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 2021 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 NFL division winner odds for the 2021 season.
NFL division winner odds 2021
Through the saga that was Aaron Rodgers’ 2021 offseason, the Packers maintain to be steady favorites in the division and should safely stay at the top. The Vikings are expected to bounce back after one of the most disappointing seasons in the NFL a season ago. Following them is Chicago who is coming off an NFC Playoff appearance, but is marred by quarterback controversies yet again. Finally, the Detroit Lions nestle up in last place as longshots despite landing new quarterback Jared Goff in the offseason.
With the retirement of Drew Brees, the defending-champion Buccaneers are favored to win the NFC South. They became the first ever Super Bowl winning team to return all 22 starters, one of which being Tom Brady. Though New Orleans isn’t expected to fall into irrelevancy, it’s been their division to lose for the past decade. The Panthers and Falcons are in light rebuilding mode, with Carolina landing their hopeful quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold.
Dak Prescott is back for the Cowboys and Dallas is favored to return to the top of the NFC East. Following them are the Eagles and Washington Football Team, who made plenty of upgrades to their team on both sides of the football after sneaking into the NFC Wild Card round a season ago. The Giants are on the final year of their Joe Judge-Daniel Jones experiment should New York not right the ship, but oddsmakers aren’t projecting that to be the case.
It’s a tight race at the top of the NFC West, per usual. The Seattle Seahawks tumble all the way to third on the list despite finishing last season 12-4 and with the division crown. The Rams and 49ers duke it out for the top placement. Los Angeles landed veteran gunslinger Matthew Stafford in the offseason, a move that appeared to answer the one question anyone had about the Rams (whether or not they were being held back by Jared Goff). Kliff Kingsbury’s Cardinals may not be his Cardinals after this season should Arizona finish in their projected last place. No matter how it shakes out, the NFC West is looking like football’s best.
Another slugfest of a division comes in the form of the AFC North. The Browns are slight favorites over the Ravens to win it this season after both teams were bounced in the AFC Divisional Round. It’s the story of three young and talented quarterbacks in Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Joe Burrow (coming off a devastating knee injury). The Steelers also attempted to make moved to remain relevant by drafting touted Alabama bruiser Najee Harris in the first round of the draft. It’s a division filled with talent and playmakers and the race to the top will be one to watch with great interest.
The rotating cast of veteran quarterbacks continues in Indianapolis when the Colts traded for maligned Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. However, they have to topple Tennessee, who made serious moves to patch a shoddy defense from a season ago. The AFC South is largely seen as a two-team race this season, though interest remains in Jacksonville, who brought in a new head coach (Urban Meyer) and new quarterback (Trevor Lawrence) for their future. Finally, the Texans hold the longest odds to win their division of any team in the NFL and battle historic dysfunction.
The AFC East appears to be Josh Allen and the Bills’ to lose this season. Buffalo took a major step forward a season ago and added a handful of crafty veteran role players like Emmanuel Sanders to bolster their depth. Brian Flores and the Dolphins look to be the greatest challenger to the Bills a season after missing out on the AFC Playoff despite finishing 10-6. The Patriots were gung-ho in free agency, spending some of the most money ever on free agents in NFL history. If we’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s to never count out Bill Belichick. The Jets also went with a hard reset, bringing Robert Saleh as their head coach and drafting quarterback Zach Wilson second overall.
For the fourth straight season, the Kansas City Chiefs are the biggest favorites to win their division in the NFL. It’s for good reason, with Patrick Mahomes winding up in his second Super Bowl in three years, though ultimately being defeated by Tom Brady and the Bucs. Denver and Los Angeles are extremely talented teams with major upsides and coming off terrific offseasons, though each appears to be a year or two away from serious contention. Last on the tables is Las Vegas, who made several high-profile and widely-criticized moves this offseason.
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 East, the Bills are certainly worth respect, but small returns on your money make wagering on them less worthy of your time and money. The Patriots, however, added a plethora of free agents and strategic draft picks to their 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. 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 $100 on Indy (+110) to take the division, it might be worth throwing another $50 down on Tennessee (+110). A $200 bet on the Colts would have a total payout of $210. Should the Titans (+110) win, that $50 bet would pay out a total of $105, covering your original bet, but still small enough to reap a $160 win should the original bet succeed.