2011 NFL Season: Taking a Look at Potential Upsets in Divisions

Every year for the NFL season before the year starts, there are odds posted for which team will win each division.  And every year, there are picks that seem to fall through the cracks, giving sports bettors a great opportunity to make a good payoff by picking an upset.  This year is definitely no different, as we see quite a few teams who are listed as 2nd and 3rd favorites to win the division; who very well could end up making a deep playoff push.  Now this situation won’t happen in every division, and it won’t be every time that the odds will pay out a great return on your investment, but there are some spots to look at.  Let’s get right into the divisions that we see as possibly having an upset winner.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers: +160

St. Louis Rams: +180

Arizona Cardinals: +325

Seattle Seahawks: +600

This one isn’t going to give you an incredible pay out, but I don’t see the 49ers taking home this division.  All three of the other teams in the NFC West have gotten better and added players at positions where they needed help.  The 49ers seem content where they are at, and feel that they can win with what they have.  We’ll see if that’s true, but I like the odds on the Rams and Cardinals here.  In the end I think the Rams and the strong quarterback play of Sam Bradford win the division at +180.

AFC North

Indianapolis Colts: +105

Houston Texans: +180

Tennessee Titans: +600

Jacksonville Jaguars: +700

Peyton Manning is a stud NFL quarterback, there is no denying that.  But the problem is, he’s coming off a tough neck surgery, and the Colts have failed to add anyone big who can help this team out in positions that they need.  It seems like the Colts are getting a bit older, and the Texans are ready to make a move.  With Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Matt Schaub, this is the year that the Texans take it to the next level and win the division at +180.

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles: Even

Dallas Cowboys: +250

New York Giants: +275

Washington Redskins: +1400

This one drew my interest pretty quickly, especially when I saw all of the moves that the Eagles were making in the offseason.  The Cowboys and Giants have been sitting back quietly and watching for a reason.  What that is, we don’t know exactly.  But what is one specific thing that no one is hearing about when it comes to the Cowboys and Giants?  The word “Super Bowl”.  It has to be a completely different feel for these teams to not have the large amount of preseason hype around them, especially the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, and they’ve picked up one thing that they lacked last year; a no-nonsense head coach in Jason Garrett.  They also added a tough nosed defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan.  It wouldn’t shock me to see the Dallas Cowboys jump past the Eagles here and win the NFC East at +250 while flying  under the radar.

The NFL season is just over 5 weeks away, so be sure to get your futures bets in now!  What’s your opinion on these division races listed above?  Let us know!

Even More 2011 Free Agency Updates

This has probably been one of the craziest NFL offseasons of all time, and it’s not even close to over yet.  There are still quite a few big names out there in free agency, and some other big names who just recently got signed this weekend.  We’re going to look a bit more in depth at the players who made some moves this weekend and late last week, on top of the players who were on the move earlier in the week.

Plaxico Burress Signs With the New York Jets

Burress was one of the biggest question marks coming into the 2011 free agency period.  He had just gotten out of jail, and the 34 year old wide receiver wasn’t sure what type of market he’d get.  Well, he had a pretty strong market, and signed with one of the best teams in the NFL in the Jets for a 1 year, $3,017,000 deal.

Peyton Manning Signs Extension With the Indianapolis Colts

It’s not quite a surprise that Manning re-signed with the Colts, but his five year- $90 million deal made him the highest paid player in the league currently, with the same contract as Tom Brady..  Even bigger than that, was the fact that it was reported that Manning was offered 5 years and $100 million, but he turned down the extra $10 million; instead asking them to put it towards resigning some of their key free agents.

Stephen Tulloch Signs With the Detroit Lions

Tulloch was another big name in free agency, who could fill a huge role for a team.  He ended up signing a one year, $3.25 million contract with the Lions, with $1.8 million guaranteed.  Tulloch is added to an already upgraded Lions defense over the past two or three years.

Chicago Bears Sign Marion Barber

The Bears have signed another ex- Dallas Cowboys.  After signing Roy Williams and Sam Hurd at the wide receiver position, the Bears signed Marion Barber to a 2 year, $5 million contract to push Chester Taylor at the backup running back position.

Cedric Benson Re-Signs With the Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have had a tough off season after losing starting quarterback Carson Palmer, as well as wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.  Luckily, they were able to resign starting running back Cedric Benson to a one year deal worth $3 million, with $2 million additional in potential incentives.

