Friday, February 23, 2024

Opening 2023 NFL Division Odds; Lions Favored to Win NFC North, Jaguars Odds-on in AFC South

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Jared Goff salutes the crowd after a victory

Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff pumps up the crowd as he walks off the field following their win over the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

  • 2023 NFL division odds have been released ahead of free agency officially opening up
  • The Lions are favored to win the NFC North, something they haven’t done since 1993
  • Check out all the NFL division odds below, plus a best bet to target

Last year Dan Campbell and the Lions restored the roar. This year however, expectations are much higher. Online sportsbooks released odds to win each of the NFL’s eight divisions on Thursday, with Detroit leading the way in the NFC North.

The Lions aren’t the only team in unfamiliar territory as favorites. The Jaguars, once considered the laughing stock of the league, are also the chalk to take down their division.

We’ll get to both Detroit and Jacksonville shortly, but we’ll start our breakdown of the NFL division odds in the AFC, where once again Buffalo sits on top of the East.

AFC East Odds

  • Buffalo Bills +100
  • New York Jets +250
  • Miami Dolphins +425
  • New England Patriots +650

The Bills have +100 odds to win the AFC East, which is the fourth shortest price tag in any division. It’s rightfully earned, as the team ranked fourth in total DVOA last season, and will return the majority of the core pieces on both sides of the ball.

The team that sticks out in this division at first glance is the Jets. New York has the second shortest odds, despite not having a quarterback on its roster it would feel comfortable entering the season with. Their price tag suggests they’ll be able to lure Aaron Rodgers away from Green Bay, which would vault them into a top-five contender in the AFC.

From a value perspective, it’s hard not to like Miami, if they can figure their cap situation out. The Dolphins have one of the most explosive offensive groups in the NFL, and pushed Buffalo to the brink in the playoffs with a third string quarterback.

AFC West Odds

  • Kansas City Chiefs -140
  • Los Angeles Chargers +330
  • Denver Broncos +400
  • Las Vegas Raiders +1300

To be the champs, you have to beat the champs. The Chiefs are favored to win their eighth straight division title, and you could argue their price tag to do so isn’t short enough. They just won the Super Bowl after trading away Tyreek Hill and navigating one of the toughest regular season schedules in the league. As long as Patrick Mahomes is in KC, you won’t find me betting against the Chiefs.

All the hype of the Sean Payton hiring in Denver hasn’t resulted in too much faith in the Broncos. They’re behind the Chiefs and Chargers, and will continue to be an afterthought unless Russell Wilson’s play dramatically improves.

AFC North Odds

  • Cincinnati Bengals +130
  • Baltimore Ravens +250
  • Cleveland Browns +370
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +550

The Bengals are expected to be kings of the AFC North again, ahead of the Ravens. Baltimore is still embroiled in the Lamar Jackson saga, and will need him back under center to justify their +250 price tag.

Despite paying a king’s ransom for Deshaun Watson, online sportsbooks don’t expect him to vault Cleveland into contender status in his first full year with the Browns. Cleveland’s priced at +370 as they search for their first division crown since 1989.

AFC South Odds

  • Jacksonville Jaguars -140
  • Tennessee Titans +300
  • Indianapolis Colts +450
  • Houston Texans +1100

The Jaguars won their first division title since 2017 last season, and it just goes to show you how valuable it is to have stability at the QB position. Jacksonville is the only team in the AFC South with a clear plan at quarterback, and Trevor Lawrence made a huge leap in his second year.

That’s enough for oddsmakers to peg the Jags as the division favorite, although it doesn’t hurt that the other three teams are in rebuild mode. All three are in the market for a QB, while the Titans appear ready to move on from Derrick Henry as well.

NFC East Odds

  • Philadelphia Eagles +120
  • Dallas Cowboys +190
  • NY Giants +450
  • Washington Commanders +800

The Eagles were a play or two away from winning the Super Bowl, and they’re expected to be the beasts of the East again. Philadelphia checks in with +120 odds to win the division, and could argue that’s not short enough.

They still have the most valuable asset in football. A star QB playing on his rookie deal. That’s going to allow them to keep the majority of the core pieces that helped them get to the Super Bowl. Even if Hurts does sign an extension, the new money won’t kick in until after next season.

The Cowboys haven’t made any upgrades to warrant being priced this close to Philly, while the Giants are about to get a taste of what a difficult schedule will play like. As for Washington, until they find a reliable QB they won’t be considered a threat.

NFC North Odds

  • Detroit Lions +150
  • Minnesota Vikings +270
  • Green Bay Packers +310
  • Chicago Bears +475

Back to the Lions now. They boast the shortest odds to win the NFC North by a significant margin for good reason. They were already one of the most efficient offenses last season, and have two first round picks this year to bolster their defensive talent.

This is unfamiliar territory for Detroit, but they should have been a playoff team last year. The Vikings defense is still a mess, the Packers’ odds suggest their transitioning to Jordan Love, while the Bears are rebuilding.

Despite Rodgers likely not returning, Green Bay does offer some value in this market. They appear to have a ton of confidence in Love, suggesting he may be quite a bit better than most people believe. The Packers are also returning the bulk of a defense that was supposed to be one of the best in the league last season.

Sure they underperformed, but there’s no reason they can’t live up to the expectations this time around. The Lions are a deserving favorite, but there’s too much talent in Green Bay for them to priced so much further behind.

NFC South

  • New Orleans Saints +140
  • Carolina Panthers +240
  • Atlanta Falcons +380
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +500

Now that Derek Carr landed in New Orleans, there’s officially one legit starting QB in the NFC South. The Saints refuse to tear it down and rebuild, and some creative cap maneuvering has them pegged to win the division.

Carr has a solid offensive line in front of him, and good weapons to throw to. New Orleans’ defense was a top-10 unit a season ago, and should be just fine this year with most key veterans returning.

The interesting team would be Carolina if they can find an answer under center. The Panthers came on towards the end of last season, and are rock solid in the trenches and in the secondary. DJ Moore gives them a proven number one target, they just need a high end arm to deliver him the ball.

NFC West Odds

  • SF 49ers -165
  • LA Rams +330
  • Seattle Seahawks +550
  • Arizona Cardinals +1400

The NFC West is where we’ll find my favorite bet to target. The 49ers, fresh off an appearance in the NFC Championship game, are heavy favorites followed by the Rams. San Fran’s QB situation is in flux, and you know the old saying if you have two QB’s you don’t have one.

LA is just a year removed from a Super Bowl title, but it remains to be seen how all their injured stars will bounce back. Which brings us to Seattle. The Seahawks have a ton of cap room and two top-20 picks in the Draft. They locked up Geno Smith after a strong season, and can either select their QB of the future, or plug any of their holes on defense.

They’re well coached, their skill position players are elite, and their offensive line is rock solid. That’s more than enough to warrant taking a piece of them at +550 to win the NFC West.

Pick: Seattle Seahawks to Win NFC West (+550)

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