NFL Season Preview and Futures

Jord's NFL Betting resource and Guide

What up, everyone!

Thank you for taking the time to read the 4th and Jord newsletter! This newsletter will be the ultimate NFL betting resource and guide. Rather than just giving out my picks, what I intend to do with this newsletter is bring you into my process . I will provide data, statistics, rankings, evaluations and other tools from around the industry to help you develop your own process, make more educated wagers and approach each week from a gambling perspective. I will touch on the big storylines and news coming out of the NFL every week. I will also provide a podcast picks report of some of the top NFL and NFL betting podcasts to help you reason through your decisions and easily tail or fade the podcasters picks. Finally, I will give my thoughts and picks for the week.


STORYLINES, NEWS and Big Questions

NFL football is right around the corner and I am so fired up! This is the best time of the year! There is a special buzz about this year that has me extra amped to dive into the NFL. Maybe it’s having fans back in the stadium after the Covid year or all the great story lines to consider heading into the season. It has been quite an offseason in the NFL. Here are some of storylines and the big questions around them that I am asking to help formulate my betting strategy:

Aaron Rodgers Drama – Are the Packers and Rogers primed for one final run at the Super Bowl or are they distracted and disconnected?

Young Stud QB’s – The NFL has had an influx of talent at the sports most important position in the last two years with Herbert, Tua and Burrow in 2020 and the 5 first rounders this year. Who takes the jump in their second year? Can Herbert continue to progress into a superstar? Can Tua and Burrow bounce back after injuries and challenging years? Who out of the 5 rookie first rounders will immerge as a stud or a bust? History says more will be busts than stars, could 2021 be the outlier draft year? What week do they start for their teams? Can any of them lead their teams to the playoffs or over their Vegas season win total? Who is the best bet for OROY?

Tom Brady’s favorite ring is the “next one” – Can Tom and the Bucs repeat? They bring back every starter from last year’s Super Bowl winning team and Vegas has them as the second favorite to win it again at 6-1 behind only the KC Chiefs.

Veteran QB’s changing teams Stafford, Wentz, Fitz and Jameis all take over the starter role on new teams for the first time in several years. These 4 teams seem to be on the playoff bubble. Do any of these QB’s get their respected teams over the hump?

The NFC West is a juggernaut – who wins the NFL’s best division?

Covid-19 - Unfortunately Covid is still a major factor and cannot be ignored when making wagers every week. How do we handicap home-field advantage? How do we handicap Covid exposures, team interruptions and the non-vaccinated athletes?


Links to Tools and Resources

Football Outsiders DVOA Rankings

Their proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system breaks down every single NFL play and compares a team's performance to a league baseline based on situation in order to determine value over average

NFL Power Rankings

PFF Power Rankings

NFL.com Power Rankings

Steve Fezzik NFL Power Rankings (Coming Soon)

Jord’s NFL Power Rankings (Coming Week 1)

QB Rankings (The most important position in Sports)

Chris Simms QB Rankings

I think Chris Simms is the best QB evaluator in the media and it’s not close, especially when evaluating QB prospects where he is not afraid to go against consensus. His record speaks for itself.

Mike Sando NFL Poll of QB Tiers

A League wide poll of the best QB’s by NFL executives

NFL QBR

The best QB metric.

PFF O-line Rankings

O-line is the second most important position group in football to me. Having a sense of O-line groups when making wagers can give you an edge.

Odds Checker Grid

Don’t forget to shop for the best numbers!


Podcast Picks Report

Below is a breakdown of 11 of my favorite football podcasts that make picks ATS. I think you can separate these into 3 different categories: the pro betters/analysts, the tape evaluators (scouts/ former players), and the media opinion-givers. I have ranked these sharpest to squarest in terms of my trust level of their picks. I will track all the picks and adjust this list as we move through the season.

  1. Pregame - The Dream Preview - RJ Bell, Steve Fezzik, AJ Hoffman

In my opinion this is the best and sharpest sports betting podcast. Steve Fezzik is the only 2-time Westgate Super contest winner. He is great with derivatives, calculations behind line moves/juice and identifying bet and fade spots in the schedule. RJ Bell keeps Fez in check and is very sharp himself, a contrarian thinker on the NFL and always finding unique angles.

Over / Under Picks (they must pick an Over and Under in every division and must have consensus from 2 of 3 guys to lock in their picks).

