As the NFL calendar flips over to Week 3, it’s time to look toward the future. Based on a two week sample size, who will win their respective division? Since everyone loves a fun parlay, here’s the three division winners you might want to bet now, before it’s too late.
Keep in mind that any futures bet will not be settled until the season ends, meaning don’t bet anything you cannot live without until then. On the positive side of things, consider any wager a loan to FanDuel, the sportsbook we’ll use for this winning bet. However, you’ll be able to collect with interest in January.
NFC North still runs through Lambeau
The more things change, the more they stay the same. After Week 1’s demolition of the Green Bay Packers, fans and bettors were all over the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North. Suddenly Kirk Cousins was an MVP candidate, Kevin O’Connell was on his way to the Coach of the Year Award, and Justin Jefferson was being fitted for a gold jacket in Canton. While the latter might be true, Week 2 once again showed who still owns the north, and the Chicago Bears. Until proven otherwise, this is the Packers division to lose, and will probably be the last time you can bet them this season with a plus sign next to the odds listing.
It feels like just a week ago the loss of Davante Adams was going to derail Aaron Rodgers, but that was short lived. Minnesota won a game they absolutely had to have, but it was quickly forgotten this is just how Rodgers’ team operates. Struggle in Week 1, dominate the rest of the way. Of course, it never hurts to have the Bears on the schedule after a bad game either.
Expect Matt LaFleur’s team to get stronger as the season moves on, especially as the offense gels without Adams.
The Pick: Packers +100
Another NFC West crown in the bay?
We detailed yesterday why the 49ers are a worthy Super Bowl bet yesterday, so today it only makes sense to make a case for the division crown too. A quick rundown of the NFC West makes the Niners a potential value play in this race to the top. Sean McVay’s Rams, despite being 1-1, have gotten off to a relatively slow start and could be facing injury troubles down the road with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, also 1-1, needed everything to come back and get a win in Vegas. Forget the Seahawks, who would be in danger of relegation if this was European soccer.
Trey Lance raised San Francisco’s ceiling with his potential, but Jimmy Garoppolo raises their floor with his experience. Let’s not forget what Kyle Shanahan’s team was capable of with Garoppolo under center. They are a hungry team that is likely on its last run with number 10. Why not the Niners?
The Pick: 49ers +165
Worst to first in the AFC South?
There’s a good chance that you either laughed, or are on the verge of finding another article to read elsewhere, but here’s why the Jacksonville Jaguars are a good bet to win the AFC South.
What’s one narrative that the NFL media pushes every year and typically comes true? The team that goes from worst to first. Did you ever think Joe Burrow and the Bengals would be playing in the Super Bowl back in February? Exactly. After seeing that happen in 2021, is anything truly out of the question?
The Jaguars already have an improving second year quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, an experienced head coach in Doug Pederson, and a better roster with plenty of young talent. Better yet, who is going to win the AFC South? Nobody apparently. The Colts are a mess, Titans should rebuild, and the Texans are worse than Jacksonville. Sure, Lawrence’s team really needs to learn how to win on the road, but after the first two weeks, it’s hard not to come away with some hope for this season. Plus, they are alone in first place.
At +290, the time to take advantage is now, before the odds drop again. It’s unlikely a team alone in first place will ever be available at a price like that again this season. Want to wait another week? Fine, see how they fare against Justin Herbert’s Chargers in Los Angeles this weekend, but if they win, expect those odds to drop to around +175 at best.
Either the Ravens or Jaguars will take home their respective division crown. Our bet is that will be the Jaguars, at least at this stage of the season.
The Pick: Jaguars +290
If you’re feeling risky, take a shot at a parlay on FanDuel that pays +1967, meaning a $100 bet returns $2,067. It’s worth noting and should be said continuously that straight bets are your friend. Parlays are fun, sure, but build your bankroll with those single plays, so we can stay in the game longer.
Here’s what the breakdown should look like based on a $100 bettor (adjust for your own personal risk tolerance and bankroll). Personally, my own formula is to downsize for futures bets, in the rare event that they are placed, since they are long term investments, but for the sake of discussion, let’s stick with $100.
Single bets on Packers, Niners, Jaguars (one unit): $100 on each
Parlays (half unit): $50
Happy betting and remember to always play responsibly.