When looking at a futures bet for any sport you want to take a few things into consideration. Level of play from the team you want to bet, their remaining schedule, the health of their roster, and how the rest of the conference is shaping up. As we enter Week 15 of the NFL season there are a surplus of teams still with playoff hopes in both the AFC and NFC. The final four weeks of the season will be one of the most exciting finishes in recent years. With all of these teams still fighting for a playoff spot, who is worth taking a shot on to win the AFC and NFC besides the current top seeds?
The NFC right now is looking like a very top heavy playoff in terms of the teams that hold the first five seeds vs the last 2 teams that will make it in. The five teams atop of the conference are the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, and the Los Angeles Rams. It is more than likely one of these five teams will be representing the NFC in Super Bowl LVI. Out of those five teams there is one team with very good value.
The Los Angeles Rams at +550 (Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook)
The Rams are currently 9-4 and the #5 seed in the NFC sitting only one game behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. When you look at the top five teams in this conference you could make an argument for any of them to win the NFC. The Rams sitting with the best odds of the five is worth a shot.
WHY ARE THE RAMS WORTH A FUTURES BET?
When you look at what this team has done over the past 12 months, it is clear they are all-in to win the Lombardi trophy this season. Acquiring stars like Matthew Stafford, Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr were all moves that told the league the Rams are here to win now.
After their latest two game skid to the 49ers and Packers, the Rams have won two straight and look like they have finally hit their stride. Their final four games include the Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens and 49ers. They will most likely need to win at least three of them if they want to win the NFC West.
Regardless of seeding, with this defense and the new fire power on offense, the Rams will look to make a run similar to the Buccaneers from a year ago. There is no reason this team can’t win this conference this year and with the value as good as it is right now, it is worth a shot.
The AFC is a much different story than the NFC right now. There is currently 11 teams at .500 or better all fighting for 7 playoff spots. That includes every division still being up for grabs with four weeks left. This conference is much harder to predict at this point of the season, but when looking at teams in terms of value, there is one that stands out among all others for a futures bet. The Chiefs? No. The Chargers? No. The Bills? Nope.
The Indianapolis Colts at +1600 (Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook)
WHY ARE THE COLTS WORTH A FUTURES BET?
After a 0-3 start to the season, the Colts are currently 7-6 and the #6 seed in the AFC coming off their bye in Week 14. With the AFC completely up for grabs entering Week 15, this Colts team is a dark horse to make a run. Their record could and should be much better than 7-6 right now. They held leads of 10 points or more in 3 of their 6 losses and couldn’t hang on to win those games. Had they won those games, this team would be sitting at 10-3 and would be one of the favorites to win this conference.
The Colts finish the season with the Patriots, Cardinals, Raiders, and Jaguars. A very tough 3 game stretch before their season finale against Jacksonville. Indianapolis will likely have to win at least two of these four games to get into the playoffs. If they get in, seeding does not matter for this team as they are capable of going on the road and winning.
Successful playoff teams have two things: a good defense and a good running game. The Colts have the best running back in 2021 in Jonathan Taylor and have a top ten defense which is only allowing 20 points per game. If you look at their playoff game last year, on the road in Buffalo, they were one completed pass away from beating the Bills. Now with Carson Wentz under center, all he has to do is be a game manager and not turn the ball over. Lean on Jonathan Taylor and that running game to keep these other high powered offenses in the AFC off the field. This Colts team is very similar to the 2019 Tennessee Titans that made a run to the AFC Championship leaning on RB Derrick Henry.
The Rams and Colts are not Super Bowl favorites, but with the value for each team to win their respective conference, each is worth a futures bet at this point in the season. If one or two things go their way, they both could be in prime position to make a deep playoff run.
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