After an extensive pre-season schedule, the 2018-19 NFL season is now just days away from beginning. Plenty of interesting off season moves dominated the headlines in the off-season and the upcoming year promises to be an exciting one. We take a look at some of the key future markets in the NFL and give our 2018-19 season betting tips below.
Don’t forget, we will also be running weekly previews of the NFL where we take a look at some of the marquee games of the round and provide our betting tips each Wednesday.
Once again, the favourite leading into the 2018-19 NFL season will be the New England Patriots. Led by coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots have competed in three of the last four Super Bowls and the pair have combined for a 5-5 record in 10 all time appearances. They have made it to at least the AFC Championship game in seven consecutive seasons and deserve to be the Super Bowl favourites leading into this season. However, some key off-season losses will hurt the Pats. Running back Dion Lewis, cornerback Malcolm Butler, wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola and left tackle Nate Solder all depart the side and were replaced by a combination of draftees and widely unproven veteran signings.
Last year’s Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, have to be considered here. They are currently second favourite in the Super Bowl market at around $10 and will be returning with a host of their championship winning team from last year. Their defence was the lynchpin for the majority of the season last year and it seems to have gotten better in the off season with natural improvement and the signings of some experienced veterans. Their running back stocks of Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement is scary and Carson Wentz has to be in the conversation for top five quarterbacks in the league.
Pittsburgh look likely to challenge the Patriots once again in the AFC. They faced off against them in the AFC Championship game two years ago before just losing to the Jaguars in an upset in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. They will enter the 2018-19 season with a very similar core as the one that played so well last year and with the natural progression of the running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown, who are both arguably the best players in the league at their position, the Steelers should be scary with ball in hand.
However, we are looking past all three of the Super Bowl favourites above and siding with arguably the best quarterback in the game right now, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers played just seven games last year due to injury and coincidentally the Packers won just seven games last year. The Packers receiving core is also one of the best in the league led by Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks. They did lose Jordy Nelson to the Raiders but that core with Aaron Rodgers is extremely scary. Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery make up a solid RB combination which means the Packers defence will only need to be slightly above average to give them chances of wining any game they play.
The Packers do face a tough division that contains arguably the best defence in the league in the Minnesota Vikings, however, Rodgers didn’t face the Vikings last year and if there’s any QB in the league that is capable of picking apart their defence, it’s him. I like the Packers to win the NFC this year and if I had to choose any team to win it all, it would be them.
It’s highly likely that once again we will see the MFL MVP award go to a quarterback. 10 of the last 11 seasons have resulted in the trophy being handed to a QB, with star Vikings RB Adrian Peterson being the only player to break the mould in the last decade. However, if you want some value this season I’d be looking no further than LA Rams running back Todd Gurley. Gurley and Arizona RB David Johnson are the two lowest priced players outside of quarterbacks for the MVP this year and with the recent decline in overall defence in the NCF West, I think Gurley could be a great chance.
Gurley averaged the 5th most rushing attempts per game last season with 18.6 and was second only to Kareem Hunt of the Chiefs in total yards, racking up 1,305 on the season. He’ll need to improve on that this year and be up around the 1,700 mark if he is to win MVP, but with their NFC West rivals in the Seahawks defence getting worse and the 49ers maintaining one of the poorer defences in the league, there should be ample opportunity for Gurley to dominate.
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