With the preseason now in the rearview mirror, it's a mad dash to the 2021 regular season. As we step closer to the Sept. 9 opener between the Cowboys and defending champion Buccaneers, we here at CBS Sports are making our calls as to how the season is ultimately going to unfold. Here, we'll be rolling through our staff picks for each division this coming season. Given their success a season ago, the Buffalo Bills were an extremely popular pick in the AFC East. Meanwhile, our experts were split on the NFC West where three different teams were pegged as the possible winner.
Before we jump into all our picks, here's a rundown on the staff members making the picks: Senior NFL writer Pete Prisco; NFL insider Jason La Canfora; NFL insider Jonathan Jones; staff writers John Breech, Jared Dubin, Jordan Dajani, Josh Edwards, Jeff Kerr, Tyler Sullivan, Chris Trapasso and Ryan Wilson.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Wilson: Bills -155. Josh Allen and this offense are too good -- and will be improved over a year ago -- and the defense will be better too.
Dubin: Bills -155. The Bills seem like the clear class of the AFC East. The Pats and Dolphins are likely to vie for a second-place finish, and I still trust Bill Belichick more than anyone else to get his team up a level. The Jets just don't have enough talent (yet) to compete.
Prisco: Bills -155. The Bills weren't a fluke last year and they will be even better this season. Josh Allen for MVP? It's possible. The Patriots and Dolphins will fight for second, with New England getting it — no matter who plays quarterback.
Sullivan: Bills -155. Both the Patriots and Dolphins are on the cusp of contention, but this is Buffalo's division to lose at this point. Josh Allen and Co. should also have their sights set even higher than a second consecutive AFC East crown, though.
Dajani: Bills -155. The Patriots are an intriguing flier at +350, but I think the Bills can repeat as divisional champs. Josh Allen got paid and should be as confident as he has ever been, plus the defense should be improved. The ground game is still a question mark, but I'll take Buffalo here.
Breech: Bills -155. I'm buying all the Bills stock I can get my hands on. Not only am I picking them to win the division, but I've got them as my Super Bowl team out of the AFC.
Jones: Bills -155. They won't win it as easily as last year with the Patriots bearing down on them, but they are by far the most complete team in this division.
Edwards: Bills -155. I think New England is going to be much improved and are likely to make the playoffs. With that being said, I am not going to disrespect the Bills. They have earned the NFL's respect and are a legitimate contender on the back of Josh Allen.
Kerr: Bills -155. Hard to pick against the best quarterback and the top offense in the division. Allen is a MVP candidate again and the Bills have an excellent group of pass catchers to aid him in his quest for the league's top honor. Buffalo has the makings of a 13-win team.
Trapasso: Bills -155. Most complete team in the division with an elite-level offense and continuity galore.
La Canfora: Bills -155. Best roster in division, best QB by far. If they can keep their anti-vaxxers in line sky is the limit.
Wilson: Browns +145. Baker Mayfield is playing with confidence -- thanks in part to Kevin Stefanski leaning on the run game and putting his quarterback in position to succeed -- and that will serve this team well late in the season.
Dubin: Browns +145. I had a lot of trouble deciding between the Browns and Ravens, but Baltimore's injuries on offense tilted me in Cleveland's direction. I could easily see it swinging the other way, though. I am not confident in Pittsburgh's offense, nor in Cincy's defense.
Prisco: Browns +145. The Browns have the most talent, but now they have to deal with expectations. I think Kevin Stefanski and gang will handle them well. The Steelers will be good if the offensive line holds up to edge out the Ravens for second in the division. The Bengals are a year away.
Dajani: Browns +145. I've been a detractor of this team in the past, but with the additions it made on defense in free agency and in the draft, I think the Browns can be the best team in this division. Their ceiling hinges on Baker Mayfield, but with the offensive line, running back duo and wide receiving corps he has to work with, I'm confident he can do enough to win the AFC North.
Breech: Steelers +400. Everyone is sleeping on the Steelers, except for me, because I don't sleep. This team won the division last year and I'm expecting it to repeat as champs in 2021.
