2016 NFL Odds and Picks for Each Division
In addition to the Super Bowl 51 odds that were released immediately after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 as underdogs, the 2016 NFL betting boards now have the conference futures, divisional futures and early regular season odds available. For the most part, your favorite teams like the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks dominate the NFL lines, but a couple of teams that are expected to improve from last year have equally seen an improvement in their odds. In this article, we will be taking a look at the 2016 NFL odds for each division, highlighting some of the teams that look to offer early betting value.
2016 NFL Odds and Picks for Each Division
Best Favorite Pick: New England Patriots
Best Sleeper Pick: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will all get their chances to make some noise here, but as always, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will carry the day. For sleeper picks, the Tyrod Taylor-led Bills will keep things interesting and the Jets (despite their QB woes) will deliver a couple of shock wins with former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte helping their offense, but it’s the Dolphins who get our vote here. After trading for linebacker Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, Miami went on to re-sign a couple of its key pieces such as linebacker James-Michael Johnson and guard Jacques McClendon, who (along with newly acquired safety Isa Abdul-Quiddus) will bring some much-needed help in Miami’s troubled O-line and wobbly defense.
Best Favorite Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
Best Sleeper Pick: Baltimore Ravens
After their embarrassing loss in the playoffs, I expect Cincinnati to see a decline this season. My reasons for saying that? I believe Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens—by the virtue of signing free agent Mike Wallace, and with Steve Smith changing his mind about retirement—will win more than the five games they won last year (including at least one win over the Bengals). I also believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be healthier than they were last season, allowing them to go above the 10-win record from last year. In fact, if the Steelers keep it hot like they did towards the end of the season, they will sweep Cincy. For the Cleveland Browns, I agree with the Oddsmakers that they will continue to struggle, but Robert Griffin III and Co. should be able to play spoilers in a couple of divisional games.
Best Favorite Picks: Houston Texans/Indianapolis Colts
Best Sleeper Pick: NONE
Before we go any further, allow me to say that I hate this division. That being said, I love the fact that the Texans have Brock Osweiler, so there’s someone who can compete with Indy’s Andrew Luck. No doubt, Luck is a class act and if he can stay healthy, the Texans will have it difficult in the quest to repeat as AFC South champions. Unfortunately for the Colts, they have too many defensive deficiencies that make it difficult to trust them for a big bounce-back year. Jacksonville’s Derek Carr has the ability to become a trustworthy franchise player, but with a weak O-line, shaky defense and less-than-dependable offensive weapons, it will always be a case of so-close-yet-so-far in their rebuilding project. Like the Jags, Tennessee have a talented QB in Marcus Mariota, but virtually everything else in the team stinks, so the Titans won’t be going anywhere this year.
Best Favorite Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
Best Sleeper Pick: Oakland Raiders
Even with the free agent acquisition of Mark Sanchez and a potential QB drafted in 2016, the Denver Broncos are likely to see some regression in their offense (which was already struggling with Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler at the helm last year). This opens an opportunity for the Kansas City Chiefs, who are coming off a stellar 11-5 season, to rise to the top of the AFC West log. The best sleepers in this division are obviously the Oakland Raiders. Outside the lethal trio QB Derek Carr, RB Latavius Murray and standout 2015 rookie Amari Cooper, the Raiders beefed up their challenged defense and offensive line by signing Sean Smith at cornerback, Kelechi Osemele at guard and Bruce Irvin at outside linebacker in the offseason. And with over $34 million in salary cap space left to spend, you can bet your last damn dollar that the Raiders will be adding more players, in addition to the picks they will get from the draft, hence making them a very balanced group with a big potential to shock AFC West. The Chargers, well, there is really no hope here, so keep off from them in the odds to win the AFC West crown
Best Favorite Pick: Dallas Cowboys
Best Sleeper Pick: Washington Redskins
Welcome to NFL’s most unpredictable division in 2015 and—possibly—in 2016, as well. We all know that a healthy Tony Romo will almost guarantee the Dallas Cowboys a return to the summit of this division. We also know that, as long Eli Manning and OBJ keep on connecting in their enviable passing game, the New York Giants will be able to hang with most teams. What we don’t know is what the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins have in store for us. Both the Eagles and Redskins have talented pieces and their offseason dealings are indicative of teams looking to breakout in 2016, but with a history of disappointing in the past, nothing is assured about how things will play out in the upcoming season.
Best Favorite Pick: Green Bay Packers
Best Sleeper Pick: Chicago Bears
Congratulations to Minnesota for winning this division last year. Celebrate while you can you lucky Vikings because it won’t be happening again this year. With Aaron Rodgers coming back with healthy pieces at his disposal, the Packers are the easy pick here over the Vikings that are overly dependent on the aging Adrian Peterson. Detroit, well, good luck trying to figure them out ‘coz I can’t just place my finger on them. All I know is that starting QB Mathew Stafford is washed up and if Detroit cannot get someone else to lead the team, it will be another bust of season for the Lions. The Bears have some hope in the fact that Jay Cutler can still throw the ball quite well and he will have a plethora of players to exploit next season. If Chicago’s defense can get better, the Bears could really be a good team.
Best Favorite Pick: Carolina Panthers
Best Sleeper Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina showed too much class last year to make us believe that anyone else will match up to the Panthers this year, even if they won’t get to 15 wins like they did in 2015. The next best thing here is the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to the experience of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, but don’t sleep on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who exceeded expectations last year with their 6 wins) and the New Orleans Saints (who will always be competitive as long as Drew Brees is still in the team).
Best Favorite Pick: Seattle Seahawks
Best Sleeper Pick: NONE
The only thing the San Francisco 49ers will be competing for this year is for the honors of becoming the worst team in the league (with the Cleveland Browns being their main competitors). This leaves us with Arizona, Seattle and Los Angeles in the run for the divisional title here. With RB Todd Gurley coming into the season with a year under his belt, you can expect a strong sophomore performance from him in a Rams jersey. But with no formidable QB to lead the Rams, no way this new Los Angeles franchise team will be bringing much value in the NFC West. This means that the Seahawks and Cardinals will be the team to watch here. Personally, I love the Cardinals, but Carson Palmer rarely goes two seasons without being hobbled with injuries, so I would rather trust Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ‘coz they somehow know how to stay healthy throughout the year and that is likely to be the difference in this division.