With the start of the National Football League season just a month or so away, we want to give you a first hand look at who the odds makers have said will be divisional champions for the 2011 – 2012 season, and then give our pick to click:
AFC West – San Diego Chargers –200, Kansas City Chiefs +350, Oakland Raiders +450, Denver Broncos +1000
San Diego is still ticked from last season. Kansas City cannot find as much magic as they had last year. Oakland and Denver are not expected to be very good at all. Our pick: San Diego Chargers -200 to win the AFC West.
AFC South – Indianapolis Colts -140, Houston Texans +250, Jacksonville Jaguars +700, Tennessee Titans+800
For the 800th straight year – Indianapolis is the team to beat in this division. The Colts are aging, and Manning is slowing down. Houston is going to be loaded, they just need to figure out things defensively. Jacksonville and Tennessee will not be terrible, but not enough to contend. Our pick: Houston Texans +250 to win the AFC South.
AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers +100, Baltimore Ravens +120, Cleveland Browns+700, Cincinnati Bengals+1200
This division may have the two worst teams in all of football; with Cleveland and Cincinnati. But, two of the best will be at the top. Look for more of the same this season. Our pick: The Pittsburgh Steelers at +100 will stave off the Baltimore Ravens and win the AFC North.
AFC East – New England Patriots -125, New York Jets +140, Miami Dolphins+600, Buffalo Bills+2000
Another division with a two team race. The Patriots and Jets are not just the class of the division, but the class of the league. The Dolphins are going to have a tough time scoring points, while Buffalo continues to “rebuild”. Our pick: This is easy – New England wins this division.
NFC West – San Francisco 49ers +150, St. Louis Rams +200, Arizona Cardinals +300 Seattle Seahawks +500
While not the most talented, the NFC West will probably be the most competitive. There are four teams that could win the division. Most likely no team in the division would finish 1-2 in any other division. Our pick: We are going with the best quarterback in the division; Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams at +125.
NFC South – Atlanta +120, New Orleans +120, Tampa Bay +400, Carolina +2000
Some say this is the best division in all of football. The Falcons and Saints are Super Bowl contenders, while Tampa Bay is on the cusp of being a really good football team. Carolina is going to struggle once again. Look for the trio of Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Michael Turner to have a big year, and Atlanta repeats as divisional champions. We are betting the Atlanta Falcons.
NFC North – Green Bay Packers-225, Detroit Lions+450, Chicago Bears+450, Minnesota Vikings +900
Is there any question with this division? The Green Bay Packers are our pick to win the Super Bowl in February of 2012. Detroit will be better, and Minnesota will be better than many expect. Chicago is heading the wrong way. Our pick: Green Bay Packers -125 to win the NFC North.
NFC East – Philadelphia +150, New York +180, Dallas +225, Washington +1000
The Eagles are a team that could win the Super Bowl. There improvement during the off-season was topped by no team. The Giants are going to be after Tom Coughlin all season. Dallas, if they can keep things together will be a tough opponent, and Washington is just plain bad. Our pick: The Philadelphia Eagles at +150 win this division.
As you can see, there looks to be several very good divisional races that will go on all season long. Every year a new team comes out of no where and has alot of success. Who will that team be in 2011 – 2012?