Sullivan: Browns +145. Year 2 under Kevin Stefanski has the promise of big things in Cleveland. That's also not mentioning a stellar offseason by the Browns that should put them over the top in this division race. There's a ton of pressure on Baker Mayfield, but I believe he puts together a career year. Good value here.
Edwards: Browns +145. Baltimore has had Cleveland's number but the work done by Kevin Stefanski in his first season while dealing with the coronavirus has been underappreciated. They were a blown targeting penalty away from potentially knocking off the Chiefs to advance to the conference championship. The defense has been substantially upgraded and the leadership is strong.
Jones: Browns +145. Cleveland will need another sound and solid year from Baker Mayfield if it wants to beat out the Ravens for the North. All the other pieces are in place.
Kerr: Ravens +120. This division suddenly opened up with J.K. Dobbins' season-ending injury. Hard to see Baltimore's run game missing a beat with him out, even though Dobbins appeared set for a breakout year. Baltimore still has an elite defense and Lamar Jackson is the quarterback. The most dangerous player in the NFL should get the Ravens back to the top of the division.
Trapasso: Browns +145. Genuine and effective identity on offense with a competent coach. The defense will take a step forward.
La Canfora: Browns +145. They are for real and Clowney will have a big year.
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Wilson: Titans -120. With questions about Carson Wentz's health -- and other key injuries in Indy -- it's hard not to stick with the proven commodity in Tennessee. It's not sexy, but Ryan Tannehill is quietly one of the league's most efficient QBs, Derrick Henry is the best running back and the defense will be better (in part because it would be hard to get worse).
Dubin: Titans -120. You could have maybe talked me into the Colts taking the AFC South prior to all those foot injuries they suffered during the preseason. The only thing keeping me from predicting Jacksonville will finish last is the decrepit Houston roster.
Sullivan: Titans -120. I don't love this pick -- especially as the team deals with COVID issues -- but Tennessee is the most well-rounded team in this division. Not sure I trust Carson Wentz and Colts just yet even if he is reunited with Frank Reich.
Dajani: Titans -120. I'm pretty confident in this pick. The Texans won't be a contender, the Jaguars have a first-year head coach and then the Colts have a huge question mark with Carson Wentz at quarterback.
Prisco: Titans -120. The Titans need to be better on defense, but I think they will be. The offense will be explosive. The Colts need Carson Wentz to play well, but they have some holes. The Jaguars are a year away.
Breech: Titans -120. I'm basically picking the Titans by default. The Jaguars and Texans are bad and the Colts can't get out of their own way (Someone either seems to be getting injured every week or placed on the COVID list).
Jones: Titans -120. Tennessee is going to take what may very well be the worst division in football. The Colts will challenge, but banking on good Carson Wentz for 17 games is too much.
Edwards: Colts +145. It will be either the Titans or Colts. I am banking on a healthy Carson Wentz -- which admittedly is likely foolish -- rather than Tennessee's defense taking a leap forward and the offense not being impacted by the departure of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. The loss of Smith has been undersold this offseason.
Kerr: Titans -120. Tennessee has the pleasure of playing in a division with the Texans and Jaguars -- not to mention a Colts team that has injuries across the board and a brutal schedule to open the season. The addition of Julio Jones makes this team a Super Bowl contender.
Trapasso: Titans -120. The Titans may not be an 11 or 12 win team, but this division is the weakest in football and Mike Vrabel is one of the game's better coaches.
La Canfora: Titans -120. Still have issues on defense but offensive identity will carry them in weak division.
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Wilson: Chiefs -320. We love the Chargers but it's hard to imagine them unseating Kansas City any time soon.
Dubin: Chiefs -320. I want to know where anyone who projects a team other than the Chiefs to win this division gets their drugs.
Jones: Chiefs -320. The Chargers are going to contend in this division and be within one score of both matchups against K.C., but the two-time defending AFC champs win the West again.
Prisco: Chiefs -320. The Chiefs are the class of the AFC, and with the rebuilt offensive line they will score a ton. The Broncos should be outstanding on defense, but it's all about Teddy Bridgewater. The Chargers will be fun to watch with Justin Herbert. Las Vegas has too many defensive issues to compete.
