NFL Futures Betting: AFC Championship Futures Value Plays

Written by:
C Costigan
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Yesterday we ran through a few value plays in the NFL and now we’ll turn to the AFC.  The AFC is a treasure trove of futures betting value. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out the article that was posted a few days ago giving an ‘overview’ of value betting concepts as they relate to futures wagering:


The Steelers aren’t a ‘trendy’ pick in the least but they’re still as solid as ever.  They lost Antonio Brown in the offseason but that’s starting to look more like ‘addition by subtraction’ after his antics in Oakland.  Le’Veon Bell also left as a free agent.  The team has a good option to replace both players.  James Conner will become the starting running back and he went for 973 yards rushing and 497 yards receiving.  JuJu Smith-Schuster had 1,426 yards receiving last year combined with 7 touchdowns.  He’ll play a bigger role in the offense along with tight end Vance McDonald.  The Steelers had a -11 turnover ratio last season but that’s one of those ‘coin flip’ type stats that should ‘regress to the mean’ this season.  Pittsburgh had the #6 total defense though they do need to tighten up the #17 scoring defense.  The offense was balanced and potent with the #4 total offense, #2 passing offense and the #6 scoring offense.  This is an experienced, well balanced team you’re getting at double digit odds.


Huge overreaction in the market to Andrew Luck’s retirement.  Much of the excitement surrounding the Colts heading into the season was the improvements they’d made on both sides of the ball.  The offensive line was excellent last year allowing a NFL low 18 sacks.  The defense also improved.  The public appears to not realize that had Luck not retired he likely would have been plagued by injury all season and certainly not in the mental or emotional state to play at his best.  Now they’ve got a talented quarterback who is healthy, motivated and looking forward to the opportunity.  Just an excellent value on a very good team excessively downgraded due to Luck’s retirement.


The Jaguars likely have more talent on defense than any team in the league.  Even though they were dispirited last year due to the team’s bumbling offense they were one of five teams that held opponents to fewer than 20 points per game.  The defense is as nasty as ever and now they’ve upgraded the offense as well.  Moving from Blake Bortles to Nick Foles at quarterback was a huge move—Foles makes the team better on the basis of his experience and professionalism alone.   If running back Leonard Fournette stays healthy they’ll have an offense that can move the football and that will take pressure off of the defense and give them more rest during games.  Don’t forget that Jacksonville was a few minutes away from winning the AFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl despite having Bortles at quarterback.  The 2019 defense should be just as good and now they’ve upgraded their quarterback situation.


The Titans are in a very similar situation to the Jacksonville Jaguars with one profound difference—the public knows that the Jags’ defense is nasty.  The Titans offense underperformed last year and finished in the bottom ten in most offensive categories.  Yet they finished with a winning record and a positive points differential.  Only 8 teams in the league scored more points than they conceded and the Titans did it was a nasty defense.  Tennessee had the third best scoring defense in the league last year giving up just 18.9 PPG. Only the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens allowed fewer points. Overall, Tennessee was one of only 5 NFL teams that allowed fewer than 20 PPG.  This is a ‘make or break’ contract year for Marcus Mariota but he’s got upgraded weapons all around him.  The biggest improvement could be a healthy offensive line.

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