NFL Futures Betting 2019 2020: NFC Championship Futures Value Plays

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

In our last article we discussed some theoretical concepts of value and clarified what the term actually means as it relates to sports betting.  Now we’re ready to put these ideas into practice.  Simply put, what we’re trying to do is look for teams that are at the ‘midpoint’ on the matrix of ‘favorites’ and ‘underdogs’ along with ‘strong contender’ and ‘have no chance’.  This is where we find the value.

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In this article, we’ll look at some value positions to win the NFC Championship and then move to the AFC in the next one.


The sports betting ‘public’ overreacts to a team’s last performance.  This is known as a ‘recency bias’ and is among the most common type of cognitive bias.  It’s just not the betting public—the mainstream sports media is notorious for recency bias based overreaction and since that’s where the ‘public’ gets most of their information they feed their tendency to overreact to short term performance.  This all brings us to the Chicago Bears who lost their opening game to the Green Bay Packers 10-3 as -3 point favorites.  Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has taken the brunt of the blame for the loss despite putting up more yards than his Green Bay counterpart Aaron Rodgers.  The Bears’ offensive line has also shouldered some of the blame as they allowed him to be sacked five times.  Little is being said about Green Bay’s offensive line who allowed Rodgers to be sacked five times as well.

There’s no doubt that the Bears’ offense needs to improve, Trubisky included.  And as the old saying goes ‘winning cures everything’.  That still doesn’t explain how yesterday morning the Bears were +750 to win the NFC Championship and this morning they’re +1000.  At the same time, the Packers have gone from +1000 to +750.  Nothing is being said about the Bears’ defense which held Green Bay to a total of 213 yards and held Rodgers to 166 yards passing.  The reality is that both offenses likely suffered from keeping their starters out during preseason play.  Both should get better.  Yet the loss notwithstanding, this is the type of game the Bears want to play.  It’s most definitely not the way the Packers want to play.  Both teams have plenty of time to fix what didn’t go well in their opening game.  The Chicago Bears are still the same team they were before kickoff on Thursday night but now we’re getting them at a better price.  There’s an old investment strategy to ‘buy on bad news’ and it often works in sports betting as well.


Jason Garrett might not be a coaching mastermind like Bill Belichick but the Dallas Cowboys are a pretty solid team on both sides of the ball.  Statistically, they’re a gift at this price.  The Dallas defense is seriously underrated.  The Cowboys last season had the #6 ranked scoring defense, the #5 ranked run defense and the #7 ranked total defense.  The Ezekiel Elliott holdout may have dragged on longer than anyone wanted but he’s signed now and ready to play.  Elliott is a consistent workhorse at running back averaging 131 yards per game over his NFL career.  They’ll have to deal with the Philadelphia Eagles but the rest of the NFC East is unlikely to mount a challenge this year.


All head coach Pete Carroll does is win.  His success at the college level is well known but since coming to the NFL he’s won a Super Bowl, made the playoffs 7 times in 9 seasons and amassed a .620 regular season winning percentage.  There’s a decent chance that the Los Angeles Rams could regress this season and if they do the Seahawks could very well take the division.  Give them a couple of home playoff games at the madhouse that is CenturyLink Field and they could be a nasty adversary in the playoffs.  Russell Wilson gives them a chance to win every week and the defense is automatically better now with the pass rushing talent of Jadeveon Clowney.


The ‘public’ has already bequeathed the NFC South to the New Orleans Saints but there’s a reason they play 16 games in the regular season.  New Orleans is an excellent team to be sure but they also have to play 16 games.  Injuries, off field issues and just bad luck can happen to any team.  Even the Saints.  If the Saints don’t reach their lofty expectations, the Panthers are going to be the primary beneficiary.  Carolina improved both their offensive and defensive lines in the offseason.  Cam Newton looks to be back at 100% and even with him ailing Carolina was the #4 rushing yards per game team in the league.  That was due in large part to the emergence of Christian McCaffrey as an elite running back.  Before Newton’s shoulder injuries flared up the Panthers opened the season 6-2.  They also got a lot of bad luck during their 7 game losing streak—5 of those losses were by single digits.

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