DraftKings has a a betting pool centered on NFL division winners for the 2020 season. The top prize is $2,000 and the entry is nothing other than the time and thought it takes to pick answers to 10 questions. Predicting who will win each division in the NFL isn’t easy, but a free entry helps mitigate all risk. To beat out the 40k-plus entrants, you’ll likely need to get some sleeper picks correct, so let’s take a look.
Which Team will win the AFC East?
Right now the Patriots still are favored to win the East with a +125 line compared to the second place Bills at +145. The Dolphins and Jets follow at +700. This division is wide open with Jarrett Stidham as the Patriots likely quarterback, but you can never rule out a Belichick coached team. But, the Patriots didn’t do enough this offseason around Stidham, so unless they grab Cam Newton, I’m leaning toward the Bills, who added Stefon Diggs this offseason.
Pick: Buffalo Bills
Which Team will win the AFC North?
With Ben Roethlisberger back, this race gets a little closer. Add in that the Browns upgraded their offensive line and the Bengals now have Joe Burrow and the Ravens should have a tougher time in their division this season. But, the Ravens are of course the favorites with a -200 line compared to the Steelers at +350 and Browns at +500. But, we will need to take risks to win this thing and betting against the Ravens is a big risk. The Steelers defense was championship caliber last season and was one of the few to hold Lamar Jackson down, giving them a real chance now that Roethlisberger has returned.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
Which Team will win the AFC South?
This was a tight race last season with the Texans winning the division and the Titans getting into the playoffs, but the addition of Philip Rivers in Indianapolis has pushed the Colts into the favorite spot while the loss of DeAndre Hopkins has pushed the Texans into third. This division is tough to pick and even figuring who is the favorite in this pool is hard. So, any team you go with will probably be spread out well between the three. I’ll lean toward the Colts, who I believe have the best coaching in the division and an upgrade at quarterback and running back this season.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts
Which Team will win the AFC West?
Can you pick against the Chiefs in the West and get away with it? Probably not. I did pick against the Ravens, but I don’t see the Broncos or Raiders improving enough to make a run against the champs this season. The Chiefs are at -400 to win the West while the next biggest favorite are the Ravens at -200.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
Which Team will win the NFC East?
The NFC East was awful last season, as the Eagles snuck into the playoffs by winning the division with a 9-7 record over the 8-9 Cowboys. This season the Cowboys are slightly favored to win the division at +100 while the Eagles are second at +140, then the Giants at +800 and Washington at +1200. The Eagles and the Cowboys had relatively good offseasons, but the Eagles appear to have really helped fill in their weak spots at wide receiver and the secondary. I love the Cowboys offense, but they lost some defensive players and have a new coach while the Eagles should be strong on both sides of the ball.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
Which Team will win the NFC North?
The NFC North took a hit this offseason, as the Packers, Vikings and Bears didn’t do much to improve their teams. That has the odds fairly close with the Vikings at +165, Packers +170, Bears +400 and the Lions +550. Of the four, the Lions look to have done the best this offseason, with the biggest move being a healthy Matthew Stafford. With no clear frontrunner, I like the Lions as a sleeper this season.
Pick: Detroit Lions
Which Team will win the NFC South?
The South got a new contender with Tom Brady and other joining the Buccaneers and now they are right up there with the Saints in the odds to win the South now. The Saints are at -110, Bucs +125, Falcons +1000, and Panthers +2000. The Saints did well to add Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins to the mix this offseason and look poised to take the division again. The Falcons still have Matt Ryan/Julio Jones/Calvin Ridley, which gives them a shot while the Bucs are a wildcard with a ton of upside. The Saints are my pick, but they will be a popular pick and after the Falcons went on a strong run to end last season, there is some value in picking them to take the South.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons
Which Team will win the NFC West?
The Rams have hit the skids compared to the Seahawks and 49ers but still have an overall good team while the Cardinals look to see big improvements this season in Kyler Murray’s second season and first with all-world receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The 49ers are favorites at +115, then Seahawks at +225, Rams +400, Cardinals +700. I’ve taken some risks with these picks so far, but the 49ers are built like a Mack truck that can also catch a football and tackle a running back, hard. They don’t need Jimmy Garoppolo to do that much, as their defense and running game is outstanding. This would seem to be a good spot to pick a sleeper, but I don’t think I can bet against Kyle Shanahan here.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers
Will a Wild Card Team Play in the Super Bowl?
The odds are against a wild card team getting to the Super Bowl, as only ten teams have made it to the big game since 1970, with the last one being the 2010 Green Bay Packers. I think we just have to bite the bullet and go with “no,” but it’s not crazy to go against the grain to help give you better odds of winning it all without tying with hundreds of others.
Which Division will win the Super Bowl?
The Chiefs, Ravens and 49ers are favored to win the Super Bowl, so I’m going to fade those three, as picking a Super Bowl winner is quite perilous and instead I’m going to lean to the NFC South, as I like the Saints, Bucs and Falcons to all have a chance of making a run.
Pick: NFC South
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO). NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA/CO only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.