NFL Season Preview: Favorite, Under the Radar, Dark Horse Team to Watch

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By Alex Donohue, Sports Betting Expert for Bet-NJ.com and Bet-PA.com

With training camps getting underway this week, 32 teams begin the seven-month marathon to be the last one standing in February. Free agent signings, trades, and new hires have shaken up the league and potential outcomes for the season ahead, while offering fans renewed optimism.

All the offseason moves have been a focal point for bettors as they look to see where teams stack up in order to maximize betting opportunities, whether that be the clear-cut favorite, the dark horse, or an under the radar bet.

patriots domination

Super Bowl Repeat?

This year’s Super Bowl favorite is none other than the New England Patriots. The 2018 champions’ odds are 7 to 1 to win the title, meaning for every dollar you bet on them to win, you win seven. With the loss of Tom Brady’s favorite weapon, Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots have some work to do in the passing game, but if we have learned anything by now, it’s to never count Tom Brady and Bill Belichick out.

The addition of N’Keal Harry may fill Gronk’s role immediately so look to see them make a deep playoff run once again.

Charging Forward

An under the radar team to look out for this year is the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers, with odds at 14 to 1, are the fifth favorite to win the title but can make a serious run at The Lombardi Trophy. Quarterback Phillip Rivers, like Brady seems to get better with age, and the Chargers offense should finish in the top five easily.

The team’s young defense looks to improve on a successful 2018 campaign however, the only drawback the Chargers may face is getting a contract done for star running back, Melvin Gordon.

Cleveland Rocks!

The dark horse team of the year is none other than the Cleveland Browns. With no success at drafting quarterbacks in the franchise’s history, the Browns seem to have found a stud with Baker Mayfield. Their odds to win the always tough AFC North are 5 to 4, making them the favorite to get out of the division and punch their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

With the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. opposite old college teammate Jarvis Landry, paired with the one two punch of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb in the backfield, look for the offense to explode off the scene this year.

The defensive side looks to improve as they set to line up proven vets alongside their young standouts. Baker Mayfield is looking to continue the streak of second year quarterbacks taking their team deep in the playoffs, meaning the Browns are poised to make a run.

cleveland Browns josh-gordon

Many factors can contribute to the success or downfall of a team, from trades and free agent signings to fatigue and injuries. One injury can ruin an entire teams’ chances as one trade can make a team a contender. Football is one of the most unpredictable sports and this season should be no different.

While pre-season predictions can offer bettors with some direction, it is important to keep up with all aspects of the game as the season goes on. While some teams may prove to be worthy today, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

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