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NFC West Odds Preview: Vegas Favors 49ers But Rams Look Strong

We continue our 2011 NFL Betting divisional previews as we look at the NFC West, and after picking six decided favorites and one co-favorite to win the other seven divisions, this is the division that should offer some value, which is ironic considering this is the worst division in football.

Still, not only do we think that the 49ers don’t deserve to be even money while the Rams are +275, but we actually think the Rams should be favored, making the 49ers probably the worst NFL futures bet at this ludicrous price.



St. Louis Rams (+275): The Rams made tremendous strides since winning one game two years ago, finishing 7-9 in 2010 with a chance to win the NFC West before losing at Seattle in the season’s final game. We feel that they will take the next step this year and win the division. Sam Bradford was solid and poised as a rookie and will only get better, eventually becoming the next superstar quarterback. Steven Jackson is a great running back that takes pressure off of Bradford and the Rams’ great pass rush led by Chris Long and James Hall recorded an impressive 43 sacks last year.
(Also see: Rams Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



San Francisco 49ers (+100): Now Mike Singletary may have been a flop as a head coach, but is the coaching change to Jim Harbaugh enough to make this team even money? We find that highly doubtful. Sure, the Niners have some nice pieces in place on defense and they have a solid running game, but is Alex Smith a good enough quarterback to take them to the promised land? Now we have no doubt that San Francisco will be better than the 6-10 it was last season, but the big quarterback edge the Rams possess over the 49ers will make a world of difference.
(Also see: 49ers Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | Odds to win NFC Conference | Week 1 Lines




Arizona Cardinals (+300): Speaking of quarterbacks, there are rumors that the Cardinals are the favorites to land Kevin Kolb. This team had some of the worst quarterbacking in the league a year ago, so Kolb would be a step in the right direction. Two things to keep in mind though are that if the Kolb thing falls through, Arizona currently has the unimpressive Derek Anderson on top of its depth chart, and also that while quarterback is the team’s biggest need it is not its only need. The translation is that this is a third place team either way, with the difference being they will finish closer to the 49ers with Kolb and closer to the Seahawks without a quarterback upgrade.
(Also see: Cardinals Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Seattle Seahawks (+600): The Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record last season, which must have made the league unhappy, although they did upset the Saints in the first round. Thus, this first to worst prediction is really not that bold, as a decrease of two wins should be “good” enough to get the job done. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck can’t stay healthy and it is not even a given that he will be back, and Seattle’s other quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, is a train wreck. The Seahawks got very little production from the offensive skill positions last year and the defense has lots of holes.
(Also see: Seahawks Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)






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NFL Predictions 2011: Vegas Picks The Saints In NFC South

We continue our NFL Betting divisional previews with the NFC South, and believe it or not, in the nine years of this division’s existence since 2002, no team has ever repeated as division champion.

We thought that the Falcons were poor bets to repeat to begin with, as teams that have surprising seasons like Atlanta did last season usually regress the following year. We like the Saints to win this division now that they should have a running game, and the Buccaneers are capable of surprising at a decent price. We are picking the Falcons to fall to third this season.



New Orleans Saints (+120): Drew Brees carried this team by himself last season as the Saints got virtually nothing out of the running game. Enter first round pick Mark Ingram, the former Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama who should be the starter right from the get-go, making life easier for Brees. On the other side of the ball, the Saints actually led the NFC in total defense last season although you wouldn’t know it the way the Seahawks shredded them in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Enter their other first round pick, defensive end Cameron Jordan. This team drafted wisely and may face the Packers in the NFC Championship game.
(Also see: Saints Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+400): The Bucs were a surprising 10-6 last year, though many people are writing that off as a fluke as they did not beat a team that finished the year over .500 until the last game of the year, and that was vs. a disinterested Saints team. That said, the Tampa Bay defense is legitimate, quarterback Josh Freeman developed nicely as the season went on and running back LeGarrette Blount is now the starter from the get-go after a great second half last season. This is a team on the rise that can make for a solid wild card push.
(Also see: TB Bucs Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | Odds to win NFC Conference | Week 1 Lines




