The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books, and several teams earned excellent grades while others did not fare as well in the minds of NFL analysts. There were plenty of opportunities to bet on the NFL Draft, and now that it’s over, it’s a good time to take a look at the NFL Futures market and pick some futures bets.
This article explores the best NFL Divisional Futures Bets to make after the 2023 NFL Draft and offers some recommended betting picks to make right now.
Best NFL Divisional Futures Bets
Not only is the 2023 NFL Draft in the books but most of the big free agent and trade moves are done as well. There could still be some noteworthy player movements, but nothing that will impact the NFL Futures market more than the moves that have already been made.
With that said, let’s dive into our favorite NFL Divisional Futures Bets for the 2023 season.
NFC North Division Winner: Chicago Bears (+330 at DraftKings)
With Aaron Rodgers finally out of the division, the current favorites to win the NFC North are the Detroit Lions (+140 at DraftKings). The Lions had one of the best offenses in the league last year and finished the season strong, barely missing out on a playoff appearance. While they received some criticism for their first-round draft picks, there is no doubt they improved their roster this offseason.
However, I am not a believer in the Lions just yet, and in such a wide-open division, they do not offer great value at nearly even money. It was tempting to pick the Vikings here – they won the division last year and have replaced some aging veterans (Adam Thielen, Patrick Peterson) with some promising younger players (Jordan Addison, Byron Murphy). But I believe the best value in this division is the Chicago Bears.
The moves the Bears made in the first round of the draft are going to do wonders for quarterback Justin Fields. First, they brought in a legitimate #1 wide receiver when they acquired D.J. Moore from the Panthers in their trade back from the No. 1 pick to No. 9. We have seen other young quarterbacks make huge leaps recently after their team added a dynamic wide receiver – Josh Allen with Stefon Diggs, then Jalen Hurts with A.J. Brown. The addition of Moore could have a similar impact on Fields’ development.
Then in the draft, they improved Fields’ protection by picking plug-and-play right tackle Darnell Wright in the first round. I also loved the pick of running back Roschon Johnson in the fourth round. With Khalil Herbert and free agent addition D’Onta Foreman, the Bears could have one of the best rushing attacks in the league.
There is a team every year that goes from worst to first in their division, and I like the Bears’ chances of doing it this year.
NFC West Division Winner: Seattle Seahawks (+275 at BetMGM)
The San Francisco 49ers won this division last year at 13-4 despite relying on seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy as their quarterback for a large chunk of the season. While they proved they can win regardless of who lines up under center, there are enough questions surrounding their quarterback situation that they don’t represent a great bet at -140 odds at DraftKings.
Instead I’m looking at another 2022 playoff team from this division in the Seahawks. They have done a fantastic job fortifying their defense through both free agency and the draft, while adding some intriguing weapons to their offense as well.
Pairing No. 6 overall pick Devon Witherspoon with Tariq Woolen in the secondary gives Seattle arguably the best young cornerback duo in the league. I also loved the addition of Jaxon Smith-Njigba to an offense that already has great weapons in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Seattle also replaced running back Rashaad Penny with a similar (but likely more durable) player in Zach Charbonnet, and added a solid receiving back in Kenny McIntosh in the 7th round.
A Seahawks offense that ranked ninth in scoring last season should be even stronger, while their defense should be much-improved. The Seahawks are a great value bet at +275 odds.
AFC East Division Winner: Buffalo Bills (+135 at BetMGM)
It’s telling that after three-straight division crowns, the Buffalo Bills are only +130 favorites to win it again this season. That’s the effect of a future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback joining the division.
With Aaron Rodgers now officially on the roster, the Jets are going to be a trendy pick to dethrone the Bills atop the AFC East. I don’t hate that bet at +250 odds at FanDuel, but I have too many questions about the Jets’ offensive line to believe they are ready to rise to the top of one of the toughest divisions in football.
Getting the Bills at better than even money is too tempting to pass up. They have done a good job replacing their free agent losses with comparable veterans, although the loss of linebacker Tremaine Edmunds will hurt the defense. First-round pick Dalton Kincaid will add another explosive element to an already dynamic offense, and second rounder O’Cyrus Torrence will help to fortify the offensive line.
NFC South Division Winner: Carolina Panthers (+350 at DraftKings)
The NFC South might be the most wide-open and unpredictable division in the league this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won this division at 8-9 last year, but the Carolina Panthers made a late push despite firing coach Matt Rhule and trading away star running back Christian McCaffrey mid-season.
All four teams in this division will have a new starting quarterback in 2023: Derek Carr (Saints), Desmond Ridder (Falcons), Baker Mayfield (Bucs), and Bryce Young (Panthers). The Saints are the favorites to win the division likely because they have the most proven veteran quarterback and still have a solid defense, which got better with their first two picks in the draft (Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey). But the Saints also lost several key free agents and Alvin Kamara could be suspended, so their +125 odds are not very appealing.
The Panthers have done a good job of setting up Bryce Young to be successful, and he could end up being the best quarterback in the division this season. While losing D.J. Moore hurts, the additions of DJ Chark, Adam Thielen and rookie Jonathan Mingo give Young an adequate set of pass-catchers, while Miles Sanders is an upgrade over D’Onta Foreman in the backfield.
I am a believer in new Panthers coach Frank Reich, and I like the way this team finished strong last year. Take the +350 odds on Bryce Young leading them to a division title as a rookie.