Few major sports are able to offer the drama and entertainment provided by the NFL Divisional races each season. This page will help you find the best bets for your money by identifying the best price for each team at the various legal American sportsbooks with our odds comparisons tables. We’ll also offer insight into the 2020 NFL season to help you make the best bets on division winners.
On most American legal sportsbooks, you can wager on NFL Division winners by selecting “NFL” at the top of the page. Look for some variation of “Futures” or “Team Futures” and then “Division Winners.” This will bring up a list of teams for each division with a few key numbers to focus on: Team odds, percent of the handle, and percent of bets. The odds tell you who is favored (favorites have lower numbers) and how much a successful bet would earn you. The percent of the handle is the percentage of the total amount of money wagered on one team by the public, and the percent of bets is the percentage of the amount of bets that have been wagered on one team.
Let’s dive further into the odds for each division in the 2020 season.
NFL division winner odds 2020
Expectedly, the Bears and Lions offer the best odds across all sportsbooks. While the Lions’ offensive stock is trending upward, their defense is near the bottom of the league. In the case of the Bears, do you really want to bet on Mitchell Trubisky to lead a successful team for 16 games? At the top of most odds boards the Vikings (around +160) are slightly favored over the Packers (around +175) to thaw the division. Green Bay’s defense may have finished 2019 ranked ninth, but a ton of timely forced turnovers (often the result of a lucky bounce that can change year-to-year) helped keep their porous defense from allowing too many scores from their opponents. Don’t expect the ball to bounce the same way for a team that didn’t do much to improve its situation in the offseason on either side of the ball.
New year, new quarterbacks in the NFC South this year with Teddy Bridgewater under center for Carolina and the ageless Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Brees and the Saints are favored across the board with a terrifying defense in addition to Brees’s offense. While betting against Brady is rarely advisable, the Bucs aren’t receiving low enough odds (usually around +150) to warrant a risk on the unknown of Brady and a new team. If you’re looking for value, the Falcons could be primed for a run at the South with the arrival of Todd Gurley and could be worth a small flyer at around +900 on Bet MGM.
There hasn’t been a back-to-back division winner in the NFC East since 2003-04 when Donovan McNabb was quarterbacking the Eagles. Considering it’s a two-team race between the Eagles and Cowboys and the Eagles took the division last year, that would mean the Cowboys are up in 2020 and the odds show it (around -110 on most sportsbooks). With the Eagles getting slightly better odds than the Cowboys, you might consider a larger bet on the Cowboys and hedging with a smaller wager on the Eagles.
It’s probably the 49ers’ division to lose here, but the Seahawks and Rams deserve a part of the conversation when you see the NFC West odds boards. Offered at +240 to take the division on some sportsbooks, the Seahawks will have a powerful offense with Russell Wilson at the helm and two WR1s in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The Rams, meanwhile, seem to be on the precipice of either continuing some measure of success or blowing up the roster before 2021. At +550 odds to win the division on DraftKings, it might be worth a small gamble on L.A. as they try to squeeze one more run out of their talented roster. The Cardinals are half a dozen players away on each side of the ball.
It would be tough to offer reasons you should bet on any of the teams not based out of Baltimore in the AFC North. At -188, FOX Bet is offering some decent odds for the Ravens and frankly, that’s pretty good considering how much better they are than the rest of the division. A bet on any other team is predominantly based on the hope that Lamar Jackson or a bevy of other players miss time to injury.
The AFC South division race is sure to offer more excitement and certainly better bang for your buck placed on a couple of teams. Indianapolis appeared to have the most complete team on both sides of the ball last season before QB Jacoby Brissett got hurt. The arrival of new quarterback Philip Rivers has them favored at around +120 on most sportsbooks, but the reigning-division-champion Titans aren’t far behind at around +160. If you’re looking for value, the Texans, who just 7 months ago were up 24 points in the AFC Championship Game, are getting better than +300 odds on a few boards.
Finally! A reason to bet on the AFC East division winner as Tom Brady takes his six Super Bowl rings to Tampa Bay. Still, it’s a two-team race between the Bills and Pats and most sportsbooks are offering similar odds for both teams. If you find the Pats at better odds than the Bills, just remember that Brady may be gone, but a Belichick is still around, determined to prove he can win without Touchdown Tom.
San Diego (around +800) is returning a top-6 defense from 2019. Denver (around +900) has promising young talent on offense and a stingy defense. Las Vegas (around +1200) will provide David Carr with some promising playmakers in the Raiders’ new city. Kansas City (around -500), however, has Patrick Mahomes and unless you want to drop big money on the Chiefs just to win a few bucks (at -500, a $1,000 bet profits $200), there isn’t a ton of enticing action in the AFC West.
How to bet NFL division futures: A winning strategy
It seems every NFL season offers its share of sneaky good picks for division winners, but what are you looking for when trying to spot them? Before you analyze anything, come to this page to reference our updated odds comparisons table and shop different sportsbook offerings.
Next, consider the obvious like last year’s performance and whether the team improved in the offseason. Most importantly, consider the odds being offered. Reverting back to the AFC South, the Titans and Colts are certainly worth respect, but small returns on your money make wagering on them less worthy of your time and money. The Texans, however, added David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, and Randall Cobb to Deshaun Watson’s arsenal and are profiting bettors who select them to win the division 3-to-1 on their money (meaning a $100 wager would profit $300).
Lastly, consider hedging your bets. Once again using the AFC South, if you feel it’s safe to go with either the Colts or the Titans to take the division title, it could be worth it to place bets on them both. If you put $200 on Indy (+120) to take the division, it might be worth throwing another $50 down on Tennessee (+160). A $200 bet on the Colts would have a total payout of $440.00. Should the Titans (+160) win, that $50 bet would pay out a total of $130, nearly covering your original bet, but still small enough to reap a $190 win should the original bet succeed.