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With the heavy lifting in free agency mainly done, the divisional races are starting to take shape across the NFL. Most of the favorites were quiet, but a few teams made enough key moves this offseason to potentially threaten for the division crown.
Here are the best bets to win each NFL division after a bustling start to free agency.
This is still the Ravens' division to lose. Baltimore shored up its biggest weakness by trading for five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell and signing Michael Brockers to improve a pass rush that registered just 37 sacks last season (21st in the NFL). The Steelers have done very little to inspire confidence in free agency, and the Browns are still overvalued at a short price.
Best bet: Ravens -200
|New England Patriots||+100|
|New York Jets||+700|
It's a bit surprising that the Patriots are still favored after losing so much of their production from a year ago - not just Tom Brady, but also linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins Sr. The Bills improved along the margins and return nearly their entire roster from a year ago, when they were a late touchdown away from tying New England in the division.
Best bet: Bills +150
Everything is breaking right for the Colts, who have a steady quarterback behind that stellar offensive line and added an elite defensive playmaker in DeForest Buckner to a D-line in desperate need of one. The Titans are a worthwhile bet, too, but they lost some key production on both sides of the ball and will need to put Ryan Tannehill in a perfect position in order to repeat last year's success.
Best bet: Colts +150
|Kansas City Chiefs||-350|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+800|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+800|
It's easy to say the Chiefs here, and maybe that's the right answer. But injuries or regression leave too much risk at such a short price. If you're looking for an alternative, try the Broncos, who were snakebitten last year but should show some serious offensive improvement. They're also stocked defensively and could make a leap into elite status in Year 2 under Vic Fangio.
Best bet: Broncos +800
|Green Bay Packers||+125|
Good luck picking the winner here. The Packers were great regression candidates even before losing a handful of key players from 2019. The Vikings' offense will struggle to replace Stefon Diggs, and the Bears' big moves don't clearly fix their issues from a year ago. It feels like the Lions are the only team that's gotten better in this division, as they added a host of defensive talent and could be dark-horse contenders in the NFC North in 2020.
Best bet: Lions +1000
|New York Giants||+900|
This is a tricky division to figure out - the Giants and Redskins both feel a year away (or more), and the Eagles and Cowboys have traded division titles for four straight years. No team has repeated since 2004, and it's hard not to feel like the Cowboys continue that streak after finishing as a top-five team by most advanced metrics a year ago. A better price than Philly helps break the tie, too.
Best bet: Cowboys +125
|New Orleans Saints||-125|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+200|
The Bucs are certainly intriguing. Their offense has immense potential, and their defense was impressive on a per-play basis despite getting saddled with terrible field position. But we're talking about near-even money on the Saints, who have won the division three straight years and are arguably better than last year's 13-win group.
Best bet: Saints -125
|San Francisco 49ers||-110|
|Los Angeles Rams||+400|
If you want to pick the Cardinals here, check their defense and offensive line before paying the shortest price of any last-place team. Instead, throw money behind San Francisco, which retains 10 of its 11 defensive starters from 2019 and can afford to swing on a skill-position player in the draft a la Deebo Samuel from a year ago.
Best bet: 49ers -110
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.