NFL Futures Odds: 2 Straight Forecast NFL Predictions

min read
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Cincinnati.
(Jeff Dean/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Jun 05, 2024, 5:34 PM
  • Why strength of schedule should produce a new AFC North winner.
  • The case for a chalky finish in the AFC West’s top-two positions.

Amongst the myriad NFL futures odds available at BetMGM, straight forecast bets offer bettors a chance to predict the top two teams in a division. 

These differ from dual forecast bets in that teams are locked into their finishing position. In dual forecast wagers, bettors take two teams to either finish first or second in the division. 

That said, I’ve identified two straight forecast bets that jump out as valuable for bettors. Let’s dive into the picks from the BetMGM online sportsbook

NFL Futures Odds — Straight Forecast Predictions

Bengals 1st/Ravens 2nd in AFC North (+290)

Oddsmakers believe these teams are likely to fill the top two spots in the division as they’re -110 in the dual forecast market. 

Even though Baltimore has a decided advantage in terms of rest — their net rest edge is +16, per sharpfootballanalysis.com — the Bengals play an easier strength of schedule. 

Cincinnati and Baltimore have 14 common opponents — six divisional games, four games against the AFC West and four games against the NFC East. 

The glaring difference? The three games each team plays against a respective opponent from their 2023 finishing position. 

Cincinnati gets New England, Tennessee and Carolina as their three unique games. Baltimore plays the Buccaneers, Texans and Bills. 

That’s a sizable gap in terms of win total discrepancy. 

All three of Cincinnati’s opponents are listed at 6.5 wins or below, while Baltimore’s three unique opponents are all projected for at least eight wins. 

With a fully healthy Joe Burrow back in the fold, expect a bounce-back campaign for Cincinnati, who have quietly made solid additions to their defense. 

Chiefs 1st/Chargers 2nd in AFC West (+110)

The fact this is plus money renders the play a touch trap-y, but I’m willing to bet on the Chargers’ significant improvement. 

Los Angeles finished last season without much luck on their side. They went 0-7 in games decided by three or fewer points and 3-8 in games decided by seven or fewer points. 

Additionally, they finished 0-8 in games against eventual playoff teams and 1-5 within the division. 

Of course, they played four of those divisional contests without Justin Herbert, losing all four contests. 

Replacing Brandon Staley with Jim Harbaugh should lead to immediate improvement for a team that plays the easiest schedule among all four AFC West sides. 

Although both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams exited in the offseason, bettors should expect a more run-heavy approach from Harbaugh’s offense. 

Setting all that aside, I question if their offense is good enough to steal the division from Kansas City, a -225 favorite to claim the AFC West. 

Barring an injury to Patrick Mahomes, it’s difficult to see how Kansas City falters in a division where their quarterback is leaps and bounds above the rest.

NFL Futures Betting at BetMGM

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.