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 with MVP in the NFL, where you like Matthew Stafford at 8-to-1.
Brad: He had 22 touchdowns, four interceptions. Josh Allen is the favorite and he’s at 17 and three. Staffford has 500 more yards passing. His yards per attempt is 9.1 compared with a (pedestrian) 7.3 for Allen.
Is Allen the favorite because he’s viewed as pretty much the entire Bills’ offense. And Stafford is viewed as a more traditional QB?
Brad: It would be interesting to see what the Rams offense would look like if they had an average quarterback! I wish we could see what it would look like with a Jared Goff. Seriously, there’s only one other guy I’m really thinking of supplementing Stafford with: Tom Brady. He’s dominating every category, statistically — yards and TDs.
It’s hard to win as a defending Super Bowl champ. (Brady did in 2017 and Rodgers in 2011, but that’s it this century.) On a related note, you like the Rams 4-to-1 to win the NFC and +110 division
Brad: The Rams are all in there saying, “You know, what, if we win the Super Bowl this year, who the heck cares what happens next year, the year after and the year after. Sean McVay is like, “I don’t care. If this thing goes in the tank, because we gave away the future, someone else will hire me.” I took to win the NFC; I could have taken 7-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. But I like the conference better. To me, Dallas is really good, I like them. Tampa Bay’s good. I think it’s going to be one of these three teams, not one of five, since I’m discounting Arizona and Green Bay (this was before the Aaron Rodgers COVID news). I don’t see this as a five-team race, really. The Rams should have been around plus-275 to plus-300. If you want to give me 4-to-1, I’m taking it. And the division is a two-team race — but the Rams are better than the Cardinals (previous matchup notwithstanding).
The Falcons Under 7.5 wins
Brad: It just comes down to this: I think they suck. They beat the Jets, Dolphins and Giants. Basically, I gotta be honest, I don’t think they win more than five games. So if they win eight, I have to be really wrong. To get to eight wins, they need to go 5-5 and I don’t see five wins on this schedule.
Chargers Under 10.5 wins. The last three games, Justin Herbert is the 32nd ranked quarterback in QBR in the NFL.
Brad: We gave out on this show, the Chargers to make the playoffs, plus-125. And we gave out the Chargers Over 8.5 wins earlier this year. So this is a phenomenal middle. And I’m probably going to take them now to miss the playoffs, getting big odds. I’ve watched them the last few weeks and I’ve not like what I’ve seen at all. Their defense is bad. I show nine games that really can kind of go either way for them and they’re going to have to win seven of them to go Over the number. I just think it’s a big ask.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We accidentally did not record Panthers over 6.5 wins, but Brad liked that. He’s liked the Panthers all year. They started 7.5 and now, at .500, they should not be down a win in that summer forecast.)
Switching to the NBA, just pounding Tyler Herro to win sixth man of the year, down to 4-to-1 and you touted this at 14-to-1 to start.
Brad: I’m sure it’s going lower. I think we’ll be close to even money. He’s arguably been right up there as the most impressive player. He’s averaging 22 points a game seven rebounds a game close to five assists a game. It’s only six games out of 82. I get it. I have so much money on this, it’s pretty obscene. It’s my biggest investment I’ve ever put in on something. So if this guy gets hurt, there will be a moment of silence on our show. This is just me picking off an inefficient market. That’s what I love to do, rather than to try to beat the efficient markets. I did cover myself with a smaller bet on Montrezl Harrell at 20-to-1. He’s averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds. But note he had three starts where he averaged 23 and 13.
Scottie Barnes, 5/1, Rookie of the Year.
Brad: He’s averaging 18 points. nine rebounds. Shooting 55% from the floor. I think Barnes looks apart more and looks like he could be like a Scottie Pippen kind of guy. I think Barnes should be more of a three-to-one right now, not five-to-one.
The Jazz 12/1 title and 6/1 to win the West.
Brad: I actually got 13-to-1 so you can blame me for that 12-to-1 because I lowered the number from 13 to 12. I look at the West: Dallas is okay. Denver’s okay. The Clippers are horrible. The Lakers are not great. The Suns are not great. I think Utah’s better than these teams. I think they should be the favorite. I know you’re tying up your money. But I think they will finish with the No. 1 seed and they are getting good odds on that.
The Heat, Under (higher than) 3.5 division seed, 22/1 title and 9/1 to win the East.
Brad: And I was late to the gate and shame on me because it was initially a 4.5 division seed. If healthy, this is really going to be a tough team to beat. And so many things can go wrong. The Nets could have all three of their top players by the end of the year. But probably not. Giannis had a lot of wear and tear and the Bucks were not invincible last year by any stretch. So if it’s not the Nets and if the Bucks don’t repeat, who will it be? I think the Heat.
Clippers +140 not to make the playoffs.
Brad:They have one great player on the team. Paul George is really good. I understand that. Look at the rest of the team. This is not a good basketball team. You’re giving me plus money on a team that is bad. Golden State, Lakers, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Utah, Denver, Portland even Sacramento are better than the Clippers.
Bulls Over 43.5 wins and Bulls +650 division.
Brad: I got over 42.5 and they are 6-1. But it’s only moved one game? They play .500 the rest of the year and they are 43.5 wins. It’s amazing to me, the crazy inefficiencies we see in this market. I bet them to get the No. 1 seed. I made a little more than a pizza bet on it, getting 35-to-1 odds. And they’re still 16-to-1 to get the No. 2 seed. Why can’t they get that? I like that bet, too.