Dajani: Cheifs -320. Not even sure if the juice is worth the squeeze in betting this, but yeah, I think the Chiefs are the easy pick.
Breech: Chiefs -320. As long as Patrick Mahomes is their quarterback, I will likely be picking the Chiefs to win the division, which means I will likely be picking them for at least the next decade.
Sullivan: Chiefs -320. The only thing that would have made this call a bit more difficult to make is if the Broncos swung a trade for Aaron Rodgers this offseason. That never materialized and it's now once again Kansas City's division to run away with.
Edwards: Chiefs -320. Could I paint a scenario where the Chargers win the division? Sure, but it would be reckless. Kansas City upgraded its offensive line this offseason and that should obviously lead to more explosive plays down the field. The defense is still a question mark but I'll take my chances with that offense.
Kerr: Chiefs -320: This division is talented, but betting against Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes is asinine. Kansas City is set up to win its sixth straight AFC West title as long as Mahomes stays healthy.
Trapasso: Chiefs -320. Superb offensively and underrated defensive with immense star power on both sides of the ball.
La Canfora: Chiefs -320. Super Bowl or bust
Wilson: Washington +225. This is one of the best defenses in the NFL and Ryan Fitzpatrick's gunslingin' mentality means Washington can light up the scoreboard.
Dubin: Cowboys +135. I do not feel great about this Cowboys prediction, but I tend to lean toward offense over defense and they pretty clearly have the best offense in the division. If their defense completely implodes then either Washington or New York will emerge, and I like Washington's talent better on both sides of the ball.
Jones: Washington +225. For the first time since 2004, we get a repeat winner in the East. Washington leads with its elite defense and good enough QB play from Ryan Fitzpatrick and others.
Prisco: Washington +225. Washington will be one of the best defensive teams in the league, while the offense will be improved with Ryan Fitzpatrick. They edge out the Cowboys. Dallas will be in the mix with the offense back rolling with Dak Prescott, but the defense has issues. The Eagles and Giants both have too many issues.
Breech: Washington +225. I never thought I'd pick a team led by Ryan Fitzpatrick to win its division, but I'm going to do it this year. I'm already 40% sure I'm going to regret this.
Sullivan: Washington +225. Yes, Dallas' offense should be a lot of fun to watch, but Washington has all the talent in the world on defense to slow them down in this division. Offensively, Ryan Fitzpatrick should give them some stability at the quarterback position, which is all they need to win the NFC East for the second consecutive season.
Dajani: Washington +225. This division is really up in the air, but the Cowboys are known to disappoint while the reigning division champs have a new quarterback, a couple new intriguing wideouts and what I think will be the No. 1 defense in the league.
Edwards: Cowboys +135. The NFC East is a similar, but poor man's conversation to the NFC West where it is easy to create an argument for any of the four teams. Dallas' offense should be difficult to defend if Mike McCarthy will allow it. Washington's defense might have some say in how this season plays out but I'll bet on a healthy Dak Prescott over Daniel Jones, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jalen Hurts.
Kerr: Washington +225. Having a top-5 defense could be enough for Washington to become the first repeat winner in the NFC East since the Eagles in 2003 and 2004. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can manage to start all 17 games and generate a top-15 offense for Washington, the Football Team will be back in the playoffs. Watch for Antonio Gibson to enter the conversation as a top-5 running back.
Trapasso: Cowboys +225. Dak is back. The defense will be a weakness. That's fine. It's a pass-first league, and Dallas will be difficult to slow offensively.
La Canfora: Washington +225. Defense wins mediocre divisions. Front 7 is beastly and Fitzy is an upgrade.
Wilson. Packers -155. The Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour if officially underway and the Vikings will basically serve speed bumps along the way.
Dubin: Packers -155. Once Aaron Rodgers decided to play, this division felt pretty locked in. The Packers are the best team by a significant margin. The Vikings are closest, but not that close to them. And the Bears are just more talented than the Lions, though Dan Campbell might be crazy enough to guide his team to more wins if Chicago's O-line falls apart.
Jones: Packers -155. Green Bay may have this division wrapped up shortly after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure this one will be particularly close.
