Best NFL divisional bets ahead of Week 16: The AFC North isn't a done deal just yet

Baker Mayfield calling plays for the Cleveland Browns
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Dylan Ruhl

NFL · 1 year ago

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I lived in Italy for three years in college and learned the art of sports betting while I was there. Now I’m back in the States, and I want to share all the knowledge I acquired in one of the sports betting capitals of the world. Bills Mafia!!

With just two weeks remaining in the season, it’s fair to say that half the divisions in the league are still wide-open. While the Chiefs, Bills, and Packers have clinched, and the Saints aren’t far behind, the rest of the league is as uncertain as it’s been all season. Four more teams will host playoff games in Wild Card Weekend, and the craziness to come in the next two weeks will determine who wins their division, who has to play on the road, and who goes home after Week 17.

Last week, we only covered three divisions, but now that the AFC North is within one game, the race between Pittsburgh and Cleveland is certainly worth thinking about. These are our best divisional bets as the season comes to a close.

AFC North

Last Week’s Pick: Pittsburgh (no odds given)

One of the biggest storylines out of Week 15 was the Steelers’ shocking loss to Cincinnati on Monday night. While the Browns don’t control their own destiny yet, they will if Pittsburgh – who have dropped three in a row – lose again to Indianapolis this Sunday. In that case, Cleveland would just need to beat the Jets to set up a winner-take-all clash between the two in Week 17. The Browns are one of the most dangerous teams in football right now, winning five of their last six (they scored 42 points against Baltimore in their only loss). The way the two have looked in the last few weeks, Cleveland should beat Pittsburgh if that game means anything. A small bet on the Browns at +275 is a good idea.

AFC South

Last Week’s Pick: Tennessee at -175

The Titans and Colts both won in Week 15 to improve to 10-4. Both teams have difficult games this coming week before finishing with an easier game in Week 17. While Indianapolis still has a very good chance to win the division, their current odds of +125 aren’t great value. If you think the Colts will beat the Steelers and the Titans will lose to the Packers this week, you’re much better off playing a moneyline parlay of those two games at +177. Indianapolis most likely won’t win the division if that parlay doesn’t cash, as they’ll be dependent on a Tennessee loss to Houston in Week 17. If you don’t think the Colts-Packers parlay is a winner, look to divisional futures and take Tennessee, still at -175.

NFC East

Last Week’s Pick: New York at +360

Every team in the East is still alive in the division race, and every team has an easy schedule left, as only two games outside the division (Washington-Carolina and New York-Baltimore) are left to be played. Unfortunately for the Eagles and Cowboys, two teams that have seen signs of life recently after disappointing campaigns, one more Washington win will eliminate them. It’s still uncertain who will start at quarterback for Washington after Dwayne Haskins was caught breaking coronavirus protocol following Sunday’s game, but their defense alone should be enough to score a win against either Carolina or Philadelphia. Only the Giants could then catch them if they win out, and that’s unlikely with Baltimore coming up. Take the Football Team at -275.

NFC West

Last Week’s Pick: Seattle at +150

For the past two weeks, we’ve advised you to take Seattle despite the fact that, had everything gone as expected, the Rams would clinch the division title with a win over the Seahawks this week. Instead, Los Angeles lost to the previously-winless Jets, a team the Seahawks blew out 40-3 the week before, and it’s Seattle who will win the division with a home victory. The Seahawks should beat the Rams, and even if they don’t, they’ll still have the possibility to win the division in Week 17. They finish against San Francisco, while Los Angeles play a dangerous Arizona team who will be looking to lock up the final NFC wild card spot. It’s hard to see the Rams coming back after their loss to the Jets, so stick with Seattle at -188.

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