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Betting Favorites To Win Each NFL Division

Posted by Matthew Forrester on 7/23/2015 3:38:59 PM

Our NFL Futures board is already starting to fill up with all sorts of action to get in on as we barrel towards the 2015 season, and one of the more popular places to invest is the NFL Division winners.

Below you’ll find the favorites listed, and my general inclinations on some worthy underdog chase plays.

AFC East – New England Patriots (-165)

Any type of long term bet on the Patriots has to come with a small caveat – the absence of some key players is a bigger deal than any of us are willing to admit. Brady’s suspension is a nightmare that will fuel this team’s embedded “Us Against The World” mindset, but I’m more worried about LeGarrette Blount as a feature back and the absence of the Browner-Revis secondary which was a big boost to this team last season (despite Browner’s comical idiocy).

Does that make Miami (+325) or even Buffalo (+500) a worthy play? I don’t think so. Both teams have great pieces everywhere and questionable quarterbacks. This is actually a great price to get in on the Patriots even though it won’t be as rock solid as it usually is. I’m not sold on Buffalo though you could make a case for Miami…that I wouldn’t listen to.

AFC North – Baltimore Ravens (+160)

The only division in the conference which doesn’t have an outright favorite. Pittsburgh (+225) and Cincinnati (+250) are looming right behind the favored Baltimore Ravens. And as usual, I’m going with Pittsburgh over Baltimore. The Steelers are being shaded because of Le’Veon’s suspension, and their defence, but we all saw what they started to become capable of late last year. And long term plays on Joe Flacco are nauseating bets overall.

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (-450)

The steepest odds on any betting favorite to win their NFL division belong to the Indianapolis Colts who will have to fend off the Houston Texans (+475) and nobody else in a crap grouping that should be ashamed of itself.

AFC West – Denver Broncos (-190)

Do you believe in the Chiefs (+425) or Chargers (+475)? It’s really hard to and Denver has been such a dominant force in this division since Peyton arrived that it seems insane to bet against them. But what’s a futures play without a little fun? If you like walking with the devil, then take a stroll with Andy Reid on a flier play and pray that Peyton is on a harrowing decline (which he isn’t).

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys (+170)

A few things to love: Tony Romo has most of his toys back, plus the best offensive line in football. A few things to hate: Darren McFadden as the running back instead of the durable DeMarco Murray. Plus, they’re the Cowboys.

This division is such a crapshoot that you could roll with anyone that’s not the Washington Redskins and feel comfortable. Those that feel dangerous with either the Eagles (+170) or Giants (+400) should feel free to take a chance even the Cowboys are the most logical choice. I can’t believe I just typed that.

NFC North – Green Bay Packers (-325)

If the Lions couldn’t get anything done with Suh anchoring their defence, they’re not doing to be able to do it without him. The Vikings remain the most intriguing play on the entire board at +900 because of the Bridgewater-Peterson combo. People forget that Minnesota ended the year on a tear in 2014 and could carry that momentum.

The Packers have been building towards 2015 for quite some time and have perhaps the most reliable and potent offence in the league.

However, I just love taking chances when it comes to NFL futures and those +900 odds of the Vikings is a chipshot I’m willing to lob up.

NFC South – Atlanta Falcons (+200)

Anyone willing to bet on the Falcons in a long term play is either a citizen of Georgia or a complete moron. This team was lifeless last year and things didn’t get much better.

The Panthers (+240) and the Saints (+185) are taking incremental steps backwards while the Bucs (+750) still don’t have an offensive line to speak of.

This is the only division where you should wait-and-see about a month in to the season. Somebody’s going to emerge from this ashy hellfire of a division, but nobody can say with any reasonable certainty who it’s going to be. Sit tight here.

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (-355)

The only other team worth considering here is Arizona at +650, and that bandwagon has become jam packed with believers. But the Seahawks are the kings of this division and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Injuries befell the Cards like no other team last season, which is a reason that their odds are so high. I don’t hate betting on the Cardinals here, and if you don’t like wagering on favorites to win NFL divisions then the Red Birds are your choice in the NFC West.

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