- Dave Tuley, ESPN Insider
LAS VEGAS -- My wife says I have a one-track mind: Everything leads back to football.
During the group stage of the World Cup, all I could think about was how the eight groups of four teams reminded me of the NFL's eight divisions of four teams.
So, with the NFL regular season less than two months away, let's look at the divisional races from our Vegas point of view. As I stated in my ESPN Insider piece looking at the best NFL over/under win total bets back in April, the great thing about these bets is that you can bet on a team to exceed expectations without needing them to go all the way to the Super Bowl (or you can bet for them to fall short of expectations). With division title bets, your pick just has to outperform the other three teams.
The charts show each team's odds to win the division, as well as their over/under win totals as a reference point. The odds are from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. (In case you haven't heard, the hotel and casino formerly known as the LVH -- and before that known as the Las Vegas Hilton -- was bought last week by Westgate Resorts and is changing its name again and undergoing major renovations.)
The prices are listed with the side -- over or under -- that is favored in the odds, and gives the oddsmakers' and betting public's opinion of whether it's more likely to exceed or fall short of the posted number. The SuperBook uses a 20-cent straddle with those wagers; for example, since the Philadelphia Eagles are minus-125 on the over, that means they're plus-105 on the under.
I'll point out where I agree and where I disagree, and also give my take on the value play in each division (if there is one), as well as my overall best bets.
Tuley's take: The Patriots are the overwhelming favorite here, but I am intrigued by the Jets at 8-1. As stated in my most recent Super Bowl future-book article, the Jets might be worth a flier at 60-1, and if the Patriots stumble (or get hit with big or key injuries; yes, you might be betting on the possibility of an injury to Tom Brady), the Jets have a shot here at a decent price.