Monday, March 4, 2024
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HomeFootballFIFANFL betting: Oddly, with 4 weeks left, there's only 1 intriguing division...

NFL betting: Oddly, with 4 weeks left, there's only 1 intriguing division race left

When the Los Angeles Chargers won on Sunday night, that kept the Kansas City Chiefs from being the first team to clinch a division title this season. And you’d think, with four weeks to go in the season, not having a single division champion crowned yet would mean there’s plenty of intrigue to come.

Not really.

There’s a month to go in the season and pretty much every division title is spoken for, unless you’re buying a long shot. Thank goodness for the AFC North.

BetMGM’s odds on Monday morning show that there aren’t many races left. There are only two division leaders who have less than -600 odds to win. One is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are still a healthy -350 to take the NFC South.

Long shots do hit, but that’s the point as the season moves toward Week 15: It would take a pretty big collapse from one of the first-place teams to change who will win seven of the eight divisions.

AFC North is still unsettled

Let’s start with the AFC North, because that’s the one division race worth watching. The odds of Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals being the Week 18 Sunday night flex game look pretty good right now.

The Ravens and Bengals are both 9-4. The Ravens currently have the tiebreaker due to a head-to-head win earlier in the season and have a better division record too (that’s the second tiebreaker), and that’s why they’re the -135 favorite. But the Ravens have quarterback injury issues and the Week 18 rematch is in Cincinnati, so the Bengals’ odds of +110 aren’t far behind. That division seems close to a coin flip with four weeks to go.

Maybe the NFC South can become interesting, but not in a positive way. Everyone in the division has a losing record, and it seems inevitable the winner will be under .500. The Buccaneers are -350 to win the division, which converts to 78 percent implied probability. It seems like the Buccaneers, at 6-7, are way more vulnerable than that. But a team would need to beat them, and nobody in the division has shown they’re capable of going on a winning streak. The Panthers at 5-8 are the best option, and they do have a head-to-head win over the Bucs with one meeting in Tampa Bay to go. Carolina might have some value at +375.

One division is truly up in the air. Another is so inept that it’s not a wrap yet, though there is a pretty big favorite. And that’s about it in terms of intrigue with four games to go.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is still in a battle for the AFC North title with the Ravens. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is still in a battle for the AFC North title with the Ravens. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Lots of big favorites among division odds

Here are the BetMGM odds for the other six division leaders:

Bills, AFC East: -1200

Titans, AFC South: -600

Chiefs, AFC West: -10000

Eagles, NFC East: -700

Vikings, NFC North: -10000

49ers, NFC West: -2000

That’s a lot of chalk. When -600 odds (86% implied probability) is one of the closer races, it’s not great.

Weird things can happen in the NFL. The Cowboys could make a push and win the NFC East if the Eagles stumble. The Titans are in a slump and perhaps they collapse completely down the stretch. Who knows.

However, it seems like seven of the eight teams that will win a division and host their first playoff game are set. Maybe the wild-card races will be fun.

source

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