The 2018-2019 NFL Preseason begins the first week of August. That means teams head to training camp this month in July. Which squads will repeat as Division Champions? Which teams will knock last year’s Division Champs off their perches? We take a look at the latest 2018 NFL Division odds and make our picks in this exclusive guide.
2018 NFL Division Odds: Who Will Repeat as Division Champs?
— The Ringer (@ringer) July 8, 2018
Let’s go division by division.
- Last Year’s Winner: New England Patriots
- This Year’s Winner: New England Patriots -875
Buffalo, Miami, and the Jets should be more improved, but it’s difficult to see any of those squads doing enough to beat the Patriots for the division championship. New England has dominated this division for years. Things won’t change.
- Last Year’s Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
- This Year’s Winner: Baltimore Ravens +380
The Baltimore Ravens should be ready to beat Pittsburgh for the AFC North Division title this season. Baltimore’s defense has improved over the off-season while the offense finally discovered a starting RB late last season.
What’s wrong with Pittsburgh? Lots. It’s difficult to understand why they fired offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Also, the defense hasn’t gelled the way so many expected it to. Plus, their starting RB is unhappy…again.
- Last Year’s Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
- This Year’s Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars +150
The AFC South could send 3 teams to the playoffs this season: Jacksonville, Houston, and Tennessee. All 3 have a shot at the division title. Jacksonville is the pick because their defense will be the best in the NFL.
- Last Year’s Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
- This Year’s Winner: Denver Broncos +260
The Chiefs won’t repeat as division champs. The defense lost top cornerback Marcus Peters while the offense breaks in a new QB. Neither Oakland nor San Diego is great. Denver won the 2016 Super Bowl. They’ll be right there with a still great defense, a solid rushing attack, and a winning QB in Case Keenum.
- Last Year’s Winner: Minnesota Vikings
- This Year’s Winner: Minnesota Vikings +110
The NFC North, almost every season, comes down to the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings traded QBs. I’m not sure how much better it works out for them now that Kirk Cousins is their quarterback instead of Case Keenum. There’s no doubt, though, that Minny’s defense is better than Green Bay’s. That means the Vikings beat the Packers for the division title.
- Last Year’s Winner: New Orleans Saints
- This Year’s Winner: New Orleans Saints +150
The Atlanta Falcons are also at +150. The difference between he Saints and Falcons this season is that New Orleans will have a Top 3 defense while Atlanta’s D continues to be good but not great. The Saints have a double-edged sword on offense. If opponent’s stop their rushing attack, Drew Brees beats you with the pass.
- Last Year’s Winner: L.A. Rams
- This Year’s Winner: San Francisco 49’ers +210
Last season, the Rams benefited from an easy schedule and an offense that came out of the blue. Nobody knew how the Rams offense might perform in coach Sean McVeigh’s first season as head coach. Now that the word is out, L.A. is expected to contend for the Super Bowl.
But, it’s not clear how much improved the Rams’ defense is. Corners Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters were great with their former teams. That doesn’t always translate to being great with new teams.
SF has a shot at decent odds to improve enough, like the Rams last season, to win the NFC West.
- Last Year’s Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
- This Year’s Winner: Dallas Cowboys +280
No doubt, the Eagles can repeat as Super Bowl Champions. But, have you seen their regular season schedule? It’s one of the most brutal I’ve seen in a long time. Philly must battle Tennessee, New Orleans, the L.A. Rams, and Jacksonville on the road. They take on Minnesota, Houston, and Atlanta at home. That’s just their out of division schedule.
Dallas will benefit because no team can escape with less than 6 to 7 losses with Philly’s schedule.