Non-Divisional Leaders Who Are Set To Clinch Their Divisions
As we near the end of the 2019 NFL season, some divisions are currently in the thick of things with multiple teams vying for playoff spots, with others that are in a firm stranglehold by a team dominating, compared to their divisional peers. We’re going to take a look at which teams are currently not in first in their division, but have the best chance to win the division by years end.
The Colts currently sit in second in the AFC South with a 5-3 record, one game back from the Houston Texans who currently top the division at 6-3. The Colts are undefeated in their division at 2-0, with the Texans dropping one in their division as they hold a 2-1 record. The Colts hold the tiebreaker over the Texans as they won the first contest in Indianapolis by a score of 30-23, and will meet once more in Week 12 on Thursday Night Football. The Colts’ season will depend on the health of QB Jacoby Brissett as he suffered a sprained MCL in Week 9 and is currently practicing on a limited basis. As it currently stands, the Colts sit at +200 odds to win the AFC South, and with only the Texans and New Orleans Saints as the tougher opponents remaining on their schedule, they very well could find themselves in the drivers seat come playoff time.
The Vikings happen to be stuck behind a fantastic Green Bay Packers team that currently holds a 7-2 record, with the Vikings at 6-3. The Vikings are struggling within their division as their intra-divisional record is 1-2, losing to both the Packers and the Chicago Bears. The Vikings have an incredibly tough schedule moving forward as teams like the Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, and Packers remain, though they’re a talented team who is beginning to hit their stride and continues to play cohesive and complementary football. The Vikings currently sit at +180 odds to win the NFC North.
The Eagles are currently 5-4, sitting only half a game back from the Dallas Cowboys as the divisional leaders at 5-3. The main difference separating these teams is the Cowboys’ unbeaten 4-0 record in the division – which includes a thrashing of the Eagles. The Eagles are only 1-1 in the division, with four divisional games left to play as they’re jampacked near the end of their schedule. The Eagles have a tough two-game stretch with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks coming up, but the schedule eases up considerably with the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants twice, and Washington Redskins remaining on the docket. The Eagles currently sit at +100 odds to win the NFC East.
The NFC West is likely the best division in football, with the last unbeaten team in the NFL residing within the division. The 8-0 San Francisco 49ers hold the division lead, with the 7-2 Seahawks in second place, and the 5-3 Los Angeles Rams in third. The Seahawks are currently 2-0 in the division and have a massive matchup against the 49ers upcoming on Monday Night Football. The two games that remain between the 49ers and Seahawks are likely to decide the division, though I wouldn’t be so quick to count the Rams out just yet. The Seahawks have only one game left against an opponent with a losing record, proving just how brutally tough their remaining schedule is. As it currently stands, the Seahawks sit at +400 odds to win the NFC West.
The potential for divisional leaders to change is there, with the season still possessing eight weeks worth of games to be played. Thus far, not many divisions – well, technically none – have been decided, but some are clearly more competitive than others. These are my choices for the best bets to overtake their divisions by seasons end.