The 2019 NFL season is less than a month away, with the first game taking place on Thursday, Sept. 5th, between NFC North rivals Green Bay and Chicago.
There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of ways fans can wager on the upcoming season, from Super Bowl futures, to division winners, to regular-season win totals. These odds are available from the sites reviewed by My Top Sportsbooks which is a one stop shop for all NFL bettors prior to the season. Here are three that look like decent value heading into the 2019 campaign.
Ravens to Win AFC North at +300
The Baltimore Ravens are the reigning AFC North champions, coming off a 10-6 year in which they wound-up switching to a rookie QB – Lamar Jackson – midway through the season.
Yet, thanks to some notable departures from their defense and the unstoppable hype-machine that is the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens’ odds to repeat as division champions are at +300.
That’s worse than both Cleveland (+120) and Pittsburgh (+190). The Steelers finished last season 9-6-1 but with a +68 point difference, significantly lower than Baltimore’s, which was an elite +102.
The 2019 Ravens may not deserve to be the AFC North favorites but they also shouldn’t be this far behind the Browns and Steelers. Lamar Jackson will be better in his second season; he’s surrounded by more playmakers than last year; and the defense countered the losses of guys like CJ Mosley and Terrell Suggs by bringing in All-Pro safety Earl Thomas.
It’s going to be a tight three-team race in the AFC North and Baltimore is being overlooked.
Panthers to Make the Playoffs at +220
The Carolina Panthers are +220 to make the playoffs in the NFC.
This bet depends entirely on the health of Cam Newton. If his shoulder is good to go, this looks like tremendous value.
Carolina is coming off a 7-9 season in which Cam Newton hurt his shoulder and basically couldn’t throw deeper than 15 yards downfield.
As Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted, “In the final six games of Newton’s season, all losses, the quarterback attempted just 16 passes of 20-plus air-yards, completing four and throwing three interceptions … Seven of those passes went 25-plus yards, zero were completed and one was intercepted.”
The latest accounts out of Panthers training camp are that Newton, who had arthroscopic surgery in the offseason, feels good. When SuperCam is close to 100%, he is an MVP candidate and the Panthers are a force to be reckoned with. Plus, the infrastructure around him will be improved.
The Carolina front-office got a B+ grade from CBS Sports for its offseason moves, which included adding DT Gerald McCoy and edge rusher Bruce Irvin to strengthen the defense, along with stud linebacker Brian Burns in the first round of the draft.
Washington Under 6.5 Wins at -125
Washington went 7-9 last year, but had a -79 point differential. This year, they’ll be starting career backup Colt McCoy, underwhelming newcomer Case Keenum, or rookie Dwayne Haskins at QB in what should be an improved division.
The Redskins were given a C grade for their offseason moves, and that was before Trent Williams, their best offensive lineman, started his holdout.
In all likelihood, Williams is not going to be on the team, taking their 26th-ranked offensive line from bad to worse.
Going through the schedule, 6-10 seems much more likely than 7-9.
They will be sizable underdogs in …
- Week 1 @ Philadelphia
- Week 3 vs Chicago
- Week 5 vs New England
- Week 8 @ Minnesota
- Week 13 @ Carolina
- Week 14 @ Green Bay
- Week 15 vs Philadelphia
- Week 17 @ Dallas
The only games in which they’ll be favored are probably …
- Week 11 vs NY Jets
- Week 12 vs Detroit
- Week 16 vs NY Giants
Even those Jets and Giants games could wind up closer to a pick’em depending on how their own QB situations turn out this year.
If Washington gets to 7 wins with this schedule, it’s going to be the coaching job of a lifetime from Jay Gruden.