NFC South

  • Tampa Over 11.5

  • Carolina Under 7.5

  • Best Bet Fezzik Saints Under 9

AFC South

  • Best Bet Jags Under 6.5

  • Titans Under 9.5 (Two Unders for AFC South, no Overs)

NFC West

  • Over - Arizona 8.5

  • Under - Seahawks 10

AFC West

  • Best Bet Chargers Under 9.5

  • Denver Over 8.5

NFC East

  • Dallas Under 9

  • Washington Over 8.5

  • BB Washington to win division +260

AFC East

  • New England Over 9.5

  • Miami Under 9.5

NFC North

  • Minnesota Over 9

  • Green Bay Under 10.5 (Wait until last minute, Thursday before Season starts)

AFC North

  • Best Bet Cincy Under 6.5

  • Baltimore Over 10.5

  1. Bet the Board - Todd Furnham and @PayneInsider

Payne is a pro and offers great insight, data and statistics on the NFL. A lot of his plays you need to pay for, but on this podcast he will give some free best bets and talk you through his angles.

  • Denver Over 8.5

  • Minnesota Over 8.5

  • Trevor Lawrence Over 3.5 Rush TD’s +125

  1. Warren Sharp’s @sharpfootball free content, Sharp Angles and Ringer Gambling Show

Warren is super sharp and especially good with the models on game totals. You have to pay for most of his picks, but you can pick up his leans from listening to his pods. Some of the other guys on Sharp Angles are good too.

Warren likes Buffalo this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are is his Super Bowl pick. He has also hinted at Denver over 8.5, which is a bet a lot of the Sharps appear to be on.

Some of the other guy’s props are below:

  • CEH - To lead the league in Rushing 50-1

  • CEH - To lead the league in Rushing TD 50-1

  • CEH - Offensive Player of the Year 80-1

  • Jonathon Taylor rushing yards under 1275.5

  1. @kellyinvegas

Like her or not, Kelly, now with Barstool Bets, is very sharp and typically a contrarian better fading public sentiment and money. I think similarly so I like to keep an eye on her picks.

  • Buffalo Over 11, 12-1 Super bowl Bet

  • Pats Under 9

  • Best Bet NYJ Under 6.5

  • Mia Under 9.5

  • Browns Under 10.5

  • Rams Under 10.5

  • Raiders Under 7

  • Chargers to make playoffs +130

  • Seattle to miss playoffs +105

  • Arizona Under 8

  • Saints Under Kamara 950.5 rushing yards

  • Atlanta 2nd in NFC South +450

  1. The Action Network Sports Betting Podcast

New podcast for me, just getting to know the hosts Sean and Stuckey. Action network is a great resource, and the NFL preview shows have been solid with lots of wagers.

  • GB Over 10.5

  • Chicago Under 7.5

  • Detroit Under 5

  • Saints Under 8.5

  • 49ers to win division +200

  • Bucs to win NFC +300

  • Bills Over 11

  • Miami Under 9.5

  • Browns Over 10.5

  • Cincy Under 6.5

  • Chargers Over 9.5

  • Raiders Under 7

  • KC Over 12.5

  1. PFF Daily Betting Podcast

  • Brian Burns Sacks leader 22-1

  1. The Herd Blazing 5 - Colin is surprisingly sharp and the blazing 5 pod with RJ bell is a great listen on Saturday mornings.

    • Picks coming week 1

  1. GM Shuffle - Mike Lombardi former NFL executive has done well with his picks over the last few years. He has some solid inside info on the league, especially with certain teams, and offers a unique perspective on his handicaps.

  • Picks coming Week 1

  1. Geoff Schwartz is Smarter than you

Geoff is a tape guy, former player and relatively sharp. What I like are his takes from an O-lineman’s perspective.

  • Best Bet KC Over 12.5

  • KC Best Record in the league +400

  • New England Over 9.5

  1. The Bill Simmons Podcast -

Bill is one of the pioneers of podcasting and an entertaining media personality. He is more of an NBA specialist but does two solid shows on NFL betting. Guess the lines with Cousin Sal every Sunday night and Million Dollar picks with Peter Schrager every Thursday. Bill can be sharp and square but is entertaining, and Schrags offers some relevant inside info.

Pats over 9.

  1. Chris Simms Unbuttoned -

Great QB evaluator and NFL talent evaluator, but relatively square when it comes to making picks ATS. His insight is worth listening to for picking up tidbits on players and teams to implement in your picks, but his picks themselves offer moderate value.

