NFL Divisional Odds Spinning After Another Turn Of QB Carousel

By Akiva Wienerkur   March 23, 2022 

NFL Divisional Odds Spinning After Another Turn Of QB Carousel

Many assumed the 2022 NFL offseason would carry change with it, but few understood the extent. The spinning quarterback carousel left analysts, bettors, and fans dizzy following the flurry of moves. These changes forced sportsbooks to reconsider their NFL Divisional Odds for next season. 

Futures odds remain fluid through the first week of free agency. And with the 2022 NFL Draft right around the corner, rosters are still far from set. But, with the exception of a few spots, most of the starting quarterback openings have been filled.

So, here’s a look at how the turning quarterback carousel affected the NFL Divisional Odds for 2022. 

NFL Divisional Odds Reflect Packed AFC

While predicting the starting quarterback for each team is always a dicey proposition, this offseason it was near impossible. That’s especially true in a suddenly loaded AFC. 

AFC West Divisional Odds 

The most seismic of these quarterback moves involved teams in the AFC. The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos kicked off the carousel with the trade of Russell Wilson. Seattle agreed to ship Wilson to the Broncos in exchange for tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, quarterback Drew Lock, two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick.

This move alone shifted the NFL divisional odds for the AFC West dramatically. At Caesars Sportsbook, the Broncos went from +450 to +250 to win the division. The Kansas City Chiefs saw their odds get longer following that deal, going from -175 to +125. Chiefs went to +150 following their signing of free agent receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

The Los Angeles Chargers responded to these moves by adding defensive difference makers adding cornerback J.C. Jackson, Khalil Mack, and more depth. The Chargers divisional odds have fluctuated throughout this process, starting at +450 and dropping to +275. 

Not to be left out, the Las Vegas Raiders made a seismic move of their own, adding All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. The Raiders’ odds have bounced around as well, topping out at +1100 prior to the deal for Adams. Las Vegas now sport +700 odds at Caesars. 

AFC North Divisional Odds 

At different points this offseason, betting odds bounced between Cincinnati and Baltimore. That all changed once the Cleveland Browns joined the fray. Although the civil case remains active and possible league discipline still looms, Cleveland took a spin on the quarterback carousel by trading for Deshaun Watson. The Browns had already added receiver Amari Cooper as well, so they’ve seen their odds improve from +325 to +175 at both DraftKings and Caesars.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) jogs off the field after a play against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) jogs off the field after a play against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Divisional odds for the Cincinnati Bengals bounced between +150 and +225.The defending AFC champions then added to La’el Collins to their offensive line and saw their odds improve to +200. The Bengals needed to upgrade their offensive line, especially considering that unit surrendered 70 sacks between the 2021 regular season and playoffs, the third-most in NFL history.

The Baltimore Ravens held the division lead as late as Week 12 last season, but an injury-riddled collapse down the stretch. A healthy Ravens team remains a title contender, which explains their +225 betting odds. Both Baltimore and Cincinnati saw their divisional odds fade following the Watson trade. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, saw Ben Roethlisberger retire, and despite a solid defense, they remain a longshot with +850 odds. 

AFC South and AFC East Divisional Odds

The Indianapolis Colts took a couple of turns on the quarterback carousel. Indy dealt Caron Wentz to the Washington Commanders, then traded for Matt Ryan to fill the void. 

Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Matt Ryan (2) holds up his new uniform after a press conference to announce his joining of the team at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Matt Ryan (2) holds up his new uniform after a press conference to announce his joining of the team at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
 

That combination of moves saw the Colts’ AFC South division improve and draw even with the Tennessee Titans. Turns on the quarterback carousel is nothing new for Indianapolis, considering Ryan will be their seventh different starting quarterback in seven years. 

The Colts are the only squad to see their divisional odds move in a significant way. DraftKings lists Indianapolis and the Titans with +120 odds to win the AFC South. Caesars has them tied at +120.

The Jacksonville Jaguars sit at +600 (DraftKings) and +700 (Caesars). 

The Houston Texans check in with the longest odds, +2200 (DraftKings) and +3000 (Caesars). 

The AFC East is the only division in the conference that hasn’t taken a turn on the QB carousel. That said, the Buffalo Bills remain the betting favorite to win the AFC. Buffalo’s at -225 to win the AFC East at Caesars and -200 at BetMGM. 

