As we know NFL training camps are opening all across the country this week…that can only mean one thing: Fantasy Football drafting online over at the PlayFFWC.com is heating up like the temperatures across the country! They have drafts for all kinds of budgets & if you love LIVE Drafts then there is nothing better than the Fantasy Football World Championships in Las Vegas! They have secured some of the most incredible venue locations including the Thursday Night Kick-Off Watch Game/Party at the amazing SKY VILLA in the Palms Casino!
The sharps behind the counters in Vegas have also released the NFL Division Betting Odds as the players begin to report with rookies first and then followed by the veterans. Wondering who the ‘books envision finishing atop & where the value lies among the sharps? Look no further, as we are here at Vegas Whispers to assist. Lets take a look……
Philadelphia Eagles -125
Dallas Cowboys +160
Washington Redskins +1300
NY Giants +1500
NFC EAST BETTING BREAKDOWN: The sportsbooks see the Eagles as the team to beat in the NFC East with the return of oft-injured star QB Carson Wentz. With Nick Foles now down in Jacksonville, the Eagles need Wentz to stay healthy to return to Championship form. This division race will come down to the Eagles & Cowboys as the ‘Skins & G-Men are rebuilding & have no shot to challenge the top two. Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott is battling NY Giants RB Saquon Barkley for the #1 Overall player off the board in EVERY early PlayFFWC.com drafts.
VALUE/PLAY: The Cowboys will have some highly motivated players in 2019 as Dak, Zeke & Amari are all looking for big time contract extensions. In addition, dont undersell the return of perhaps the game’s best center: Travis Frederick, returning from an autoimmune disorder. That will make perhaps the biggest impact to the Cowboys that wont make the biggest headlines. Zeke & Amari in fantasy anyone?! If Jerry can get his big three on the field & not holding out…then the defending NFC East Champs with a top-5 defense from Texas could offer the best value at attractive plus money odds.
Chicago Bears +190
Green Bay Packers +210
Minnesota Vikings +225
Detroit Lions +1100
NFC NORTH BETTING BREAKDOWN: The Bears are back with a suffocating defense featuring Khalil Mack that led the league in takeaways and allowed a league low 17.7 points/gm in 2018 leading to them being the #1 defense selected in all PlayFFWC.com drafts so far this summer. The ‘books see this as arguably the toughest division in the NFL and rightfully so. The Bears will now be playing a first-place schedule in 2019 and those of us here at VW are still not sold on Mitchell Trubisky at QB. The Packers have a plethora of weapons on offense led by Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams but they will be learning a new offense under new Head Coach Matt LaFleur. The Vikings feature perhaps the best WR tandem in the league in the form of Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs. However, can Kirk Cousins play up to the level of the contract the Vikings rewarded him with and stop turning the ball over so much in 2019?
VALUE/PLAY: This is a division the sharps are steering away from and we cant really blame them. These teams so closely matched this division should come down to the final weeks. If we had to make a call here, we would lean the Vikings at +225. If Dalvin Cook can stay healthy and give Cousins a balanced running attack added to the aforementioned weapons at wide out the Vikings would be our choice. Trubisky’s accuracy issues, the Packers learning a new system with a year older A-Rod & the weakest of the top three teams on the defensive side of the ball leave us believing SKOL chants will be heard in January in the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints -175
Atlanta Falcons +350
Carolina Panthers +550
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1000
NFC SOUTH BETTING BREAKDOWN: Only the LA Rams & the KC Chiefs scored more points in 2018 than the team ‘books have favored to win the NFC South: the Saints. Since Sean Payton has dialed back the workload of aging QB Drew Brees the Saints have gone 24-8 over the past two seasons led by a powerful run game led by Alvin Kamara. In that 32 game span the Saints have scored a league best 49 touchdowns on the ground. As much as it pains us here at VW to admit, the Panthers are a fade for us as we are not sold that Cam Newton’s shoulder is healthy. Tampa Bay will be much improved under new Head Coach Bruce Arians but they just dont have quite enough to take this division crown in 2019 and are correctly priced by the ‘books.
