NFL Odds to Win Division with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 5/14/2014
Now that the NFL Draft is behind us, we can start looking forward to the regular season. It's still a long time away, but there are no major obstacles between here and the regular season. That means that we can start to speculate with reasonable accuracy about what the teams will look like. The LVH SuperBook has released odds for each team to win their division. Here's a look at those odds with picks and predictions of where the value lies in each division:
This price seems more than fair for the Eagles. The Cowboys have issues from the GM/owner on down that make them tough to trust. The Giants have holes, the health of Eli Manning is a concern, and they seem like a team on the decline. The Redskins were a mess last year, and I am not a believer in Jay Gruden as head coach. The Eagles almost wind up here by default, but they have a good QB, a strong offense, an improving defense, a good coach - the list goes on and on.
The Packers are the easy pick, but they aren't the value pick. They are the most complete group in the division, but they aren't this much better than the rest of the squads. Detroit didn't have the best draft they could have, but they are a better team than they showed last year, and they could be ready to take a step forward and contend.
I would really like to take the Panthers here, but their seeming determination to play in a high-scoring division without receivers makes them hard to love. The Saints continue to be the solid and safe choice, but at these prices the Falcons are worth a gamble. They still need to prove that they are tough enough to be a much better team than they were last year, but they have had a solid offseason.
The Niners have had a good offseason for the most part, and they are better than they were last year. Seattle has the Super Bowl hangover to deal with. Between the two I would take San Francisco. At these fat prices, though, I would be inclined to take a gamble on a long shot. The Cardinals were a solid team last year, and they should be better in the second year of the coaching regime. They are far from the most likely winner, but they have a better shot than the price suggests.
It's hard to like anyone other than the Patriots here, though the low odds have me looking elsewhere for better value. The Jets are a mess, and I don't trust them. The Bills obviously think they are closer than they appear given the huge price they paid for Sammy Watkins, but I still think that they are still a year or two away. The Dolphins were solid last year, and they should be poised for another step forward. They are the better value play.
None of the above. That's the safest choice. I don't like any of these teams at these prices. Johnny Manziel isn't going to save the Browns in one year. The Steelers are in a rut, and I am not convinced that they have done enough to get out of it. The Ravens have some issues that held them back last year, and they haven't done a whole lot to get dramatically better in the offseason. The Bengals still have issues at quarterback and elsewhere, and they still have the worst coach in all of football. I favor the Ravens, but not by much and certainly not by enough to make a bet.
The first thing that jumps out here is that the Jaguars squad that we saw in the second half of last season is not as bad as these odds suggest. I'm not saying that I would pick them, or even likely bet them, but by definition there is some value here. Beyond that I can't argue with the Colts as favorites - they won the division last year despite having all sorts of flaws. They should be a better team this year, and they should be in command of the division.
Maybe it's just because I am contrary by nature, but I will happily take the Chiefs at this price. Denver is the best team in the division, and they should
be able to win the division, but they still have a huge issue - Manning isn't getting any younger, and if he were to get hurt things would not go well.
Kansas City showed a lot to like last year, and they have had a decent offseason.
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