With just five (!) weeks left in the NFL regular season, divisions are very much still up for grabs.
Four divisional races have just a one-game difference between teams. Let’s take a look at the odds after Week 12 and see if there’s any value to scoop up. We’re still waiting on the Steelers-Ravens, but that division doesn’t fall into this category anyway.
As always, I’m here as a resource for you. I’ll let you form your own opinions off the information I’ve consolidated, but I won’t be shy with mine. All odds are courtesy of SportsBettingDime. Away we go.
- Buffalo Bills (8-3) -550
- Miami Dolphins (7-4) +400
Despite being up just one game on the Dolphins, the Bills are the significant betting favorite to take home the AFC East crown. The Patriots have held this division firmly in their grasp since 2001, losing the division just twice in that stretch. At 5-6, they are most likely out of it here.
Bills Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at* San Francisco (5-6)|
|Week 14||vs. Pittsburgh (10-0)|
|Week 15||at Denver (4-7)|
|Week 16||at New England (5-6)|
|Week 17||vs. Miami (7-4)|
*the 49ers will be playing in Arizona as Santa Clara county banned outdoor sports for three weeks
Combined record: 31-23
At first glance, I’d give the Bills a sure win against the 49ers and Broncos, which would bring them to ten wins. The Steelers will be tough, but they have to lose eventually – right? The two division games at the end are toss-ups.
Dolphins Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||vs. Cincinnati (2-8-1)|
|Week 14||vs. Kansas City (10-1)|
|Week 15||vs. New England (5-6)|
|Week 16||at Las Vegas (6-5)|
|Week 17||at Buffalo (8-3)|
Combined record: 31-23-1
Amazingly similar rest of season schedules for these two teams. The Dolphins should be able to take care of the Bengals, but tough to project a sure win in the other four games here. The Patriots and Raiders are two teams that can’t seem to find an identity this year, and as such, betting against them (or for them) is a losing proposition.
I like this Dolphins team to take a wild-card spot in the AFC, but even at +400, I can’t justify betting on them to overtake the Bills with this schedule.
To do so, Miami would probably need to beat the Bengals, Patriots, Raiders and Bills to finish 11-5, and the Bills (without an AFC East loss yet) would have to lose to the Steelers, Patriots and Miami.
Too many factors at play to touch this division, but if I had to choose?
The pick: Bills -550
- Tennessee Titans (8-3) -450
- Indianapolis Colts (7-4) +300
The Titans are coming off a massive statement win over these Colts, 45-26, to split the series. With the win, the Titans leapfrogged the Colts in the standings and with the odds. Just a week ago, the Colts were -175 favorites, so the shift to +300 is significant.
Can the Titans hold onto the division? Let’s look at the schedules.
Titans Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||vs. Browns (8-3)|
|Week 14||at Jacksonville (1-10)|
|Week 15||vs. Detroit (4-7)|
|Week 16||at Green Bay (8-3)|
|Week 17||at Houston (4-7)|
Combined record: 25-30
I’d bank on the Titans taking care of Jacksonville and Detroit for sure, which would get them to ten wins. I think they can win at least one of the three remaining games, if not two.
The Packers are the toughest team on this schedule, but have struggled to stop the run all year. Derrick Henry is going to have a field day in that one.
I can see 11-5 or 12-4 here for Tennessee.
Colts Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Houston (4-7)|
|Week 14||at Las Vegas (6-5)|
|Week 15||vs. Houston (4-7)|
|Week 16||at Pittsburgh (10-0)|
|Week 17||vs. Jacksonville (1-10)|
Combined record: 25-29
The Colts should get a win against the Jaguars this time around. I wouldn’t be surprised if they split the two against the Texans, something about those two games against the same divisional opponent that tend to benefit the team that lost the first one (see: Titans-Colts, Giants-Eagles).
The Colts likely need to win four out of five here, but I think they lose to Pittsburgh and Houston, leaving them at 10-6.