Atlanta Falcons (+120): The Falcons finished as the top seed in the NFC, but things will be different with targets on their backs, especially with the Saints and Buccaneers both improved. Interestingly, the last two top seeds that lost in the first round (paper tigers) failed to make the playoffs the next year. Atlanta was weak against the run allowing 4.6 yards per rush. However, instead of addressing this need, they traded a couple of draft picks in order to move up and took wide receiver Julio Jones at number six to compliment Roddy White. That did nothing to help the defense and we are not sure that a second receiver is worth losing a pick over.
(Also see: Falcons Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Carolina Panthers (+2000): The Panthers resembled a pee-wee league team for much of last season, as the offense was excruciating to watch while averaging 12.2 points and 258.4 yards per game; dead last in the NFL on both counts. Cam Newton may turn out to be a good NFL quarterback but he won’t be great, and he does not have much around him to work with. He will feel the usual rookie growing pains and struggle this season, and only a pretty good Carolina defense will allow the Panthers to improve slightly upon last year’s 2-14 fiasco.
(Also see: Panthers Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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NFL Odds & Predictions To Win NFC North All Point To The GB Packers

After picking five favorites to win the first five divisions we have previewed for the upcoming 2011-12 NFL Betting season, in the NFC North, we are once again picking the favorite!

Well this is actually the easiest favorite to pick, as we see the Green Bay Packers repeating as Super Bowl champions, but that said, we would not put any real cash on a -230 future, and since we don’t think any other teams have a realistic chance of winning this division, we would recommend simply passing.

We think that the Lions will improve, but not enough to make the playoffs and that the Bears will regress.



Green Bay Packers (-230): We know how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, and remember that the Packers did not even win this division last season when they finished second to the Bears, but the key is that they won the whole thing while leading the league in lost manpower and players on injured reserve. If they can do what they did playing so many backups, imagine what they will do when healthy, plus many players that started in that Super Bowl run gained valuable experience that will serve then well as reserves this year. It is no exaggeration to say this could be a potential dynasty with all that depth and Aaron Rodgers just reaching his peak.
(Also see: Packers Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Detroit Lions (+450): The Lions made a lot of progress last season to finish at 6-10, even winning two games on the road. The offensive line is still a concern though, and it is no wonder that Matt Stafford has been injured in each of his first two NFL seasons considering all the hits he has taken. So in typical Lions fashion, they did not take an offensive lineman until the seventh round of the draft. That said, Detroit is actually pretty solid in other areas this year, so an improved offensive line is all that stands between them and a legitimate playoff run.
(Also see: Lions Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | Odds to win NFC Conference | Week 1 Lines




Chicago Bears (+450): The Bears overachieved greatly last season, and their reward this season is a brutal non-conference schedule that includes New Orleans, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, all on the road, as well as a visit from Atlanta. This is not to mention their usual two games vs. Green Bay and a Monday night game in Detroit that should be tough given the atmosphere. On top of this, there are still lots of doubts surrounding Jay Cutler’s leadership ability after he left the NFC Championship Game early. Not only will Chicago not repeat as division champs, but the Bears will miss out on the playoffs altogether!
(Also see: Bears Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Minnesota Vikings (+900): My, how the mighty have fallen! The Vikings were a Brett Favre overtime interception away from going to the Super Bowl two years ago, and now, we do not even see them competing with the Detroit Lions (no disrespect meant), as the second best team in this division. The Minnesota defense seemed to age overnight, the offensive line was in shambles last year and first round draft pick Christian Ponder could start immediately at quarterback. Now, we get that Ponder played a pro style offense at Florida State, but playing in the NFL will still take transitioning, and if anything happens to Adrian Peterson, the Vikes would have trouble winning a single game.
(Also see: Vikings Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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AFC South Preview 2011: NFL Futures Odds To Win The Division

Despite the NFL currently being in a lockout, we continue our 2011 NFL division previews under the assumption that it will be business as usual by the time the season starts, this time looking at the AFC South.

