BET ON THE NFL

 

Who will win Super Bowl LIII this February? Nobody knows for sure, but if you look at the NFL futures market at Bovada Sportsbook, you’ll find the New England Patriots (+650) at the top of the odds list. You’ll also find the Patriots at +290 to win the AFC, and a mighty –800 to win the AFC East. These numbers aren’t static and change as the season progresses. But it gives you an idea of what futures are all about: Betting on an event that’s happening later down the road. It’s one of the easiest bet types to understand – and very popular with recreational bettors.

It’s not just the Patriots. All 32 teams had their NFL betting lines for Super Bowl LIII posted mere moments after Super Bowl LII kicked off in Minnesota. 
 

Hold My Beer

With most NFL wagers, you’re paying a small commission to the sportsbook called vigorish or juice. A standard single-game bet (-110) will come with 10% juice, meaning you wager $110 to win $100 (or any multiple thereof). But when it comes to NFL futures bets, the juice is already baked right into the odds. It’s called hold percentage, referring to how much of the action the book holds onto as its fee for processing your bet.

It’s also important to note that when you make a futures bet, that money is locked up until the end of the season and the winners are declared. You won’t have the same opportunity to compound your winnings throughout the year as you would making single-game bets. Because of this, many sharp bettors prefer to make smaller wagers on the futures market, with a focus on second- or third-tier contenders who will pay out handsomely if they win.

Fewer people bet on who will win the AFC or NFC, and fewer still on the division champions, so you might be able to find a bargain or two here. But if you want the closest thing to a dead-bolt lock, the Patriots have won eight straight AFC East titles. They’ll probably win it again this year.