2021 NFL Division Futures: Best Longshot Picks in NFC

  • BetOnline has updated 2021 NFL Division Futures after the conclusion of preseason play
  • The Buccaneers (-250), Cowboys (-165), Packers (-150) and 49ers (+195) are favored to win their respective NFC divisions
  • 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 Buccaneers and Packers will probably top their respective divisions, consider this article a thought exercise on why they might not. Before we build cases for longshots in each NFC division, here’s where you can find the latest Super Bowl odds and get our tips for betting on NFL football games.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys+165
New York Giants+325
Philadelphia Eagles+625

Philly special

Since the NFC East is expected to be a battle between the high-scoring offense of the Cowboys (+165) and Washington (+180) and their fearsome defensive front, the Giants (+325) and Eagles (+625) are being mostly dismissed, with Philadelphia being listed as a “worst record in the league” contender.

Keeping in mind that the Football Team claimed the division with a 7-9 record in 2020, Philly could absolutely finish first. According to Sharp Football, their defense is set to face the easiest schedule of offenses in the league. Assuming head coach Nick Sirianni is better at game planning than he is at holding press conferences, the Eagles will put up points with sophomore QB Jalen Hurts running the show behind a healthy offensive line.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers-150
Minnesota Vikings+220
Chicago Bears+575
Detroit Lions+2000

Vikings set to rebound

It would be deeply satisfying to see the Packers (-150) stumble this season after Aaron Rodgers’ wasted everyone’s time this summer with his high-school-girl drama. So satisfying in fact that we’d almost rather see the Minnesota Anti-vaxxers (+220) claim the NFC North crown.

Despite his ignorance, Kirk Cousins always puts up numbers. And after allowing an average of 393.3 yards per game (27th in the NFL) last season, Mike Zimmer’s Vikings defense will be much improved with the healthy returns of defensive end Danielle Hunter, defensive tackle Michael Pierce and linebacker Anthony Barr, along with the free-agent additions of DT Dalvin Tomlinson and veteran corner Patrick Peterson.

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NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers-225
New Orleans Saints+375
Atlanta Falcons+800
Carolina Panthers+950

Falcons take flight

With Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (-225) bringing everyone back for their title defense, Tampa Bay not winning the NFC South would be the biggest surprise of the football season. But in a league where chaos and unpredictability reign supreme, we might as well entertain the prospect of the Saints (+375), Falcons (+800) or Panthers (+900) capturing the division.

Since we all know deep down how the Sam Darnold and Jameis Winston experiments will turn out, we’ll back 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan. With huge coaching upgrades on both sides of the ball — new head coach Arthur Smith running the offense and former Ravens and Titans DC Dean Pees taking over the defense — Atlanta will be a surprise playoff contender in the NFC in 2021.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers+195
Los Angeles Rams+205
Seattle Seahawks+275
Arizona Cardinals+475

Its in the Cards

There’s a case to be made for every team in the hotly-contested NFC West. The 49ers (+195) have the NFL’s easiest schedule, the Rams (+205) have a brand new QB in Matthew Stafford, the Seahawks (+275) have a signal caller who has never finished below .500 in nine seasons, and the Cardinals (+475) added Hall-of-Fame pass rusher J.J. Watt. 

After adding electric rookie Rondale Moore to a Kliff Kingsbury attack that has underwhelmed in his first two years, we’re feeling strangely bullish on Arizona and Kyler Murray’s MVP chances.   

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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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