We are merely two weeks away from opening night in the NFL. Sorry, let me try that again. WE ARE ONLY 2 WEEKS AWAY FROM MEANINGFUL FOOTBALL! Teams are getting ready to play their final preseason game and turn their focus to the regular season. There’s still time to get a few more futures bets in before the season starts.
Let’s dive into 3 NFL Divisional Underdog bets. These are teams that are going to exceed expectations and take over their respective divisions.
It might come as a surprise, but the reigning AFC Champs are not favored in the AFC North this year. No disrespect to the Baltimore Ravens but this is disrespectful to a team that almost won a Superbowl last year. This team is young, hungry, and now has postseason experience. If that’s not enough, they’ve got a chip on their shoulder after falling short of the Lombardi Trophy last year.
The biggest negative takeaway from the Bengals the past few seasons has been their offensive line. Quarterback Joe Burrow has already been sacked 83 times in his first 2 seasons in the NFL. Even after being sacked 51 times last season, Burrow still managed to throw for over 4,600 yards and 34 touchdowns. Being sacked 7 times in the Super Bowl alone was surely a wake-up call for this Cincinnati squad. They immediately went out this offseason and added three starters in free agency: C Ted Karras, RG Alex Cappa and RT La’el Collins.
With a significantly improved offensive line, Joe Burrow can relax and throw from the pocket more this season. Barring a major injury, this team will win the AFC North this season.
|Odds to Win AFC North||Draftkings||Fanduel||Betfred (IA)|
Los Angeles Chargers
There will be a new AFC West champion this season for the first time in 6 years. For one, losing Tyreek Hill really hurts that Chiefs offense. It will not be easy making up for 100+ receptions and 1,000+ yards. Don’t get me wrong they will still be elite. Los Angeles will have to win 12-13 games this season which they can, and they will. Quarterback Justin Herbert steps up even more this year and will make a case for MVP. Herbert has some solid weapons at receiver in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Not to mention a superstar runningback in Austin Ekeler. Expect Ekeler to surpass the 1,000 rushing yard mark this season after he came up about 90 yards shorts last season.
The biggest move this offseason for the Chargers has been the acquisition of pass rusher Khalil Mack. Pairing Mack with Bosa is enough to create nightmares for the rest of the AFC West. Kansas City still makes the playoffs, but it will be the Los Angeles Chargers opening with a home playoff game.
|Odds to win the AFC West||Draftkings||Fanduel||Betfred (IA)|
Now onto the most improved team this offseason: The Philadelphia Eagles. Writing this while staring at the Philadelphia skyline may make one a little bias. However, if you bet the Eagles to win the NFC East now, you will be thanking me come January. As far as NFL division underdog bets go – this one is a cake walk.
For starters, the Eagles completely overachieved last season by getting themselves into the postseason. Now this young team, young quarterback, and young Head Coach all have valuable playoff experience under their belt. Cue the “but they lost by 2 touchdowns.” Philadelphia went out this offseason and secured an elite wideout in AJ Brown to complement WR Devonta Smith. Pairing these two with star tight end Dallas Goedert and a backfield of Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell is everything Jalen Hurts needs to take this team to the next level.
On the defensive side, GM Howie Roseman went out and inked defensive back James Bradberry and linebacker Kyzir White. Philadelphia also drafted linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive tackle Jordan Davis from that vicious Georgia Bulldogs defense. This team filled just about every hole they had.
Call me a homer but the Philadelphia Eagles will be winning the NFC East this season.