19 NFL Bets You Must Make Before 2019 Season Kicks Off
Excitement isn’t just building across all 32 teams' fanbases as the NFL season inches closer as they dream of their team winning the Super Bowl. Those who enjoy NFL betting rejoice as this is the time of the year where we can really dig in on game lines and futures bets. To get you prepared for the 2019 season, here are the 19 bets, you have to make before the NFL season begins.
PICK 1: Patriots to win AFC East (-625)
It's always nice to start the NFL season with a "guaranteed" win. So why not bet on the New England Patriots to win the AFC East once again? They've won the division in 15 of the last 16 years, and the only time they didn't is when Tom Brady was lost for the year due to an ACL injury. While the Jets added talent, and so have the Bills, nobody is even in the same class as the Patriots. The odds aren't great, but a win is a win.
PICK 2: Ravens to win AFC North (+300)
Quick: Who won the AFC North last year? Yep, it was the Baltimore Ravens. However, they have suddenly become a "sleeper" in their own division with the Browns and Steelers both posting better odds. Baltimore is one of the deepest teams in the league, and they have one of the best coaching staffs. They may not have the same upside as the Browns or the Steelers, but look for them to win at least nine games again this season. At +300, this is too good of a value to pass up.
PICK 3: Packers (+3.5) over Bears in Week 1
Even seasoned bettors can struggle in Week 1. The games are typically sloppy, and they can incredibly be challenging to get a read on. However, betting on Week 1 games, specifically, the opening contest, is a must. In the Packers-Bears matchup, I'm taking Aaron Rodgers and the +3.5 points over the Bears.
PICK 4: James Conner to lead NFL in rushing TDs (+1800)
James Conner was one of the best stories in 2018 as he quickly became a star in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl after beating cancer just a few years ago. In 13 games, Connor rushed for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns and added another 497 yards through the air. With Antonio Brown gone, the Steelers will likely feed Conner near the end zone. If he can stay healthy for all 16 games, Conner should come closer to scoring 16 touchdowns in the Black and Gold, making him a good bet to lead the league in rushing touchdowns.
PICK 5: Steelers (+6) over Patriots in Week 1
Typically, the previous Super Bowl champion will open up the NFL season, but that's not the case this year. Instead, the Patriots will host the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Despite the Patriots being hard to beat at home, the Steelers getting six points is just too much. Expect this to be a close contest as Pittsburgh bested New England in 2018 in a close matchup.
PICK 6: Josh Jacobs to Win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+1000)
For the first time in several years, there is an overwhelming favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. No. 1 pick Kyler Murray is currently +180 to win the award. Instead of Murray, take Josh Jacobs (+1000) of the Raiders to win the award as he should see nearly 300 touches in Oakland's offense. The No. 24 pick from the 2019 draft has already been named the starter and should get a ton of work early.
PICK 7: Bucs WR Mike Evans to Lead the NFL in TD catches (+2200)
Over the last six seasons, the average amount of receiving touchdowns needed to lead the league was 14. So, when making a bet on who will lead the league in touchdown receptions in 2019, you need to find a player with 14+ touchdown potential. Consider that Tampa Bay is likely to throw the ball a ton again this season under Bruce Arians, look to Mike Evans, who already has two seasons under his belt with double-digit touchdowns.
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PICK 8: Jets to Make the Playoffs (+275)
Looking for a sleeper pick to make the playoffs? Consider taking the New York Jets at +275. While they are highly unlikely to win the division (as we mentioned before), it shouldn't be too difficult for them to find a wild-card spot. With the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams, the Jets are a significantly more talented team entering 2019. If Sam Darnold can take the next step, New York should have a decent shot at making the playoffs this season.
PICK 9: Matt Ryan to Win NFL MVP (+2500)
Just two years ago, Matt Ryan was named the NFL MVP after throwing 38 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards. In 2018, Ryan matched those numbers but didn't receive any MVP consideration. But entering 2019, this easily the most talented team surrounding him. Julio Jones is arguably the best receiver in the league, and second-year receiver Calvin Ridley is one of the best No. 2 receivers in the league. Don't be surprised if Ryan surpasses 40 touchdowns and 5,000 passing yards this season.
