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Sharp bettors back Jets in NFL futures odds

Updated February 25, 2021 - 7:34 pm

At this time last year, professional sports bettor Mark DeRosa bet big on Buccaneers futures based on his belief that Tom Brady would join Tampa Bay and lead it to the Super Bowl title.

DeRosa won more than a half million dollars as Brady did just that.

Perhaps based on a belief that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be traded to the Jets, sharp bettors at William Hill on Thursday wagered on New York to win the AFC East, AFC and the Super Bowl.

“Maybe they know something,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “I don’t know. Maybe they think Sam Darnold will start playing better.”

In the biggest move since William Hill posted 2021 NFL division odds, the Jets dropped from 20-1 to 12-1 to win their division.

The Buffalo Bills are -190 favorites to repeat as AFC East champions, followed by the Miami Dolphins (+320) and New England Patriots (5-1).

“It looks like a two-horse race there, unless you think the Patriots can have a miracle resurrection,” Bogdanovich said. “The Bills deserve to be the favorite, they’re still young and getting better. But the Dolphins are definitely a quality live ’dog, that’s for sure.”

Watson would reportedly waive his no-trade clause to join the Dolphins, Jets and Carolina Panthers.

“Miami would be awesome with Watson,” Bogdanovich said.

NFC South

One bet DeRosa lost last season was on the Bucs to win the NFC South, as the New Orleans Saints won the division for the fourth straight year. Tampa Bay is the -140 favorite to win the division, followed by the Saints (+220), Panthers (+750) and Atlanta Falcons (+850).

“Tampa accomplished their mission, everything went their way and Brady will be another year older,” Bogdanovich said. “But the Saints were the better team for most of last season, and they’re still a team to be reckoned with.

“We just don’t know what they’re going to do at quarterback. It’s between (Drew) Brees, (Jameis) Winston and Taysom Hill.”

AFC West

The Kansas City Chiefs are the biggest division favorites at -400 to win the AFC West for the sixth straight year, followed by the Los Angeles Chargers (+475), Raiders (+750) and Denver Broncos (16-1).

“The Raiders could be live. They gave the Chiefs all they could handle in both games last season,” Bogdanovich said. “The Chargers are definitely live with (QB Justin) Herbert. They’ve just got to stay healthy.

“If the Raiders have a good draft and sign one or two free agents, they’ve got good pieces there. (Running back Josh) Jacobs is fantastic, and (Darren) Waller is as good a tight end as there is. They just need a little help on defense. It can turn fast.”

NFC West

The Rams are +180 favorites to win the NFC West, followed by the 49ers (2-1), Seahawks (+250) and Cardinals (+650).

The division features three of the top nine Super Bowl contenders in Los Angeles (10-1), San Francisco (14-1) and Seattle (20-1), with Arizona in the middle of the pack with the Raiders at 35-1.

“That’s the best division, no question about it,” Bogdanovich said. “When the worst team is the Cardinals, who have a bright future, that’s a very strong division. The numbers are assuming Russell Wilson stays in Seattle.”

Rodgers, Pack back

The Green Bay Packers are the second-largest division favorite at -250 to repeat as NFC North champs.

“This is assuming that (Packers quarterback Aaron) Rodgers will be back, which I fully expect he will,” Bogdanovich said.

The Dallas Cowboys are +110 favorites to win the tight NFC East, followed by Washington and the New York Giants at +350 and the Philadelphia Eagles at 4-1.

“Anyone can win that division,” Bogdanovich said.

The Baltimore Ravens are +110 favorites to win the AFC North over the Cleveland Browns (2-1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (+275).

“Anything can happen in that division,” Bogdanovich said. “(Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) is old, maybe Cleveland was a flash in the pan.”

The Indianapolis Colts are +105 favorites to win the AFC South over the Tennessee Titans (+115).

“Will be interesting to see if (Colts QB Carson) Wentz has anything left,” Bogdanovich said. “Looks like another two-horse race here to me.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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