The value to get Tennessee was clearly last week, when they were +125.
The pick: Titans -450
What we’ve all been waiting for, I’m sure. Let’s dig into the dreadful NFC East.
- New York Giants (4-7) +210
- Washington Football Team (4-7) +220
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1) +230
- Dallas Cowboys (3-8) +460
As can be expected in this cluster-, this will be the best odds for us to take advantage of. For this division, I’ll present all the schedules alone and wrap my analysis together at the end.
Giants Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Seattle (8-3)|
|Week 14||vs. Arizona (6-5)|
|Week 15||vs. Cleveland (8-3)|
|Week 16||at Baltimore (6-4)|
|Week 17||vs. Dallas (3-8)|
Combined record: 31-23
WFT Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Pittsburgh (10-0)|
|Week 14||at* San Francisco (5-6)|
|Week 15||vs. Seattle (8-3)|
|Week 16||vs. Carolina (4-7)|
|Week 17||at Philadelphia (3-7-1)|
Combined record: 30-23-1
Eagles Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Green Bay (8-3)|
|Week 14||vs. New Orleans (9-2)|
|Week 15||at Arizona (6-5)|
|Week 16||at Dallas (3-8)|
|Week 17||vs. Washington (4-7)|
Combined record: 30-25
Cowboys Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Baltimore (6-4)|
|Week 14||at Cincinnati (2-8-1)|
|Week 15||vs. San Francisco (5-6)|
|Week 16||vs. Philadelphia (3-7-1)|
|Week 17||at New York (4-7)|
Combined record: 20-32-2
Well – Week 17 is going to be a wild week in the NFC East, that’s for sure!
The Cowboys clearly have the easiest schedule remaining, but they’re coming off a 41-16 loss to Washington where they looked absolutely awful. Tough to trust this team.
The Eagles have looked equally anemic, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Wentz has regressed in unprecedented fashion, and barring Doug Pederson giving up play-calling duties, a change in offensive output isn’t likely.
That leaves the two 4-7 teams, New York and Washington, both with nice odds.
Daniel Jones is expected to miss a few games with a hamstring, elevating Colt McCoy to starter. The Giants have a tough four-game slate, and they could easily lose all four.
Washington’s defense has emerged as the best in the division, and with budding stars on offense in Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin, I like WFT to win this division at 7-9. I think they can beat the 49ers, Panthers and Eagles.
The pick: Washington +220
We finish off with the best division in the NFL this year, the NFC West. I’d expect three teams from this division to make the playoffs. Two games back, I’m excluding the Cardinals from this study.
- Seattle Seahawks (8-3) -240
- Los Angeles Rams (7-4) +210
Seahawks Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||vs. New York Giants (4-7)|
|Week 14||vs. New York Jets (0-11)|
|Week 15||at Washington (4-7)|
|Week 16||vs. Los Angeles Rams (7-4)|
|Week 17||at San Francisco (5-6)|
Combined record: 20-35
The next three games for Seattle are as easy as it gets in the NFL. Winning those three should all but assure the Seahawks the division crown.
Rams Remaining Schedule
|Week 13||at Arizona (6-5)|
|Week 14||vs. New England (5-6)|
|Week 15||vs. New York Jets (0-11)|
|Week 16||at Seattle (8-3)|
|Week 17||vs. Arizona (6-5)|
Combined record: 25-30
I’d expect a split here with the Cardinals, and a win over the Jets. That leaves the enigma Patriots and the aforementioned Seahawks as two must-win games for the Rams. LA does have the tiebreaker over Seattle with a win over them in Week 10, but do you want to bet on them sweeping this team?
The pick: Seahawks -240
That will do it. Besides the NFC East, the value isn’t too enticing here. We’ll give it a week and see how things are looking. If the teams in first continue to win, it’s time to jump on some NFC/AFC Champion futures. You can find me on Twitter @griffybets for all things picks and props.