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AFC | NFC Championship Odds: Sleeper Picks for 2018

Odds for the AFC and NFC Championship aren’t as popular as Super Bowl odds, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them. In this article, I take a look at the latest NFL Championship odds and offer some insight to a few underdogs picks I’d make for the upcoming season as we all wait for NFL Training camp to start.

NFL Championship Odds 2018

2018 AFC Championship Odds

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 275
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 500
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 750
HOUSTON TEXANS 900
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 900
DENVER BRONCOS 1400
OAKLAND RAIDERS 1400
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1600
BALTIMORE RAVENS 1800
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2000
TENNESSEE TITANS 2500
CLEVELAND BROWNS 2800
BUFFALO BILLS 4000
CINCINNATI BENGALS 4000
MIAMI DOLPHINS 4000
NEW YORK JETS 4000

2018 NFC Championship Odds

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 500
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 600
LOS ANGELES RAMS 650
GREEN BAY PACKERS 800
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 800
ATLANTA FALCONS 1000
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1000
NEW YORK GIANTS 1400
CAROLINA PANTHERS 1600
DALLAS COWBOYS 1800
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 2000
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 2500
DETROIT LIONS 3000
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 4000
ARIZONA CARDINALS 5000
CHICAGO BEARS 5000

 

Despite Gridiron Experts being a Fantasy Football website, it’s important to pay close attention to NFL football betting odds, as the betting community is an excellent source of information in terms of what we can all expect this year. So often Fantasy owners dwell on individual player stats from the previous season, but changes to the team as a whole do have a massive impact on that individual player.

For years – this season included –  the AFC Championship odds are created with the Patriots as heavy favorites to return to the Super Bowl. It is without a doubt the safest bet to make. Even when they didn’t have Tom Brady for four games due to “deflategate” in 2015, the Pats were still the favorites and even won the Super Bowl that year. However, this year there are some surprises near the top.

The Texans are 9 to 1 favorites to win the AFC in 2018, which is very exciting in terms seeing a new powerhouse emerge in this conference. The Jaguars proved last season that we need to take them seriously, and the Texans look to do that this year barring any injuries to their star players.

The one team in the AFC that shocked me in terms of odds to win their conference is the Kansas City Chiefs. The quarterback change from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes is obviously a major factor in this decision, but to fall below all three other AFC West division teams in terms of odds doesn’t seem right. Mahomes isn’t a rookie. He spent the season learning the offense slowly behind a great quarterback and has one got of the best coaches in the game easing him along. Andy Reid never likes to throw his QB’s prospects into the fire and was smart to have the teams 2017 first round pick sit the whole year (except for a meaningless week 17 game) even throughout their 2017 mid-season slump. Mahomes has made a few lists as a potential breakout player in 2018 and should be more respect by oddsmakers in my opinion.

If I have to pick an AFC winner, based on odds, I would pick the Chiefs at 16 to 1.

Carson WentzAs for the NFC, it makes sense that the Eagles remain the top dog for 2018. They were the underdogs throughout their memorable playoff run. Carson Wentz looks to be heading in the direction of starting in the season opener, and while I’m sure he’s glad backup Nick Foles was able to finish what he started, Wentz wants to be the man throwing game-winning touchdowns in the Super Bowl. The Eagles lost a few players and coaches in the offseason but should be ready to return to being the same NFC powerhouse from 2017.

“It’s a great motivating factor for us to sort of rip off the dog masks and no longer be the underdog, but be the hunted, have the target on our back,” Pederson said at the start of minicamp.”

The NFC conference favorites tend to change quite a bit each year, however, two teams that are usually near the top are the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. This is the first time in years that I have looked at NFC Championship odds and not seen the Seahawks in the top half. The Hawks are in the middle of a mini-rebuild. They lost some key players in free agency, made so interesting choices throughout at the NFL Draft and are struggling with cap issues. That all being said, Russell Wilson has the ability to put the entire team on his back and still string together a winning record. The key this season will be first-round pick running back Rashaad Penny. If Penny can take some of the pressure off Wilson, improve the teams running game and help last season’s 23rd ranked time of possession, it’ll allow defense breathing room to make adjustments and avoid getting into shootouts. Despite the odds, I don’t think the Seahawks are that much of a long shot. At 20 to 1, they’re a great sleeper team in the NFC.

 

Thanks for Reading

Mike Rigz

Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 20 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had a outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike looks at the game as a whole and doesn't focus solely on individual stats. Football is not Baseball, and you need to factor in more when researching players to draft. Mike has two kids and lives on the West Coast. He's happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.

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