Yes – it’s overreacted by SZN.
We wait so long for new numbers and data that it’s almost impossible not to respond when a supposed competitor walks out the gates and loses their first two matches. Likewise, it’s easy to get super excited about a hot start and dream big, especially for teams that weren’t expected to be great.
So, how bad are the Bengals and Titans, and are the giants, dolphins, and undefeated eagles in a playoff really…or more?
For Friday futures, let’s walk around five bands with unexpected starts and play a small round of buying or selling. How do we play the future of these teams in the future?
Buy or sell: Bengals
The Bengals were two games from winning the Super Bowl and entered the 2022 season with a repaired offensive streak and sky-high hopes for another round. Now they are 0-2. And life comes to you quickly.
Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh in the first week and should have won, even with five turnovers. The Bengals were poor against the Cowboys, but the ball fell behind with a chance to win. This team is not far from 2-0.
The crime was not close to expectations. Cincinnati has the second worst early attack of all of the RBSDM, and her remake streak hasn’t been on a record.
Defenses dangle backwards to ward off Joe Burrow’s deep ball, and the Bengals fail to adapt. Joe Mixon was ineffective against light chests, and Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins didn’t give their usual big plays.
Shockingly, this talented offense ranks last in the DVOA by two games. But Burrow, Chase, and Higgins are too good to go for this. Like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and other young QBs, Burrow and this crime will adapt and cook again. And the defense was actually strong, so the Bengal should be fine once the offense finds its way. The streak should also improve because it’s a gel, and he won’t have to deal with TJ Watt and Micah Parsons every week.
Take a look at the next nine opponents in Cincinnati’s table: planes, dolphins, crows, saints, hawks, browns, panthers, stellar, and titans. Only one of these teams has the top 15 players in QB. The Bengals have a choice of Burrow’s top five and a distinct offensive advantage in all but one or two of these games.
There are strong defenses on that list, however, these games won’t be easy. And look at the last six games: Chiefs, Browns (with Deshaun Watson), Bucs, Patriots, Bills, Ravens. That’s a killer row, and that plus 0-2 on a tough start in AFC means Cincinnati’s margin of error is very thin.
I can’t sell out on Bengals before getting a great spot in Week 3 against the Jets, and it’s hard to sell with a flexible schedule coming up. But I definitely wouldn’t buy either, especially with such a scary final stretch.
The Bengals will be better going forward, but better could only mean eight or nine wins, and that probably isn’t enough in loaded AFC.
Verdict: Wait now, but find a place to sell it later.
Buy or sell: Titans
The Titans are another 0-2 squad, and the prognosis is not good.
This team’s identity is built around Derek Henry and a quick sprint attack, but it hasn’t been the same since returning from injury. He had 54 holders for just 169 yards—an ugly 3.1 YPC—and RBs with his size, age and injury profile don’t get back in shape.
Henry wasn’t King Henry anymore, especially behind a faltering offensive line that might be a five-bottom unit. The Titans no longer have an identity. They also have the worst early defense in the league and don’t have Harold Landry’s star assists this season.
With two matches, the Titans are ranked last four in the DVOA in attack, defense and special teams – that’s it.
The Giants were supposed to beat the Giants in the first week. They never had a chance at Buffalo on Monday night, but this loss wasn’t as devastating as it was a predictable loss as their hardest game on the table.
Even for Tennessee, there are games to be won against invaders, ponies, leaders, ponies again and Texas. But win-win games are also losers, and check out this five-match game waiting for the Titans in the back half: Chiefs, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, and Eagles, respectively, with the healthy Chargers and Cowboys remaining afterwards.
The door will always be open in this weak division. Even if the Titans only win these next three games, they will still be in the playoff mix at 3-4, but 3-0 in South Asia. If you want to support this team, it is much better to support them to win the score (+200) than just make the playoffs (+150).
I’m selling though, and I’m selling hard. This list looks cooked up, and this feels like a transitional year. We’ve already seen rookie QB Malik Willis against the Bills. If this season keeps running away, the Giants may turn to Willis to see what they have, which will likely mean a lot to lose.
The Titans are -155 to miss the playoffs, implied by 61%. This means that 39% achieve success, and 0-2 teams have played the playoffs only 11% of the time since 1990, including any in the past three years.
I bet Tennessee will miss out on the playoffs, and I’ll also spray their odds of having the worst record in the league at +2900 if the bottom drops completely.
Verdict: Sell, -155 to miss playoffs and +2900 worst record.
Enough gloom and gloom – let’s get excited for some 2-0 teams.
Speed kills, and Miami’s speed was overwhelming. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle extend the field vertically, leaving plenty of room underneath for equally-speed chases of Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. The Baltimore defensive linebacker cut 6,131 yards in assists in play on Sunday, more than any DB group last season.
This offense will be a nightmare for the wrong opponent. We’ve long seen NFL teams dress their opponents with physical play, grinding them to the ground in the Titans mold. What if Miami was a modern, fast-paced version of that, causing opponents to weaken by running silly in a scrolling game? Dolphins can be an interesting live betting option for a late comeback.
