NFL Final Standings Best Bets: Which Divisions are Easier to Predict?

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Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

The big moves of free agency are for the most part done. Trades, where possible, have already been made. And the 2022 NFL draft is in the rear view mirror. Basically, most of the offseason business that would form an impression of a team’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of an upcoming season is done and dusted.

These impressions typically form the basis for the wide-ranging NFL odds that hit the boards across multiple sports betting platforms as soon as the new league year begins. This year, that fell on March 16, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

NFL Betting Markets

NFL bettors are spoiled for choice. Whether it is betting on the Super Bowl LVII winner, MVP, Rookie of the Year…and so on…you can bet there’s a market for it.

Handicapping these markets can hold great appeal for many avid football bettors. But they can also be challenging simply because of the sheer volume of options to choose from.

For example, betting on Super Bowl LVII requires speculating on the chances of all the 32 teams in the league. Whereas player futures usually requires speculating on the chances of 32-plus players.

More options mean a lower probability of winning, never mind the fact that it’s an overwhelming prospect, to begin with.

By contrast, markets that just involve the individual divisions promise a higher probability of winning. Simply put, where the choice is whittled down to only four contenders or options, the probability of winning is 1 in 4.

NFL Final Standings Odds

BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) has rolled out a slew of special NFL futures betting odds for all 32 teams and their project final standings, these are specific to the respective divisions. One of these is the NFL Final Standing Odds, which project each team’s final position in the division’s standing.

This market is our focus and below we highlight the five best bets that are currently trading.

Chicago Bears to Finish Fourth (+125)

The Chicago Bears hit the reset button after firing head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. This means a new era is about to begin in the Windy City.

Quarterback Justin Fields, who is entering his second year, deserves the hype that surrounds him. He has the tools and skills to be Chicago’s franchise quarterback for many years to come.

However, with both a new head coach Matt Eberflus about to take the reins in his sophomore year, not to mention a new GM in Ryan Poles, there are bound to be growing pains. And not just for Fields but for the Bears as a whole.

Denver Broncos to Finish Third (+260)

The Russell Wilson trade was the most significant of the offseason as it propelled the Denver Broncos into contention according to the NFL betting markets.

In theory, it’s easy to understand why that’s the case when the Broncos receive a Super Bowl-winning quarterback that is still in his prime.

If it was only a question of adding the missing piece to an otherwise formed puzzle, then the sky really would be the limit. The reality is that the Broncos are a team in transition. It’s not just a new quarterback that’s coming to Mile High, but a new coaching staff and all.

Let’s not forget, that the AFC West is no picnic either. The Kansas City Chiefs are the team to beat while the Los Angeles Chargers are a team on the rise according to the division winner markets. Wilson will have his work cut out to top this formidable tandem.

Green Bay Packers to Finish First (-180)

This bet needs no explanation, surely. The Green Bay Packers have dominated the NFC North ever since Aaron Rodgers took over as the offensive pivot in 2008. That’s almost a decade and a half of divisional supremacy.

Moreover, since the advent of head coach Matt LaFleur in 2019, the Packers have romped to three straight NFC North crowns. They also clinched the top seed in the playoffs during this time and reached the NFC Championship game twice. Colour the world shocked if the Packers don’t finish top of the division again.

Los Angeles Chargers to Finish First +240

  • The Kansas City Chiefs are the top favorites to win the AFC West, but the Los Angeles Chargers aren’t too far behind.
  • Although the Chargers missed out on the postseason, 2021 proved formative for second-year quarterback Justin Herbert and first-time head coach Brandon Staley.
  • If they can take the lessons from last season and apply them this year, they could give the Chiefs a run for their money for the divisional crown.

New England Patriots to Finish First (+185)

Last season, rookie quarterback Mac Jones very nearly led the New England Patriots to an unexpected division championship. It came down to the wire between the Buffalo Bills and the Patriots in the last few weeks of the season and, not surprisingly, Jones’ lack of experience proved to be a factor.

All eyes are on the heavily favored Buffalo Bills while the New England Patriots are coasting under the radar in the AFC East betting markets.

Of course, betting on the Patriots to win the AFC East is a risky bet. That said, with future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick pulling the strings from the sidelines, Jones and the Patriots could take a big step forward.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Finish First (-225)

With Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady returning for (at least) one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFC South is cornered in their camp on the NFL odds board.

On paper, the Buccaneers don’t appear to have any competition in the division. The New Orleans Saints are set to debut a new head coach after Sean Payton’s abrupt retirement.

The Atlanta Falcons have bid adieu to veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and the Carolina Panthers are into year three of their existential crisis. To put it simply, it would take a seismic event to dethrone the Buccaneers in their division defense campaign.

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.