With under 10 weeks left until the start of the NFL season, it’s time for me to figure out which team will have the best regular-season record in 2021.
The Short Prices
Let’s be fair, it’s no surprise to find the two teams who competed in the Superbowl last year at the top of this list at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) with the Chiefs at +300 and Buccaneers at +500 to have the best regular-season record.
Remarkably the Buccs have managed to return all of their offensive players from the run last year and haven’t had many departures on the defensive side of the ball. Sure, Tom Brady is another year older but he got better as the season went on last year and while time will surely catch up with him eventually (I think) he’s still playing at a very high level and has a lot of talent around him.
Somehow despite having a 1st place schedule for the coming year the Buccs actually have one of the easier seasons ahead of them according to opposing team win totals, ranking as the 3rd easiest. Their division has weakened with the Falcons looking considerably worse and the Saints going into their first season without Drew Brees in two decades. It’s all looking good for them this year.
The Chiefs have looked at what happened in the Superbowl, and most people realized the offensive line was a big weakness and cost them any shot at winning the game. It’s no good having the best QB in his generation without anyone protecting him, so they’ve invested heavily at the position with the main additions being Joe Thuney, who is considered one of the best Guards in the league and the biggest move for the line and Orlando Brown who they traded for from the Ravens. It’s been a big overhaul and one that should pay off for them.
The offense will need more out of Clyde Edwards-Helaire but relies mainly on plays from Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, both of whom are still at the top of their game. The talent behind them isn’t top tier, but when you’ve got Mahomes throwing the ball it doesn’t need to be and it’s worked for 3 years in a row now, so I don’t think they’ll worry there.
The Chiefs have a middling schedule and should win their division again although the Broncos and Chargers are looking stronger coming into the year.
It’s tough for me to see past the Chiefs on the AFC side of things, it just works for them with Mahomes and Reid and I don’t see that changing this season, the closest priced teams to them are the Bills at +900 and the Ravens and Browns at +1200 coming out of the AFC North. I can’t bet any of them though, I think the Bills will regress a little as the division is tougher and they had a very high season last year while the Ravens and Browns will take wins off of each other, and the AFC North has a horrible schedule this season, although I’d expect both to win 3 of 4 games at least against the Bengals and Steelers.
The NFC side of things is far more open with the San Francisco 49ers at +1200 the most obvious pick ignoring the Buccs. They were hit by injury at all positions last season leaving them 4th in division, however that now means they’ve got the easiest schedule on paper and with players coming back healthy they could make good use of it.
Their divisional rivals the LA Rams are the same price and have gambled their future to make the Superbowl either this year or next, they strengthened at QB with Matthew Stafford coming in and weren’t a million miles away last season they could pull off the divisional win but will they win more than the Buccs?
I have to mention the Packers at +2000 who have won 13 games in each of the last two seasons; the rumors of a possible opt-out from Rodgers and the general stress around that situation is keeping the price high but makes it a riskier bet.
The final team to mention is this year’s Hard Knocks team, the Dallas Cowboys at +2500. Another team hit with injuries last year as Dak went down. They will need the defense to improve which it should under new coaching, they’ll need Dak back and mobile, he should be and they’ll need to put games away. They have the offensive talent to do so and I think they should win their division this year. With the talent and the 2nd easiest schedule, it’s worth a shot at a big price.
Team to have the best regular-season record: Kansas City Chiefs at +300 or Dallas Cowboys at +2500 at BetOnline
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.