VALUE/PLAY: The Atlanta Falcons look so juicy and tempting at odds of nearly 4-1. If the Falcons can return to their 2016 form where they led the league in scoring then the “Dirty Birds” could be the team to back in the NFC South? Many dont realize that QB Matt Ryan has started EVERY game for nine straight seasons. The Falcons used free agency and the draft to beef up the protection in front of Matty Ice in attempt to keep that streak in tact and could feature the ONLY offensive line with a first round picks at all five positions. . Calvin Ridley caught double digit TDs in 2018 (10) but the baffling issue is that star WR Julio Jones has only found the endzone 25 times in his last 62 games. Are you willing to gamble that new OC Dirk Koetter can turn that around with a motivated Jones looking for a new contract? Also dont forget that oft-injured star RB Devonta Freeman only had 14 carries the entire 2018 season and backing the Falcons would be backing a team that failed to beat a team with a winning record last year. Our play here is Kamara & the Saints to bounce back strong after that non-interference call that robbed them of a Super Bowl berth & led to changes in the NFL rules book.
LA Rams -175
Seattle Seahawks +325
SF 49ers +350
Arizona Cardinals +4000
NFC WEST BETTING BREAKDOWN: The Rams are clearly the best team in the NFC West, but they also have biggest question mark for those looking to lay nearly two-to-one against themselves in this wagering (-175). That question mark: the health of stud RB Todd Gurley. Is his knee healthy? Will he play a full 16 games? Gurley’s early ADP reflects these concerns as he is no longer even a 1st Round pick over at the PlayFFWC.com and some drafts have seen him fall into the 3rd round for a guy just last season was going #1 Overall on nearly all draft boards. Gurley has a league high 40 TDs the last two seasons, but there is some serious concern he will even be able to lace ’em up in 2019. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks , who went 10-6 last season, will surely miss retired WR Doug Baldwin. The 49ers will be improved with the return of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who has only started 10 games as a pro, but will he be rusty or tentative coming off a serious knee injury? The Cardinals will be exciting with #1 overall draft pick QB Kyler Murray under center but they have the second longest odds (40-1) outside of the Miami Dolphins in this type of wagering–and for good reason…not this year Cardinals fans.
VALUE/PLAY: This is a division that sharps are taking a wait and see approach with and those of us here at VW couldn’t agree more. The sharps behind the counter are not willing to give you any discount as of now on the Rams, even with the concerns around Gurley’s health, so that means all those in fantasy need to remember this name come draft day: RB Darrell Henderson. He could be THE sleeper to own in 2019 should Gurley be unable to go. In addition, dont forget the Rams will be getting back WR Cooper Kupp who avg’d a TD per game before his season ending ACL injury and was easily headed for a top 10 overall finish among all wide receivers thanks to his rapport with QB Jared Goff. Oh yeah, dont forget that the Rams also feature possible League MVP Aaron Donald on defense. We advise waiting on this division, should Gurley miss preseason and be ruled out for the start of the season the ‘books will adjust this number and that’s when you should jump in. No Gurley would result in serious movement and anything -125 or better is an advisable play.
NE Patriots -500
NY Jets +600
Buffalo Bills +875
Miami Dolphins +7000
AFC EAST BETTING BREAKDOWN: Its no surprise to any of us here at Vegas Whispers that the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots come in as the biggest favorite of any team in Divisional wagering at -500. Tom Brady is turning 42 years of age and he has lost his star TE as Rob Gronkowski is ‘currently’ retired. Brady did fail to throw 30 TDs (29) in 2018 and many always love to talk of the Patriots demise as the dawn of a new season approaches. However, Belichick & Co always find a way to get it done. The Jets were big winners in Free Agency landing star RB LeVeon Bell and have a star in the making under center in QB Sam Darnold. However, the addition of Adam Gase as Head Coach is not something that screams confidence to lay my hard earned money behind even at odds of 6-1 or higher at most shops. The Dolphins are 70-1 for a reason as they could struggle to win four games and could even tank in an attempt to “Suck for Tua” in 2019.
VALUE/PLAY: This could easily be the best bet of any divisional betting as the Pats have won TEN straight AFC East titles. We advise parlaying them with a few (+) money teams from other divisions to mitigate any potential losses should Brady get injured at age 42. Laying $5,000 to win $1,000 would be a crushing blow should Brady go down and the Pats fail & the Jets or Bills jump up. We don’t see it but losing 5-1 against your money would be a tough pill to swallow and therefore parlaying them is the way to go.