  • Kwity Paye Defensive Player of the year


What I’m thinking and Who I’m picking

One thing I love about the NFL is the parity in the league year-over-year. In previewing this season, I actually think the league is top heavy. The group of teams that can win the Super Bowl is smaller than ever to me. The core group is:

  1. Tampa

  2. KC

  3. Buffalo

  4. GB

With a small group following those teams that have an outside shot at winning it all if everything goes perfectly:

  1. SF

  2. Cleveland

  3. LA Rams

On top of that I think divisions like AFC South, NFC South, NFC North and NFC East are as weak as they have ever been. They either have 1 elite team and 3 average to below-average teams or a full division of average to below-average teams. I think the disparity this season is larger than ever. (Yeah, I know someone goes worst to first every year; I’m not sure about this year, though.)

Team Wins

A couple things to consider when betting Over Under team wins this season. The 17th game is a bit of a mind-fuck and changes the math. But it also means that the AFC has 9 home games, and the NFC has 9 away games. So just to start out I was looking to play more NFC teams under and AFC teams over.

Bears Under 7.5 - One of my favorite bets of the pre-season. I am very low on the Bears this season for many reasons. The first is coach Nagy. His offense has regressed statistically every year he’s been at the helm. Yes, people like to blame the offensive struggles on Mitch. I think it’s been more on Nagy or, at least, a shared responsibility in the ineptness. Now he has “his” QB and can “open up” the playbook LOL. But of course, he won’t start “his” QB in week 1. That opportunity goes to the red rifle Andy Dalton (who’s not terrible). Why won’t he start Fields? Here’s 3 reasons to consider and none of them give me any hope for the Bears this season: 1) the O-line is bad, which it certainly is (bottom 5 in the league) and he is trying to protect him 2) maybe he didn’t win the position battle in camp? Which is possible - media loves to overreact to pre-season highlights 3) Nagy is an idiot and promised Dalton the job and is staying with that. All of these are good reasons to fade the Bears. Now, let’s assume Fields does take over at some point, this makes me like the bet more. I am not high on him compared to some of the other rookie QB’s. I think he struggles to make quick decisions and put the ball in the right place from the pocket. He has a strong arm but is not a natural thrower. He’s a freak athlete and could be an elite rusher which is great but that is certainly the best part of his game right now. I think the NFL is much more prepared to play a QB like Fields than they have been in the past. He will certainly make some big plays, but likely also big-time mistakes. On top of that, the defense is aging. The front 7 is still legit but getting old. The secondary is the real question mark: the corners are flta-out bad and the Bears face a tough schedule of opposing QBs. If Mack doesn’t get back to his 2017-18 production level and the O-line/QB struggles like I am predicting, I see a long season for the Bears.

GB Over 10.5 - This is one of those square picks that I think is just a no brainer. The offseason Rogers stuff is blown way out of proportion when it comes to play on the field. The handicap is relatively simple: The MVP of last season has one last run at a Super Bowl with the Packers before mutually parting ways. The team knows it, the coaching staff knows it, the organization knows it, the motivation to win it all will be very high. On top of that, the roster around him got better, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The young corners are elite, and the D-line should improve from the scheme change. Finally, the NFC North division besides the Packers is very weak to me. The Lions and Bears could be two of the worst teams in the league and Minnesota is a big question mark. The O-line is my only concern with the injury to Bahktiari, but I think they can scheme around it until he’s back. Packers to win the division at -164 is also good value to me.

CLE Over 10 - Continuity is key in Cleveland as they enter the second season under the new regime. The Browns have the best O-Line in football according to PFF and the best RB duo in the league behind them. The O-line and run game allows for game control and play-action shots. Baker is great on the move in designed boots, taking shots down field off play action. I expect improved Baker even from a solid year last season. Odell is back and on a contract year (motivated Odell is not a negative, miss me with that narrative). Finally, the additions to the roster on Defense, adding Clowney, Tmak and Malik Jackson to the D-line with Garrett is scary. The addition of Johnson at safety from the Rams top Defense last year is a great pick up. I liked the JOK draft pick. I suspect the defense is much improved. Their division has teams I like as regression candidates in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, Cincy is not close yet. Cleveland went 11-5 last year in a 16-game season, add an extra game, a bolstered roster, and weaker division and over 10 is the play.

