Smart Picks and Expert Predictions of the 2017 NFL Season

Smart Picks and Expert Predictions of the 2017 NFL Season

Written by on July 19, 2017

Will Tom Brady and the New England Patriots live up to their preseason status as the prohibitive favorites to win consecutive Super Bowl titles this NFL season? Can Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons rebound from their crushing Super Bowl 51 collapse to contend again in 2017? Can Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks get back to being the best team in the NFC or will Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers take another step forward after coming up just short of reaching Super Bowl 51 a year ago?

Find the latest NFL betting odds here.

With the start of the 2017 NFL regular season getting closer by the day, football betting enthusiasts everywhere need some ‘smart’ picks that they can ‘take to the bank’ this coming season. While I’m certainly no Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein in terms of raw brainpower, I believe the NFL knowledge that I’m about to drop, is as ‘scholarly’ as any you’ll find anywhere. If you want to know what’s going to go down once the 2017 season gets underway in a mere matter of weeks, then let’s get to it.

A Closer Look At The Smart Picks and Expert Predictions of the 2017 NFL Season


Division Winners

AFC East – New England Patriots

In keeping with No. 45’s theme of making the rich even richer, the New England Patriots could be even better in 2017 than they were in winning Super Bowl 51 last NFL season. Gronk will be back and the Pats have a new and legitimate No. 1 wideout in former Saints star Brandin Cooks. It’s an absolute no-brainer that New England wins their eighth straight AFC East division title.

AFC West – Denver Broncos

Everyone is in love with the blossoming Oakland Raiders, but I’m just not sure they’ve improved their defense enough to overtake a Kansas City Chiefs team that tied them with 12 wins and won the competitive AFC West division last season. Believe it or not, I’m going with the Denver Broncos to upset both Super Bowl hopefuls in 2017, mostly because I think John Elway’s hiring of Vance Joseph was an absolute stroke of genius. Denver has an elite defense and I suspect that either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch will stun everyone with some outstanding play under center in 2017.

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the pick to win the AFC North, if only because Baltimore is stuck in neutral and Cleveland is going to be pretty awful (again). Right now, I’ve got a funny feeling that Cincinnati could give Pittsburgh a real run for their money in 2017, but I’m going with the Steelers to bag the division title for the second straight year simply because you can expect some sort of dysfunction out of the Bengals at some point in the NFL season.

AFC South – Tennessee Titans

The Houston Texans may have finally found their answer at quarterback after drafting former Clemson star Deshaun Watson, but I’m going with Marcus Mariota and the blossoming Tennessee Titans to get the division win after nearly doing so in 2016. Tennessee might have very well won the AFC South had Mariota not gotten injured in Week 15 and right now, he’s the best quarterback in the division (sorry Andrew Luck). Tennessee has an excellent defensive coordinator in NFL ‘lifer’ Dick LeBeau and I can easily see them making the leap from so-so to very good in 2017.

NFC East – New York Giants

Everyone outside of their trio of NFC East rivalry cities is apparently in love with the Dallas Cowboys after they went 13-3 last NFL season to win the division for the second time in the last three seasons, but I’m going with Eli Manning and the New York Giants to bag the division crown in 2017 because of their superior defense, which finished second in points allowed a year ago.

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks

Don’t think twice about it, the Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West in 2017, even though I like the Arizona Cardinals to give them a bit of a challenge for division supremacy. Seattle still has a very scary defense that finished the 2016 campaign ranked third in points allowed and their offense could get a huge boost after adding powerful running back Eddie Lacy in free agency. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are the easy pick to win the NFC North this NFL season.

NFC North

Really? Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are the easy pick to win the NFC North, although I am expecting the Minnesota Vikings to challenge them for the vast majority of the NFL season. After coming up one game short of reaching Super Bowl 51 a year ago, make no mistake about it, the Pack will be back to challenge for conference supremacy in 2017.

NFC South

Young quarterback Jameis Winston is both, a clear-cut franchise signal-caller – and a winner. The Bucs are my pick to upset Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans for the division title in 2017 after drafting tight end O.J. Howard and signing speedy veteran wideout DeSean Jackson in free agency. If the Bucs can improve a defense that ranked in the bottom third, both against the run and pass, they could not only win the NFC South division title, but make an extended playoff run that stuns everyone.

AFC Wild Cards

Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders

NFC Wild Cards

Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers

AFC Championship

I’m going with the Patriots to meet the Steelers in the AFC title tilt with Pittsburgh pulling off an upset for the ages to deny Tom Brady and the Pats an appearance in Super Bowl 52.

NFC Championship

In the NFC, I’m going with the Seattle Seahawks to get back to being the very best team in the conference by beating the New York Giants in the conference championship.

Passing, Rushing and Receiving Leaders

While I’m not prepared to give up my Super Bowl 52 winner just yet, I do like Drew Brees to lead the league in passing while LeSean McCoy wins the rushing title and Julio Jones leads the NFL in receiving yardage.
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