Best NFL Bets for MVP, Playoff Teams & More

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(670 The Score) Of all the major professional sports dealing with uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak, the NFL appears to be the league with the fewest number of holes, representing a multi-billion-dollar industry with a clear-cut plan in place. Even if the season is unable to start on Sept. 10, schedule-makers are prepared to push back the Super Bowl three weeks while keeping the 16-game schedule intact.

Is this just my excuse for placing NFL futures bets in May? Maybe.

But with the NFL betting market already making an adjustment after the draft, it’s important to recognize value before there’s more of a correction. Without further ado, here are my favorite non-Super Bowl futures, via Kambi sportsbook.

Dak Prescott to win MVP (16-1 now, 20-1 pre-draft)

Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper ranked eighth in yards per route run in 2019 (among 86 wide receivers), per fantasy football guru Evan Silva. And breakout candidate Michael Gallop tallied the sixth-most receiving yards per game. That’s not all, though.

Dallas added explosive Oklahoma receiver Ceedee Lamb in the draft. He produced the highest yards per route run from the slot across college football. Beyond that, Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin accumulated the sixth-most yards per target at his position.

Considering Prescott finished tied for the fourth-highest yards per attempt a season ago with an incompetent coach in Jason Garrett, expect a monster season with Mike McCarthy in the fold and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore having a heavier influence with play design. Dallas has a legitimate shot to challenge for the No. 1 seed in the NFC if its youthful secondary makes an impact after losing cornerback Byron Jones.

Lions to win the NFC North (+550 now, 7-1 pre-draft)

This price has been steamed down as well, but Detroit’s expected positive regression shouldn’t be ignored. Coach Matt Patricia’s team went 3-8-1 in one-possession games last season -- and five of those losses came without quarterback Matthew Stafford.

General manager Bob Quinn would’ve wise to address Detroit’s defensive line issues before the third round, as he instead drafted cornerback Jeff Okudah in the first round and tailback D’Andre Swift in the second round prior to nabbing Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara. But with an improved defensive backfield and a slightly more explosive offense, the Lions possess enough firepower to challenge the Packers and Bears, especially given Green Bay’s likely negative regression. The Packers were 8-1 straight-up in one-score games in 2019.

Minnesota strung together a fine draft, replacing receiver Stefon Diggs with first-rounder Justin Jefferson, and it’ll continue to contend for a division title. But as long as Patricia and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell aren’t clowns, there’s value to be had in Motown.

Browns to make playoffs (+137, no movement)

The Ravens and Steelers aren’t fading away, and the Bengals’ offense should explode once rookie quarterback Joe Burrow -- who opened with 200-1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy in 2019 -- finds a rhythm at the next level. But don’t count the Browns out of the postseason picture, especially with the addition of another wild-card team in each conference.

Cleveland went 2-4 in one-score games last season, and its strength of schedule eases up from the ninth-toughest to the third-easiest across the NFL. The Browns also notched the eighth-worst fumble luck, so positive regression should be en route. Replacing coach Freddie Kitchens with ex-Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, whose offense is tailor-made for quarterback Baker Mayfield, should be a massive plus as well.

Following upgrades on the offensive line and at tight end -- led by ex-Titans right tackle Jack Conklin, first-rounder Jedrick Wills, ex-Falcons tight end Austin Hooper and rookie tight end Harrison Bryant -- the pieces are in place for Mayfield to show more of the promise he displayed as a rookie.

Look for the Browns defense to also make strides after tying for the 11th-most opponents’ yards per play in 2019, upgrading at all three levels defensively in the draft after nabbing Wills in the first round.

Bills under 8.5 wins (+110, no movement)

I’m waiting for this win total to shoot up to an over/under of 9 -- even if there’s a bit of juice attached.

There’s an assumption that Buffalo is automatically positioned to win the AFC East with Tom Brady departing New England for Tampa Bay. But after winning just one game against teams above .500 last season, the Bills are set to face the league’s fifth-toughest schedule. Even with a dominant defense, there’s plenty of opportunity for variance against enhanced competition.

On top of that, Bills quarterback Josh Allen was tied for the third-lowest yards per pass attempt across the NFL in 2019, and I’m not expecting the sudden improvement that some see coming despite the addition of the aforementioned Diggs.

Eli Hershkovich is a producer for RADIO.COM Sports. Follow him on Twitter @EliHershkovich.