The defining moment that changed the outlook of this division was the upholding of Patriot quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. With Brady out of the picture for a month, the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets will all have a chance to get off to winning starts. With the addition of Matt Forte and the resigning of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets are looking like the best overall team in the division. However, they seem to always come up short while the Patriots win year after year. The smart money is on New England to win the division, fueled by the vengeance of Brady, with a record of 11-5, but just backing them to win is still lucrative enough.
- Sports.net’s top tip: New England Patriots to win AFC East – 4/1
Though the AFC North isn’t nearly as competitive as it was in the 2000s, the Bengals and Steelers rivalry has proved to be a great one in recent seasons. However, Pittsburgh will have to deal with the suspension of their star running back Le’Veon Bell for their first two games as a penalty for missing drugs tests. Once again, expect late-season experience and a veteran quarterback to win in this division. In that case, this means that the Steelers should top the AFC North at 10-6.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Pittsburgh Steelers to win AFC North – 13/10
Arguably the worst division in the NFL, the AFC South shouldn’t be too hard to win this year for the Colts, but nothing is impossible. Teams like the Titans and Jaguars have improved a lot in the offseason and could put up a fight. As long as Andrew Luck stays healthy, this division is his to win. Expect the Colts to narrowly win the AFC South with a record of 10-6.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Indianapolis Colts to win AFC South – 7/4
With the departure of Peyton Manning, the AFC West is suddenly wide open. The Chargers don’t have the defense or the depth to win the division, and the Broncos won’t be able to score enough on offense despite retaining their elite defense. It should be an interesting battle between the Chiefs and the Raiders, but I think the Chiefs will take the division with a healthy Jamaal Charles and guys like Tamba Hali and Eric Berry leading the defense. Kansas City finishes 12-4.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Kansas City Chiefs to win AFC West – 9/5
Tony Romo is hurt yet again due to his back issues, which means that the Cowboys could be in big trouble before the season even starts. The Eagles are reeling from the departure of Chip Kelly, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow (yes, Tim Tebow), Mark Sanchez, and especially running back DeMarco Murray. Though the Redskins defense should improve with the help of Josh Norman, the Giants made much more significant additions on that side of the ball. New York wins the division handily with a record of 10-6.
- Sports.net’s top tip: New York Giants to win NFC East – 15/8
In arguably the most competitive division in the league, four dangerous teams will fight for the NFC North crown. Aaron Rodgers is still seeking out that elusive second Super Bowl, while Adrian Peterson would just like to bring Minnesota one. The Lions and the Bears won’t win the division, but they'll be tough outs each week nonetheless. Because of Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending injury, back the Packers to run away with the division and finish 13-3.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Green Bay Packers to win NFC North – 4/11
The Carolina Panthers made the Super Bowl last year, but the rest of the NFC South had trouble just contending at all. Matty Ryan had the worst year of his career, but Doug Martin had his best. Not only that, but Drew Brees proved that his Saints are still a force to be reckoned with, at least in Louisiana. Ryan will probably bounce back and the Buccaneers are still on the upswing, but none of these other teams have defenses that are even close to as good as Carolina’s. While it’s not the most valuable bet, backing the Panthers to win the division is probably the safest option.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Carolina Panthers to win NFC South – 1/2
Although the Seattle Seahawks lost Marshawn Lynch, they still have a good chance to win the NFC West. The Rams just moved cities and still haven't found an answer to their quarterback situation, and the 49ers lack talent at almost every position. However, this could be Carson Palmer’s year. The Cardinals are the most balanced team in this division and David Johnson established himself as an elite running back last season. Arizona goes 14-2 and wins the division.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Arizona Cardinals to win NFC West – 6/4
- Regular Season MVP: Aaron Rodgers (7/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1) Carson Palmer (14/1)
- Super Bowl Winner: Green Bay Packers (8/1), New England Patriots (8/1), Seattle Seahawks (7/1), Arizona Cardinals (10/1)
- Best Record: Green Bay Packers (13/2), Seattle Seahawks (13/2), Carolina Panthers (7/1), Pittsburgh Steelers (8/1)
- Worst Record: Cleveland Browns (4/1), San Francisco 49ers (6/1), Tennessee Titans (19/2), Chicago Bears (16/1)
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.