One of the great things about sports betting is the continual innovation of sportsbooks to deliver new and fun products for bettors. The vast array of elements you can wager on is mind-blowing compared to just five years ago.
Of course, this is intended to generate additional revenue for sports wagering outlets worldwide, nonetheless, it allows people to think, consider their options and if they want, place a bet and have fun.
This recent prop bet caught our eye and we honed in and completed our homework against the NFL odds. Let’s take a peek at what we think is the best bet by placement in all eight divisions for 2020.
AFC East – Buffalo +135 for 1st and +220 for 2nd
Before New England signed free agent Cam Newton, the football odds favored taking Buffalo for first or second place because they were higher than the Patriots. Newton adds a significant amount of intrigue because we don’t know if he’s close to the quarterback that reached the Super Bowl a few years ago. And even if he is, can he survive a long season without getting injured?
Though the Bills seem weaker on defense, they have longer odds for both first and second place than the Pats and look like the better bet for either.
AFC North – Pittsburgh +175 for 2nd
“Backing Baltimore for our top NFL pick to win this division feels like a lock,” agreed on by Docsports, but who wants to bet $180 to win $100? Always keep in mind, since the NFL went to eight divisions in 2002, the average turnover rate of champions year to year is over 50 percent.
We’ll leave the Ravens alone and ponder Pittsburgh and Cleveland for 2nd or 3rd place. The Steelers have an aging Ben Roethlisberger returning from major surgery. However, Pittsburgh is now built around defense and running the ball and they have upgraded the receiving corps. The Browns have another new head coach and another year of uncertainty.
AFC South – Tennessee +175 for 1st or +165 for 2nd
Does anyone have a clue what Houston is doing with its roster? Jacksonville is back to being the “JAGUUARS” as Dan Patrick used to say.
Indianapolis created a buzz by signing Philip Rivers and is all-in on winning now. But can a team that is average defensively and doesn’t have close to the talent the Chargers have at receiver elevate to AFC South champs?
That brings us back to Tennessee, who reached the AFC championship in January. The Titans defense is worse than the Colts, however, that offense has the potential to score in the upper 20’s regularly and Tennessee has learned how to beat their closest rivals. Because we cannot see Tennessee finishing third, either bet on them pays about the same.
AFC West - Las Vegas +250 for 2nd
It’s a given Kansas City is going to repeat as champs unless the entire team is sick for six games. Denver is getting traction on multiple fronts as a team that could finish second and the Los Angeles Chargers still have enough talent to slide into the No. 2 slot.
Let’s shake it up and go all or nothing on the Las Vegas Raiders for second place. First, the Raiders' players will like not having to deal with rats in their brand-new building and the natural excitement of a new place will help.
Jon Gruden has improved the roster each of the last three years and there is little to suggest the Broncos or Chargers are actually a better squad.
NFC East – Philadelphia +140 for 2nd
Given the prospects for Washington and the New York Giants, neither is going to factor in this division race. That leaves Dallas and Philadelphia and the difference between the two is about the thickness of a strand of artificial turf.
The odds offer little distinction for football picks with the Cowboys +100 to win the East and the Eagles at +110. The loser drops to second and the Birds are at +140 and the Boys are +150.
Nothing easy on this one, with the best-projected value Philly for second.
NFC North – Green Bay +180 for 1st or +190 for 2nd
Back when we were just learning to understand what a pandemic actually was, Green Bay was favored to repeat as division champions. With the Packers blowing the draft and Minnesota retooling rather nicely in spite of other losses, the Vikings have moved ahead of the Pack.
While we agree Green Bay blew an opportunity, we’re not sold on the Norsemen, Chicago or Detroit. While the Packers might not be any better or regress to a degree, what about the other three screams a must bet?
Mark the Green and Gold for either at the top of the North or just one rung down.
NFC South – Atlanta +340 for 2nd
With Tom Brady now wearing red, bay orange and pewter, the excitement caused by this in west Florida and across the country is astounding. Numerous bets have been placed on Tampa Bay to win their division, the NFC and even the Super Bowl. We are still of the opinion that New Orleans will have a great deal to say about all three scenarios.
Forget the new shiny object, what about the Dirty Birds? Atlanta was a dismal 1-7 at the halfway point in 2019 and coach Dan Quinn was considered a goner. However, his players rallied around him and won six of eight games, including the last four. Teams that are losing teams in the first half and do a 180-degree turn are often excellent wagers the next year.
NFC West – Seattle +275 for 1st and +210 for 2nd
Seattle was inches from winning the West a year ago against San Francisco and it might have been them in the Super Bowl against Kansas City rather than the 49ers. Maybe the Seahawks can pull that off this season as Super Bowl losers are notorious for having hangovers. (Not alcohol, just unhappy)
That should fuel the motivation for Peter Carroll’s club and make them a prime contender. If you are convinced the L.A. Rams and Arizona cannot surpass Seattle, backing the Hawks (Seattle speak) for first or second guarantees a profit if you make equal bets on both. (See above)