NFL 2012 division odds: Long shots worth a look
Parity is one of the things we love about professional football. Last year’s division winner could be this year’s punching bag. The draft and the schedule give less talented teams the chance to turn things around in a hurry.
Putting down some cash on a long shot to win the Super Bowl is fun, but really, you're chances are slim. I've always liked betting on long shots to win their division. Only four-team pool (as opposed to 32 to win the Super Bowl) and there's always a fair amount of turnover.
We’ve only had five repeat division champs over the last four years. Eight divisions, five repeat champs. Only eight of the past 32 division winners have been priced at minus money. Check out the chart below:
You can check out all the NFL divisional odds for this season here
, but let’s zero in on two teams worth a look as long shots to win their respective division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1600 to win the NFC South
It was only two years ago this team went 10-6 and looked to have a future Pro Bowl quarterback in Josh Freeman. Last year didn’t go according to plan. The Bucs quit on former coach Raheem Morris and finished with 4-12 straight up and against the spread.
The Bucs brought in a new head coach (former Rutgers boss Greg Schiano), signed an explosive wideout (Vincent Jackson) and made some nice additions to its secondary (rookie safety Mark Barron and free agent signee Eric Wright).
The NFC South has a history of seeing teams go from worst to first. No one knows who’s in charge in New Orleans and Asante Samuel alone won’t fix Atlanta’s shaky defense. Chicago Bears +525 to win the NFC North
Remember how good this team looked before Jay Cutler went down? Let me refresh your memory. The Bears were 7-3 and had just knocked off the Eagles, Lions and Chargers in successive weeks. The Monsters of Midway turned into Wusses of the Windy City once Cutler broke his thumb.
But Chicago made a major upgrade at backup QB bringing in former Redskin and Raider signal caller Jason Campbell. Factor in the upside of kicking offensive coordinator Mike Martz to the curb and bringing in receiver Brandon Marshall and you start to see a team that can challenge the Packers for division supremacy.
Of course, we’ve got to do some hoping, praying and wishing that all-purpose running back Matt Forte doesn’t hold out.