Picking NFL Division Winners - 2020-2021 NFL Division Breakdown and Predictions
The NFL used to feature many head coaches with long tenures than became synonymous with their teams. The same can be said for players of previous generations. Many start players were able to play out their entire careers with one team.
In today's NFL, results are expected immediately. That mindset has created an environment where coaches and players are always on the move, which can severely affect the divisional rankings from year to year.
Modern NFL teams and fans are used to attempts at reloading, as well as "tanking" for a high draft pick and accepting a losing season to do so. It creates parity in the league and provides an atmosphere for constant change, where last year's bottom-ranked team can win the division the following season. It has also peaked interest in NFL Draft betting, as well as wagering on the free agent player market.
The only thing that's for sure is, nothing's for sure when it comes to the final divisional rankings in the NFL. Read on to discover who we think will win each NFL division in 2020, and why we think they'll find themselves at the top of the heap after the completion of their respective 16-game schedules. Don't bet on football until reading through our list of NFL season division winner predictions.
NFL Division Winners From Previous Seasons
2020 Division Odds
2019 Division Winners
2018 Division Winners
2017 Division Winners
2016 Division Winners
2015 Division Winners
2020 NFL division odds provided by Bovada.
A few takeaways from this chart:
- The New England Patriots have won their division for five straight years.
- 5 out of the 8 division winners in 2016 did not win their division in 2017.
- 4 out of the 8 division winners in 2017 did not win their division in 2018.
- 4 out of the 8 division winners in 2017 did not win their division in 2019.
- 5 of the 8 division winners in 2019 are favored to win in 2020.
It’s actually better to pick against the favorite when it comes to division, excluding the Patriots. After analyzing this information and going through the process of eliminating the teams with the least likely chance of winning a division, here is our prediction for each division winner for the 2020 NFL season.
2020 AFC East Winner– Buffalo Bills
Tom Brady is no longer playing for division rival the New England Patriots, potentially making room for the Buffalo Bills to become the dominant force in the AFC East. Josh Allen mixes strong throws with tough runs to propel his team to success. The defense also hits hard and keeps opponent's offensive production low. Their home field is also one of the toughest, snowiest places to play in the NFL, with the weather serving as a twelfth man for the Bills that opposing teams can feel. Look for the Bills to unseat the Brady-less Patriots and win the AFC after five years of the division being awarded to New England.
2020 AFC North Winner – Baltimore Ravens
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to return to playoff form with Ben Roethlisberger now healthy, but they are not going to be able to hang blow for blow with the Baltimore Ravens led by phenom QB Lamar Jackson and their top-notch defensive unit. Coach John Harbaugh has put together a solid program in Baltimore and has been able to navigate this era of free agency by making players adhere to his system. Now he's got a young team that's hungry for a title and has the get-up and go to get it done.
2020 AFC South Winner – Tennessee Titans
The Colts and the Texans will make the task tough for Tennessee, but the game management ability of Ryan Tannehill, the bruising running style of Derrick Henry, and the brutal defense that the TItans bring to the gridiron each Sunday place opponents between a rock and a hard place. Tannehill doesn't have to do much, with his massive offensive line pushing back defenders as if they were on roller skates with steel wheels, or perhaps rolling stones, but his abilities make defenses respect the passing game just enough to open wide holes for Henry to run through. Expect the Titans to employ that tactic in 2020 and punch their ticket to the playoffs as the AFC South champion.
2020 AFC West Winner – Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos have loaded up with talent and the Las Vegas Raiders always have the potential to put up a fight, but the Chiefs should have very little problem in wrapping up the AFC East. They've got virtually the exact same roster returning for 2020 and have a great chance at not only winning the division but winning another Super Bowl title as long as their players don't get complacent. Mahomes is such a talent that the Chiefs can't help but win, and with Brady now playing in the NFC, their path to glory could be easier than ever.
2020 NFC East Winner – Philadelphia Eagles
Despite the best efforts of the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles remain the class of the NFC East. The Eagles managed to win the division last season with half of their roster on injured reserve, and now almost all of them have returned with a clean bill of health. Their team makeup allows for players to rotate in and out of the lineup with minimal impact on performance and keeps them in contention when stars are injured. The Cowboys are knocking on the door, but it'll be at least another year before they get their act together.
2020 NFC North Winner – Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers combines a unique set of skills that are still keeping defenses guessing after over a decade of Pro Bowl level play. As Rodgers approaches the tail end of his career, he is looking to pad his legacy with another Lombardi Trophy. His Packers were one game away from the Super Bowl last year, and now they intend to have another go at a ring with an improving defense and an offense that can put plenty of points on the board. They've also got a fierce home-field advantage that offers a slice of the frozen tundra for visiting teams to chew on. We expect the Minnesota Vikings to perform well, but to finish at least two games behind Green Bay.
2020 NFC South Winner – New Orleans Saints
After suffering a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings during last year's wild card weekend, Drew Brees and company are ready to get back on track and win another title. It seems like just yesterday that the Saints won a Super Bowl title just after the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but that was ten years ago now. Brees still performs at a similar level and controls a potent offense that includes Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and free-agent addition Emmanuel Sanders. The Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be decent competition for the Saints in 2020, but neither of those teams has what it teams to knock the Saints off of their perch.
2020 NFC West Winner – Seattle Seahawks
The NFC West is stacked, with four teams that could make a legitimate run at a Super Bowl championship. Of the four teams, we feel that the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are clearly the top two, and are so similar in their makeup that they are almost interchangeable in the division predictions and the betting odds. The 49ers had a magical season in 2019 that featured a lot of good luck. We think that the cion will turn and favor the Seahawks this year, with the 49ers securing a wild card spot. Both teams are incredibly scrappy on both offense and defense, and we even believe that the 49ers are the slightly superior team, but expect the Seahawks to catch a couple of lucky breaks in 2020.
Can I Bet On NFL Division Winners Now?
Absolutely. Top-rated online sportsbooks have a large assortment of NFL bet types including which teams will win each division. These NFL futures bets are typically offered year-round and don't cash in until the winner is decided later on in the season. The earlier on wagers are placed, the better and longer the odds will be, so place a bet now to secure the highest payout possible when your team wins the division.
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