The new NFL season may be a while away, but the drama of the draft has got everyone pumped for the pre-season games - which get underway in less than three months. This preview focuses on the franchises who made the best picks in the draft and those who look best prepared to challenge when the season kicks off for real in September…
The New England Patriots look set to be the team to beat once again will bookmakers making them a best price of 13/2 to repeat their incredible comeback triumph of Super Bowl 51, and considering the vast majority of bookies have them priced at 5/1, there’s certainly some value to be had there. The draft looked like being a bit boring for Patriots fans as they had traded their first two picks away (for receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive lineman Kony Ealy), but then they popped up to select defensive end Derek Rivers who many are tipping to be the steal of the 2017 draft. The Patriots will have the Gronk back to full fitness and are a best price of 3/1 to win the American Football Conference.
Super Bowl chokers the Atlanta Falcons seem to be splitting opinion this time around. They are hugely underpriced at 8/1 with William Hill but then also slightly overpriced at 14/1 with bet365! That’s a huge price difference and once again illustrates the benefit of comparing the odds with Easyodds before you place your bet. The Falcons added six players to their roster in the draft, all fitting the mould of what general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn are looking to build their team. There’s no doubt they’ll be strong once more, but will Atlanta ever get over blowing that infamous 25 point lead?
The Green Bay Packers have selected a defensive player with their first draft pick for the last six consecutive years. This year the lucky man was Kevin King selected in round two with the 33rd overall pick. It was their pass defense that struggled last year (GB were ranked 31st), so selecting a cornerback like King is certainly the right call. If Aaron Rodgers can have another season like he did last year while avoiding injury, then their price of 5/1 to win the National Football League will look like a great bet.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks are both available at a best price of 12/1 for Super Bowl glory in Minneapolis next year. The Steelers were sunk by their bitter rivals New England in a Championship game by 19 points while never really looking in serious contention. The same can be said of Seattle who had their wings clipped by Atlanta in the ‘battle of the birds. Questions have been asked over Pittsburgh’s first round draft pick of T.J. Watt from Wisconsin, the younger brother of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt but he looks to have the physical attributed to match his sibling. Steelers re-signed the enigmatic Antonio Brown to a five-year contract worth nearly $73 million in February, while Le’Veon Bell just received a 1,200 percent raise in pay to play at least one more season in black and yellow!
Many gridiron fans will be rooting for the Oakland Raiders to come strong again, after they were cruelly ribbed over their inspirational rookie Derek Carr who broke his leg in the final regular game of last season. They selected nine players in the draft, but stunning the NFL by taking cornerback Gareon Conley at first pick. The Ohio State player’s stock fell this week in the wake of being accused of rape. The Raiders are another team of whom bookmakers seem wary, as they are 12/1 with Skybet but can be backed for a far more tempting 18/1 at a number of alternative places too. Worth a punt? You better believe it!
Who’s up next? What about those Dallas Cowboys! Zeke Elliot and Dak Prescott captured the imagination last season as the two rookies set about demolitioning NFL defenses up and down the land. But will they be able to recapture that magic in a league which is so quick to figure out ways of nullifying offenses now. Their win totals the past three years are 12, 4 and 13 in a pattern that doesn’t bode well for this year, but you have to think their offensive line is still a major threat. Probably still to inexperience to go deep into the playoffs in my view, but if you fancy backing them, make sure you get on at 14/1 as opposed to the stingy 9/1 offered by the majority of bookies. They’re priced at 5/1 to win their conference, which is surely the better bet.
The New York Giants and Eli Manning have serious playoff pedigree and I would never write them off. They upset the Cowboys last year and have brought back almost the exact same defense that dominated for them last season, which is great. They also added Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to the passing game, which is good. Supporters will wish they had strengthened their offensive line and signed a running back but even so, they could be in with a shout and look tempting as a 33/1 shot. They’re 18/1 elsewhere, nearly half the price for goodness sake!
The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are available at best prices of 20/1 and 25/1 respectively. The Broncos quarterback situation is still far from ideal, even after after adding Chad Kelly (aka Mr Irrelevant) to the mix. The Chiefs meanwhile took their first plunge into the first-round quarterback pool since 1983 by trading with the Buffalo Bills to go from No. 27 to No. 10 to select highly-rated Patrick Mahomes. They also gave up their first-round pick in 2018 plus a third-rounder this year so, so it’s fair to say their some big pressure on his shoulders.
Easyodds' price comparison service is crucial!... if you, the punter want to maximise the profit from your betting. Take the Atlanta Falcons for example. They were so close to winning the Super Bowl last year, you've got to think they'll be in with a shout again right? If you put £20 on the Falcons to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy without consulting Easyodds first, you could end up losing out an extra £120 if your bet came in! Atlanta are 8/1 with some bookmakers, but a huge 14/1 with others! That's almost double the money you'd win back! You'd be furious if you found out later. So always check with Easyodds before placing any bet, it makes perfect sense.
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