The NFL season is almost here! That means it's time to start looking at the futures markets and see which teams Las Vegas thinks have the best chance to reach the postseason. Here are the current odds to win each division.
There's a lot of intrigue in this division this season. The Bengals are the defending champs of the North and reached the Super Bowl last season. However, they're not currently the favorites. That distinction goes to the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens. Plus, with Deshaun Watson's set to return in Week 7, the Browns will be in the hunt, as well.
The Buffalo Bills are the new class of the division and it's reflected in the odds. The Dolphins improved in the offseason and are seen as the closest challenger, edging out the New England Patriots. Despite Zach Wilson's big offseason, the New York Jets are expected to bring up the rear.
Despite a 12-win season and AFC South crown last year, the Tennessee Titans are projected to finish second to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts added veteran quarterback Matt Ryan in the offseason, considered the potential missing piece to a very good team that won nine games despite inconsistent QB play from now-departed Carson Wentz. Jacksonville has an outside shot after shedding the disaster that was Urban Meyer, and Houston is a near-lock for another basement finish.
The West has the potential to be the most hotly-contested division with all four teams truly believing they could hoist the crown. The Kansas City Chiefs, who have won six-straight division championships, remain the preseason favorites. However, the gap is shrinking thanks to the play of Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and the addition of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. The Las Vegas Raiders are projected last, but they have some of the shortest odds to win the division of any team ranked fourth.
The Packers have posted back-to-back-to-back 13-win seasons, capturing the North in all three. They're the odds-on favorite to do it again, backed by league MVP Aaron Rodgers. The Minnesota Vikings are second, followed by the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. The Packers (9) and Vikings (4) have combined to win 13 of the past 15 North crowns, with the Bears capturing the other two. The Lions haven't won the division since 1993, when it was still the NFC Central.
The Dallas Cowboys, who won the division last year, are the favorites to do it again. However, no team has won the East in back-to-back seasons since the Philadelphia Eagles won four straight from 2001-2004. The Eagles are considered the biggest threat to the Cowboys this year, with Washington ranking third. The Giants are projected last, but have relatively short odds for a fourth-place team. However, New York hasn't won the division since 2011; over that span, each of the other three teams has won at least three division crowns.
No team in the league is considered a bigger lock to win their division than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Led by 45-year-old Tom Brady, the Bucs won 13 games last season, dethroning the New Orleans Saints who had won the previous four division crowns. The Saints are still considered the biggest threat to the Brady-Bucs reign, with the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons sitting as longshots.
Another division seemingly up-for-grabs, the West boasts three teams with odds at 3-1 or shorter. The favorite is predictably the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams, but the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals are not far behind. After trading Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks are longshots to battle the top trio for West supremacy.