- BetOnline has updated 2021 NFL Division Futures after the conclusion of preseason play
- The Chiefs (-250), Bills (-160) and Titans (-130) are favored in their divisions while the Browns (+140) and Ravens (+140) are in a dead heat in the AFC North
- The NFL season starts on Thursday, September 9th
Every year at this time, football fans think they have everything figured out. We’ve read all the season previews, camp reports and insider tweets and know conclusively which players and teams will be good and which ones will stink up the joint. Then Week 1 happens and reality sets in.
While, yes, the Chiefs and Bills will probably top their respective divisions, consider this article a thought exercise on why they might not. But before we build cases for longshots in each AFC division, here’s where you can find the latest Super Bowl odds and get our tips for betting on NFL football games.
|New England Patriots||+340|
|New York Jets||+1800|
It’s difficult to tell if New England (+340) is over- or under-valued. On one hand, Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL coach of all time. On the other, their offense was ugly without Tom Brady last season and after dumpster diving for wide receivers in free agency, there’s still a lack of weapons for Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones.
Still, if someone is to dethrone Josh Allen and the Bills (-160) in the AFC East, it’s not going to be the Dolphins (+350). With a dominant offensive line and a defense that will receive a big boost from the return of several COVID opt-outs, the Patriots could grind out their 12th division title in the past 13 years.
The Giants And Patriots Got Into A Scuffle During Today's Joint Practice, So Joe Judge Sent His Players On Laps And Bill Belichick Did The Same https://t.co/JlSCVH7AmV pic.twitter.com/QrYQ4qQQPI
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 25, 2021
Given the Ravens (+140) and Browns (+140) are now co-favorites in the AFC North, this exercise dictates that we stump for the Steelers (+425) as only a fool would back Zac Taylor (6-25-1 record over two seasons) and the Bengals (+1200).
While Pittsburgh’s offensive line issues are well documented, they’re not going to be any worse in the trenches than last year when they went 12-4. After replacing bottom-of-the-barrel offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner with Matt Canada, there’s also a chance a healthy and in-shape Ben Roethlisberger will look rejuvenated in 2021. Throw in Mike Tomlin’s sterling track record and what should be a top-five defense and suddenly a Steelers division title doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility.
Don’t count out the Colts
The Titans (-130) and Colts (+180) were once viewed as co-favorites in the AFC South, but injuries to Carson Wentz and road-grading O-lineman Quinton Nelson shook oddsmakers’ confidence. While the addition of Julio Jones has made Tennessee a popular pick, the subtraction of OC Arthur Smith is worrisome – as is Mike Vrabel’s perennially shaky defense.
Meanwhile, Wentz and Nelson should be ready for Week 1 and Indianapolis has the far better roster. With Jonathan Taylor set for a vintage Adrian Peterson season, the Colts are a sneaky Super Bowl bet at +3500.
Colts' Jonathan Taylor ready to hit the field after long offseason https://t.co/OX3DfLCkFH
— IndyStarSports (@IndyStarSports) August 26, 2021
|Kansas City Chiefs||-250|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+500|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+1400|
Charging to a division title
Building a case against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (-250) isn’t easy – but what if the Buccaneers’ 31-9 Super Bowl destruction provided the league with a blueprint to stop Kansas City. And what if either Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce goes down, removing a Jenga piece from an attack that’s paper thin on talent?
While it’s tempting to bet on Vic Fangio’s Broncos (+525) defense, that same defensive scheme will be run by Brandon Staley’s Chargers (+500). And rather than having Teddy Bridgewater behind center, Los Angeles has sophomore Justin Herbert. Choose the wager with more upside. Choose the Chargers.
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