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2021 NFL Betting Guide: Best Bets for Every NFL Team and 2021 Season Simulation

Few things get the betting juices flowing more than the dawn of a brand-new NFL football season, and the rapidly approaching 2021 campaign is no different.

The NFL preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 5, with Week 1 set to commence on Sept. 9 with the Thursday Night Football clash between the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.

There are plenty of angles to consider before placing your bets. Here’s an overview of the favorites, the long shots and market odds to consider before PFF's betting tools go live for Week 1 action. The odds listed for each team are based on break-even percentages from DraftKings Sportsbook and can be compared to PFF's season-long simulation.

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PFF 2021 Season Simulation

NFC NORTH

CHICAGO BEARS

Win Totals: 7.5 100 | -120
Division Odds: 20.0%

Playoff Odds: 35.7%
Super Bowl Odds: 2.0%

*Odds based on break-even percentages from DraftKings Sportsbook

Player props (season totals)

RB David Montgomery 1,075.5 rushing yards
WR Darnell Mooney 700.5 receiving yards
TE Cole Kmet 42.5 receptions
WR Allen Robinson II 94.5 receptions

Best bet: TE Cole Kmet OVER 42.5 receptions (-115)

It wasn’t an immediate takeover, but Kmet eventually overtook Jimmy Graham in 2020 to be the Bears' No. 1 receiving tight end. After returning from injury in Week 10, Kmet ran a route on over 50% of dropbacks for the remainder of the season, and Graham never once hit that threshold.

The fact that Graham is still on Chicago's roster has provided a break on Kmet’s season-long player props. Our fantasy projections like his chances of going over this current reception number, as we have him slated to see 12% of the targets in the Bears’ offense, which leads to 46.3 receptions. In a potential breakout year, Kmet should easily eclipse this relatively modest reception total.


DETROIT LIONS

Win Totals: 4.5 -140 | 120
Division Odds: 4.8%

Playoff Odds: 14.8%
Super Bowl Odds: 0.7%

*Odds based on break-even percentages from DraftKings Sportsbook

Player props (season totals)

QB Jared Goff 4,150.5 passing yards
RB Jamaal Williams 725.5 rushing and receiving yards
WR Breshad Perriman 750.5 receiving yards
TE T.J. Hockenson 770.5 receiving yards
RB D'Andre Swift 52.5 receptions

Best bet: TE T.J. Hockenson OVER 770.5 receiving yards (-115)

It shouldn't be an 0-16 season, but the Lions should finish as the second-worst team in the NFL in 2021. They have the second-lowest win total with few offensive weapons around newly acquired quarterback Jared Goff.

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at Ford Field. Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

One of the only remaining offensive skill position players is T.J. Hockenson, who is currently projected to see 20% of the Lions' passing targets. Leading the team in target share for an offense that will constantly be playing from behind is the perfect recipe to hit on an OVER bet. PFF's fantasy projections corroborate this idea, projecting Hockenson to finish almost 82 yards above this current total. If things go according to plan in Detroit, Hockenson will be one of the few bright spots of the 2021 season.


GREEN BAY PACKERS

Win Totals: 10.5 -143 | 118
Division Odds: 58.8%

Playoff Odds: —
Super Bowl Odds: 5.9%

*Odds based on break-even percentages from DraftKings Sportsbook

Best bet

The Packers remain off the board for almost all betting offerings as we await the resolution to the Aaron Rodgers saga. If any sportsbook is offering what team Rodgers will play for in Week 1, the Packers appear to be an absolute lock based on the latest information.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Win Totals: 9 -110 | -110
Division Odds: 28.6%

Playoff Odds: 44.8%
Super Bowl Odds: 2.4%

*Odds based on break-even percentages from DraftKings Sportsbook

Player props (season totals)

QB Kirk Cousins 4,100.5 passing yards
RB Dalvin Cook 1,350.5 rushing yards

Best bet: RB Dalvin Cook UNDER 1350.5 rushing yards (-118)

Cook is one of the best rushers in football, and PFF projects him to rack up the second-most yards in 2021. However, after two seasons in which he played 14 games, we have to factor in the chance of an injury, which made him go under 1,000 yards on the ground in each of his first two seasons.

After two years of Gary Kubiak-ish-led offenses, Klint Kubiak takes over, which is another source of uncertainty. When it comes to betting overs this big uncertainty offers asymmetric outcomes, with the majority of them favoring the under.


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