Just as with the AFC East and the AFC North, we are again picking the favorite to win this division, as the Indianapolis Colts are in fact our choice to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The Texans may be improved and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but that would be as a wild card, as they are not finishing ahead of the Colts provided Indy avoids the injury bug that decimated their season a year ago.



Indianapolis Colts (-125): Although you wouldn’t know it from his statistics, Peyton Manning may have had his best season in the NFL last year, single-handedly taking this injury-ravaged team to the playoffs and not allowing them to quit, instead guiding them to four straight wins to end the season and to another AFC South title. He did this with a bunch of no-name receivers as defenses simply blanketed Reggie Wayne and with no support from an equally depleted running game. If Peyton can win games playing one against eleven, imagine what he could do with actual playmakers around him! The Colts should win the South and much more throughout 2011-12!
(Also see: Colts Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Houston Texans (+250): The Texans scored enough points to win games last year, but they had one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Houston finished 29th in the NFL in scoring defense, 30th in total defense and 32nd or dead last in passing defense. As result, they have brought in Wade Phillips as the new defensive coordinator, and as bad as he is as an NFL head coach, Wade knows defense and he should thrive in his new position. The Texans also drafted defensive players with their first four picks. Houston could make the playoffs, but they won’t dethrone the Colts just yet.
(Also see: Texans Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Champion Odds | NFL Week 1 Lines 2011




Jacksonville Jaguars (+800): The Jaguars overachieved greatly last season when they still had a chance to win the AFC South entering the final week of the season. We still think that Jacksonville will be slightly better than Tennessee this season, so we are picking the Jaguars to finish third despite owning the longest odds in the division. The Jags are probably just a decent pass rush away from being wild card candidates, but they opted for long term thinking in the draft by taking stud quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick in the draft. Gabbert may be a superstar in this league, but he will not help Jacksonville this year, so a third place finish is inevitable.
(Also see: Jags Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Tennessee Titans (+700): The Titans took a potentially even better quarterback in the draft in Jake Locker with the eighth pick, but the difference is that Locker will probably be the starting quarterback right away. This Tennessee franchise has declined quickly since finishing as the top seed in the AFC a few years ago, and they are now starting a new era with a new quarterback and a new head coach, as Mike Munchak has replaced long time staple Jeff Fisher. The upcoming season will be a long one for Tennessee, and the Titans are horrible bets at just 7/1 odds to take down the South!
(Also see: Titans Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



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Vegas NFL Odds: SD Chargers Are Big Favorites To Win AFC West In 2011

We conclude our AFC divisional previews with the AFC West, again proceeding with the assumption that the lockout will be over in time for the NFL betting season to start.

We picked the favorites to win the other three divisions in the AFC, and we actually do so again in the West with the San Diego Chargers being the biggest division favorite of all at -200, but the difference is that the West has a viable second option in the Oakland Raiders at a decent +450, a price that will look even better if the Chargers get off to their customary slow start.



San Diego Chargers (-200): The Chargers look to be the best this division has to offer on paper, but that was also the case last season, when they remarkably led the NFL in both total offense and total defense and yet finished with just a 9-7 overall record! They were done in by their annual slow start under Norv Turner. If the Chargers play better in September this year, and we think they will, as Norv’s job may depend on it, then they could run away and hide. If they stumble out of the gate again and fall a couple of games behind the Raiders early, they could be in trouble.
(Also see: Chargers Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Oakland Raiders (+450): This is the best value in the division, as we don’t feel that Oakland should be a longer price than Kansas City. The Raiders went from a rag-tag team two years ago to a respectable 8-8 last season, when they went a perfect 6-0 inside the West! Granted, all that did was get coach Tom Cable fired, but that had more to do with off-the-field issues and his departure could be seen as a positive. One negative is the probable loss of free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, but Richard Seymour has become a team leader, even leading workouts for several Oakland players near his home during the lockout.
(Also see: Raiders Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: 2012 Super Bowl Odds | NFL Week 1 Lines 2011




