NFL Picks: Important Off-Season Dates

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, February 6, 2014 8:11 PM GMT

Although the NFL season just ended, the league’s offseason is about to get really busy. There are several dates upcoming in this month alone that have big impacts on the league and bettors alike, and coming up sooner rather than later, teams will get to start making some moves. Let’s take a look at the next three months, and see what dates you need to keep your eye on for potential NFL Odds value.

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February 17: Franchise tags and transactions

Coming up in just over a week is the date where teams can start to designate players for the franchise tag, as well as start to cut players and pick up options. While free agency doesn’t kick off for another few weeks after this date, it’s important for teams to clear space and by cutting players to gear up for free agency.

The franchise tag market should be interesting to watch for bettors as well, because there are several players rumored to be potential tag recipients, including Jimmy Graham of the Saints. This would be huge, because the franchise tag for a tight end is nothing, especially for a guy like Graham who is worth far more than the current average top five tight ends are getting paid. It could cerate friction inside the Saints, which would hurt their future odds value.

February 19-25: NFL Combine

This isn’t too important for bettors, however if you’re an ace scout along with being an NFL Bettor, then the combine is important. Teams will start to really move different guys in and out of certain slots, and especially for the quarterbacks, it could be the first time these guys have worked out since their bowl games. If you are an NFL Draft bettor, the combine is also pretty important.

March 11: Free Agency Opens

Not only is March 11th the first day that teams can start to contact free agents, but it is also a deadline. March 11th at 4 PM is the deadline for teams to pick up options on their players, as well as extend qualifying options to restricted free agents. March 11th is probably the biggest day you need to have circled on your calendar. Not only should there be a ton of rumors swirling around by the time March 10th turns to 11th, but there are several game changing players on the free agency market, especially on defense. There are at least five or six guys that would legitimately move the NFL Future Odds if they signed with another team, and while I doubt many of the huge players change teams, there is a chance some Pro Bowlers could be in another uniform in 2014.

May 8-10: NFL Draft

The NFL has moved the Draft back a couple of weeks to the second week in May. It was originally in the final week of April, however in order to streamline their offseason, the NFL has moved the draft back. It shouldn’t be a huge betting day for the NFL, however it is an important one for the sake of the future odds. If a certain team or two come out well in the draft, their future odds could be improved, as well as vice versa. Betting on the actual NFL Draft is pretty square in my opinion; however using it to gauge teams’ future odds value is a great way to find bargains.