2019 NFL futures: 1 favorite, 1 longshot to consider in each conference

With March Madness coming to a close, let’s turn our attention to some NFL future bets for the 2019 season. We’ll identify a favorite and a longshot from each conference that have a chance to win the Super Bowl LIV.

All odds referenced in this post are from DraftKings.

AFC

New England Patriots — To win AFC: +325 To win Super Bowl: +750

The Patriots are tied with the Chiefs as the favorites to win the AFC and the Super Bowl. New England TE Rob Gronkowski retired, and while that could make things more difficult on an aging Tom Brady, the Patriots have overcome losses like this. 

Bill Belichick’s team played in four of the last five Super Bowls, winning three of them. I mentioned Brady being able to overcome serious losses on offense — New England won the 2016 Super Bowl with Gronk shut down for the season, and reached to 2017 Super Bowl with Julian Edelman out. 

The Patriots have won three championships on each end of Brady’s career, but the team has dominated more on the back end of Brady’s career. The first Patriots dynasty did win three Super Bowls in four seasons — something they’ll have a chance to do again this year.

It’s just easier to sleep at night when you bet on the Patriots, a team you know will win their division and make the playoffs as long as Belichick and Brady are there.

Jacksonville Jaguars — To win AFC: +1600 To win Super Bowl: +3500

The Jags own the ninth-best odds to win the AFC and 19th-best odds to win the Super Bowl. They’re far from a safe bet, but I am shocked at just how much value there is. 

That value is available because of the recency bias and perception surrounding Jacksonville, which went just 5-11 in 2018. Let’s remember the Jags won the division at 10-6 in 2017, and were a questionable fumble call away from upsetting the Patriots in Foxborough to reach the Super Bowl.

Blake Bortles is finally out, and the Jags will feature a more competent quarterback, one that led the Eagles on deep playoff runs in consecutive seasons. Nick Foles also beat Brady in a Super Bowl, so who’s do say he can’t do the same in an AFC Championship Game if the Jags return to form on defense? RB Leonard Fournette should enter the season healthy as well.

NFC

New Orleans Saints — To win NFC: +400 To win Super Bowl: +900

This season is a mix of desperation and revenge for the Saints. Frankly, we could’ve said the same in 2018. They lost in the playoffs on that miracle catch and score by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs. 

It looked like the Saints were going to march to the Super Bowl last season, but we all know about the no-call on pass interference against the Rams. 

The offense should be as good as ever when it matters most. With Mark Ingram in Baltimore, we should see Alvin Kamara in more of a featured role, and don’t forget that New Orleans could re-sign Dez Bryant. Because Drew Brees and the offense are so good, the defense is underrated.

Green Bay Packers — To win NFC: +1000 To win Super Bowl: +2200

The Packers finished an extremely disappointing 6-9-1 in 2018, and even worse, it was with Aaron Rodgers playing in all 16 games. However, Rodgers hurt his knee in Week 1 against the Bears, and things never seemed to click for him after that. Green Bay also fired long-time coach Mike McCarthy, who just didn’t evolve with modern offenses.

Green Bay needs to find help for Rodgers, but it has the most important ingredient: a go-to WR1 in Davante Adams. The Bears appear to be getting better, but I’m not sure Mitch Trubisky is a Super Bowl quarterback.

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings fell apart late last season, leaving this division much more open for the taking than the perception suggests. With elite quarterback play and a fresh voice leading the team, they’re facing odds that are too long. 

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