The new American Football season is almost upon us, and now seems the appropriate time to place season-long bets on some of the more open NFL divisions.
Starting with the AFC, we’ll leave the East alone as defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots are too short to play with. The same applies to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the North.
The West division looks tricky to separate. Kansas City Chiefs won the spoils last year, but only after an injury to impressive Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and even then only by countback. The Raiders are now favourites to win this division, but we have concerns about their defensive side of the ball, and will side with the Chiefs, a stronger defensive outfit, to win through again.
Turning to the South, this was another tight division last year, with the Houston Texans just holding off the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts a further game back. A tough call, but we are going to side with the Titans who finished last season by winning four of their last five games. We hope this momentum can continue under improving young quarterback Marcus Mariota.
In the NFC, we’ll leave alone the Green Bay Packers in the North and the Seattle Seahawks in the West and concentrate on the other two divisions.
In the East, the Dallas Cowboys shone, ending last season with a 13-3 record before coming unstuck against the Packers in the playoffs. Although this is traditionally a red hot division, the Cowboys relied last season on rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in the key quarterback and running back positions. One year later these players can only be better, and we see the Cowboys winning again.
Turning South, this division has turned out the NFC champions (and losing Super Bowl finalists) for the last two years, the Atlanta Falcons in January and the Carolina Panthers the year before. Beat up and disappointed after losing the Super Bowl, the Panthers subsequently came bottom in this division last year. We think something similar could happen to the Falcons this year, and with an easier schedule we look for the Panthers to bounce back.
Recommendations: Chiefs to win AFC West at 5/2; Titans to win AFC South at 13/8; Cowboys to win NFC East at 15/8; Panthers to win NFC South at 9/4.
Four trebles for 1 pt, and a four timer for 1 pt. Odds via SkyBet.
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