NFL Division and Conference tips: Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks feature
Simon Sinclair | September 1, 2016
Five NFL Division and Conference tips
Ahead of the new season starting on September 9th, Coral experts give some NFL Division and Conference tips for what promises to be another compelling campaign of American football.
What are the most intriguing betting options for punters from many outright markets available? Read on to see what we’re tipping as top value…
Jacksonville Jaguars to win AFC South Division
The Jaguars have endured numerous seasons of struggle, last reaching the playoffs in the 2007 campaign. They’ve failed to reach .500 in the past five years which has seen them reside in the top five selections of the Draft.
As a result, Jacksonville have been able to stock up on some of the most promising talent to emerge from the college system. Owner Shahid Khan has shown patience with head coach Gus Bradley, and this could be the year when he is rewarded by a return to the playoffs.
Their offense has the ability to be one of the best in the league should quarterback Blake Bortles continue his development, while in Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas they boast a formidable receiving corps.
Defensively the Jaguars should see a dramatic improvement from last term, with number three overall pick from 2015 Dante Fowler ready for action after missing last season through.
The signing of tackle Malik Jackson from Denver Broncos could make their line a dominant force against their rivals in the division, and so Jacksonville are a terrific 3/1 to win the AFC South.
Oakland Raiders to win AFC West Division
It’s time for the Oakland Raiders to end their 13-year playoff drought as there is more than enough talent at the disposal of Jack Del Rio to win the AFC West at 11/4.
They finished 7-9 last term defeating the Broncos in their own stadium, as well as playing close contests against Kansas City Chiefs.
Oakland’s defense boasts one of the superstars of the game – linebacker Khalil Mack, who single-handedly destroyed Denver last season. He will have support from Bruce Irvin, plus fellow new boys Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson in the secondary to improve their 22nd-place ranking.
Quarterback Derek Carr will have to build on his promising campaign after throwing 32 touchdowns last term, while Amari Cooper could join the elite receivers the league with another outstanding year.
All the talent is there, as well as the opportunity given the transition phase the Broncos are going through, while the Chiefs may take a step back due to Justin Houston’s injury problems.
New York Giants to win NFC East Division
The NFC East is the most unpredictable division in the NFL, given that every side has claimed the title at least once over the past five years.
Ben McAdoo has taken the reins as head coach from two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin, rising from his position as offensive coordinator, but like his predecessor will be at the mercy of the displays of quarterback Eli Manning.
When Manning is on the top of his game he can be exceptional, proven in his two runs to deliver the Vince Lombardi trophy to the club. However, there is also the bad side to his play when he commits costly turnovers, which are vital in a division as the tight as the NFC East.
On the bright side for McAdoo, Odell Beckham Jr is arguably the best wideout in the NFL and strikes fear into the hearts of opposing defenses. Meanwhile, rookie Sterling Shepard could alleviate the strain on Manning and Beckham by becoming a consistent option in the slot.
The Giants (7/4) were the biggest spenders in free agency to improve their porous defense. Defensive end Olivier Vernon and cornerback Janoris Jenkins penned lucrative deals to sign for the club. Both have talent, but will have to deliver for this New York franchise to win the division for the first time since 2011.
Seattle Seahawks to win NFC Conference
Although the NFC contains talented sides such as the Vikings, Panthers, Packers and Arizona Cardinals, Seattle should prove the cream of the crop.
Pete Carroll’s men have reached the playoffs in all but one of his six terms with the Seahawks, advancing to the Super Bowl twice.
The form of quarterback Russell Wilson will be crucial to their success as they take a step into the unknown without the presence of running back Marshawn Lynch, although Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael have shown promise during the last campaign and pre-season.
Seattle’s defense has been the best in the NFL for the past four years, and with the ‘Legion of Boom’ entrenched in their secondary it should continue for a fifth.
Michael Bennett remains one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL, while Cliff Avril and second-year player Frank Clark will ensure that facing the Seahawks will not be enjoyable experience for opposing quarterbacks.
Should they remain injury-free, Carroll’s men will be a difficult force to contend with in the battle to be the NFC’s representative at Reliant Stadium in February. Side with Seattle at 4/1 to win the NFC Conference, then.
New England Patriots to win AFC Conference
New England Patriots will be without superstar quarterback Tom Brady for the opening four matches of the season due to his suspension for the deflategate scandal.
However, the Patriots are still well placed to return to the Super Bowl by winning their Conference at 7/2, having reached the AFC Championship game for five years on the bounce.
Bill Belichick’s men will boast one of the most potent offenses in the NFL when Brady returns to the fold, although backup Jimmy Garoppolo will benefit from the talent around him in the first month of the season.
Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end and biggest endzone threat in the game, while Martellus Bennett will open up further space for All-Pro following his arrival from Chicago Bears. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan will also offer a strong complement in the passing game.
Defensively, New England parted company with one of their best players Chandler Jones in the off-season, sending him to the Cardinals. The onus will be on Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jabaal Sheard to keep the points off the board to send the AFC East outfit to Houston.
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