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NFL Division Odds: 5 Value Bets That Might Pan Out
Week one of the 2017 NFL season is officially in the books. Translation: we totally already have all of the information we need to predict how the rest of the season will unfold.
Except, not really. The first week is always fun and generally interesting, but this year’s week one actually produced a pretty ugly product as a whole.
If anything, we might know less than we did before the Patriots and Chiefs faced off last Thursday night.
That being said, there is money to be made in NFL betting and with week one showing some interesting life in weird spots, it could open the door to killer value.
That value rings true in division betting over at Topbet.eu, where every team gets handed their odds to take their division crown and some stand out more than others.
5 Sneaky Sleepers
The favorites that entered the year will probably stay that way for most. After all, are you really about to bet on anyone other than New England taking down the AFC East? No, we didn’t think so.
That being said, there are some very interesting players in the race for their respective division title and the odds make things even juicier.
The literal leader at 1-0 in the AFC South right now, the Jaguars kick off our list of NFL division winning sleepers. And why not? Rookie running back Leonard Fournette looked like the real deal and Jacksonville’s defense seems as stacked as any unit in the league.
Okay, so dismantling a Texans offense with Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson under center isn’t amazing and Blake Bortles is still Jacksonville’s quarterback, but still. Elite teams are built from the ground up on strong running games and stingy defenses. The Jags have both.
If Bortles can merely mimic a competent passer for most of 2017, Jacksonville looks like a decent bet to finally rise up and exceed expectations. They’re in the lead for the division as they stand, yet we can still get serious value with them at +260 at Topbet.
Next up are the Broncos, who currently sit atop the AFC West, tied with the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, all 1-0. This certainly feels like the same race we saw a year ago, which really wasn’t decided until the final weeks of the 2016 regular season.
Denver was the first to fall out of the running last year, but they look healthy (and competent) on offense and probably still have the best defense in this division. C.J. Anderson staying healthy is key for the ground game and Trevor Siemian will need to find a way to be slightly more than average, but on paper, this team against has the foundation of a playoff threat.
Nothing specifically suggests the Broncos are the best team in this division, but they won the Super Bowl two years ago and have the makings of a title contender if all goes well. At +285, they’re handing out way too much value to ignore.
The Bucs are interesting for a few reasons. First, because they haven’t even played yet, but also because the Falcons and Panthers – for one week anyways – looked rather mortal.
Atlanta is still at risk of suffering from a Super Bowl hangover and honestly almost saw an immediate impact in a tight week one win over the Bears. Cam Newton looked rusty in week one, as well, so there is an argument these teams (as well as the Saints) aren’t the huge NFC South roadblocks people want them to be.
Then there is the case of the now uber fresh Buccaneers, who added interesting offensive weapons in rookie tight end O.J. Howard and deep threat DeSean Jackson this offseason. With fiery quarterback Jameis Winston seemingly ready to take the next step in his development, Tampa Bay has to be on everyone’s radar.
There are still question marks on the defense and with the running game (Doug Martin is suspended until week 5), but on paper, the Bucs are quite appealing at +300.
You might think we need to slow our roll here, but let’s think about this one for a second. Not only did the Rams look darn good in a week one win, but they’re presently all alone atop the NFC West at 0-1.
The Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers all lost in week one and with Seattle and San Francisco facing off this week, L.A. could be looking at a huge lead over at least one of these teams – if not two.
All of these teams have serious flaws, too. Carson Palmer looked awful in week one and Arizona lost star running back David Johnson to injury, Seattle’s o-line looked like garbage against the Packers and the 49ers just aren’t very good.
That doesn’t make Jared Goff a competent starter and the Rams could easily disappoint, but their defense plays with serious energy and they do have offensive talent to work with. Is Sean McDermott about to turn the Rams into a playoff contender? Maybe, and if so, he may need to lock up the NFC West to do it.
Considering the talent the Rams have and where they sit, betting on them to win the division at +475 isn’t as big of a gamble as some might think.
One other major reach is the Miami Dolphins at +900, but again, we’re not going there. We almost don’t want to bet against the Packers atop the NFC North, either, but Detroit actually makes some sense.
The biggest reason to believe in the Lions is they should have won the division title in 2016. They were a playoff team at worst, but they lost their final three regular-season games, including a tense home battle with Green Bay.
Matthew Stafford and co. responded with a big week one win over the Cardinals and very little about these Lions looked “bad”. If the Lions really are this good, they offer insane value at +550 in a division that was theirs to lose just last year.
That does it for our look at some sneaky division sleepers after week one. Things will surely change again after week two and perhaps we’ll again have to approach shifting division odds and gauge the NFL landscape yet again.
Still, as things stand, these five teams are interesting bets to claim their division in 2017, if not at the very least tempting values. Regardless of whether or not you bet on these teams, we wish you luck in your 2017 NFL betting endeavors.