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.
So one of your all-time favorite college players Ja’Marr Chase is the all-time yardage leader for a rookie WR through seven games. His odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year are all the way down to plus-120. And you still like this bet?
Brad: We gave this out a few weeks ago when he was plus-375. I think we’ve reached that stage — and you may say this is way too early for me to say this — where I think he only has to stay healthy to win it. Kyle Pitts is 17-to-1 and if you want to hedge with him at those odds, great. It’s so cheap. There’s four guys who can win it. You can add Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones to the list. I do think Najee Harris has been quite good. But again, to me, it’s really going to be probably one of those receivers or the two QBs. But again, I think that what Chase is doing this year is nothing short of just historic. He makes big plays week in and week out.
Looking at the teams after Week 7, the 2-4 49ers at Under 8.5 wins.
Brad: When did Kyle Shanahan make the Hall of Fame? I forget. You know how many times Kyle Shanahan has won more than six games in his coaching career? One more than Michael Salfino. This team just for whatever reason is getting a lot of love still that I just don’t think is merited. They need to go 7-4 going forward to cash this Over. Can they do it? Of course they can do it. But they have yet to win a home game. Looking at their schedule, I think there’s a better chance they go 5-6 than 7-4.
Titans Under 11.5 wins as the market raises them significantly off the win against a Chiefs team that may not be good.
Brad: We’ve been good here but one thing I’ve gotten very wrong was going under on the Titans weeks back. I thought they were going to go 0-2 against the Bills and Chiefs as pretty substantial underdogs. They go 2-0. Kansas City is crazy overrated. But they were 2-to-1 to beat the Titans. So yes, I thought they’d go 0-2 and their Under would crash. If they go 1-1, they’d be 9.5 and I could get out of it. But now they’re 11.5. I’m doubling down. When I did the numbers, I have the Titans around 11.1 wins. So inherently speaking, I’m still on the Under a little bit where I don’t mind the play. Now their next two games are at Indy and at the Rams. I know they’re actually a tiny favorite at Indy. But I see them going 0-2 again. If they split, which I think is the best case, they’ll still be 11.5 and I’ll get out at that point. By the way, this is why I like the futures more than the game action. You can’t adjust and hedge. You just win or lose.
Raiders Over 8.5 wins, which seems like a low number given they are 5-2.
Brad: The market hates the Raiders because the last two years they were viewed as one of the luckiest teams in point differential. (Meaning they won more games than point differential said they earned.) And the market doesn’t really respect Derek Carr. I said this on air before and let’s say it again, not in the NFL, but in all of pro sports (I don’t know hockey. So I should even say that in the three sports I follow religiously): Derek Carr is THE most underrated athlete right now. I think he’s flat out great. I think in the last couple years, this guy’s been consistently terrific. I thought Carr a few years ago was a below-average quarterback. But again, I’d rather be right than be consistent. I think this team is good. I think there’s a better chance Las Vegas goes 6-4 than 3-7. I think they’re actually good. I made their season win total 9.7 with the math.
The Eagles Under 7.5 wins.
Brad: Two weeks ago before Tampa Bay, I released Over 6.0 as I thought six wins was too light. Since then they get destroyed by Tampa Bay (forget the score) and by the Raiders. So let’s go make this number. What should we make the new number? You should have lost half a win share. But these sports books, they don’t want to tie. They don’t want to kiss their sister. So everything’s a half. So if you thought 7.0 was the right number, do you go 6.5 or 7.5? They go 7.5, 1.5 more wins. “No ties allowed in our casino!” Is their schedule easy? I guess. But other teams look at the Eagles on their schedule and say, “That’s an easy game.”
The Colts, who you like to beat the Titans in Week 8, Over 8.5 wins.
Brad: I don’t need to be a stubborn SOB. I thought Carson Wentz sucked. He’s always gonna suck. But I was wrong. He’s played well. At San Francisco in the tough weather, he played gritty. I saw some of that mobility. He’s not Lamar Jackson. But I always thought he had good functional mobility, where if he needed to get four yards on 3rd and 3, he would be able to do it. So they have Titans at home, Jets at home, Jacksonville at home. Now if they go 1-2, I lose my bet though. At that point, they’ll be four and six. And they’re not going to go 5-2. But I think they are more likely to go 3-0 than 1-2. I could be freakin’ dead wrong. And if I’m dead wrong, meaning if they lose this week to the Titans, then I’m going to get out of that at that point because Indy will still probably be right around 8.5.
Let’s move to basketball where our Herro returns.
Brad: Ha ha. Yes. Tyler Herro is plus-650 for Sixth Man of the Year. Last week we told you to bet him at 14-1. I still like it at +650 and I’ll tell you this, by early November, next week, this bet will be +350. Only an injury is going to stop him from winning. Here’s the thing: I looked at all the six men and to me he stands out like a sore thumb with the subliminal advertising. Shaquille O’Neal is going to go on TV and say he’s as good as Trea Young and Luka Doncic. “He’s a true superstar now. He can be an all-star.”
As a sixth man. Like the new (Celtics Hall of Famer) John Havlicek.
Brad: That’s a great comp! Exactly, with a reputation like that. I think there’s subliminal advertising where people think this guy is closer to a superstar than a quote unquote “traditional sixth man.”
As for the teams, the Pelicans, without Zion Williamson for who knows how long, Under 37.5 wins.
Brad: Their total was 38.5 with Zion. So it really didn’t move. I think what happened was, there’s been such a lack of information on Williamson regarding how long he’s really going to be out for. You told me you heard he may have gained weight.
Correct. The reports are he’s now north of 300 pounds.
Brad: So how do you go from 38.5 with Zion presumably able to play all the games to 37.5 with whatever we’ll get. These foot injuries are tricky. He maybe doesn’t get back for a while. He could hurt it again.