you made a big bet on the Clippers under 46.5 wins.

Brad: I just don’t get it. It’s so far off for me. I have them at 34 wins, I’ll be honest. This just is not a good team. They lose Kawhi Leonard. Reggie Jackson had an amazing five games in that playoffs. He was Nick Foles-like, but remember what happened to Nick Foles. I feel like I must be wrong, almost not trusting myself. But I checked all my work and this is just not a good team. I don’t think this team wins 47 games and I like them to miss the playoffs. You can get a plus-230 to miss the playoffs and that’s a really good bet, too.

The Bulls you like Over 42.5. Last year, they were the big outlier team that underachieved based on three-point shooting differential and they’ve gotten a lot better on paper. 

Brad: I bet them under 7.5 in Conference finishing position (meaning if they finish seventh or higher, Brad wins). I think DeMar DeRosen was just a huge, huge signing. They also added my favorite under-the-radar player in Alex Caruso. That guy’s a winner. I think he’s a really, really good player. They traded for Nikola Vucevic last year. I think this is right there as the most talented team in the East. I’m not predicting them to go to the Finals, but expect they’ll win 47-to-50 games.

Tyler Herro 14-to-1 to win Sixth Man of the Year. This is like when a lead in a movie gets nominated for supporting actor. Herro gets starter minutes. So you’re leaning into this. 

Brad: 14-to-1 is just asinine. There are even more minutes for Herro this year than last year, let me make this perfectly clear. This is my biggest bet. I’m not betting a pizza on this. I’m betting the pizzeria on it. I don’t expect to win but if I’m right I can cheaply hedge with other top contenders and guarantee myself a nice profit. I would have made him plus-350 to win. He’s in prime position to have a great year; he also led the NBA preseason in scoring. And he’s saying he’s just as good as Luka Doncic and Trea Young but just doesn’t get the respect of those guys. I’m not saying he’s that. But this is a talented guy and at 14-to-1 against everyone else’s backups? I just think I can make a crazy amount of money here.