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The spreading legalization of online and mobile sports betting is bringing with it many more tools for the fantasy football community. Not only are there direct parallels in the statistics, analysis and overall content but by trusting the NFL futures odds from legal sportsbooks, fantasy managers can get a sense of which positions and players to target from certain teams.
Having these odds available at your 2021 fantasy football draft can help you avoid early-round busts and find late-round sleepers.
Super Bowl 56 odds and other team futures, such as projected win totals, offer great insight into which quarterbacks can be expected to have better seasons.
These odds can also help guard against personal bias, especially when it comes to fading unsustainable success or projecting a bounce-back campaign.
Player futures -- in the form of 2021 awards betting, or seasonal/weekly props -- can go one step further. Stuck between two quarterbacks with similar stat lines from last season? Check their odds to win MVP or Offensive Player of the Year honors. Once the season is underway, check out weekly player props for yardage totals or touchdown likelihood when setting your lineup to help with start/sit decisions.
FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 200 overall players for 2021
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Let’s dive into some of the most intriguing futures odds for the 2021 NFL season and look at how they can help fantasy football managers.
Super Bowl 56 favorites
Super Bowl odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs (+450): The Chiefs, reigning back-to-back AFC champions, are an excellent example of the strong correlation between fantasy football and the betting odds. They opened as the Super Bowl 56 favorites after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and are flush with top-of-position fantasy options, including QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be in for a breakout sophomore season while running out the clock for the team with the league’s highest projected win total at 12.5. Head coach Andy Reid is also among the favorites for Coach of the Year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+600): The sportsbooks are still favoring the Chiefs over the Bucs in 2021, but fantasy football managers are more likely to be prone to recency bias and overdraft several Bucs stars in 2021. Be careful with the crowded backfield and receiving corps; the Bucs are projected for a conservative 12 wins and QB Tom Brady is just sixth in the odds for MVP.
Buffalo Bills (+1000), San Francisco 49ers (+1200), Los Angeles Rams (+1200): The 49ers are the most interesting team with the fourth-best odds to win Super Bowl 56. The books are expecting a strong return for the 2019 NFC champions after a fourth-place finish in the NFC West last season. We still don’t know whether it’ll be Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance at quarterback (more on this below) but the supporting cast has been bolstered on both sides of the ball.
Super Bowl 56 long shots
Los Angeles Chargers (+3000): Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year QB Justin Herbert has the oddsmakers believing in the Bolts and first-year head coach Brandon Staley. RB Austin Ekeler and S Derwin James are also expected for a full season; James is among the top-tier candidates for Comeback and Defensive Player of the Year.
Dallas Cowboys (+3000): Fantasy managers are expecting big things from QB Dak Prescott in his return from injury. He’s the favorite for Comeback Player of the Year, but he’s just eighth in the odds for MVP. The rest of the offense will follow Prescott’s lead, but head coach Mike McCarthy is in the bottom tier of Coach of the Year candidates and Dallas has a projected win total of just 9.5 in the weak NFC East.
New Orleans Saints (+3000): Let the Saints’ Super Bowl odds serve as a warning for the remaining offensive stars in the first year of the post-Drew Brees era. A projected win total of 9 is especially alarming for RB Alvin Kamara. New Orleans is second by the odds to win the NFC South but is well behind Tampa Bay despite winning the division last year.
NFL MVP odds
The odds to be the 2021 MVP can help fantasy managers choose from among the quarterbacks available in the early rounds. Mahomes is once again the favorite at +500, with 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers right behind at +800. The odds can also help find late-round targets, such as Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz at +3000 despite his 12th-round average draft position.
While the chances of a running back, wide receiver or tight end being named MVP are extremely low, those odds can be used to compare and contrast top-tier players who share a position.
NFL player props (season-long)
Use season-long props such as yards or touchdowns to help compare players in similar positional tiers in your rankings. These are most useful for rookies, players returning from injury or players in more crowded position groups on certain teams. Betting options will expand and lines will become sharper closer to the season.
These lines will be especially useful for the first 17-game season in 2021.
NFL player props (weekly)
While many fantasy rankers have their own projections each week, the sportsbook odds are yet another resource for managing rosters. The lines offer a good suggestion for how many yards a player may amass in their matchup; use the implied odds to gauge how likely a player may be to find the end zone.
Odds are likely to range from -120 to upward of +500 depending on the player and opponent. The -120 odds represent an implied probability of 54.55% while +500 equates to just a 16.67% chance. Slight differences in the low-probability, plus-money odds are particularly helpful when choosing your RB3 or when trying to decipher between a WR or RB at the Flex position.
More quick-hitting, actionable sports betting advice and picks can be found at SportsbookWire.com.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Fantasy football 2021: Betting odds, player props can be useful tools