Kansas City Chiefs (+350): The Chefs overachieved greatly while going 10-6 last season and we look for them to regress behind the Raiders this year. Kansas City took advantage of a soft schedule last season, and even the few good teams they beat were at their low points for the season when the Chiefs faced them. Kansas City was exposed by the Raiders in the final game of the season with a chance to clinch a bye, and the Chiefs were exposed more so by the Ravens in the playoffs. Look for a return to reality this year, so don’t go anywhere near this squad with only a 7/2 return on the odds.
(Also see: Chiefs Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Denver Broncos (+1000): The Broncos may surprise a few people and Tim Tebow might turn out to be a better NFL quarterback than people think, but it probably will not be enough to escape the AFC West basement this season. Denver’s 4-12 record a year ago was well deserved as they had the worst defense in the NFL, allowing a disgusting 29.4 points and 390.9 total yards per game. First round draft pick Von Miller from Texas A&M is a great pass rusher, but it remains to be seen if he can help improve the run defense. Besides, the defense needs more than one infusion after last year, so do not expect too much improvement from the orange and blue in 2011-12.
(Also see: Broncos Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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Odds to win AFC North: Steelers Favored Over Ravens Again In 2011

In the next of our series of NFL betting previews, we take a look at the AFC North.

Like the AFC East, we do not think that you will get rich playing futures in this division either. That said, even money may not be such a bad deal on the Steelers if the Ravens are only +120, as we feel that the disparity between the two teams is much greater than that.



Pittsburgh Steelers (+100): The Steelers overcame a suspect offensive line to win the AFC last year, and yet they used four of their first five draft picks on defense, a unit that for years has carried them through when the offense has sputtered. Then again, the one offensive player they did draft early, guard Marcus Gilbert from Florida, can upgrade the line immediately if he learns how to pick up edge defenders in NFL 3-4 defenses. Also, whatever you think off him off the field, Ben Roethlisberger is a winner on it and the Steelers will have him from the outset this year.
(Also see: Steelers Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Baltimore Ravens (+120): The Ravens are always close to dethroning Pittsburgh, but they have always been held back by their inability to beat the Steelers head-to-head. In fact, Roethlisberger is now 6-0 all-time in his head-to-head meetings with Joe Flacco after Pittsburgh knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs last season. As if that is not bad enough, Flacco will now have to work with a new quarterbacks coach after Jim Zorn was let go because he reportedly did not get along with Cam Cameron. Zorn was a key reason for Flacco’s nice development, so it remains to be seen if Joe will slip a bit. Baltimore will not finish ahead of Pittsburgh this year either.
(Also see: Ravens Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Champion Odds | 2011 Weekly NFL Schedule




Cincinnati Bengals (+1200): The Bengals are the longest shots in the division, and just because we are picking them third, do not rush out to buy futures tickets on them. The positives are that the Bengals played surprisingly hard down the stretch last year, eliminating the Chargers and nearly upsetting the Saints, and we like the fact that they brought in a new offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden. The negative is that Carson Palmer wants out, although maybe Gruden’s offensive schemes can make him happy. In the end though, our picking the Bengals third has more to do with us not trusting the Browns than it does with trusting Cincinnati.
(Also see: Bengals Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Cleveland Browns (+700): We think that the Browns are severely undervalued at 7/1. Yes, Colt McCoy had a few great games at quarterback last year, but he was mainly inconsistent, and his success usually relied on the success of the real key to this team, running back Peyton Hillis. We love Hillis and his hard-nosed style, but his recklessness makes him injury prone, as evidenced by the games he missed last season. Still, you don’t really want to rein him back either, so it is almost inevitable that he will miss a couple of games this year, and the Cleveland offense was totally inept without him. Look for a more disappointing year from the Browns than most people expect.
(Also see: Browns Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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NFL Odds To Win NFC East Favor Eagles Over Cowboys In 2011

After concluding our series of AFC divisional previews for the 2011 NFL betting season, we now shift conferences, beginning with our look at the NFC East.