Cleveland Browns +130
Pittsburgh Steelers +165
Baltimore Ravens +360
Cincinnati Bengals +1300
AFC NORTH BETTING BREAKDOWN: Dare we say the Cleveland Browns, yes the Cleveland Browns are the favorites to win the AFC North?! Get your camera’s out in 2019 as second year QB Baker Mayfield has been handed the keys to possibly the best offense in the NFL. He now has star WR Odell Beckham to go along along with easily the best RB depth in the league led by Nick Chubb and will get the services of star RB Kareem Hunt back from suspension in Week 10. The Steelers will surely take a step back in 2019 as they try and deal with the defections of RB LeVeon Bell and WR Antonio Brown. Brown has averaged 114 catches and 11 TDs over the past six seasons and those will be numbers that will be hard to replace. JuJu Smith-Schuster who is now going in the 1st Round of some drafts over at PlayFFWC.com will surely become the target hound but he will now draw the opposing team’s #1 corner on a weekly basis. He will get his his fantasy production, that is a given due to his expected target share alone, but winning the AFC North will be a tough task. The Ravens should lead the league in rushing with the electric Lamar Jackson at QB–who should easily lead all signal callers in rushing yards. The Bengals are a complete fade.
VALUE/PLAY: The sharps have backed Baker & the Browns heavily and we are in strong agreement. If OBJ can stay healthy AND happy playing with his buddy Jarvis Landry the Browns are a solid value even at short plus money. It would not surprise us to see this number become slightly prohibitive should they look strong in preseason action and a closing number of -125 is certainly withing range of expectations.
Indianapolis Colts -150
Houston Texans +425
Jacksonville Jaguars +475
Tennessee Titans +650
AFC SOUTH BETTING BREAKDOWN: The ‘books have Andrew Luck and the Colts favored to take down the AFC South in 2019. The Colts have a young efficient RB in the form of Marlon Mack, who scored 10 TDs but only caught 19 passes in 14 games last season, and in PPR leagues like those over at PlayFFWC.com that’s a detriment to fantasy owners playing in those formats. The Colts should finish among the leaders in passing and WR TY Hilton is the guy to target. The Colts feature one of the league’s up-and-coming young defenses and should match or surpass their 10 wins from a season ago. The Texans, led by star QB Deshaun Watson won 11 games in 2018, and won the AFC South. Watson will be fun to watch with the healthy returns of WRs Will Fuller & Keke Coutee and a possible star in the making in RB D’Onta Foreman. Lets not forget they also possess arguably the best WR in the NFL in DeAndrew Hopkins– who is the #1 WR going off the board in the Top 6 overall picks in the 1st Round over at PlayFFWC.com. On defense, the Texans have perhaps the best tandem in JJ Watt & Jadeveon Clowney. The Jaguars should improve upon their five wins from a season ago, but they have huge questions marks on both sides of the ball even with addition of Nick Foles at QB. Marcus Mariota comes in on our rankings here at Vegas Whispers with Mitchell Trubisky so the Titans are a fade for us here.
VALUE/PLAY: I love the value of the Texans here but unfortunately the ‘books have this predicted correctly. The Colts are the play here even at odds of -150. We suggest shopping around for the best value and perhaps maybe finding a shop with a -135 we saw recently here in Vegas but Luck & Co are one of our favorite plays in the divisional betting markets.
KC Chiefs -200
LA Chargers +225
Denver Broncos +1300
Oakland Raiders +2000
AFC WEST BETTING BREAKDOWN: The news of star WR Tyreke Hill avoiding any league or team suspension in recent days saw the ‘books make an adjustment on these odds. Hill was seen going in Rounds 4 or later over at PlayFFWC.com in early drafts but has now moved back to the top of the 2nd Round. Prior to the news the Chiefs could be found around -170 but books have juiced them even more with some books now above -200. The Chiefs possess the reigning League MVP Patrick Mahomes under center but expecting a league-high 50 passing TDs is just too much. He is the #1 QB off the board and is being seen going somewhere in Round 4 in most drafts. The player rising most from this team is TE Travis Kelce who is going off the board among the first 7 picks offering substantial value at a weak position. He was targeted an amazing 150 times last season and hauled in 103 of those passes amassing nearly 1,400 yards and 10 TDs. The LA Chargers finished with the same 12-4 record of the Chiefs last season but lost the Divisional Record tie-breaker by one game. Over the past three seasons, no QB has thrown more TD passes than Philip Rivers. The Chargers could have a headache on their hands if star RB Melvin Gordon extends his contract holdout into the regular season. The Broncos & Raiders will both struggle in 2019 and are complete fades in this wagering.
VALUE/PLAY: Its hard to fade the Chiefs now upon learning of the Tyreke Hill news , but the Chargers will once again give them a run for their money should the Gordon situation not become an issue into the regular season especially with a difficult game right out of the gates in Week 1 against Luck & the Colts. We lean the Chiefs here but games at New England and at Chicago in December make this a no play for us at these prohibitive juiced odds (-200) with the addition of a realistic regression off a 50 TD passing campaign.