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NFL futures to bet before Week 1: Player props, divisional bets and make/miss playoffs bets

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) signals to the crowd after making a catch in the end zone for the Colts' first touchdown Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

• Take the OVER on Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.'s receiving yardage prop bet (o85.5, -115) at BetMGM Sportsbook when considering new QB Matt Ryan and Pittman's lack of competition for targets.

PFF's power rankings give the Green Bay Packers a 62% chance to win the NFC North. Bet on them to do exactly that (-155).

• A tough schedule combined with the loss of A.J. Brown and Harold Landry's injury makes the Tennessee Titans to miss the playoffs (-120) a strong bet ahead of the 2022 season

Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins

NFL Week 1 has finally arrived, but there’s still time to lock in season-long futures bets before the Thursday Night showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the reigning Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams on NBC.

Many of the best value plays have come and gone over the course of a long and busy offseason, but there are still some good betting opportunities available. Here are some season-long player props, divisional bets and make/miss the playoffs bets we like.

Note: All odds sourced from BetMGM Sportsbook as of Sept. 5 unless otherwise stated.

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Player props

Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. o85.5 receptions (-115)

Pittman is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he garnered 124 targets and hauled in 88 receptions. The Colts' No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers in terms of targets in 2021 — Zach Pascal and T.Y. Hilton — are no longer on the team, nor is tight end Jack Doyle following his retirement. Rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce out of Cincinnati is a big-bodied, jump-ball receiver who projects as more of a downfield threat than a consistent target hog, leaving a lot of opportunity for Pittman.

New Colts quarterback Matt Ryan has never been afraid to pepper his top wide receiver with targets, throwing to rookie Kyle Pitts 110 times last season with the Atlanta Falcons. Before then, his top option had at least 140 targets in five straight seasons.

Indianapolis does have a fairly easy schedule — fifth-easiest per PFF's power rankings — which could work against this bet from a game-script perspective, but the uber-competitive AFC Conference playoff landscape should force every team to keep their foot on the gas a little longer this season.

Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire o699.5 rushing yards (-115)

Edwards-Helaire has been extremely underwhelming since the Chiefs selected him with the final pick of the first round in 2020, but he faces less competition for touches than ever before heading into 2022. In particular, his top backup in Jerick McKinnon has predominantly been utilized as a quality receiving back with the ability to take on a larger workload when necessary. 

Seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco and short-yardage/goal-line back Ronald Jones round out the group and don’t figure to be large threats to Edwards-Helaire’s workload, either.

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