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Best Futures Bets NFL Week 6: Packers' plus price compels, but beware of Titans

6. Packers (1): QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams just might return to a team that's gone 39-10 in the regular season under Matt LaFleur. What's certain to return is the specter now following a club that's squandered a No. 1 seed, which should be a massive advantage, in both years since the NFL expanded to a 14-team playoff field. Syndication Packersnews

• PFF simulations don't show a current edge on Packers to win the NFC North (+110), but this might be the right time to buy into Aaron Rodgers and Co. at plus money.

• Tread lightly on the Titans (+185), who enter the bye on a three-game win streak (over teams with a 4-10-1 record) but are average passing (17th in EPA/dropback) and will miss injured top pick Treylon Burks.

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Last updated: Tues. Oct. 11, 2:15 p.m.

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Even though we had more than six months prior to the start of the season to bet on NFL futures, the market is always live and there are some opportunities to make some money when looking at a team from a macro perspective. Following Week 5, here are some of the biggest changes in the AFC South and NFC North futures markets.

AFC South Division Winner market

Team Pre-Week 5 Odds Post-Week 5 odds
Jaguars +175 +225
Colts +180 +160
Titans +200 +185

After a very disappointing loss against the lowly Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars fell to third in the divisional race: And they're now basically ending up where they were before the season. Jacksonville looked like the best team in the division following a 2-1 start (including a shutout victory over the Indianapolis Colts), but two straight losses puts them behind Indianapolis and the Tennessee Titans yet again. Trevor Lawrence has not looked like the quarterback he was in Weeks 1-3, putting together two straight sub-65 passing grade performances.

The Colts are now AFC South favorites: Despite authoring as bad an offensive performance as we’ve seen in recent memory, especially on national television. In the 16-9 win over the Denver Broncos, Matt Ryan averaged a 0.28 EPA/play, and a 42.2 passing grade. More worrisome is the Colts offensive line, which gave up 25 pressures, despite starting the game with an interior combining for more than $50 million in average APY.

The market doesn’t believe the Titans' current three-game win streak is that impressive — and I would tend to agree: While our sims show an edge on Tennessee, the advice here is tread lightly as the Titans come off three consecutive one-score wins against teams with a combined record of 4-10-1, and will now be without Treylon Burks, hurting an already-average passing attack (17th in EPA/dropback). 

NFC North division winner market

Team Pre-Week 5 Odds Post-Week 5 Odds
Packers -130 +110
Vikings +125 -125

The market has basically flipped the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings after Week 5: Largely because there are serious issues on both sides of the ball with the Packers right now. Their defense was the focal point of the offseason with two first-round picks invested, but it has not lived up to the hype, ranking 16th in EPA/play allowed and showing up, as it seemingly does almost every year in recent memory, in the bottom 5 in EPA/rush and success rate allowed. 

On offense, the Packers appear too one-dimensionalAaron Rodgers was either throwing to the flat route off an RPO or chucking it deep in Sunday's shocking loss to the New York Giants. He shows up in the bottom 5 in both time to throw and ADOT, meaning there’s no intermediate game at all for the Packers right now. It's almost like the offense is hurting without Davante Adams. I still like this team to figure it out before the playoffs begin. They’re too talented not to, and getting guys like left tackle David Bakhtiari and wide receiver Sammy Watkins in full health should contribute to that.

Minnesota is now favored to win the NFC North — and for good reasons: 3-0 in the division, Justin Jefferson looks like the OPOY, and the Packers haven’t been great. But it’s tough to buy into the Vikings at this price. They're coming off thee straight one-score victories, including two games they probably shouldn’t have been victorious in over the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions. In fact, Minnesota at one point trailed in the fourth quarter to the Lions and Chicago Bears — two teams unlikely to make the playoffs this season.

While their offense has been fine, the Vikings defense has not been good: 20th in EPA/play allowed, 27th in success rate allowed, and they allowed the Bears to come into Minnesota and score 22 points even though they’ve crossed the 20 point threshold in one other game all year.

Our sims don't show a current edge on the Packers: But this might be a good chance to buy into them at plus money if you believe Aaron Rodgers and LaFleur will figure it out by the season’s end.


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