The Patriots, who’ve won the AFC East in 11 of the last 13 seasons, follow at +340 (Caesars) and +350 (DraftKings). 

The Miami Dolphins trail at +675 (Caesars), and the Jets remain extreme long shots at +2500.

NFL Divisional Odds for the NFC

Other than the NFC South, the divisional odds in the NFC have remained fairly steady through all the turns of the quarterback carousel. Odds for the NFC winner remain jumbled near the top, with different sportsbooks listing different teams as betting favorites.

NFC South Divisional Odds 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s return altered Tampa Bay’s future proved to be the defining factor for the NFL Divisional Odds in the NFC South. In the wake of Brady’s retirement, the Buccaneers still sported the best odds for the division, but they weren’t the odds-on favorites. Most sportsbooks slotted them with +110 odds, with the other three teams bunched behind between +300 and +500. 

When Brady announced his return, the Bucs odds jumped to -225 at DraftKings and -278 at FoxBet. The New Orleans Saints saw their odds improved as they flirted with the addition of Deshaun Watson. But the Falcons had the most dramatic improvement in their divisional odds, going from +1300 to +300 at DraftKings and +400 at Caesars when it looked like Watson was going there. 

Once Watson went to Cleveland, both the Saints and Falcons saw their odds fade. The Saints slipped to +450 at DraftKings, with little improvement once they brought back Jameis Winston. The Atlanta Falcons added Marcus Mariota after a spin on the quarterback carousel, but their divisional odds sunk to +850 at DraftKings. 

The Carolina Panthers still hold the longest divisional odds for the NFC South. Carolina lingered in the Watson conversation, but once they were out of the running, the Panthers saw their odds fade to +1100 at DraftKings.

The Other NFC Divisional Odds

The other groupings in the NFC saw little meaningful fluctuation in their NFL Divisional Odds. The NFC North kept the same order throughout the offseason, despite the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay. The Packers started as -150 favorites to win the division, then improved to -210 once Rodgers announced his return. Green Bay saw their odds fade to -190 following the trade of Davante Adams. 

The Minnesota Vikings sport the second-best odds for the NFC North division crown. The Vikings saw their fluctuate from +250, where they started, to +340 when Rodgers returned, and finally to +275 once Adams was dealt. The Bears hold +850 odds from FanDuel and +900 from DraftKings. The Lions remain longshots at +1200 at DraftKings and +1400 at FoxBet. 

Betting odds for the NFC West have remained tight throughout the offseason. The defending Super Bowl champs, the Los Angeles Rams, hold the best odds at +160 (DraftKings), despite the turn over on their roster. The Rams hold +550 odds from FoxBet to win the NFC once again. The 49ers hold the next best odds (+180), followed by the Cardinals (+320). Following their spin on the quarterback carousel, the Seahawks hold the longest odds at +1000 (DraftKings) and +1300 (UniBet). 

The Dallas Cowboys remain the odds-on favorites to win the NFC East, with -130 odds at DraftKings. The Eagles sport +310 at Caesars and +325 odds at DraftKings. The Commanders took a turn on the QB carousel and landed Carson Wentz, but his arrival only improved their odds from +500 to +475. The Giants trail with +800 odds. 

Odds on the Next Quarterback Move 

Several teams still see questions lingering with their quarterback situations, including the Panthers, Steelers, and Seahawks. The Falcons brought in a stopgap with the addition of Marcus Mariota. The Steelers did something similar by signing Mitchell Trubisky. 

With the addition of Deshaun Watson, the Browns all but announced to the league Baker Mayfield’s available. Although the team declined Mayfield’s trade request prior to acquiring Watson, it remains to be seen if Cleveland still wants the former No. 1 overall pick on their roster. 

Prior to their acquisition of Matt Ryan, the Colts held the best odds for Baker Mayfield’s next team. Now, oddsmakers view the Seahawks (+200) and Panthers (+300) and the most likely destinations for Mayfield. 

The other veteran quarterback rumored to be riding the quarterback carousel is Jimmy Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers spent serious draft capital to select quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick last year. It’s only a matter of time before he assumes the starting role. 

Neither Mayfield nor Garoppolo would move the needle in terms of NFL Divisional odds, but they certainly could affect what happens in the 2022 NFL Draft

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