After picking the four favorites to win every division in the AFC, we are continuing that pattern in the NFC East, although all the value may lie with the Dallas Cowboys at +225. While we simply feel that the Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the division, we do not think that the talent disparity between themselves and the Cowboys is as great as many people think.



Philadelphia Eagles (+150): The Eagles do have the most talent, and while Michael Vick may not match his insane passing numbers of a year ago when he passed for over 3000 yards with 21 touchdown passes against just six interceptions while completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 8.1 yards per attempt, he should still be fine as long as he maintains the explosiveness in his legs, which he regained last season after not quite having his legs back yet in his first year back after serving time. Another key will be how well Juan Castillo does as the new defensive coordinator, and he has gotten rave reviews.
(Also see: Eagles Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Dallas Cowboys (+225): The Cowboys simply had too much talent on the field to finish at 6-10 last year, as they simply quit on former coach Wade Philips. The improvement was immediate once Jason Garrett took over, and he was rewarded by Jerry Jones taking the “interim” away from his coaching title. It is difficult to think of the Cowboys as darkhorses, but they could be just that in the sense that they are very capable of going from 6-10 to division champs this year. Whether or not they pull that off will probably come down to their two meetings with the Eagles.
(Also see: Cowboys Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | Odds to win NFC Conference | NFL Schedule




New York Giants (+180): The Giants are the biggest underlay in this division at this cheap price. Now the G-Men are not a terrible team mind you, but we simply do not think that they are as good as our top two choices in the division. Remember that it was the Giants that the Cowboys manhandled in Garrett’s first game as coach, and we are not sold on New York’s first round draft choice, cornerback Prince Amukamara. Yes, he is a great athlete and a good cover corner, but he only had five interceptions in his entire career at Nebraska, bringing his hands into question.
(Also see: NY Giants Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Washington Redskins (+1000): The Redskins just may be the worst team in the NFL this year, so only getting 10/1 on what used to be a perennial playoff team isn’t enough to interest us with this futures wager. The Redskins are deep at tight end and strong at safety. Period. They currently list John Beck as their starting quarterback with Donovan McNabb as the backup, a tandem that doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents, and besides the two positions we mentioned, the Skins have serious question marks everywhere else. This team could easily go 0-6 inside the division, so it should be a long year in the nation’s capital once again.
(Also see: Redskins Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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2011 NFL Odds To Win AFC East Favor Patriots Over NY Jets

We proceed with our 2011 NFL divisional previews under the assumption that it will be NFL Betting business as usual come fall.

We kick things off with our look at the AFC East, where while we do not think that the New England Patriots will duplicate their 14-2 regular season of a year ago, we do feel that they will outscore enough teams to repeat as division champions, although we would not be shocked by another quick post-season exit.

New England Patriots (-125): The Patriots deserve to be heavy favorites to win this division, but they are not without flaws. The Pats lost to the Jets in the playoffs because of a weak front seven on defense, and they also lack a speed burner at wide receiver. Furthermore, they surprisingly did not address ether of those needs in the draft. That said, this team should still be able to outscore the rest of the teams in the division, and what they lack in team speed on offense, they make up for by Tom Brady’s precision-like relationship with the current receivers, who are all expert route runners.
(Also see: Patriots Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



