Bet on Which NFL Teams Make the Playoffs
The NFL season is still a long way away. And since there is a full summer between now and then, I'm fine if it takes a long while to get here. But the big milestones have been passed - the draft, free agency and so on - so while we don't need to rush the season getting here, we can look ahead to it - and how we might bet on it. BetOnline has posted numbers for each team regarding their chances of making the playoffs. In or not? Let's look at both the biggest and the smallest numbers to see if there is any value to be had:
New England (Yes -800): At some point, Tom Brady is going to start playing to his age, and the constant change and total lack of sentimental attachment when it comes to building this roster is going to catch up to them. But probably not right now. The AFC East teams below the Patriots are all probably improved to some extent, but none of them have done nearly enough to close the Grand Canyon-like gap between them and the Patriots. The Patriots have basically had the division given to them as a gift for a long time now, and it's hard to imagine that ending any time soon. The AFC is getting tougher, so they may not be able to get to yet another Super Bowl, but they are certainly in very good shape to win the division.
Kansas City (Yes -450): The Chargers are going to be strong again, but it basically feels like a two-team division in the AFC West. Kansas City needs to deal with having a big target on their backs this year, and they have the distractions off the field that aren't helping them, but they are ridiculously talented - especially at quarterback - so they are in good shape. This price feels a little rough for me - I see no value - but they are in good shape.
New Orleans (Yes -300): Like the Patriots, at some point the age of their centerpiece quarterback is going to come back to haunt them. But they have done a good job building this team, and they have had a strong offseason. The other three teams in the NFC South are some version of really hard to love, so the Saints should be in good shape. I'm not locking my money up at this price, but it's a fair price.
L.A. Rams (Yes -300): The Rams have to bounce back from a very humbling loss in the Super Bowl - and probably from knowing that they didn't really deserve to win the NFC Championship. It is very tough for teams to bounce back from a Super Bowl loss historically, but the youth of this team should help. Seattle's a threat, but the other two teams aren't in the NFC West, so the Rams are in decent shape. I don't love this price, but I don't hate it either.
Indianapolis (Yes -260): This is a bit of a surprising team. The Colts had a strong year last year, they had a solid offseason, and they have a great quarterback. But the AFC South runs deep, and any team in it could potentially win it. I see no value at all here.
The Long shots
Miami (-2500): The Dolphins have a new and fairly interesting quarterback to work with - a much-needed change. They have some real concerns, but they won seven games last year and are probably a little better - at least in some senses they have the potential to be. I don't think that they are a playoff team, but I sure don't think that they should be the longest shot on the board.
Arizona (-2000): It is interesting to note that bettors haven't got stars in their eyes that distract them from reality with this team. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray are a brilliant combo, and I am very bullish over the long term. But the team had all sorts of issues last year, and they need to not only adjust to an entirely different system, but they also need to figure out how to protect Murray - something they were just incompetent at last year. They are moving in the right direction, but it is going to take time.
Cincinnati (-1000): I am thrilled that the team finally got rid of Marvin Lewis - a move that was only a decade too late. But it's not enough. They have questions all over the field and a new coach who has a lot to learn. There is basically no chance of success.
Oakland (-800): What a freaking circus. The draft was laughable. The personnel decisions continue to be puzzling. Jon Gruden is a complete goof - a walking caricature totally lacking in self-awareness. This is just not a playoff team.
New York Giants (-800): Eli Manning and Daniel Jones. If you need me to write anything else, then you aren't paying attention. Oh yeah, OBJ is gone, too. So ugly. They should be the longest shot to make the playoffs. I couldn't hate this team more right now.
Washington (No -800): I like this team better than some. Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins are an interesting duo. And while there are lots of concerns on the roster, there are worse. I don't think they are the playoff team, but if I was going to pick just one team here, it would be this one. That doesn't mean that there is value, though.
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