Todd Heap Signs With the Arizona Cardinals

The ex- Baltimore Raven has found a new team in the Arizona Cardinals.  The 31 year old tight end signed a two year deal with the Cardinals.  There was interest from multiple teams, including the New York Jets, but in the end Heap decided to head to Arizona.

James Jones Re-Signs With the Green Bay Packers

James Jones decided he wanted to come back to Green Bay to try to do it all over again.  The Packers wide receiver signed a three year deal, and this means that the Packers are now bringing back their top four receivers from last years incredible Super Bowl win.

As you can see there was quite a bit more news in terms of free agency, and don’t expect it to completely calm down for at least another week.

Updates from the 2011 NFL Free Agency

I think it goes without saying that from Monday when the NFL lockout ended, to Friday, has been one of the craziest stretches in free agency in the history of the NFL.  The prized possession of the 2011 free agency class, Nnamdi Asomugha; finally chose a team today, and there were multiple other big named players who are on the move as well.  Let’s take a look at some of the big headlines from the past week in the NFL.

Nnamdi Asomugha Signs with the Philadelphia Eagles

Asomugha was rumored to be heading to the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Dallas Cowboys.  First, the Niners were out, then the Jets were out, then the Cowboys were out.  After that, he signed with the Eagles.  The Eagles were flying under the radar throughout, and it looked almost the whole way that the Jets were going to be the winners in the Asomugha sweepstakes, but in the end Asomugha signed a 5 year, $60 million contract, with $25 million guaranteed.

Deangelo Williams Re-Signs with the Carolina Panthers

Deangelo Williams stuck it out with the Panthers, even though it seemed like the Panthers were going to stick with Jonathan Stewart, and let Williams go.  Williams signed a 5-year, and $43 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.  It will be interesting to see how the Panthers use these two backs.

Tarvaris Jackson Signs with the Seattle Seahawks

Tarvaris Jackson has been waiting for his shot to start with the Vikings for years, but just wasn’t getting the shot.  So he left Minnesota and is on his way to Seattle to compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the starting quarterback job for the Seahawks.

Reggie Bush Traded to the Miami Dolphins

Reggie Bush was obviously an unhappy camper after the New Orleans Saints traded up in the 2011 NFL Draft to take running back Mark Ingram.  Well, he was sent out of town earlier this week, in a trade sending him to the Miami Dolphins.  He signed what was reported as a 2 year, $10 million contract.

Kevin Kolb Traded to the Arizona Cardinals

Kolb was one of the biggest names in the market, and he wasn’t even a free agent.  After Michael Vick was decided on as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kolb was on the market to be traded; and that he was.  Kolb was sent to the Arizona Cardinals in a trade that sent Kolb to Arizona, in return for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and a 2nd round pick.  Kolb then signed an incredible 5 year, $63 million contract, with $20 million guaranteed.

Steve Breaston Signs with the Kansas City Chiefs

Breaston was another name flying under the radar in this deep free agency class.  The Chiefs needed a number 2 receiver behind Dwayne Bowe, and they got a good one in Breaston.  It was reported that he signed a 5 year deal with $9.5 million guaranteed.

Albert Haynesworth Traded to the New England Patriots

Albert Haynesworth was one of the biggest disappointments this past season with the Washington Redskins.  He was paid an incredible contract, but spent most of his time on the bench.  So he was sent packing to the New England Patriots.  If any team can kick start Haynesworth again, it is the Patriots and Belichick.  Haynesworth was traded for a 5th round pick.

Sidney Rice Signs with the Seattle Seahawks

Sidney Rice was widely considered to be one of the top receivers in the free agency class.  In a shocker though, he was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks, and will be joining one of his old quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson there.  Rice signed a 5 year, $41 million deal, and should be a nice addition to the Seahawks’ receiving core.

Chad Ochocinco Traded to New England

Chad Ochocinco was unhappy in Cincinnati, and the Bengals continued clearing out players, getting a fifth and sixth round picks in return.  Ochocinco should be a nice addition to the Patriots, and will add depth to what some considered to be a position that needed an upgrade after the loss of Randy Moss.

What are your thoughts on free agency so far this year?  Let us know!

