Neil Monnery: AFC my pick for the Super Bowl Winner
Coming into the season one of the things that strikes me is just how stacked the NFC is. With the likes of Philadelphia, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Green Bay all within the 9/1 to 11/1 range. This makes it tough to pick a team to win it all from among this bunch.
An injury here, a bad call from an official there and when teams are so well-matched, that can change a franchise's season.
Hence why I'm looking to the AFC for my Super Bowl LIII pick. The Pats on paper are the best but they cannot go on forever. Losing defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is an underrated blow to their defensive capabilities. 4/1 just seems like a short price and a little bit boring.
So give me the Jacksonville Jaguars at 18/1. They have a defense that evokes memories of the 2016 Broncos and 2001 Ravens, both of whom used formidable play on that side of the ball to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Having a defensive line that can trot out the likes of Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler Jr. is like playing Madden on cheat mode. It'll be a rare sight to see this unit not dominate along the trenches.
Both Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are lock-down corners that can cover the big name wide receivers meaning that even if an opposition QB has time to throw, he'll struggle to find wide open guys down the field.
Clearly offensively they have some challenges but if Leonard Fournette can stay healthy and Blake Bortles can limit the turnovers, the Jags have all the qualities needed for a deep run in the playoffs and indeed to win it all.
Kieran O'Connor: Oh when the Saints come marching in
I know, it seems an obvious one but the Pats winning the AFC Conference at 2/1 is a great bet.
They are 1/14 to win the AFC East. Look at the sides that will be in the AFC East. The Bills have manged to downgrade their own team by changing the quarterback from Tyrod Taylor to, well, who knows? Shady McCoy should keep them going but he is getting on at this stage. Miami have problems all over and the Jets look even worse than last year.
All this means the Pats will walk the AFC East, this makes it likely the AFC Championship game is in Foxborough again this year. At home in the play-offs, do you really see the Steelers, Jags or Chargers beating New England? Only a Tom Brady injury stops this train.
The NFC is so much stronger than the AFC so it is risky to even look at it but, the Saints look primed for a big year. They were seconds away from the NFC Championship last season.
Drew Brees is still the man, even at 39. Michael Thomas is an excellent WR & the double punch of Kamara and Ingram can trouble any team. The NFC South is stacked with Saints, Falcons & Panthers all competing so a safe bet is the Saints to win the NFC South @ 8/5 but I expect them to conquer the Super Bowl at 16/1.
Romilly Evans: Packers got my pick
The NFC looks stacked this year, but some of the resulting prices on show about the Green Bay Packers emerging as its Super Bowl candidate mean I'm happy to roll the dice at 10/1.
The Pack sport perhaps the most solid roster on both sides of the ball, forged over recent years in a crucible of consistency and continuity - all masterminded by the no-nonsense approach of head coach Mike McCarthy.
Of course, another steadying hand on the tiller comes from the long arm of Aaron Rodgers, whose recent contract renewal (a four-year deal worth a baseline $134m) makes him the highest-paid player in NFL annals. At quarterback, arguably the most consequential position in any sport, it's difficult to argue - and I don't expect the record price tag to weigh heavy.
Rodgers makes plays all day - just look at his stellar 4-1 TD-INT career ratio - and invariably comes up trumps when the game's on the line. Now he has stud tight end Jimmy Graham as a fresh outlet (just in case you thought he'd miss dearly departed Jordy Nelson) alongside some wise-guy wideouts in Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.
There's a real sense of urgency in Green Bay this year. For all their consistency, they're without a Vince Lombardi trophy since 2010, and have to capitalise now. McCarthy's unity of purpose, coupled to a cornerstone homefield advantage at trademarked "historic Lambeau Field", puts the Packers in prime postseason position.
Elsewhere, while I naturally also like some derivative Rodgers markets for regular season passing and MVP, swerve those shorter prices and take Todd Gurley to light it up in LA. This battering Ram is hardly the best-kept secret in the NFL but he led the league in scrimmage yards (2,093) and rushing scores (13) last season, averaging nearly five yards-per-carry. Enough said at 4/1.
Otherwise, at fancier prices, chance Miami's Cameron Wake at 16-1 to be this year's sack leader. The Fins' explosive defensive end is looking to leave a legacy, and this is his chance. Wake is in shape and motivated in an offensively gung-ho division, working for a defensive co-ordinator who likes to bring the heat.