The Daily Sweat: As NFL season approaches, what are the most popular bets?

·6-min read

We just had college football on for five straight days over Labor Day Weekend. It was tremendous and served as just an appetizer of what's to come this weekend when both college and the NFL are in action. Days without football will be rare going forward, but Tuesday is unfortunately one of those days. However, it gives us an opportunity to dive into the NFL betting market just two days before kickoff. Which teams and players have received a lot of love in the betting market this summer?

The most popular Super Bowl bets

These five teams lead the way in terms of Super Bowl betting action at BetMGM:

  1. Buffalo Bills (11.9% of bets)

  2. Kansas City Chiefs (8.9% of bets)

  3. Denver Broncos (8.7% of bets)

  4. Los Angeles Chargers (7.3% of bets)

  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.2% of bets)

There's no real surprises on this list. Buffalo is the betting favorite and they are a team that's easy to like. The Chiefs are always in the mix. The Broncos added Russell Wilson while the Chargers improved the roster around Justin Herbert, who's already a star. Of course, nobody should be surprised to see Tom Brady rounding out the top-5.

The most popular division bets

Who do bettors like to win each division this upcoming season?

  • AFC East: Buffalo Bills (42.2% of bets)

  • AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals (33.2% of bets)

  • AFC South: Indianapolis Colts (50.5% of bets)

  • AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs (27.0% of bets)

  • NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles (64.9% of bets)

  • NFC North: Detroit Lions (50.1% of bets)

  • NFC South: New Orleans Saints (60.8% of bets)

  • NFC West: Los Angeles Rams (54.2% of bets)

The Bills, Colts, Chiefs and Rams are all favored to win their division, so it's no surprise to see them as popular bets. The Bengals played in the Super Bowl last season, so you can't fault bettors for siding with them ahead of the currently favored Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. Philadelphia improved greatly and Dallas took a step back on paper, so nobody should really be surprised if the Eagles take over that division. New Orleans is certainly a bit of a surprise, but at +300 to win the division, the odds might be appealing to some in the event Tom Brady and the Buccaneers take a step backwards. As far as Detroit? Well, bettors loving the Lions is nothing new. Those +850 odds probably make them even more appealing.

ORCHARD PARK , NY - AUGUST 20: Josh Allen (17) of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis (13) against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL preseason game at Highmark Stadium on Saturday, August 20, 2022. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are popular bets ahead of the NFL season. (Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Popular awards bets

Lets take a look at the three most popular bets for each of the NFL awards.

MVP

  1. Josh Allen (15.4% of bets)

  2. Russell Wilson (14.6% of bets)

  3. Patrick Mahomes (11.9% of bets)

Three of the league's best quarterbacks headline the MVP voting. Allen is the betting favorite and the most popular bet.

Offensive Player of the Year

  1. Justin Jefferson (14.3% of bets)

  2. Jonathan Taylor (7.6% of bets)

  3. Ja'Marr Chase (5.8% of bets)

Offensive Player of the Year has had a non-quarterback slant over the past few years, and three of the league's best weapons are popular bets here. Jefferson might play a Cooper Kupp-like role in Kevin O'Connell's offense. His 12-to-1 odds are certainly appealing, though they're down from 20-to-1 earlier in the summer. Jonathan Taylor is viewed as the best running back in football by many while Ja'Marr Chase broke rookie records last season.

Defensive Player of the Year

  1. Micah Parsons (19.8% of bets)

  2. Aaron Donald (7.6% of bets)

  3. Nick Bosa (7.6% of bets)

Micah Parsons was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year as a rookie, but T.J. Watt pulled away in the final few weeks. At +900, Parsons is the most popular bet by a decent margin.

Comeback Player of the Year

  1. Christian McCaffrey (21.5% of bets)

  2. Jameis Winston (10.9% of bets)

  3. Derrick Henry (9.9% of bets)

Christian McCaffrey has missed most of the last two seasons and is still going second overall in a lot of fantasy drafts. If he stays healthy, he's a great bet to win the award at +750. Jameis Winston is coming back from a torn ACL and has a revamped group of weapons around him. Derrick Henry returned for the playoffs last season, but missed most of the second half of the regular season with a foot injury.

Coach of the Year

  1. Dan Campbell (DET) 27.4% of bets

  2. Nathaniel Hackett (DEN) 6.2% of bets

  3. Nick Sirianni (PHI) 5.1% of bets

This narrative based award is often awarded to coaches who oversee large improvements from the prior season. The Lions, Broncos and Eagles are all expected to be improved this season. Campbell is the betting favorite to win the award at 10-to-1.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  1. George Pickens (12.6% of bets)

  2. Kenny Pickett (9.7% of bets)

  3. Breece Hall (9.3% of bets)

George Pickens set the NFL on fire in training camp and preseason, going from 50-to-1 to the betting favorite at +900 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Pickett will start the season on the bench behind Mitch Trubisky, but many expect him to take over the job at some point this season. Breece Hall could be one of the main catalysts of an improved Jets' offense.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Aidan Hutchinson (49.3% of bets)

  2. Ahmad Gardner (8.4% of bets)

  3. George Karlaftis (7.2% of bets)

Many had Aidan Hutchinson as the best player in this past year's draft. Instead, he went second overall to the Lions. He's the betting favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and the most popular bet by a huge margin.

What else is on tap on Tuesday?

If you'd like to take the non-football days of the week to focus on something other than football, your best bets on Tuesday are baseball and tennis.

For the first time this season, there's minor intrigue in the AL East where the New York Yankees' lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays is down to just 5 and 5.5 games respectively. The Yankees are -200 favorites against the Twins on Tuesday, while the Rays are -160 favorites against Boston. Toronto and Baltimore are a pick'em, with both teams at -110 on the moneyline. The Jays have won five straight games.

Other streaking teams include the Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins, who have lost nine and seven games in a row respectively. The Rangers are +220 underdogs against the Astros while the Marlins are +180 against Philadelphia.

On the tennis courts, there will be a first time US Open champion on both the men's and women's side after Carlos Alcaraz defeated Marin Cilic on Monday night. Nick Kyrgios is the betting favorite on the men's side at +140 after he beat top-ranked Daniil Medvedev over the weekend. Alvaraz is +225 and has the second best odds.

On the women's side, Iga Swiatek of Poland is the +200 betting favorite. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.