Online football betting lines aren’t yet being posted for games, because the 2013 NFL schedule hasn’t been announced. However, even college football betting students, in transitioning to the pro game, would certainly stand on firm ground in saying that a few basic predictions are worth advancing at this point in time, as the landscape of the NFL is assessed after a wildly eventful 2012 campaign.
One thing that has to be said before anything else is that the New Orleans Saints will be more motivated to play well in 2013 than any other NFL team. Any online sports book expert would not be in a position to mount a robust rebuttal to that claim. Realize what the Saints went through in 2012: Their coach was suspended for a full year, unable to communicate with the players he trusts… and who trust him in return. Sean Payton led New Orleans to a Super Bowl title and then two more playoff appearances since then. His players love him, and after a one-year suspension by the NFL for his role in allowing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to run a bounty program for vicious hits on opponents, Payton is going to relish being back in the sport. His players are going to run through a brick wall for him, giving New Orleans a lot of emotional fuel in ways that other NFL teams won’t be able to match. New Orleans and Atlanta have traded big years in the NFC South Division. This year, the Saints should be ready to snatch the South away from the Falcons, who will be physically and emotionally spent after their heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
When you go over your next play at any of the best online betting sites in the country, you need to realize with respect to this NFL season that the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks need to be seen as contenders. The Redskins and Seahawks both thrived, thanks to the emergence of star quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. The Redskins have an easier division to deal with… unless, of course, the New York Giants can play to their potential and not slog to another 9-7 finish. Seattle has to deal with defending NFC champion San Francisco in what should be the best divisional race in all of football. The winner of the NFC West will probably have home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, while the second-place team will get in as a wild card.
In the AFC, one important thing to watch is that the Denver Broncos, who had a soft schedule last year, will now have to face a first-place schedule. This will hurt a team that was exposed on defense in the AFC playoffs. The defending champion Baltimore Ravens got lucky against Denver in the 2012 playoffs, but Joe Flacco might now perform with the confidence of a Super Bowl winner. If he picks up where he left off in Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens will become the favorite in the AFC. However, for all the ways in which other teams might be favored to win the AFC, the New England Patriots – playing in a very weak AFC East – should be able to get a first-round bye while Houston and Indianapolis will probably regress from their 2012 seasons. New England, Baltimore, and Denver are probably the three favorites for the AFC in that order. In the end, a New Orleans-New England matchup in Super Bowl XLVIII in New York seems like the best preliminary pick for the coming season, before the 2013 NFL Draft unfolds in late April. That’s just the first of several events which will force betting sites to recalibrate their odds. For now, though, the Saints and Patriots stand out as good choices in the NFC and AFC.
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NFL Betting Pick: New Orleans as NFC champion; New England as AFC champion.