New York Jets (+150): The Jets played David to the Patriots’ Goliath in the playoffs, but few teams in the NFL are facing as much uncertainly as the Jets are with so many free agents unsigned. In that respect, the longer the lockout lasts, the bigger the pickle New York could be in. One free agent they may be able to afford to lose is Shaun Ellis, thanks to landing Muhammad Wilkerson with the 30th pick in the draft. Still, they can’t afford to lose too many players, and even Wilkerson should have the usual rookie growing pains if he starts immediately.
(Also see: Jets Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)




Also see: 2012 Super Bowl Odds | 2011 NFL Weekly Schedule




Miami Dolphins (+600): Like the Jets, we also feel that the Dolphins are an underlay at 6/1 odds, as we simply do not trust the Miami offense to put enough points on the board to challenge the Patriots. Miami averaged only 17.1 points per game last season as quarterback Chad Henne was inconsistent and the running back tandem of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams showed their age. The team ranked 21st in the NFL in rushing, so second round draft choice, running back Daniel Thomas from Kansas State, may get some playing time right away, but the Miami offense needs more help than that.
(Also see: Dolphins Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)



Buffalo Bills (+1500): The Bills actually showed improvement in the second half of last season, but unfortunately, they never learned how to win, losing overtime battles vs. the Steelers and Ravens and losing another close game vs. the Chiefs on the road, all playoff teams. We are still not convinced that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the man at quarterback, and while Buffalo helped its defensive pass rush in the draft, the defensive front seven should be very young. Now the Bills actually ranked third in the NFL in pass defense last season, but that was just a by-product of the run defense being carved up to the tune of 169.9 yards per game; dead last in the league. Look for Buffalo to finish in the basement of the AFC East once again.
(Also see: Bills Super Bowl OddsOver/Under WinsNFC Champ Odds)





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Vegas NFL Futures Odds to Win 2012 NFC Championship

Even though the 2011 NFL betting season is four months away, it is never too early to take a peak at Conference Championship NFL futures odds, as this could be the best time to catch an overlay or two.

With that in mind, here are our top three choices to win the 2012 NFC Championship as of the third week in May. One team you will not see is the Atlanta Falcons, as we do not expect them to match last year’s magical season, especially with the Saints and Buccaneers both expected to be improved within their division.



Green Bay Packers +250: While we do not normally like taking favorites on future wagers, we feel that we could be looking at a dynasty in the making here. The Packers won the Super Bowl last season despite having the most players on Injured Reserve in the NFL, meaning that backups and youngsters gained valuable experience throughout their championship run.

This team finished second in the NFC in total defense despite playing with a makeshift unit most weeks, and even their defensive leader Clay Matthews missed a couple of games. The defense should be spectacular this season after leading the NFC in scoring defense at 15.0 points per game last year.

On offense, Aaron Rodgers proved that he is truly an elite NFL quarterback, and he single-handedly won a lot of games while the Packers had no running game. That should change this year too with the emergence of James Starks in the playoffs and the return of Ryan Grant from injury.



New Orleans Saints +550: People forget that the Saints led the NFC in total defense last season, and they ranked fourth in scoring defense at 19.2 points per game. It is easy to forget that after watching the Seahawks go right through this defense while putting up 41 points in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

That should only motivate the Saints for this year though, and the Saints addressed two areas of need in the first round of the draft, as former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram should help revive what was at times a non-existent running game last year and Cameron Jordan should give New Orleans a second pass rusher to go along with Will Smith.

Quarterback Drew Brees had a great year last season without the support of a running game, so if Ingram can transition to the NFL, Brees could actually have a better year without needing to carry the offense by himself.




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | 2011 MNF Schedule | 2011 NFL Predictions




Philadelphia Eagles +550: Now the Eagles have some flaws on defense, but they should win the NFC East and they get the nod for our third choice ahead of the West winner and the wild card teams.

