- The 2023 NFL schedule release is expected on Thursday night.
- Seattle (+275) could challenge San Francisco (-165) in the NFC West.
- The Lions will need a friendly schedule to back up all their offseason hype.
The 2023 NFL schedule release is scheduled for this Thursday, May 10.
This is an annual watershed moment, as major NFL odds consumers will finally have all the crucial information they need to start diving into the numbers and laying out futures bets and contest strategies.
I am planning to enter a major Survivor contest for the first time this year, which means I’m paying particularly close attention to this calendar announcement.
But for those who are limiting their involvement to traditional straight bets and NFL futures markets, here are a few things to keep in mind this week when the schedule is released.
Seahawks Schedule: Does Seattle Have a Path in the West?
Last year, the Rams were a small favorite to repeat in the NFC West, with San Francisco a close second. Seattle was in a distant fourth place, as far as the odds market was concerned, in full rebuild mode and with no realistic shot at the playoffs.
What a difference a year makes. This year, it’s San Francisco that’s coming off a deep playoff run, despite stapling together a functional seventh-round quarterback on the fly.
With the Rams and Cardinals in something of a rebuilding cycle, it’s Seattle that is in the trendy, up-and-coming No. 2 hole in the NFC West odds table.
With the addition of first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Geno Smith will have his most explosive offense since he was playing in the Big 12. That’s a big reason why the Seahawks moved from 50-to-1 to 40-1 in the Super Bowl odds market after the draft.
A Seattle Super Bowl run is probably a bit too rich for my blood. But can the Seahawks challenge San Francisco for the division at +275? That seems a little bit more doable. Let’s see what the schedules look like.
AFC West Schedule: Can Anyone Challenge the Chiefs?
Last year, there was a great deal of offseason chattering — which included me, I’m sorry to say — about whether or not the Chiefs were vulnerable in a division that suddenly looked loaded.
You know what happened next. The Chiefs won the AFC West for a seventh consecutive time, then won the Super Bowl. Denver imploded. The Raiders were just straight-up bad. The Chargers were good but clearly not ready to challenge the Reid/Mahomes power structure.
KC is a rightful, odds-on favorite to win the division an eighth straight time at -165. Is this a lock? The NFL schedule release could give us some insight into any potential vulnerabilities that might exist. (Spoiler alert: They probably don’t exist.)
Browns Schedule: What Do Sharp Bettors Like About Cleveland?
One of the more curious movements in the Super Bowl odds market after the draft was the quiet purchase of Cleveland Browns stock.
I didn’t think their draft was particularly notable, nor did any of the NFL Draft experts that I read regularly. Deshaun Watson still hasn’t played a full season of winning football since 2019. The AFC North is loaded with great quarterbacks and hyper-competitive organizations.
Nevertheless, at least some prominent signals in the NFL futures odds market seem to be marking the Browns as one of the NFL Draft winners.
What exactly is it about the Browns that would make them special enough to contend at the highest level?
I suspect I’m going to have to wait until September for an answer on the football side of things, but the NFL schedule release should provide some insight into the week-to-week fundamentals.
I might be willing to tail the line movement — even if it’s a lateral move to something like a win total — but I’m going to want to see that schedule first.
Lions Schedule: Is There Substance Behind the Detroit Hype?
I wrote last month about the viral betting sensation that is the Detroit Lions’ betting odds market. Somehow, a whopping 47% of NFC Championship tickets are on Detroit.
Yes, you read that right. About 50% of the market is on the Lions, and 50% is on the combined other 15 teams in the NFC. Totally nuts. Go read the piece when you’re done here for all the details.
Anyway, with all this Lions hype … what’s their actual schedule going to look like? How many winnable games are they going to be dealt, and what does that add up to in a projected NFC playoff field?
And if I don’t like their chances, or I think their odds are priced out … What’s the counter move? I might want to take the Vikings to repeat as NFC North champions, which is looking awfully lucrative at +325.
NFL Futures Betting at BetMGM
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