The NFL futures market is a fascinating one. We get the entire summer to examine the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and get our bets in. And then, just like that, the product on the field begins, and everything changes. What we see on a week-to-week basis in the NFL causes plenty of movement in the futures market, so let’s take a look at some of those notable odds on the move this week.
While Kyler Murray (+750) didn’t see his MVP odds jump with an expected win over the Jaguars as 7.5-point road favorites, he did become the betting favorite in the market this week. The Chiefs lost their second game in a row, sliding Patrick Mahomes (+800) down the board. On the other side of that win, we saw a huge spike for the Chargers’ QB. A road win at Arrowhead Stadium as a near touchdown underdog spiked Justin Herbert (+1200) way up the board.
The entire market really ties together this week, with Matthew Stafford (+800) making another big leap back to his post-Week 1 odds. That was thanks to a massive home win over Tom Brady (+1000) and the defending Super Bowl champs. Now we have Stafford and the Rams hosting Murray and the Cardinals in a huge NFC West showdown of 3-0 teams. Unless something goes completely off the rails in Week 4, it’s pretty safe to say that the winner of the Stafford vs. Murray matchup will be the MVP frontrunner on Monday.
Remember when No. 5 overall pick Ja’Marr Chase (+500), according to rumors, couldn’t catch the football in training camp? Those days are behind us, with Chase hauling in four touchdowns from former LSU teammate Joe Burrow through his first three games in the NFL. Chase has rocketed up the board with his hot start, but really made significant progress this past week. He has a juicy matchup against the Jaguars on Thursday night, and could continue to climb before we even get to Sunday.
While Chase’s hot start is worthy of him being one of the favorites, he’s getting a ton of help from this supposedly historic rookie QB class. These five first-round QB selections are a combined 1-9 in their starts, and the only win belongs to the betting favorite. That would be Mac Jones (+400), whose win came in Week 2 over fellow rookie Zach Wilson (+1800). Someone had to win that game, so the rookie QBs have the worst record possible.
It’s gotten so bad for the QBs that Trey Lance (+750), who’s still in a backup role, is above three of the other starting rookies. Wilson is obviously in a very tough spot with the Jets, but Trevor Lawrence (+1000) and Justin Fields (+1000) have really been disappointing in the early going. Even the promise on Jones is starting to fade, with the Patriots staring down a 1-3 start if they can’t get the best of Brady in his return to New England. If Lance, who has entered games and scored touchdowns in the Niners’ goal line package, does wind up getting a starting role, he would be a very intriguing play.
While the Steelers look to have taken a turn for the worse, Najee Harris (+1200) is the only other name worth mentioning. Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been dreadful, but Harris is handling virtually all the work out of the backfield, and caught 14-of-19 targets in Week 3.
This is the first time we’ve brought the CPOY award into the mix. It’s an interesting award to consider, especially since so much of it is narrative based rather than numbers based. Not that Alex Smith’s return to football wasn’t a remarkable story, but in 2020, Smith essentially won the award just by getting back onto the field after his gruesome leg injury.
The 2021 market had big name RBs at least in consideration, but as you see with Christian McCaffrey (+1600) and Saquon Barkey (+2000), early injuries have likely taken away consideration.
Now Dak Prescott (+100) is sitting there as the odds on favorite, and it’s tough to argue with. But I do find Joe Burrow (+700) in an interesting spot. Dak is the notable name playing for the significantly more notable team, but Burrow’s returning from a tougher injury, and has a much taller task to win games with the Bengals. If Burrow can get this Cincy team around .500 and put up some good number, don’t discount him.
Sam Darnold (+500) is a bit of a joke here, as I’m not exactly sure what he’s returning from? All he did was get traded by the Jets, so I don’t understand why there should be any consideration here. Darnold’s presence here should give us value in the rest of the market.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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