One of the most popular ways of betting on football is predicting who will win the divisions. There’s so much parity in the league from year to year and that creates a lot of value with these particular NFL Division Odds. However, making these types of predictions into the future aren’t easy. The key to success is to track the trends from last season, monitor the movement in the offseason and keep an eye on practices and preseason football before making your prediction.
If you’re betting on the NFL divisions, here is a comprehensive strategy for success to help you cash in your NFL futures bets
Understanding NFL Futures Betting Lines
There are various types of NFL betting lines from totals to point spreads to moneylines, but in this case, we’re dealing with NFL futures. To read these NFL division odds, it’s quite simple.
For every option on the board, you’re going to see the team name and their odds immediately to the right. The two key factors to pick out after that is whether the odds have a ‘+’ or ‘-‘ sign in front of them and then the number immediately after. If the odds have a minus sign in front of them, that’s the amount of money you’d need to bet to win $100. For example, if the New England Patriots are -800 to win the AFC East, you would have to bet $800 to win $100.
On the flip side, if the odds have a plus sign in front, that’s the amount of money you’d win if you bet $100. For example, if you bet the Miami Dolphins at +1000, that means that a $100 bet would pay $1000 in profit.
Of course, you aren’t tied to betting in increments of $100 but that’s the easiest way to demonstrate this example. You’re free to bet $10 to win $100 on the Dolphins or $40 to win $5 on the New England Patriots. It’s up to you.
One last note to point out is that the team with the lowest number on the board – including negative numbers – is the favorite. The smaller the number, the bigger the favorite. The higher the number, the bigger the underdog.
If the Patriots are -800, that means they’re a significant favorite in comparison to the Pittsburgh Steelers at -300 in the AFC North or the Houston Texans at +155 in the AFC South. Meanwhile, the New York Jets are a sizable dog at +1100 compared to the Tennessee Titans at +300.
2018 NFL Division Odds
We’ve analyzed the 2018 NFL Division odds and prepared a breakdown of each team’s chances of winning their division based on their NFL futures odds.
New England Patriots (-700)
Miami Dolphins (+1100)
Buffalo Bills (+1100)
New York Jets (+1600)
AFC East Best Betting Strategies
At -600, the Patriots are a bet that won’t result in a huge profit, but you’ll get more winnings than betting on the other teams in the division. New England is sure to fall off at some point, but their longtime dominance of the division (and the AFC in general) isn’t showing signs of coming to an end in the near future.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-280)
Baltimore Ravens (+400)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1000)
Cleveland Browns (+1200)
AFC North Best Betting Strategies
The Steelers deserve their spot as favorites, but it’s easy to see the wheels falling off. Ben Roethlisberger has a lengthy injury history. The Le’Veon Bell situation could cause internal strife. Their new offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner, has never called plays in the NFL.
The Bengals could make a leap if their 2016 draft class steps up. At +800, it’s worth a shot.
Houston Texans (+170)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+185)
Tennessee Titans (+333)
Indianapolis Colts (+550)
AFC South Best Betting Strategies
After the original odds had AFC finalist Jacksonville as the favorite, Houston now looks to be the best bet. Perhaps it’s because JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson look healthy again. When Watson was healthy last year, the Texans had one of the best offenses in the NFL. All that being said, the Jaguars defense is strong, so don’t count them out.
Los Angeles Chargers (+175)
Kansas City Chiefs (+275)
Oakland Raiders (+275)
Denver Broncos (+400)
AFC West Best Betting Strategies
“When in doubt, take the points.” That same principle applies here. None of these teams looks noticeably better than the other, so you might as well take the one with the longest odds to maximize profit. It wouldn’t be particularly shocking if Case Keenum got Denver back in contention.
Philadelphia Eagles (-175)
Dallas Cowboys (+350)
New York Giants (+700)
Washington Redskins (+750)
NFC East Best Betting Strategies
The NFC East is a weird division in that it’s not uncommon to see teams go from worst to first. That said, you’re getting outstanding odds for the defending Super Bowl champions. A case could be made for all four teams, but the Eagles are the clear choice.
Minnesota Vikings (+115)
Green Bay Packers (+150)
Detroit Lions (+600)
Chicago Bears (+900)
NFC North Best Betting Strategies
The Packers are nearly favored to win the division now that Aaron Rodgers is back. But they are a public team and we have to factor that into the odds. We also have to factor in how bad they were without Rodgers. The loss of any single player would not affect Minnesota the way losing Rodgers would hurt Green Bay.
The NFC Finalist Vikings should probably be bigger favorites after their offseason. As such, +115 is a great value.
NFC South Betting Odds
New Orleans Saints (+180)
Atlanta Falcons (+185)
Carolina Panthers (+290)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+600)
NFC South Best Betting Strategies
This is a tough call considering how good the NFC South is, but the Saints get the slight nod as the defending champions. Carolina (+275) would also be a solid choice considering they had the same record as New Orleans last year. The Saints are just too talented, as evidenced by their division-leading +122 point differential in 2016.
Los Angeles Rams (+135)
San Francisco 49ers (+280)
Seattle Seahawks (+400)
Arizona Cardinals (+1500)
NFC West Best Betting Strategies
Since the Rams won the division in 2017 and added even more talent in the offseason, betting against them is a tough sell. The 49ers hype is getting out of control and the Seahawks, despite making strides on their much-maligned offensive line, have a tough schedule and lost more than a few core players. The Rams are the way to go unless San Francisco’s or Seattle’s odds drop considerably.
NFL Futures Betting Strategy To Pick The Winner of Each NFL Division
Know The History – One of the keys to picking next year’s winner is to understand what happened last year. You have to do some homework and get a view of which direction the teams are heading. In the AFC East, the New England Patriots have won the division 14 of the last 15 seasons. If they’re bringing back Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, they’re likely to contend again.
But some other divisions might show different trajectories. Did a team finish the year well? Did a team that was expected to do well falter? Did a young team perform well but fall short by a field goal in a number of games? When betting the NFL Divisions, keeping your finger on the pulse of what happened last year can give you a good piece of evidence for what will happen the coming year.
Follow The Offseason – A lot can change in an offseason. First there’s free agency, then there’s the NFL Draft and then there are training camps. In between there are cuts, trades and coaching changes. If you’re not keeping tabs on what’s happening, that makes it hard to figure out what to do in the future.
The NFL Draft is important because a good draft can completely reshape a roster (see New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans in 2017). Free agency is a big deal because the best players on the market can change teams and make an immediate impact.
Coaching changes are crucial as a losing team can fire their coach, change their culture and turn things around immediately like the Los Angeles Rams, who were 4-12 under Jeff Fisher in 2016 but went 11-5 in 2017 under Sean McVay.
Following these personnel changes will help you find value on the board when it comes to NFL betting lines.
Watch the Preseason – The NFL Preseason might seem like nothing but only a novice bettor would discount them as such. While the games are a far cry from the quality we see in the regular season, these exhibition contests give us our first look at how the teams have come together in the offseason.
While it might be tricky to bet these games because it’s unclear who is really trying and what the player rotations might be, this is still our first piece of evidence on how the current-year versions of the teams look. That’s important to see if you’re planning to bet on NFL futures.
Bet during the Season – One key point to remember is that NFL divisional futures are often kept on the board throughout the season. Your best value (the biggest payout) will come if you make your prediction early in the offseason.
However, the NFL Futures divisional lines are updated each week and that gives you an opportunity to make a decision later. That might help if you want to see how the teams perform in regular season action for a week or two. Or you could also use the NFL Futures lines as a tool to hedge.