July 22, 2014 Staff Writer

NFL News

Division Futures Give NFL Bettors Jump on Season

With Aaron Rodgers’ season shortened by injury in 2013 the Green Bay Packers barely managed to pay out on the NFL online betting futures with an NFC North division title. Will Rodgers and company be able to hold off their rivals once again in 2014 and win the division? The sportsbooks have started posting their division futures for the upcoming season, and the Packers are the NFC North favorites.

Green Bay is the -110 favorite on the NFL betting odds to win the NFC North this season, with the Chicago Bears at +250, the Detroit Lions at +400, and the Minnesota Vikings the longshots at +1000. Green Bay won the NFC North at 8-7-1 last season, with Chicago going 8-8, Detroit going 7-9, and Minnesota going 5-10-1. Out of those four teams the Packers were the only ones who made the playoffs.

The Carolina Panthers won the NFC South at 12-4 last season, finishing one game ahead of the 11-5 New Orleans Saints. However, the NFL football betting lines at the sportsbooks have Drew Brees and company set as the EVEN favorites to win the division in 2014, with the Panthers at +325. Atlanta is then at +350, with Tampa Bay at +550; both of those teams went 4-12 in 2013.

The NFC East race was won by the Philadelphia Eagles at 10-6 last season, with Dallas at 8-8 and the Giants at 7-9, and Washington well back of those three teams at 3-13. The oddsmakers at the sportsbooks have the Eagles once again favored on their division futures for 2014 at +130, with the Giants at +300 and Dallas at +350 for those who bet on the NFL. Washington sits at +400 on that list.

Betting on the NFL division race in the NFC West then has the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers almost dead even at +130 and +140, respectively, with Seattle going 13-3 and San Francisco going 12-4 last season. Arizona and St. Louis are both back at +700 on those NFL futures this summer, with the Cardinals 10-6 and the Rams 7-9 last season.

NFL betting picks generally have the New England Patriots favored to win the AFC East division title, and that’s the case once again for 2014 as they’re the -275 favorites to finish in first place at the sportsbooks – well head of the +500 Miami Dolphins, +750 New York Jets, and +850 Buffalo Bills. New England was 12-4 last year, with the Jets and Dolphins both 8-8, and the Bills 6-10.

The Cincinnati Bengals went 11-5 to win the AFC North last season, and they ended up three games ahead of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. The NFL betting futures for 2014 have the Bengals and Steelers tied at +200 on those division odds, with the Ravens just behind them at +250, and the Cleveland Browns back at +500 after they won just four games in 2013.

The Indianapolis Colts ran away with the AFC South division title last season at 11-5, with the Tennessee Titans (7-9), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12), and Houston Texans (2-14) all finishing below .500 on the year. Andrew Luck and company are the clear -160 favorites on the NFL football betting lines at the sportsbooks to win the AFC South in the upcoming season, with the Texans at +300, the Titans at +500, and the Jaguars at +1400.

Finally, the Denver Broncos are the -300 favorites on the AFC West odds for 2014, after Peyton Manning led them to a 13-3 record and that division title last season over the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5), San Diego Chargers (9-7), and Oakland Raiders (4-12). The Chiefs and Chargers are both at +550 on those futures, with the Raiders well behind them at +1800.