2021 NFL Division Winners: Predictions

NFL Sep 03, 2021

The 2021 NFL regular season kicks off in only six days.  Then, we'll have pro football for the rest of the year.  

It's fun trying to make predictions.  It's even more fun to make smart predictions and win some money by betting on what we think will happen.

Among the many futures bets available at SPREADS.CA are futures bets on which team will win each division.  The NFL has eight divisions and all teams have odds posted, right now.  Keep in mind the odds aren't as high as the future bet on the Super Bowl winner.  After all, to win an NFL division, it takes coming out on top among just four teams.


Buffalo Bills -155
Miami Dolphins +340
New England Patriots +350
New York Jets +2200

Breakdown:  This looks like a two-team race, but Buffalo might also run away with the title.  The big question is, should we lay -155 in a division with another team (Miami) that won 10 games last season and could improve on that in 2021?  At +340 the Dolphins clearly are the team with value.  With a young team, a good coach, and a winning record over the last 1.5 seasons (they were predicted to be the NFL's worst team in 2019) this might be Miami's year to step up.  Nonetheless, Buffalo will be the team to beat.  As for New England, the Patriots now look to be in a rebuilding phase and the Jets are at least a year or two (maybe longer based on their dismal history) from being taken seriously.

Recommendation:  Miami at +340  

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens +120
Cleveland Browns +145
Pittsburgh Steelers +400
Cincinnati Bengals +2500

Breakdown: Here's another two-team race, but then, don't count out the Steelers who won it last year (12-4). Baltimore clearly deserves to be favoured, but one must wonder if the Ravens and Browns (both 11-5 last season) should be priced this high.  There might be some value on the Browns which continue to look like a winner who could be around for awhile.  But hesitation is warranted given they must also get through Baltimore and Pittsburgh.   Cincinnati doesn't have the talent to be in a serious conversation, but look for the Bengals to pull off some upsets, particularly if they can stay healthy.

Recommendation: Pittsburgh at +400

AFC South

Tennessee Titans -120
Indianapolis Colts +145
Jacksonville Jaguars +800
Houston Texans +2800

Breakdown:  Each of these four teams has vulnerabilities, even the two faves. Tennessee comes out of preseason with a major COVID hit (9 players, head coach, two assistants), and could get off to a slow start in September.  That could mean Indianapolis moves up the ladder into the top spot.  Let's toss out Jacksonville, which is totally unproven and way too unknown at this point.  Even at +800, they're a bad bet.  Houston might be the NFL's worst team and is forecast to win the fewest games.  That leaves Tennessee and Indianapolis to battle it out.  The edge has to go to the Titans, who have an explosive offense, but do need some major defensive work.  Conversely, the Colts strength is their defense.  They'll begin the season with major question on offense, especially at QB.  

Recommendation: Tennessee +120

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs -320
Denver Broncos +600
Los Angeles Chargers +600
Las Vegas Raiders +1800

Breakdown:  This is the NFL's most lopsided division.  Everyone loves Kansas City.  The problem is, laying -320.  That's too high a lay price, especially in a division with three teams which – if things break very right – could rise to the top and replace the Chiefs.  It's hard to bet against Andy Reid's extraordinary regular season success, which is why his team is such a big favourite.  Nonetheless, the value lies elsewhere.  We could pick any of the remaining three teams, but let's target the Chargers, who might have the next dominant QB in the league leading the offense.  In a league dominated by passing, that might given LA enough of an edge to contend.  At the +600 price, it's way too good a value to pass on.  The Broncos might also deserve the same respect, but QB remains their major concern. As for the Raiders, they'll score some points.  But they'll give up even more.    

Recommendation: Los Angeles Chargers +600

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys +135
Washington Football Team +225
New York Giants +400
Philadelphia Eagles +500

Breakdown: Dak Prescott completely changes the dynamic of this division.  With him healthy, Dallas should be a sizable favourite.  Without him, Dallas could be a 5-11 team again.  So, should we take the Cowboys at +135?  Seems like a reach when Washington, 7-9 and the division winner, might be improved this year. The Washington Football Team also boasts one of the best defenses in the NFL, which might be the difference in a tight race.  Don't count the Giants, either.  They won 5 of their final 8 games and will enter the new season much healthier.  Perhaps 10-7 will be enough to win the NFC East – the Giants could do that.  Forget about Philadelphia, which is a mess and looked awful in preseason.  The Eagles should be listed at least +1000 or higher.    

Recommendation: New York Giants +400

NFC North

Green Bay Packers -155
Minnesota Vikings +250
Chicago Bears +500
Detroit Lions +2500

Breakdown: The Packers get most of the love and attention.  However, look for the Vikings to possibly step up here and give the Pack a decent run.  Minnesota is well-coached and filled some gaps in the offseason.  They match-up nearly as well as Green Bay in most areas.  That's the bet with value.  Chicago will be interesting for no other reason than to see when they make the QB change to the future.  If and when that happens, the Bears will probably be out of the division race. Detroit, like several other NFL teams hit rock bottom this offseason.  They'll be rebuilding for at least a few years.

Recommendation: Minnesota +250

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -200
New Orleans Saints +300
Atlanta Falcons +900
Carolina Panthers +1100

Breakdown: Tampa Bay as the defending Super Bowl champion deserves to be favoured, but laying -200 is ridiculous.  This is a terrible futures wager.  Toss out Atlanta and Carolina – the real threat is New Orleans and they're +300.  That's a trendous value.  Keep in mind, the Saints won this division at 12-4 last year, and that was with Drew Brees hurt and not playing up to his usual standards.  Now, New Orleans has Jameis Winston, who comes with major question marks, but is also experience and could fit will into the Saints offensive system.  This is probably the best futures bet on this page.  

Recommendation: New Orleans +300

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams +180
San Francisco 49ers +200
Seattle Seahawks +280
Arizona Cardinals +575

Breakdown: Any of the four teams could win this division, yes, even Arizona.  The Rams look absolutely loaded this season.  However, should they really be favoured?  Maybe.  San Francisco was decimated by injuries last year, like no other team.  We're not sure what condition they'll be in for '21. but the nucleus remains in place for another possible Super Bowl run.  Seattle is always in contention with Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson.  And, the Cardinals might have one of the best offenses in the NFL if things go right.  As far as making a pick, all these teams have some questions, but Seattle has been the class of the NFC West for a while, so let's take them at an attractive price.    

Recommendation: Seattle +280

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