A Preview Of The Upcoming 2017/18 NFL Season

USA Football LogoThe 2017-2018 NFL season is shaping up to be a roller coaster ride of intense football action. The defending champions, the New England Patriots, have about 98% of their Super Bowl winning team returning for another round. The Raiders’ Derek Carr will be back in action along with new singing RB Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement. The Cowboys’ rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliot has been suspended for 6 weeks for an alleged domestic dispute, which will drastically affect the start of their season. These are just a few talking points heading into the upcoming season designed to give those of you who bet on football in the US a little insight into what to expect. From a betting standpoint, the 2017/18 NFL season will be a little more complicated than a one-and-done scenario. Sure, the Patriots are favored to win, but there are plenty of teams that could pull off the upset. This page was created as a preview for the upcoming season and has insights into both conferences and predictions of which teams will be in the Playoffs and Super Bowl LII. Take a look to gain some valuable knowledge before placing your wagers. For more information about betting on the pros, visit our USA NFL betting guide.

The AFC

You can’t talk about the AFC without mentioning the New England Patriots. They have been the most dominant team in the NFL since the Brady-Belichick era began and won last year’s Super Bowl with Brady suspended for the first few games. Their depth is enough to carry them week to week and their game plan is almost unstoppable. The Dolphins make for an interesting team to watch as a fellow AFC East competitor. Normally, they are swept by the Patriots each year, but head coach Adam Gase has reinvigorated the program. The Phins are taking a chance on veteran QB Jay Cutler, but they don’t have a choice with QB Ryan Tannehill needing surgery. The AFC West division will be very interesting with the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs narrowly lost in the Playoffs to the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can expect them to be back with a vengeance under QB Alex Smith and TE Travis Kelce. They did cut WR Jeremy Maclin, though Maclin’s injuries made him too inconsistent. The Raiders were one of the brightest storylines out of last season. QB Derek Carr led a strong squad to the Playoffs for the first time since 2002. With a roster consisting of WR Amari Cooper, DE Khalil Mack, FS Reggie Nelson, T Donald Penn and now RB Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders look to be the biggest threat to the Patriots. They are also drawing the most bets in Vegas. The Steelers are always a threat in the AFC. They made the AFC Championship game last year and lost to the Patriots. With QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown, expect them to make another push. Aside from them, the Ravens, Bengals and Titans make up the other significant AFC teams.

The NFC

The NFC has historically been trickier to predict betting-wise than the AFC, and rightly so. There are some quality teams scattered throughout the divisions. The Dallas Cowboys emerged as a top contender last season under rookie QB Dak Prescott and rookie RB Ezekiel Elliot. They lost in the Playoffs, but showed what a powerhouse they can be under this new leadership. They were touted to be one of the best heading into the new year, until Elliot was suspended 6 games for an alleged domestic dispute. The Cowboys will appeal the suspension, and that story will continue to develop. In the meantime, the Giants will likely take over as the NFC East favorites, though the Eagles have the potential to be a solid underdog. In the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks are categorically the best team. The Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald are likely in their last seasons, so expect them to leave it all out on the field. Whether that translates to a postseason appearance remains to be seen. The Packers will be a force in the NFC North, and likely untouchable. The Minnesota Vikings picked up a new asset in RB Dalvin Cook (who replaces franchise star RB Adrian Peterson), but the Vikings will likely fade out late into the season like they did last year. The NFC South looks to be the toughest division, with the Falcons and Buccaneers as the strongest competitors. The Falcons made history by blowing a historic lead to the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl. This embarrassing defeat will drive them to be fierce opponents, but they took a hit in losing OC Kyle Shanahan, who imposed one of the league’s most lethal offenses in history, to the 49ers head coaching vacancy. Meanwhile, the Bucs had an incredible offseason and look to have the tools in place to give QB Jameis Winston a chance at leading his team to the Playoffs.

The Playoffs

So, which teams do we predict will end up in the playoffs and vying for a Super Bowl title? Here's how we predict things are going to break down in the AFC and NFC, with 1-6 seeds.

Top Contenders To Win The AFC

1: New England Patriots, 14-2 AFC East winners 2: Las Vegas Raiders, 13-3 AFC West winners 3: Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-4 AFC North winners 4: Tennessee Titans, 11-5 AFC South winners 5: Miami Dolphins, 10-6 Wild Card 6: Kansas City Chiefs, 10-6 Wild Card

Top Contenders To Win The NFC

1: Atlanta Falcons, 14-2 NFC South winners 2: Green Bay Packers, 12-4 NFC North winners 3: Seattle Seahawks, 11-5 NFC West winners 4: Dallas Cowboys, 11-5 NFC East winners 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-6 Wild Card 6: New York Giants, 10-6 Wild Card

Super Bowl 52

Super Bowl LII will probably not be as exciting as a second half/overtime win over the highest scoring offense in the league (i.e. Patriots beating Falcons last year), but it will still likely be an exciting game. Both the AFC and NFC Championship games should be great as well. For the AFC, we predict the New England Patriots to take on the Las Vegas Raiders. A lot of analysts had this matchup for last season, except for Raiders’ QB Carr broke his leg at the end of the season. New England will probably have homefield advantage, but the Raiders have the weapons to deny the defending champions.

The NFC is a much tougher call. The Falcons are a likely pick, and one of our predictions for the NFC Championship game, but that is if they can still have a strong offense without OC Kyle Shanahan. If you are one to put the players over the coaching style, the Falcons should be in your selection. We see the Falcons taking on the Cowboys in the NFC Championship. Analysts may see Green Bay as a threat, because they are, but the Cowboys team is explosive. If they can survive Ezekiel’s suspension, they will go far.

As for a Super Bowl matchup, we predict that it will be the Las Vegas Raiders v. the Atlanta Falcons. Sure, the Patriots are favored, but there is a reason the Raiders are drawing more bets in Vegas. On paper, they have one of the most dangerous rosters in the league. We saw them in action last season. RB Marshawn Lynch’s addition is something to be scared of. If Carr can remain healthy, the Raiders will likely be the best team in the league. As for the NFC representation, the Falcons are still the best team. The Cowboys, Packers and potentially the Buccaneers could give them a run for their money, but it will take a lot to derail QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman and WR Julio Jones.

Check out our list of the best USA online sportsbooks if you are interested in placing a future's wager. Most of the sites have the odds posted and if you know anything about sports betting, you know that correctly picking divisional or Super Bowl winners before the season starts can produce huge payouts with incredible odds.

Be sure to check out our Thanksgiving Day Football Preview as well.

We've added a comprehensive NFL betting guide dedicated to covering all things relevant to betting on the National Football League as well as a College Football Betting Guide for those football fans who also enjoy NCAAF action.

The 2017-2018 NFL season is shaping up to be a roller coaster ride of intense football action. The defending champions, the New England Patriots, have about 98% of their Super Bowl winning team returning for another round. The Raiders’ Derek Carr will be back in action along with new singing RB Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement. The Cowboys’ rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliot has been suspended for 6 weeks for an alleged domestic dispute, which will drastically affect the start of their season.

These are just a few talking points heading into the upcoming season designed to give those of you who bet on football in the US a little insight into what to expect. From a betting standpoint, the 2017/18 NFL season will be a little more complicated than a one-and-done scenario. Sure, the Patriots are favored to win, but there are plenty of teams that could pull off the upset. This page was created as a preview for the upcoming season and has insights into both conferences and predictions of which teams will be in the Playoffs and Super Bowl LII. Take a look to gain some valuable knowledge before placing your wagers. 

Share