The NFL preseason doesn’t start until the Hall of Fame Game on August 4. What’s a football bettor to do until then?
Our latest NFL betting notebook puts a Hollywood spin on handicapping the upcoming season. Get your popcorn ready…
NFL Notebook: June 8
Click on each item to read the full update.
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Doctor Strange
- Jurassic World Dominion
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Bullet Train
- Crimes of the Future
- NFL betting notes
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Latest NFL betting news
If you’re like me, you kill that time by seeking refuge from the sizzling summer sun inside dark, air-conditioned movie theatres, taking in the latest lot of summer blockbusters. And we have a doozy of big-budget flicks to pass the time before football fully steals our souls come September.
But these two loves of mine are not mutually exclusive. Why not marry them, fueling my excitement for the summer’s silver screen and getting my gears grinding for the upcoming NFL betting slate?
Here’s the movie marquee if NFL teams were summer blockbusters:
Top Gun: Maverick is… the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If we’re talking about the “best of the best,” you know we’re talking about Tom Brady. And from one Tom to another, the crafty veteran proving he’s still got it is the plot for both Cruise’s latest flick and the Bucs’ 2022 campaign. Brady’s retirement lasted about as long as the run time for Top Gun and sent oddsmakers scrambling to adjust any NFL odds tied to Tampa Bay.
Reviews have been glowing for Top Gun: Maverick, as are the Bucs’ lookahead lines, which have them favored in 16 of 17 games with a Week 14 trip to San Francisco pegged as a pick’em. That might give you “the need for speed” to rush out and bet the Over on Tampa’s win total of 11.5
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is… the Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers signed a three-year extension with the Cheeseheads in March and told reporters he’ll “definitely” finish out his pro career as a Packer. But that choice sent ripples across the NFL universe, specifically in the AFC West dimension (Davante Adams to Vegas, Russell Wilson to Denver, Chiefs restock future with Tyreek Hill trade).
In fact, ever since Rodgers inked that record-breaking payday in early March, big-name NFLers have been swapping jerseys like the Football Gods were playing Madden’s franchise mode. The crazy thing: there is an alternate NFL universe out there in which Rodgers left Lambeau, Brady stayed retired, and Deshaun Watson didn’t get $230 million guaranteed.
Jurassic World Dominion is… the Indianapolis Colts
Same dinosaur, different movie. Thirty-seven-year-old Matt Ryan doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of opponents like he used to when he was chewing through defenses like a T-Rex in Atlanta a few years back. However, he’s got a solid supporting cast (love me some Jeff Goldblum) and a shite AFC South.
The last edition of this franchise flopped in the final act against the Jaguars in Week 18, leaving a bit of a cliffhanger for 2022. Not even bookies know how the Colts’ story will end, sticking them with three pick’em lines and eight games on either side of a field goal (-3 to +3). Hold on to your butts, this should at least be pretty fun to watch.
Nope is… the Cleveland Browns
I think the title says it all. But even if you wanted to bet on the Browns, most of the odds tied to them (game and futures) are off the board as we await the fate of Deshaun Watson, who is facing lawsuits from 24 women.
Thor: Love and Thunder is… the Kansas City Chiefs
We’ve got to swap out the flowing golden locks for those trademark Head & Shoulders curls but the comparisons between Thor and Patrick Mahomes are right there and go deeper than hairstyles.
Both have annoying brothers you love to hate and, according to the “Love and Thunder” trailer, Thor is going to have to share the spotlight with his significant other. Jane Foster wields a reconstructed Mjolnir while Brittany Matthews awkwardly shakes a campaign bottle.
After a fall from glory and losing one of his greatest weapons (bye Cheetah), Mahomes is on a quest to figure out his NFL legacy after losing the Big Game in 2020-21 and the AFC Championship last winter. He’s still plenty mighty and has his giant buddy made of rocks (Kelce = Korg) helping him on his journey through the “God Butchering” AFC West. Cue the Guns N’ Roses.
Bullet Train is… the Baltimore Ravens
From the looks of this David Leitch film, we’re going to get a ton of fast-paced stylized action, a big body count, and a star in Brad Pitt pulling off some incredible escapes against an army of assassins. Sounds like Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to me!
Crimes of the Future is… the Houston Texans
With the Deshaun Watson onion getting peeled back, it sounds like the Texans have some crimes of the past they need to atone for.
As for the next freaky feature from David Cronenberg, reports from its Cannes Film Festival debut said some audience members walked out due to the gruesome scenes of body horror.
I fully expect to see the same inside NRG Stadium this season, with Houston’s win total at 4.5 and spread projections even lower at half a win.
More NFL betting news and views
Down on the Browns
As mentioned above, the ongoing Deshaun Watson saga has sportsbooks playing it safe with the Browns’ 2022 odds.
Many books have pulled Cleveland’s Week 1 matchup at Carolina off the board. For the shops that didn’t, they’ve made adjustments with early action trying to get ahead of any decision that would prevent Watson from playing in the opener.
Since the New York Times story dropped Tuesday, the books that left the lineup on the board have adjusted as much as a point.
888sport went from Browns -4 to -3, bet365 went from -3.5 to -3, as did FanDuel. And it might not stop there. Carolina +3 is priced as high as -118 at some places, indicating that a move off the key number of a field goal to Cleveland -2.5 could be on the way.
The Big Short
Being pegged as a short favorite has been the “kiss of death” when it comes to NFL betting over the past four seasons.
Favorites of less than a field goal (-2.5 or lower) are not only 90-116 against those short spreads (43.7%) but just 99-105-2 SU (48.5%) since 2018. Last year, faves of -2.5 or less went 22-26 SU and 20-28 ATS (41.7%) in the regular season.
Put that short chalk on its home field and things get even worse. Home faves between -1 and -2.5 finished a dismal 9-15 SU and ATS (37.5%) in 2021 — an indicator that home-field advantage ain’t what it used to be (overall, home teams covered at a 47.4% clip last season).
According to the 2022 lookahead lines, five teams are home favorites of -2.5 or less on three separate occasions:
- Detroit Lions: -1 vs. SEA in Week 4, -2 vs. JAX in Week 13, -1.5 vs. CHI in Week 17
- Las Vegas Raiders: -2.5 vs ARZ in Week 2, -2 vs. IND in Week 10, -1.5 vs. SF in Week 17
- New York Giants: -1 vs. CAR in Week 2, -2.5 vs. CHI in Week 4, -1.5 vs. DET in Week 11
- New York Jets: -2.5 vs. CHI in Week 12, -2.5 vs. DET in Week 15, -2.5 vs. JAX in Week 16
- Seattle Seahawks: -2.5 vs. NYG in Week 8, -2.5 vs. CAR in Week 14, -1.5 vs. NYJ in Week 17