It’s official in Houston: C.J. Stroud will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. Coach DeMeco Ryans made the announcement after the Texans stopped the New Orleans Saints, 17-13, in their preseason finale. The Texans were the last NFL team to name their starting quarterback, who started all three preseason games and went 11 of 18 for 89 yards overall, with one touchdown pass and one interception in eight total series. Bryce Young (Carolina) and Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis) will also start Week 1 at quarterback despite being rookies. As the regular season approaches, let’s look at each team’s NFL Odds, analysis to win their conference and advance to the Super Bowl.
NFL Futures Winners for Teams to Surprise Us in 2023 after the Preseason | Bet NFL Football Lines
Washington Commanders | NFL Futures
Odds to Win NFC Championship: +3100
Odds to Win Super Bowl 58: +6800
The Commanders have won two NFC East titles in the last ten years (2015 and 2020), but it’s been a long time since this team has been a leaguewide contender. They haven’t won an NFC Championship or a Super Bowl since 1991. The sale of the team by Daniel Snyder removes a black cloud from atop the team, though, and the solid coaching that Ron Rivera has provided has elevated the team culture. Adding Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator has upped the ante as far as team intensity even more.
The Commanders had one of the top pass rushes in the league in 2022, even without Chase Young. The pass defense limited opposing quarterbacks to 172.9 passing yards per game and a quarterback rating of 83.3 over the last 10 games of the regular season. On offense, Terry McLaurin is a top-ten wide receiver, and Jahan Dotson made the Pro Bowl last year. With Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas and Curtiss Samuel also in the mix, Bieniemy has a lot of options. Sam Howell is a young quarterback, but if he can just be average, the Commanders will surprise a lot of teams.
Bet on the Commanders to Win Today
Odds to Win NFC Championship: +3200
Odds to Win Super Bowl 58: +6800
Starting Bryce Young in Week 1 means that the Panthers will have to wait until he comes through the NFL learning curve, but given that he excelled at Alabama, that curve might not take long to negotiate. Consider how quickly Joe Burrow rounded into an elite NFL quarterback for Cincinnati, showing steadiness and command in his rookie season before an ACL tear brought that campaign to a close. Burrow excelled at another SEC West school – LSU. Miles Sanders has arrived as the featured tailback after helping Philadelphia get to the Super Bowl last year.
On defense, the Panthers ranked 11th against the run in 2022, with a front seven that includes Justin Houston, Brian Burns, and Derrick Brown. They need a cornerback to emerge opposite Jaycee Horn in the formation to boost the pass defense.
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NFL Futures | Atlanta Falcons
Odds to Win NFC Championship: +2300
Odds to Win Super Bowl 58: +5800
One factor that will help Desmond Ridder in his first full season as the Atlanta starting quarterback is the offensive line, which is in the league’s top ten. Not only will this give Ridder time in the pocket, but it also means that there will be holes for Bijan Robinson to carry the ball, and teams will have to respect the play-action.
The Falcons’ defense was poor in 2022, but the team put some money into that side of the ball, so that unit should improve this year. David Onyemata, Zach Harrison, Lorenzo Carter, and Calais Campbell should take some of the pass rush burden off the back of Grady Jarrett. Jeff Okudah and Jessie Bates have arrived in the secondary to keep the pass defense from getting torched. Could the Falcons win this division? I think they can.
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