Let's take a closer look to see where some value lies...
AFC WestNFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (5Dimes 4.50)
San Diego is way overpriced. This organization has done nothing outside of a few nice draft picks to warrant the kind of odds they're getting here. Even if they do turn it around and take the division, we aren't getting enough value to take that risk.
Taking KC to win the division might be a bit of a reach, but when it comes to value I like what I see here. Cassel is the clear concern, but they have a lot of things going for them. Their roster is going to be much improved from last year and best of all--they'll have the easiest schedule of the group.
AFC EastNFL Pick: New England Patriots (no value)
Not much to say here. The only other team I'd consider is the Buffalo Bills (5Dimes 10.35), but New England's schedule is just as easy. It would require a perfect storm to pull the upset. Given the value, it might be worth a shot, but the Patriots are still in a class above the rest for the foreseeable future. Don't even think about the Jets.
AFC NorthNFL Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (Pinnacle 2.30)
The Bengals are a team that will cause some problems, but with an 0-6 record vs the top teams last year I'm not ready to take that chance on them.
AFC SouthNFL Pick: Houston Texans (no value)
There is a pretty size-able gap between the Texans and the Titans on paper. Houston also have the easiest schedule in the division. In fact, I think Houston could win the division with TJ Yates at QB.
NFC WestNFL Pick: St Louis Rams (5Dimes 11.00)
So that leaves us with three other legitimate options for the upset. Even though I really like Seattle's defense and Matt Flynn, I decided to pass on them. I just don't like the supporting cast on offense enough.
Arizona is the smartest choice since their defense is also on the rise and they have better players at the skill positions on offense. I also think Kolb will win the starting job and be better than last year. The big problem holding me back is their offensive line. If Kolb (or Skelton) don't get good protection their flaws will be amplified.
This leaves the Rams. I liked their potential last year and that blew up in my face, but the changes they made in the offseason are too good to ignore. They were also one of the worst-hit teams by injuries in 2011. Call me crazy, but in such a weak division I think there's enough value on them to take a shot.
NFC EastNFL Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (Bodog 2.50)
NFC NorthNFL Pick: Green Bay Packers (no value)
The Packers have their issues, but I'm not about to fade the best player in football--Aaron Rodgers. Given the emphasis on passing now, guys like Rodgers, Brees, and Brady can compensate for a lot of weaknesses (in the regular season). If you're feeling adventurous, put a bet down on the Bears (5Dimes 6.65). They finally upgraded their offense and won't need to rely on special teams to win every game anymore. I still don't see enough improvement in their secondary, but it wouldn't surprise me if they extended the divisional race into December. Detroit is a team that I want to take a chance on, but their offseason hasn't been as good as Chicago's and they have a slightly tougher schedule. The off-field issues are also a concern.
NFC SouthNFL Pick: Atlanta Falcons (Bodog 2.40)
The intriguing team in the division is the Panthers (Pinnacle 6.70). No one really knows how much (or if) they'll improve on defense and special teams. If they could just get to the middle of the pack in both areas then I wouldn't be shocked if they made a real run at the division. However, according to my analysis they have the 4th toughest schedule on paper. That's asking a lot of an upstart team in a rebuild.