2017 NFL Regular Season Best Underdog Picks
For those of you that may have missed my preview of two regular season win total bets for the upcoming season you can check out that feature here, but now it’s time to move on to breaking down potential division winners. The NFL is a league that has it’s fair share of parity, so while many are already annoiting certain NFL organizations as 2017 division champions, “winning” in the preseason doesn’t do anybody any good.
While there are some of the eight divisions in the NFL that have prohibitive favorites this year (New England in the AFC East at -506, and Seattle in the NFC West at -357), nearly all of the remaining divisions have plus-money odds available for all four teams. Now, it’s almost abundantly clear that there are a handful of teams that aren’t likely to win their respective division in these cases, and while the odds may look juicy, your ROI on those wagers is basically next to nothing.
So, this article will focus a few of the other six divisions that oddsmakers believe to be much more wide open – at least between two or three of the teams – as we try to cash some nice underdog lines in the future. This way of betting futures is a great way to have some form of action on multiple games each week and for new or inexperienced NFL bettors with a limited bankroll, sometimes that’s the best option.
2017 NFL Underdog Division WinnersNew York Giants to win NFC East (+249) Sports Interaction
Nearly every casual NFL fan and bettor fell in love with the Dallas Cowboys last year and their phenomenal run to a division crown. Led by the rookie backfield duo of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys offense was one of the best in the league and cruised to the NFC crown. They are installed as the favorites to repeat that outcome in 2017 at +115 odds, but I wouldn’t be quick to pull the trigger there.
For one, the NFC East has not seen a repeat champion since the Philadelphia Eagles ran off four straight division titles from 2001-2004. That means there has been 12 straight years in this division where the defending champion failed to repeat, and that’s some history that’s tough to go against. Yes, the Cowboys should be a good team again this year, but they do have some concerns on defense, have to deal with a 1st place schedule, and that dreaded “sophomore slump” could hit Prescott and Elliott harder then most think.
Enter the New York Giants who finished 2nd to Dallas last year with an 11-5 SU record and will be another year into HC Ben McAdoo’s complicated, but highly effective system. New York did their due diligence in the off-season as well by making improvements through free agency (WR Brandon Marshall) and the draft, and would love to be atop the heap in the divison again for the first time since 2011. At basically +250, this wager can have a nice ROI should the Giants build upon last year’s success and the parity within the NFC East continues.Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South (+221) Sports Interaction
Going into every new NFL season it seems like the AFC South is the one division that routinely gets talked up about multiple teams within the division making big leaps forward. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the team getting hyped up the most the past few years, but this year it’s all about Tennessee. Yet, even with all the buzz about the Titans prospects, Jacksonville (again), and Houston are two other teams many are high on, while the Colts – with Andrew Luck still at QB – are basically being ignored as contenders this year.
Look, I get the constantly mentioned issues with Indianapolis. Their defense is suspect, they’ve had one of the worst O-Lines in the league the past few years, and everyone is tired of watching their bets on the Colts go up in flames when injuries always seem to find their key guys.
However, sleeping on a team with Luck at QB is a dangerous proposition for bettors this year, and after a disappointing 2016 campaign, this proud Indianapolis organization would love to prove all the haters wrong. Offensively they can hang with almost anyone in this league if they can keep Luck outright (which they should do a much better job of) and they are in a division that may be the most wide-open in the league.
Luck is by far the best QB in the division right now, and if this were any other division and I told you you could get the team with the best QB at +220 odds to win the division, chances are you’d jump on it in a heartbeat. Don’t let past losing wagers on the Colts affect your decision-making this year, as they could be that surprise AFC South team this year that everyone seemingly forgot about.
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