It feels like just a short while ago that the New England Patriots were stunning the world with their overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. But thoughts have already turned to the 2017/18 season, with the Patriots set to welcome the Chiefs to the Gillette Stadium on 8th September to kick things off. Savvy tipsters are already making their selections for Super Bowl LII winners. If you have already made your picks, you should discover just why William Hill offers the best NFL betting odds for regular season games and the playoffs.
In light of the upcoming season, here is a look at some of the teams ready to make waves in the NFL this year:
Love them or loathe them, the Patriots are already looking like the strongest franchise heading into the new season. They are locks to take their 14th AFC East title in 15 years. The AFC East features weak Dolphins, Bills and Jets sides, but it may not be until the Patriots take on the Broncos in Denver (Week 10) that we get to see the true mettle of Bill Belichick’s team. A fit and firing Tom Brady is, as ever, crucial to New England’s hopes. Expect the franchise quarter back to make more history this season in leading the Patriots deep into the playoffs.
Often cited as the world’s most valuable sports team, the Dallas Cowboys had a decent 2016. A tidy 13-3 record allowed them to clinch the NFC East and a narrow loss to the Packers in the Divisional Round hinted at more to come this year. Pundits are split on the Cowboy’s prospects, with some suggesting last year was a fluke and others plumping for a dream Super Bowl against the Patriots. Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott, could have a big say in making two good seasons in a row for the Cowboys.
While most of the early chatter has surrounded the Patriots and Brady, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers may just end up being the real stars of 2017. Having Rodgers on the same side as Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, not to mention Martellus Bennett, means the Packers could be the best offensive side in football. Get through some tough early games (Falcons, Seahawks) and momentum could take the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay in February.
Everyone’s list of strong contenders for Super Bowl LII must include the Seahawks and Steelers. For the Seahawks, a decent schedule should see them make the most of their brilliant home record. They are anything but a long-shot this season. Last year was a case of what might have been for the Steelers. Having a healthy Le’Veon Bell may make a huge difference this year. There is little doubt they will make the Playoffs, and if all remain healthy, they could oust the Patriots as kings of the AFC.
Perhaps this year it will be one of the 13 teams that have never won a Super Bowl? The most likely candidate from that group is clearly the Falcons. Twice runners up, last year and in 1999, making the Playoffs should be the minimum requirement for what is a hugely talented team. The Panthers and Cardinals will also see themselves as having a chance of that first Super Bowl win come 4th February 2018.
The new season is set to be both intriguing and exciting in equal measure. As ever, summer predictions count for nothing in the NFL. Not long to wait until all these questions and more finally get answered.