It is important to remember the first three quarters of the Ravens game. Miami buried itself early. Defense and special teams weren’t very good, and Dolphins wouldn’t score 28 points in the fourth quarter or get 469 yards and six TDs from Tua Tagovailoa each week.
I’m fascinated by Miami – very fascinated by selling – but this is not the moment to buy. Buffalo comes to town on a seven-game winning streak against the Dolphins, and Josh Allen ignited that defense, winning 19.3 PPG over the stretch. Then it’s a quick turn before Thursday night football in Cincinnati. Miami could easily be 2-2 one week from now.
The timeline begs us to wait and see if this Mike McDaniel offense holds up.
We need more data, and the point of purchase may be after week six with the next five Miami games after that: Steelers, Lions, Bears, Browns and Texans. If Phins reaches that 4-2 or 5-1 stretch, it’s probably time to buy the stock. But the last six games are coming up against the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, Packers, Patriots and Jets, so Miami needs to stay hot to endure this brutal stretch.
Tagovailoa is an MVP candidate. He leads the league in yards and TDs and runs for 6,282 yards and 60 TDs. It also ranks third in EPA and EPA + CPOE after only Patrick Mahomes and Allen. These numbers are valuable predictions for MVPs historically.
Tagovailoa is currently +2000 to win MVP, and McDaniel is the favorite to win Coach of the Year in most books. I can’t blame you for wanting to invest, but you pay the most value before potentially regressing against the best defense in the league.
If you wait and Miami wins these next two games, you will likely miss out on any window to buy. But you can also play both spent Dolphins money streaks carried over for around +500, so why not just do it if you believe that much?
I will wait for more information. What Miami are doing in attack is new and interesting, but we need to see if it’s sustainable and if the rest of the team catches up.
Verdict: Keep going until we see this team against Buffalo and Cincinnati.
Buy or sell: Eagles
I don’t wait with the eagles. I was buying the whole of Philadelphia, and you should buy the stock now if you don’t have any yet – or more if you’re buying it.
Galen Hurts played his career game on Monday, and this offense is a nightmare with a running game and an added vertical threat. Don’t overlook how good the defense is either, the dangerous Vikings attack has been stopped. These wins in Detroit and Minnesota should look better and better in time.
They may also end up among the toughest games on the Philadelphia table. The Eagles are still playing six games against the NFC East and four against South Asia.
For outdoor football, the Eagles have the weakest remaining schedule in the entire NFL. Somehow, they only have one match left against a team that would prefer to make the playoffs!
You are buying at a high price, but the Eagles schedule is so thin now and going forward that there will be no point of a better buy. This team has the potential to finish in the top five in both attack and defense, and with this schedule, the Eagles can be a real threat to win over 12 games and compete for the top seed in the NFC.
I recommend the odds of the Eagles section’s last futures contract on Friday at -150. There is still value there, even at -200 – but what about Jalen Hurts at +1100 for MVP?
Hurts has only thrown one TD so far and is ranked seventh in the EPA and EPA+CPOE. It was good but not great, and these numbers are meaningful to an MVP. Hurts would have been tremendous value for long shots in the spring if I caught him at 50-1, but he’s the third or fourth favorite now. The Eagles can win 13 games and the first seed with a team effort, even without Hurts putting in MVP numbers.
The best way to support Philadelphia is Nick Siriani at +900 to win the Coach of the Year award.
The Eagles’ first seed odds are shorter odds than that, but if Philly beats the Bucs, Packers and Rams, Sirianni would be a strong candidate with a winning COY profile. He was my pre-season pick, and unlike Hurts, he still has real value in his number.
It’s time to buy Philly stock, and Sirianni might be the best way to do so.
Verdict: Buy split odds -200 and Sirianni +900 Boss of the Year.
Buy or sell: giants
The Giants are 2-0 but had their wins over two teams of 0-2 (Titans and Panthers), and might have had to lose to both.
New York was nothing special.
The Giants are ranked 18th in offensive DVOA and 20th in defensive DVOA. Credit Brian Daboll to get the most out of his team in two coin flip games, but there may be an account coming. The Giants had the third worst line of defense early on, but they were great at late drops. Early landings are more predictive, which leads to problems.
The Giants don’t have a quarterback. The streak is one of the worst in the league. Defense looks bad. Saquon Barkley is fun, but this is not a team to invest in.
The problem is that we can’t predict the future of giants either. New York is a favorite in the next two weeks against the Cowboys and Bears, and the Giants have a super-smooth schedule – like Philadelphia – with six NFC East games, and four games in South Asia, plus Detroit, Chicago and Seattle.
Soft NFC. Nine wins can make the playoffs. Can the Giants go 7-8 in their remaining matches with this table? It’s possible.
I’m selling New York, but over/under 8.5 and odds of missing the playoffs at -140 isn’t the play. Instead, find a place to bet against the overrated Giants, and if New York come out 4-0, we’ll go back and short their stock pretty hard afterwards.
Verdict: Sell by fade in between an overrated Giants game.