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3 NFL Best Bets To Make This Season After Player Opt-Outs

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

3 NFL Best Bets To Make This Season After Player Opt-Outs

Players are reporting for NFL training camp for three days of COVID-19 testing, followed by physicals and equipment dates. On field activities begin Monday.

But it’s not just the start of training camp in the NFL. It’s opt-out season, as well.

Players — healthy and those with pre-existing medical conditions — are allowed to opt out of the 2020 NFL season without penalty. They receive a stipend and those with pre-existing conditions receive credit for an accrued season.

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As of mid-week, more than a dozen players have opted out of the 2020 NFL season, and it’s expected that dozens more could follow suit before too long. On Thursday, that number jumped to nearly 30.

Among them are notable names and important starters on key teams. And the list of players opting out of the 2020 season continues to grow.

Here are three great NFL futures bets to make based on the COVID opt-out landscape.

Team BetOdds Bet It At
Buffalo BillsWin AFC East +130 PointsBet
New England Patriots Under 9 Wins +115 PointsBet
Denver Broncos Make Playoffs +180 DraftKings

NFL odds current as of publication

Buffalo Bills — Win AFC East

Nearly 25% of the players who have opted out of 2020 so far have been from the Patriots. And it includes some key contributors.

Pro Bowl linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Dont’a Hightower, starting safety Patrick Chung and starting right tackle Marcus Cannon highlight the list of those choosing to sit out.

As the Patriots begin a season without Tom Brady for the first time in nearly two decades, key starters and important depth spots are suddenly up for grabs.

The Bills are in position to take advantage. Buffalo was my pick to win the AFC East before the Patriots’ mass exodus. But now there is even more reason to pick against New England winning the division for the 17th time in 18 years.

Buffalo advanced to the playoffs in 2019 with a top-five defense and a young, growing offense. The defense should be top-tier again, and the offense should be a year better with QB Josh Allen and RB Devin Singletary leading the way. The Bills secured a massive weapon for Allen in WR Stefon Diggs.

The Jets and Dolphins remain a season or two from true contention, but the Bills smell an opportunity and have the personnel to make it happen. Find the Bills for +130 at PointsBet.

New England Patriots — Under 9 Wins

3 NFL Best Bets To Make This Season After Player Opt-Outs 1

From top to bottom, the AFC East remains one of the weaker divisions in football, even with the Bills ascending. But it doesn’t benefit the Patriots much. Overall, New England has the toughest schedule in the NFL for 2020.

Now, games just got a little harder to win. Cam Newton was a nice free-agent addition after losing Brady, but the Patriots didn’t secure much help around him and the defense likely will take a step back losing Hightower and Chung on short notice. Find the best odds for Under 9 Wins at PointsBet.

Denver Broncos — Make Playoffs

3 NFL Best Bets To Make This Season After Player Opt-Outs 2

The Broncos went 7-9 and missed the playoffs, but like the Bills appeared to be a team heading in the right direction, with Drew Lock ready to take over at QB for his second season.

Denver’s defense ranked No. 12 overall with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, and added lockdown CB AJ Bouye. The offense was 28th, but Melvin Gordon provides a strong backfield boost. The team spent first- and second-round picks on WRs Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, giving Lock targets other than the overused Courtland Sutton.

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Its Week 5 matchup with the Patriots got a little easier, and its AFC West showdowns with the Chiefs could be more competitive with KC starting RB Damien Williams opting out.

There are 10 teams realistically competing for seven AFC Playoffs berths. Denver is one of them, and have the highest odds of any of those teams to sneak into the postseason. Anywhere from 8-8 to 10-6 wouldn’t be a shocker. The Broncos could be the big beneficiary of the playoff expansion and the coronavirus opt-outs. Jump on them at the highest odds (+180) at DraftKings.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.