Thursday, December 28, 2006

Two NFL Futures bets

I made two NFL futures bet recently:

Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC at +310
I think fair value on Baltimore is +240 or 29.6%.

The main bet here is that I think the Ravens will be around -130 in the money line in games against IND or NE in BAL. If that happens, then my bet of BAL +310 will be a good one, whether they win the AFC or not. But if the Ravens are one of the few playoff teams to be a home underdog, then +310 will only be a fair bet.

Another reason I do like this bet, is that I already own futures bets on SD and IND. The SD bets I made are now at great prices, while the IND bets are at prices worse than they are valued at now. But regardless of the prices that I bet them at, I have exposure to them. Rounding off the AFC divisional winners, it means I am synthetically short the NE Patriots since I did not bet them to win the AFC. It does not mean I don't think they will win or don't like their chances, it simply means I did not find any good prices relative to their value. As the games come around, I think I will likely be able to get them at decent value so if I need to hedge, I may even be able to get them at a positive EV or negative EV number.

If I did not have any position, I would still take BAL +310 to win the AFC.

New Orleans Saints to win the NFC at +270
One main reason I bet this strong is that I have many bets on CHI to win the NFC. I made those bets in Vegas a week or so after Grossman stunk up the joint and everyone was sky high on DAL and Tony Romo, and thought Grossman would lose it for the Bears. But the Bears have turned it around on offense (although defensively they do have injuries), and the Cowboys have shown they are not really a special team.

But even without the Bears bet, I really like the bet on the Saints. They are the 2 seed and basically need to win two games - one at home, and the second likely at CHI. I am estimating they will be a 3 point favorite at home or higher in their first game. If that game comes against DAL, they may be just that. But if they are facing PHI, the line may be as high as 7. In the possible matchup against the Bears, I have that line estimated as NO getting 5.5 points in Chicago. I think that would be a fair line if the two teams met. I have the value on NO at +180 to win the NFC.

Like the BAL bet, I also like the NO bet even if I did not have other futures bets on other teams. Overall, I look at both of these bets as positive EV bets that also hedge other positions that I have. That's the best of both worlds! Of course the opinion that they are positive EV bets are mine, and others may disagree, but I suggest anyone interested in futures bets take a good look at these two teams at those prices.

Here is where I think fair value is on all the playoff teams to win their conference:

NE +890
BAL +240
IND +780 (I think NE is a better team and have them valued higher. But IND does have a chance of being the 2 seed, thus the lower odds on them)
DEN +2530
SD +140

PHI +1630
DAL +1420
CHI +120
NO +180
SEA +1940

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