If you’re an NFL betting aficionado that is looking to maximize your chances of cashing in early and often over the course of the quickly approaching 2018 regular season, then consider your ticket punched! I’ve got 5 early NFL bets that are actually worth every NFL betting buck you can lay down on them.
— NFL (@NFL) August 15, 2018
Let’s get started.
AFC East Division
New England -750
I know the odds don’t look great at a whopping -750 to win $100, but outside of death and taxes, the only thing else in life that is guaranteed is the New England Patriots winning the AFC East!
All jokes aside, Tom Brady and the perennially-powerful Pats have won nine straight division titles and 14 of the last 15 AFC East titles overall. The Patriots are overwhelming favorites to win the AFC East again after going 13-3 to beat out the second place Buffalo Bills by four games. No team in the AFC East looks like they’re going to be anything more than mediocre in 2018, making the Pats a virtual lock from where I’m sitting!
NFC North Division
I know the Green Bay Packers only went 7-9 last season because they lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the vast majority of the season with a broken collarbone, but the fact of the matter is that now, the Minnesota Vikings are clearly the cream of the crop in the NFC North and virtual lock selection to win the division again in 2018.
The Vikings have a powerful defense that ranked almost first across the board last season and they made a nice addition by signing veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins to lead their offense after ‘getting by’ with veteran case Keenum last season. Minnesota has talent at the skill positions too, so, really, this is one of the most complete teams in the league.
Sure, the Packers will be better than they were last season simply because of the return of the incomparable Rodgers, but make no mistake about it, the Minnesota Vikings are the easy pick to claim this division title. Combine that with the fact that they’re also a stunning +125 pick to do so and it makes Minnesota a must-have on this wager.
NFC East Division
I know NFC East hasn’t had a consecutive division champion since way back in 2003 and 2004, but right now, the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are solid favorites to repeat as division champs in 2018 and for good reason! The Birds are absolutely loaded with talent.
Not only did the Eagles win the NFC East last year by posting a stellar 13-3 mark in the regular season, Philly will also have star quarterback Carson Wentz back on the field after he suffered a season-ending ACL tear late in the regular season. The Eagles also get back Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters and veteran do-it-all running back Darren Sproles. Plus, they added veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett and should expect to see some even more improved play out of young guys like second-year running back Corey Clement.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the easy pick to win the NFC East in 2018 and really, the only pick in my estimation, making this wager one of the top 5 early bets you should be making right now.
Pair of Week 1 SU Picks
Sunday Sept. 9, 2018
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (+7, 48)
I really didn’t need to see Baker Mayfield’s eye-opening performance in Week 1 of the scrimmage season to make me believe the revamped Cleveland Browns are going to be a lot better in 2018 than they have been in each of the last two seasons. I see Cleveland now has a plan – and a bunch of talent on both sides of the ball thanks to their slew of high picks the last couple of years.
Having said that, Cleveland just won’t be able to beat a far superior Pittsburgh Steelers team in their regular season opener in a few weeks. The Steelers are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and quartet of stars on offense that are going to be difficult for any team to stop with second-year wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster joining the Steelers well-know trio of Killer B’s, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. I’m not real fond of the high spread in this one, but the Steelers look like a lock to get the SU win.
Pick:Steelers 24Browns 20
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants (+4, 44)
I love New York’s hiring of Pat Shurmur as head coach and their drafting of running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in the draft. While I’m expecting the G-Men to have a nice, bounce-back campaign after posting a dismal 3-13 record last season, I just don’t see them winning their regular season opener against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that enters the 2018 season as one of the most complete teams in the NFL on both sides of the ball. The Jags ranked inside the top five in both, scoring and points allowed last season and they’ve got a great, ‘old-school’ formula for success. Shut-down defense and power rushing. Simply put, if you’re looking for an early bet that you should be making right now, it’s Jacksonville for the outright win, although I also think they’ll manage to cover the chalk in this one.
Pick:Jaguars 24Giants 17