Five alternative 2016 NFL season bets: Regular Season MVP, Top Coach and more
Simon Sinclair | September 3, 2016
September 9th sees the NFL return to our screens and that means American football betting opportunities present themselves to punters once again.
While Coral’s expert has already assessed some of the Division and Conference punts in those outright markets, the focus here is on slightly different wagers.
What alternative 2016 NFL season bets appeal? We’ve come up with five to tempt you…
Cleveland Browns to have worst record in NFL
Cleveland have endured another year of upheaval in the organisation with general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine leaving the club after another disappointing season.
Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta of ‘Moneyball’ fame have developed a new strategy for the club to move forward with Hue Jackson arriving as the new head coach.
The Browns opted against selecting one of the two quarterback prospects at the top of the 2016 Draft, settling for former number two overall pick in 2012 Robert Griffin III to lead them into the new season.
Cleveland are stocking up on draft pick for the future, conceding that their fortunes will not improve significantly overnight.
Jackson may be able to work some magic he displayed in his time with Cincinnati Bengals to manufacture points on offense. However, the club’s defense has holes across the board, suggesting anything other than a struggle would be a huge surprise for the AFC North outfit.
Back the Browns, then, at superb 7/2 odds to have the worst record in this season’s NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott to be Offensive Rookie of the Year
Ezekiel Elliott dominated the college game in his final two seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes, playing a vital role in his team’s National Championship triumph in 2014.
Dallas Cowboys used the fourth selection in the 2016 Draft to add the running back to their roster, putting him behind the strongest offensive line in the league.
Quarterback Tony Romo’s back injury will likely lead to an increased workload for the 21-year-old, which would have already been extremely intense due to Cowboys’ propensity to run the ball.
Elliott has the ability to rack up the rushing yards and catch the ball out of the backfield, aided by the talent of his lineman in front of him. As a result, he should be a lock at 11/10 to secure the offensive rookie of the year title.
Russell Wilson to be Regular Season MVP
Russell Wilson has been at home in the NFL since taking his first snap in the 2012 season. The quarterback settled into his starting role at Seattle Seahawks immediately, earning the starting berth and hasn’t looked back since.
He has terrorised defenses with his passing and running ability, making him arguably the best dual-threat signal-caller in the NFL.
After the disappointment of costing his side a second Super Bowl on the spin with a goalline interception in the 2014 campaign, the 26-year-old responded in perfect fashion by producing his best season statistically.
Wilson threw 34 touchdowns to just eight interceptions to go along with 553 rushing yards and one score on the ground. He will be desperate to kick on and has the players around him to notch his first MVP award at 9/1.
Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson, along with Jimmy Graham, will give Wilson serious firepower in the passing to compete with the numbers produced by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.
Mike Zimmer to be Coach of the Year
It took too long for Mike Zimmer to be handed his first head coaching position, having produced some of the strongest defenses in the NFL over the past decade.
Minnesota Vikings made the astute appointment and have made significant progress under his tenure, reaching the playoffs in his second season at the club.
They should have qualified for the divisional round in 2015, only to be denied by a horrific miss from kicker Blair Walsh, which allowed Seattle Seahawks to progress at their expense.
With the Vikings rocked by a suspected long-term injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, this is a huge blow to the NFC North outfit, but if any team and coach is capable of covering for the loss of their signal-caller then it could be Minnesota boss Zimmer.
He has forged a dominant defense in his time at the club, which will need to be outstanding for them to have any chance of reaching the post-season. Meanwhile, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson will also have to remain at the peak of his powers, despite his advancing years.
Should the Vikings retain their place in the playoffs, despite this setback, then Zimmer will rightly have earned the award for the first time in his career at 12/1.
Super Bowl LI ante post pick: Seattle Seahawks
If you read our NFL Conference tips, then we went for Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots to reach the Super Bowl.
Should the prediction of the two conference champions be correct then it will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLIX, and what a contest that turned out to be.
Going into the game there was little to separate the two sides and it proved to be the case in Glendale as momentum switched one way then the other.
The Seahawks were on the verge of clinching their second Vince Lombardi trophy in a row due to being poised on the goalline and having a huge back Lynch at their disposal.
However, Carroll and Wilson opted to pass which allowed Malcolm Butler to seal his place in New England folklore by intercepting the throw, securing the win for the Patriots.
If the two teams meet again in this season’s Super Bowl it should be just as mouth-watering, also bearing in mind that they face off during the regular season.
Seattle may just have the edge on Belichick’s men the second time around due to balance on both sides of the ball, despite the probable presence of Brady. Side with our ante post pick, the Seahawks, at 8/1.
Visit Coral’s US Sports section for all the best betting opportunities from across the pond.