2011 NFL Season and Super Bowl Pick

With the 2011 NFL Season up in the air as we speak, there’s no better time for me to talk about which teams I like to make a run this season.  I’m one of those people who feels like there is no way there will not be an NFL season this year (I need fantasy football too much for that).  I’m going to tell you which teams will be on the rise, which teams will fall, and also who’s going to make the ultimate push to the 2012 Superbowl.  Let’s start with the 12 playoff teams from last season, and whether or not they’ll make it again.

 

NFC

#1- Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

#2- Chicago Bears (11-5)

#3- Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

#4- Seattle Seahawks (7-9)

#5- New Orleans Saints (11-5)

#6- Green Bay Packers (10-6)

This was just a bit absurd that the Seahawks won their division at 7-9, and then actually won a game in the playoffs, but I’m going to act like that didn’t happen.

The following teams got stronger or stayed the same and I believe they’ll make it back to the playoffs next season:

Atlanta Falcons– Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner, Julio Jones, sounds good to me.

Green Bay Packers– They have one of the best QB’s in the game, and they did win it all, remember?

Philadelphia Eagles– Michael Vick is the real deal, and he’s focused, it’s a pretty scary combination if anyone can ever block for him.

New Orleans Saints– Drew Brees is one of the best leaders in the NFL and is too talented to let the Saints fall off.

 

Team who COULD make it back:

Chicago Bears–  It’s so tough to tell, the Packers will win the division next year which means they’d have to be above a tough NFC to make it as a wild card.  And, in case anyone forgot, no one blocks for Jay Cutler either (and he’s not Michael Vick).

 

NFC Teams That Will Make the 2011-2012 NFL Playoffs

St. Louis Rams–  Sam Bradford almost took this team there in his first season.  On top of that, the Rams got better and the Seahawks didn’t.  I like the Rams to win their division with a record better than 7-9.

Dallas Cowboys–  Jason Garrett is a bad man (and I mean that in a good way).  He motivated that team in a time when there was no motivation left.  Look out for the Dallas Cowboys next year, they’re going to play smart football, and have an excellent year.

 

AFC

#1- New England Patriots

#2- Pittsburgh Steelers

#3- Indianapolis Colts

#4- Kansas City Chiefs

#5- Baltimore Ravens

#6- New York Jets

The Kansas Chiefs made an impressive jump last season into the playoffs under Todd Haley, while the Patriots, Colts, and Steelers did what they always seem to do.

Here’s a list of the teams who got stronger or stayed the same, and that I think will make the 2011-2012 Playoffs:

New England Patriots– Can you blame me for betting on Tom Brady and Bill Belicheck?

Pittsburgh Steelers– Mike Tomlin is one of the best coaches in the NFL and knows how to put his team in a position to win every week.

New York Jets–  Rex Ryan literally won’t let his team not make the playoffs I think.

Kansas City Chiefs–  Call me crazy, but Jamaal Charles is on this team…and he’s scary.

 

Teams that I have a concern about, but COULD make it back:

Indianapolis Colts– Peyton Manning did everything he could to get them into the playoffs, but he’s going to need some help next season if they want to make it again.

Baltimore Ravens– Yes, I know- how bold of me to pick ALL six teams to possibly make it back right?  What do you expect, Harbaugh is one of the best coaches out there, my only worry is the play of Joe Flacco down the stretch.

 

AFC Teams That Will Make the 2011-2012 NFL Playoffs

Houston Texans–  It’s finally their time to get over the hump.  Kubiak’s a good coach who’s gotten some bad luck, but he’ll get them in this season.

San Diego Chargers- Philip Rivers might irritate you, but he produces even with an incredibly injured receiving corp.  The Chargers don’t get hit with the injury bug this season, and make the playoffs.

 

2011-2012 Super Bowl Pick

There’s a few things to look for when picking a team to win the Supebowl.  A great QB, strong team defense, and a team who’s motivated.  I’ve had my eye on a few teams to win it all, but I think one team is finally going to take the big step that they’ve been pushing towards.

Pick:  The Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have a great QB, a great running game, great wide outs, and a defense who’s motivated to go with their motivated head coach.  It’s time for the Falcons to get over the hump and win the 2011-2012 Super Bowl.

 

What’s your opinion on the 2011-2012 NFL Playoff’s?  Let me know people!