The 2012 NFL Beting Season kicks off in about three weeks, and if you are looking to upset the favorites in some NFL division futures, there is still some value to be had.
Here are four teams that we feel are live underdogs to win their divisions.
Arizona Cardinals 5-1 Odds To Win NFC West – The San Francisco 49ers are heavily favored to win the NFC West, but they do not figure to go 13-3 again this year with a much tougher non-conference schedule. Meanwhile, Arizona quietly went 7-2 in its last nine games last year with the raw but talented John Skelton providing a spark at quarterback. Well, Skelton now appears to be in the lead to land the starting spot this year over Kevin Kolb, and he will have another nice target to throw to in rookie wide receiver Michael Floyd from Notre Dame, who could prevent defenses from double teaming Larry Fitzgerald. It also helps that running back Ryan Williams is around after missing his rookie season with an injury, as he could push Beanie Wells for the RB1 slot.
Carolina Panthers 4-1 Odds To Win NFC South – If the Panthers had a better defense, we would dare to say that they would win the NFC South by at least two games! The division is down this year as the Saints’ defense should get exposed with Jonathan Vilma suspended for the season and we just feel that the Falcons are flat out overrated. Cam Newton is coming off of one of the best years for a rookie quarterback in league history, and he simply has too much raw talent to go through a sophomore jinx. In fact, he even has room for improvement if he can throw more accurate passes. Don’t underestimate the addition of former Charger Michael Tolbert to the backfield either, as he can run, catch and block with equal effectiveness. Now if the defense can improve just a little bit, watch out!
Chicago Bears 3-1 Odds To Win NFC North – Some feel that it is a foregone conclusion not only that the Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North, but also that they will win the Super Bowl. Well, their biggest competition to win the NFC may come from inside their own division, and hardly anyone can dispute that the Bears have a superior defense and running game to the Packers. This also has the chance to be the best Chicago offense in a generation, as the additions of wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Michael Bush can only help quarterback Jay Cutler. Furthermore, Cutler will be much more relaxed in the pocket now that Chicago is returning to a more conventional offense after letting go of offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Kansas City Chiefs 3-1 Odds To Win AFC West – The Chiefs are not a real longshot, but they are the third choice to win the AFC West behind the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, and we feel that Kansas City is a quarterback away from having unquestionably the best team in the division. The Chiefs are loaded everywhere else! RB Jamaal Charles looks to be his old self in the preseason returning from an ACL injury, Jon Baldwin has looked like a legitimate go-to wide receiver while Dwayne Bowe holds out and could make a great tandem with Bowe when he reports. On top of that, KC’s defense has been tremendous since Romeo Crowell became head coach.