Was Michael Vick a mirage last year? Well, yes and no. He will probably not duplicate his career highs in passing yards, completion percentage and passing touchdowns, but he is still a dangerous dual threat that is a legitimate nightmare for defensive coordinators. Vick led the NFL with 6.8 rushing yards per attempt in 2010, but do not forget about the often underutilized LeSean McCoy, who averaged 5.2 yards per rush. Coach Andy Reid’s squad offers up some solid value with this return!



NFL Odds to win 2012 NFC Championship:

(the number next to each team represents the payout on a $100 wager)

- Arizona Cardinals +3000

– Atlanta Falcons +550

– Carolina Panthers +15000

– Chicago Bears +1500

– Dallas Cowboys +900

– Detroit Lions +1500

– Green Bay Packers +250

– Minnesota Vikings +2000

– New Orleans Saints +550

– New York Giants +700

– Philadelphia Eagles +550

– San Francisco 49ers +2000

– Seattle Seahawks +5000

– St Louis Rams +3000

– Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1500

– Washington Redskins +3000




NFL Odds to win 2012 AFC Championship

We may still be four months away from the start of the 2011 NFL betting season, bur that could actually make this a perfect time to examine 2012 Conference Championship future odds, as the chances of finding a couple of overlays will only decrease as the odds tighten up closer to the season’s kick.

Thus, we are now taking an early look at our top three choices to win the 2012 AFC Championship as of the third week in May. You will notice that we are omitting the favored New England Patriots (+275), as while they will once again be able to outscore a lot of teams, we feel that they did not upgrade their defense enough to take them at such a short price.



Indianapolis Colts 7-1 odds: Many people consider the years that the Colts had as a team and that Peyton Manning had individually last season as a disappointment, but the fact of the matter is that Manning may have had his best year by single-handedly carrying a depleted offense with the most injuries in the NFL into the post-season. The Colts played many games with Reggie Wayne as their only reliable receiver, allowing defenses to blanket him, and no viable running backs with Joseph Addai, Donald Brown and Mike Hart all injured, oftentimes simultaneously.


If the Colts can stay healthy this year, they can return to their Super Bowl glories, and there is really no reason to believe that having so many injuries at the same time was anything more than an aberration. Do not forget that the Colts upgraded both their offensive line and defensive line in the draft also.




Also see: Super Bowl Odds | 2011 MNF Schedule | 2011 NFL Predictions




Pittsburgh Steelers 5-1 odds: The Steelers are actually the second choice to win the AFC behind the Patriots, but we place them behind the Colts because Indianapolis is a better price and could be a better team when both clubs are at full strength. The Steelers do deserve mad respect though, as their ferocious defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season at just 14.5 per game despite Troy Polamalu missing some time, and they will now have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the whole season after he missed the first four games of the regular season. Big Ben is a winner on the football field at least and this will not be an easy team to dethrone.


The deciding factor splitting the Steelers and the Colts should be who gets the higher seed and hosts the AFC Championship Game, and with all due respect to the defending AFC Champions, we think that will be Indianapolis.



San Diego Chargers 6-1 odds: The Chargers play in the weakest division in the conference, but if they can finally overcome their annoying propensity for slow starts, they do have the talent on both offense and defense to win the West handily. After all, this is a team that led the NFL in both total offense and total defense last season, which is remarkable for a club that only finished at 9-7.


San Diego is a team that is obviously better than its record last year, and the Chargers could become a major player in the AFC if they can actually win some games in September.



NFL Odds to win 2012 AFC Championship:

(the number next to each team represents the payout on a $100 wager)

- Baltimore Ravens +700

– Buffalo Bills +6000

– Cincinnati Bengals +2500

– Cleveland Browns +4000

– Denver Broncos +3000

– Houston Texans +1200

– Indianapolis Colts +700

– Jacksonville Jaguars +3000

– Kansas City Chiefs +1800

– Miami Dolphins +2500

– New England Patriots +300

– New York Jets +450

– Oakland Raiders +2000

– Pittsburgh Steelers +450

– San Diego Chargers +600

– Tennessee Titans +2500




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