Jacksonville Under 6.5 - This is another fade of a rookie QB and coach that is not ready for the big time (yet). Historically the college coach stepping up to the NFL has not gone well in their first season. Additionally, the first overall QB that is used to being on the best team and the being the best player on the field is no longer that and going to get punched in the mouth with a bad O-line and limited roster. I predict struggles from Trevor this year similar to other touted first overall QBs entering bad situations. Jacksonville has had some dysfunction buzz in the offseason that doesn’t make me feel great. Their division is the worst in the league so they will have some winnable games, but the out-of-division schedule is really tough. This is also a tail of Fezz and RJ from Pregame’s best bet.

Saints Under 9 - I debated this one for a while because I do not like betting against Sean Payton and I have a soft spot for Jameis, but I do think this is the right side. Looking at the roster they have lost 13 starters from last year, losing many key players on the defensive side of the ball (Hendricks, Jenkins). I do not think the Brees to Jameis switch is a huge drop-off, but I do wonder who Jameis will be throwing the ball too. The receiver/TE group seems to be one of the weakest in the league, Callaway could be good but don’t overreact to pre-season. The Michael Thomas situation is rough and could be a distraction; does he ever play for NO again? On top of this, the hurricane situation was really a clincher for me on this bet. New Orleans has one of the best home fields in the NFL and now they will be displaced in Dallas for over a month essentially practicing and playing on the road the entire time. This is a significant disadvantage.

Dallas Under 9.5 - Tailing RJ and Fezz and fading the dysfunction and terrible Defense in Dallas.

Bills Over 11 - Tailing Kelly, Warren and others the Bills could be the best team in the league.

Other O/U Thoughts

Although it’s super square, I think you could bet the over on all 7 of my top Super Bowl teams and make money this year.

Many sharps are on Denver over 8.5 - I debated it for a while. They have one of the best rosters in the league outside QB and O-line (the two most important position groups), and Teddy starting does raise the floor but also lowers the ceiling. Carolina gave him away? The line has moved from 7.4 to 8.6, a 1.2-point move, the largest pre-season team total move in Vegas history. I just can’t get there after a move like that. If it keeps going and gets to 9, I will consider the under.

Chargers Under 9.5 is another sharp side and I think it is the right one, but I am a Herbert fanboy and I simply don’t want to have a bet against him all year.

Pats Over 9.5 I like as well and may end up betting by Thursday.

NFC West

This division is stacked, the best in football. As long as they don’t kill each other throughout the year, I could see 3 teams making the playoffs from this division in the NFC (any 3 of these 4 teams, as well). The obvious under team is Arizona but I think they’re solid. I would actually lean over. Approaching this division has been tough from a betting perspective but I have settled on SF to win the division at +188. One of the best rosters in football and I think they have an easy early schedule that could get them out to an early lead and carry that momentum to the division title. I am also making a Rams Superbowl bet and Russ MVP bet so I am somewhat hedged. I do think there’s an outside shot 2 of those 3 bets hit.

Super Bowl

Like I mentioned above, there’s only a few teams I think can win it all this year. I honestly think Tampa and KC are the two best teams again but there is not much value in betting either of them. Betting on them to rematch in the Super Bowl is +1100 and could be a decent add to my portfolio. My outright Super Bowl bets are listed below. I think the Bills have a chance to be great. They got a taste last year, have multiple years of continuity, great coaching, a top 3 QB and just added what looks to be 2 stud rookie edge rushers, which is the one spot they need to improve to beat KC. The Rams have the best top-end talent in the league but lack depth, so I like the extreme bets with them - they could be a high variance team if they have bad injury luck. If they don’t, I love the potential with Stafford/McVay and obviously the studs on Defense. Browns are good value and I think they match up well with KC.

  • Bills +1100

  • Rams +1200

  • Browns +1600

MVP

I was a bit late placing these and didn’t get the best numbers but 2 MVP bets I like are Josh and Russ. MVP is always about the narrative, and I think both of these guys fit the narrative if their teams have great years. The Russ bet is a nice hedge against my NFC West prediction.

  • Josh Allen +1000

  • Russ +1600

Other Props

  • Brian Burns Sacks leader +2200

  • Kwity Paye DROY +1100

  • CEH Rushing TD leader 50-1

  • Zach Wilson OROY 10-1 (Bet this one early, Arm Talent Arm Talent Arm Talent! just wonder if Jets young team can win enough)

  • Corey Davis Over 875.5 yards

  • Trevor Lawrence O 3.5 Rush TD’s

Thanks again for taking the time to read my newsletter! Tail me or fade me, tail the experts or fade the talking heads. Whatever you decide, all the info is here in one place. Week 1 will be coming Friday! Good Luck!