PICK 10: Cardinals to Finish 2nd in NFC West (+1100)
There is a lot of optimism and hype surrounding the Arizona Cardinals as Kliff Kingsbury brings the Air Raid offense into the NFL. While the playoffs might not be a realistic goal in 2019, it wouldn't be a shock to see them surpass the Seahawks and the 49ers in the division. At +1100, taking the Cardinals to finish second in the division is a fun bet.
PICK 11: Panthers (+3) over Rams in Week 1
Taking a home underdog at home in Week 1? Yes, please. The Rams appear to be the better team heading into 2019, but the Panthers are pretty stacked as well. With Todd Gurley's health still a question mark and the Super Bowl loss hanging over the Rams, I'm picking the Panthers to upset the former NFC champions at home.
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PICK 12: Jameis Winston to Lead NFL in INTs (+800)
Remember when we said the Buccaneers are going to throw a lot? That's because Tampa Bay is going to be in a lot of shootouts due to their porous defense. Jameis Winston has proven to be a turnover machine in the NFL, and with no real competition behind him, there is no real danger of Winston being benched in favor of someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick. Look for Winston to throw at least 14+ interceptions again in 2019 in Bruce Arians' pass-heavy offense.
PICK 13: Bengals to Win Fewest Games in NFL (+600)
The NFL season hasn't even begun, and the Bengals are already taking hits. Before training camp even started, the team lost their No. 1 draft pick Jonah Williams for the season due to injury. Star receiver A.J. Green is going to miss some games with a foot injury. And they just so happen to play in arguably the toughest division in football. Considering they have a first-year coach and one of the weakest offensive lines in the league, it's tough to see the Bengals winning more than five or six games under the best of scenarios.
PICK 14: Panthers to Make Playoffs (+215)
Want another "sleeper" team to bet on this season? Look no further than the Carolina Panthers, who finished 7-9 last season. Cam Newton is finally healthy, and he has two young studs at receiver who are having monster training camps. They've added veterans such as Gerald McCoy and Tre Boston as well as Brian Burns and Greg Little in the draft. With some favorable injury luck, don't be surprised if Carolina gets back to double-digit wins in 2019.
PICK 15: Carson Wentz to Lead NFL in Passing Yards (+2200)
When Carson Wentz is healthy, he's arguably one of the best quarterbacks in all of football. But that's been a problem for him early in his career. Heading into his fourth-season, look for the Eagles quarterback to stay in the pocket more and deliver the ball to the plethora of targets he has at his disposal. Philadelphia is likely to have one of the best offenses in the league and betting on Wentz to lead to the league in passing yards at these odds is a fun bet to make.
PICK 16: Chiefs to Win Most Regular-Season Games (+700)
Since Andy Reid arrived in Kansas City via Philadelphia, the Chiefs have been one of the most consistent teams in the league. They have had a winning record in each of his six seasons and have averaged just under 11 wins a season. With Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the Chiefs are poised for another big season and should able to match their 2018 win total (12) with ease. Look for the Chiefs to be one of the few teams to reach at least 12 wins this season.
PICK 17: Raiders DE Clelin Ferrell to win Defensive Rookie of the Year (+2500)
The Raiders shocked the draft community when they selected Clemson's Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft. While Ferrell might not have the upside of a Josh Allen or Ed Oliver, he is a plug-and-player starter who is going to play a ton in Oakland's defense. Ferrell should rack up stats as a starting defensive end, and he is a fun "longshot" bet to win the award this season.
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PICK 18: Cowboys C Travis Frederick as Comeback Player of the Year (+3000)
After missing the entire season with Guillain-Barre syndrome, All-Pro center Travis Frederick of the Dallas Cowboys is back at practice and is cleared to play football once again. If the Cowboys can continue to become one of the best rushing teams in the NFL, it will likely be due to the return of Frederick. Given how special of a player he is, Frederick winning the Comeback Player of the Year after missing the entire 2018 season seems like a good bet.
PICK 19: Saints to Win the Super Bowl (+1000)
Finally, every football fan should make at least one Super Bowl bet before the season kicks off. This year, I'm picking the Saints to win the Super Bowl as their odds are pretty reasonable. You can make a strong case that the Saints have been the best team in the league over the last two years, but a miracle touchdown in Minnesota and a blown no-call against the Rams have cost them chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
New Orleans has reloaded once again and looks primed for another post-season run. I'm betting on them to make amends from last year and win the Super Bowl in the 100th season of the NFL.