Usually we want our NFL picks to perform well. But here's a season special for those of us who happen to enjoy watching teams fumble their way up and down the field.
Earlier this summer, we told you about some of the NFL season specials at bet365, including an interesting offer on which team would finish the regular season with the fewest points scored. The Jacksonville Jaguars are still available at +650, and they look even tastier now that both the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders are making progress on offense.
That doesn't mean the Titans and Raiders are likely to make the playoffs this year. In fact, the NFL odds at bet365 are heavily against Oakland reaching the postseason. Let's take a moment to look at the NFL's race toward the bottom of the standings; again, feel free to cue up “Yakety Sax” on the old Victrola while we run down the list.
The Raiders probably aren't the worst team in the NFL. They ranked No. 29 in efficiency last year at Football Outsiders, while No. 31 Tennessee and No. 32 Jacksonville brought up the rear. However, Oakland is the clear favorite to miss the playoffs at –6600. Since the Titans and Jaguars are both in the very weak AFC South, they have fewer obstacles in their way, and are therefore tied at –2000.
As long as you don't mind pouring chalk all over your NFL picks, the Raiders are the easy choice here, and the Jaguars should be a safe bet, too. We'd avoid the Titans, though. As you may have noticed, we're back on the Tennessee bandwagon now that Marcus Mariota is at the reins. No, the Titans probably won't make the playoffs, but would it truly be that surprising? This is the NFL, after all.
Am I Blue?
Like any other futures-style market, we'll be looking for betting value with the second tier of contenders, even if the NFL odds are upside-down. This is where you'll find the Cleveland Browns (–1000), the Chicago Bears (–1000), and our old friends from Washington (–1000), as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( –900). All four of these teams have serious issues, but the Bears might not be that bad when healthy, and the Bucs play in the NFC South, so there's always hope.
Given the choice between Cleveland and Washington, we'd lean toward the latter. Both these franchises are run by people whose credentials leave something to be desired (ahem), but the Browns did go 7-9 (9-5-2 ATS) last year, while Washington was stuck in the NFC East basement at 4-12 (5-11 ATS).
Having said that, if you're looking for a better price, the New York Giants are sitting there at –250. They don't necessarily have to leapfrog either the Dallas Cowboys (+110) or the Philadelphia Eagles (–110) in the NFC East, but it'll be very difficult to get into the playoffs otherwise. Same goes for the St. Louis Rams (–400) in the NFC West. Sorry about your damn luck.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Giants –250 at bet365