Today’s post ranks the NFL Division Winners from 2020. We will discuss who the safest futures bet at least look like on paper for 2021, and those who are riskier bets. The higher a team’s rank, the safer the projected bet.
Oh, and don’t think today’s post sets things in stone. You will come across a few surprises, pleasant or not, that can help you with your wagers at the NFL betting sites.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
By far the safest bet here, the Kansas City Chiefs have done everything right over the past 2 seasons. The only thing they missed on was losing the Super Bowl in blowout fashion. But hey, everyone had Patrick Mahomes slated as the next G.O.A.T. Before the incumbent G.O.A.T had something to say about that.
Thus, Tom Brady spoiled Patrick Mahomes’ quest to own the league’s next dynasty.
But still, are the Chiefs most likely to repeat as division champions? Yes.
Are they most likely to figure out what went wrong in Super Bowl LV and correct it? Yes.
And are they a safe bet in the Over/Under, Playoffs, and even Super Bowl futures categories?
Of course. So let’s keep the NFL’s surest thing atop the list. Even if the Las Vegas and Los Angeles Chargers will threaten to take the title.
2. Washington Football Team
Surprised that the 7-9 Washington Football Team is ranked 2nd?
Don’t be. Yes, the team started off with a 2-7 record. Then they ended the season at 5-2. That should tell you a lot about this team moving forward. The second they saw even halfway decent play at quarterback, they were nearly unbeatable. Even winning games in blowout fashion.
If you’re looking to make a surefire winning bet on the Washington Football Team, it’s that they’ll have a halfway decent quarterback lining up under center in 2021. It probably won’t be Alex Smith or Taylor Heinicke.
But even someone like Sam Darnold will send this team to the moon. The Football Team may go somewhere they haven’t been in a while. And that’s a beautiful thing.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers were almost second on this list, but there are a few reasons I like the Football Team as a safer, but never a surefire, bet.
One, Washington has a much better defense along with a defensive-minded coach who successfully transitioned his team in a year without an offseason. Two, Washington’s offensive playmakers are younger and hold more potential than Green Bay’s. Outside of Davante Adams, of course.
But the Packers have won their division and earned trips to the NFC Championship Game twice in the past two seasons, so it accounts for something. I like the Packers a lot here. And chances are, no one in the NFC North poses as a major threat in 2021.
Never say never, though. As these are just rankings, and not predictions or a reflection of my own wagering. Just some pre-offseason thoughts.
4. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills made it to the AFC Championship Game and posted their best record since the Four Falls of Buffalo. If you are a younger bettor, the Four Falls of Buffalo occurred between 1990 and 1993, when the Bills earned 4 straight trips to the Super Bowl and won none of them.
Anyway, the Bills look like they’re about to rule the AFC East from now until 2030 with that young core of players led by budding superstar in his own right, Josh Allen.
But not so fast.
The Miami Dolphins doubled their win total from 2019 to 2020. And the New England Patriots are calling in a few reinforcements in their own right. The Bills will now find themselves in a three-horse race for a division that anyone can win.
5. Seattle Seahawks
As I write this post, the Arizona Cardinals just won the J. J. Watt sweepstakes, giving them 6-1 odds to win the division, down from 7-1. Meaning the Seattle Seahawks have a slightly lower chance of winning their division as of March 1st, 2021.
Now, those odds can and will change. But, there’s also a lot of dialogue surrounding the Seahawks, themselves. Does Russell Wilson stay?
Or are the Seahawks about to land a blockbuster trade for the passive-aggressive quarterback? Wilson’s frustrated, and it’s clear his frustrations date back to at least Week 11 of the 2020 season.
If Russ goes and he doesn’t have an adequate replacement, you can mark the Seahawks at #8 on today’s list.
6. Tennessee Titans
The Titans’ odds to repeat as AFC South Champions dropped the minute the Colts pulled off a blockbuster trade for Carson Wentz. Okay, so Wentz hasn’t been the same quarterback since 2017, so what’s the big deal?
Uh, Frank Reich was Wentz’s offensive coordinator in 2017 and now the 2 are celebrating a reunion. This shows one thing: The Colts will probably be favorites to win the AFC South if they can grab a few more puzzle pieces to surround Wentz with.
The Titans, however, still have a few things going for them. They have a stellar system on offense where Derrick Henry remains the offense’s focal point.
They also have a more than capable starting quarterback in Ryan Tannehill.
Also, while the Titans don’t have any real studs on defense; they’re one of the better-coached teams in football. The team has a lot going for them, even if the Colts are fast risers. And they barely edged Indy out in 2020.
Wentz is not only a clear upgrade over Philip Rivers; he’ll last far longer than a single season if he’s even halfway decent. And that spells trouble for the Titans.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
I nearly placed the Steelers at #8 on today’s list, but the Saints will suffer more if they lose Drew Brees to retirement as opposed to if the Steelers release Ben Roethlisberger or if he ultimately hangs it up. However, signs point to the Steelers trying to work out a deal to keep Ben for another season.
But even if it’s the case, the Steelers suffered one of the greatest collapses in NFL history after posting a franchise-best 11-0 start. They finished 12-4, barely won the division, and somehow found themselves in a 28 to 0 hole en route to a first-round exit in the playoffs to the Cleveland Browns of all teams.
Hey, it’s one thing for the year 2020 to have been the year that it was.
For all intents, we should’ve seen the collapse coming, and the Browns somehow winning a playoff game against a team that dominated them throughout the Roethlisberger Era.
It’s clear Roethlisberger isn’t the quarterback that he was. And it’s also clear the Steelers need to return to winning with the running game and defense. Problem is, the Steelers are in cap trouble and not only need to restructure Ben, but chances are they’re losing a few puzzle pieces on defense.
It’s a hard-to-bet situation for the Steelers, with Cleveland and Baltimore already hot on their tail.
8. New Orleans Saints
With Drew Brees retired, the New Orleans Saints will return to becoming the New Orleans ‘Aints of old. Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston are bridge quarterbacks at best. And the Saints will have to give up a lot to draft Brees’ successor, given their draft position.
Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons can land franchise quarterbacks with early first-round selections. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a man named Brady who has discovered the Fountain of Youth.
Also, the Saints as a team are one of the NFL’s oldest units. Not good, considering the fact that many of us stated the 2020 season served as the team’s last stand. With a lower salary cap looming and Brees flirting with retirement along with franchise quarterbacks coming to Carolina and Atlanta, the Saints are clinging.
Not that they won’t win the division; stranger things have happened. But they have become a risky bet among NFL Division Winners in 2020.
Any NFL Division Winner can go from first to worst. Others will continue to dominate their respective divisions and remain viable futures bets next year and for seasons to come. Today’s list just gives you an idea of where the teams stand today, and not should it tell you who to bet on.
What do you think of today’s list? How would you rank the NFL Division Winners from 2020 in terms of futures bets for 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.