Analysis

Chargers, Lions Among Longshot NFL Betting Futures to Target

Justin Herbert Chargers vs. Raiders

I like to run through the team futures market every week. I don’t always place a bet in this market, primarily because the teams with reasonable paths to winning their division or their conference are almost always conservatively priced by oddsmakers. But occasionally, I find something worth betting on, like I did this week. So I’m going to discuss that long-shot option and a potential bet that I specifically looked for heading into Week 14.

My Favorite Win Their Conference Longshot:

Los Angeles Chargers +4000 to win AFC.

Despite losing to the Raiders, the 6-6 Chargers are still just a game behind the 7-5 upstart Jets in the Wild Card race. The 8-4 Ravens are down Lamar Jackson and generally underwhelming, which creates a path for them to freefall out of the playoffs. The Chargers’ final five games are: vs. Dolphins (SNF), vs. Titans, at Colts (MNF), vs. Rams and at Broncos. If the Chargers can get to 10-7, they have a realistic chance of getting in as the seventh seed. At this juncture, a 3-2 record through this stretch looks like a median outcome, which makes a 4-1 finish possible.

I like a few things about this bet at these odds. The first is that Justin Herbert has already shown that he can go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow while coming away with a win over the last two years. Second is that for the Chargers to get into the playoffs, they will have to win a month’s worth of do-or-die games. Third, the Chargers have been ravaged by injuries this year, and they could conceivably get several difference-makers back by the end of the regular season.

If the Chargers get into the playoffs, they will have an elite quarterback and a talented roster peaking at the right time of year. If the Chargers get into the playoffs, they will be dangerous.

I’m going to wait until later in the week before pulling the trigger on this bet. If I think Miami will beat the Chargers this Sunday night, I might wait until next week to place this wager to get even better longshot odds. 

My Favorite Make-Playoffs Longshot:

Detroit Lions +750

Over the last several weeks, I’ve mentioned on a few of our shows that I think the Lions will be a factor late in the season. I won’t make this bet at +750, but if I can find the Lions to make the playoffs at 12:1 or better odds before the weekend, I’m going to pull the trigger then.

Detroit has blown out the Giants, taken the Bills to the brink, and blown out the Jaguars over the last three weeks. They are trending up, their offense is getting completely healthy for the first time this season, and the Lions’ defense has been better in recent weeks. The Giants, Commanders, and Seahawks are in the hunt for the sixth and seventh seeds. I have no confidence in the Giants, the Commanders have already surged to get to this point, and the Seahawks needed a late-game drive to beat John Wolford’s Rams last week. 

Detroit’s schedule through the rest of the year: vs. Vikings, at Jets, at Panthers, vs. Bears, at Packers. If the Lions take care of business against the Panthers and Bears, they can finish 9-8 if they go 2-1 against the Vikings, Jets, and Packers. The Lions have already gotten steamed as a home favorite against the Vikings this week, and the Packers could be starting Jordan Love in Week 18.

If two teams between the Giants, Commanders and Seahawks slide while the Lions surge, Detroit can get in as the seventh seed. As I mentioned above, I don’t want to bet this outcome at +750 odds; too many things need to happen. But if I can get this bet at a fair price in the 12:1 region, I’m going to bet on this.

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