2018 NFL Season Preview
Get those late night snacks ready, as the NFL slams back onto our screens this Thursday night! Reigning champions the Philadelphia Eagles will be back for more looking to defend their title, but doing so won’t be easy. They will have the vastly experienced New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers chasing them down, alongside some of the younger up and coming teams. Those include the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans, with the last named a very interesting dark horse this season and in the future.
Who Will Win the Super Bowl?
It is no surprise to see the New England Patriots installed as 6/1 favourites to regain their Super Bowl crown after defeat to the Eagles last season. While ever Tom Brady is fit and healthy, they have to be considered as potential champions. Behind them the Pittsburgh Steelers are 9/1 second favourites, but they are very easy to pass on when you consider their current problems with star running back Le’Veon Bell off the field.
Further down the list, the Minnesota Vikings are 12/1 and will have learnt a lot as a franchise last season after a huge loss in the playoffs to the Philadelphia Eagles and it would be no surprise to see them come back stronger. Kirk Cousins is a big piece and he could be the one to complete their puzzle and help them challenge this season.
If you are looking for someone at a huge price then the Tennessee Titans are 40/1 and another team that will have learnt a great deal from their playoff run last season. In every key area of the field they have young and improving talent that will only see them get better with age. This may be a year too soon, but the Titans are a team to keep on the right side of this season and going forward.
The NFC looks to be wide open this season, with last season’s winners the Philadelphia Eagles installed as 5/1 favourites. Green Bay are in behind at 11/2, with the LA Rams at 13/2, Minnesota at 7/1 and the Atlanta Falcons at 10/1. I believe the winner will come from this group of five and with Kirk Cousins on the team, there is a lot of hope and expectations surrounding the Minnesota Vikings this season. We saw them go close last season, but this time around they look to have the weapons they need, and perhaps more importantly the experience they need to go one step further.
The New England Patriots are very short in the betting at just 2/1 to win the AFC, but when you look behind them there is little depth in this conference. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t appeal to me at all at 4/1, who knows how their season will develop and in behind them you have teams like the Jaguars, Chargers and Chiefs, who all have things to prove and don’t set a great standard to aim at. They have been mentioned before, but the Tennessee Titans are one of the most exciting franchises in the league right now with how they are set up and they are a huge price to win the AFC. They are 20/1 and while they need to improve to go close, they could do that and offer tremendous value against the New England Patriots, with doubts about many of the other teams.
Often the prices available for divisional winners are slim, but there are a couple of pieces of value out there this time around that are worth looking at.
The Tennessee Titans for all the reasons mentioned above look worthy of a punt in the AFC South. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts are their opponents and I don’t think they need to improve too much to be better than those teams. The Jags performed well last season, but I don’t expect them to replicate that again, while the other two are going through a transitional period right now.
The other piece of value lies in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders. The Los Angeles Chargers don’t set a huge target as favourites, and the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos both have questions to answer at quarterback going into the season. The Raiders have Derek Carr and enough weapons to get some wins on the board, and it may not take too many wins to win this division.
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