Prisco: Packers -155. With Aaron Rodgers back, the Packers are the class of the division. They will win it again with the Vikings finishing second. I think Minnesota's defense will be much improved. The Bears and Lions are a distant third and fourth.
Sullivan: Packers -155. For as long as he's with the Packers, the NFC North is Aaron Rodgers' division. No other rival should really come close to rivaling them for the crown.
Dajani: Packers -155. Run it back! With this being Aaron Rodgers' potential "last dance," I think this team wins the division again. Keep an eye on rookie WR Amari Rodgers. He could add something to this offense in Year 1.
Breech: Packers -155. The Aaron Rodgers revenge tour has started. I'm not even sure who he's trying to get revenge on at this point, but I can assure you that no one is safe.
Edwards: Packers -155. The prediction is in part because of Aaron Rodgers and the success that he has had with Matt LaFleur but I also believe the defense is improved. The expected system change and how personnel fits into that model is promising.
Kerr: Packers -165: The Bears won't start Justin Fields in Week 1, the Vikings have Kirk Cousins, and the Lions are rebuilding. Not betting against the league's MVP and a Packers team that reached the conference title game in consecutive seasons.
Trapasso: Packers -155. This division will be more competitive than it's recently been. The Packers are still the best, most well-rounded club.
La Canfora: Packers -155. Vikings will at least push them this year.
Wilson: Buccaneers -200. This is how good this Tampa Bay team is: They could start Blaine Gabbert for 17 games and we'd still pick them to win the division.
Dubin: Buccaneers -200. The defending champs should have an easier time winning their division this year. Count me among those skeptical of the Jameis Winston era in New Orleans, I suppose.
Jones: Buccaneers -200. The first team in a century to return all starters from a Super Bowl winner? Don't overthink this, especially in that division.
Prisco: Buccaneers -200. Tampa Bay is the favorite in the NFC with 22 starters back. That's unheard of. I think they are a better team than the one that won the Super Bowl. If Jameis Winston is good, the Saints will be. That's a big if. The Falcons could be interesting if they can generate some pass rush. Carolina is building.
Sullivan: Buccaneers -200. Tampa Bay should have Chiefs-like odds in this division race, so this is still good value. They brought back every starter from that Super Bowl-winning club of a year ago and Tom Brady should only be better as he enters his second season with the Bucs.
Dajani: Buccaneers -200. The Buccaneers are returning all of their starters and Drew Brees is no longer in the league. The Saints could be a fun team to watch with Jameis Winston under center, but I'm not ready to pick him to outplay Tom Brady.
Breech: Buccaneers -200. There's a good chance that Tampa Bay is going to be the only team in this division to hit double-digit wins.
Edwards: Buccaneers -200. Tampa Bay's roster is too deep and talented to predict any other team to win the division. Barring an injury to Tom Brady, the Buccaneers should cake walk into the playoffs. Continuity is important and roster retention will have them in a position to contend again.
Kerr: Buccaneers -200. Tampa Bay is loaded on offense and defense -- returning all 22 starters. Tom Brady's MCL recovery is a concern, but the Buccaneers have the No. 1 run defense in the league over the last two seasons, not to mention their pass rush is very good. They'll win the division for the first time since 2007.
Trapasso: Buccaneers -200. Brady has made it exceedingly difficult to bet against him.
La Canfora: Buccaneers -200. Don't bet against Tom Brady.
Wilson: Rams +180. Matthew Stafford, Sean McVay and that Rams defense makes this group one of the NFL's best teams. And even in the toughest division, Los Angeles comes out on top.
Dubin: Rams +180. The NFC West is the best division in the NFL. I could see any of the Rams, Seahawks, or Niners winning the division, and I just put them in order of which offenses I trust most.
Sullivan: 49ers +200. This division is absolutely stacked, but I see it more as a coin flip between the Niners and Rams than I do a three-team race with Seattle sprinkled in. I lean more toward San Francisco, but this will be close.
Jones: Seahawks +280. The most competitive division in football see a familiar face rise to the top. I like Seattle with fans in the stands this year.
Dajani: Rams +180. Give me the Rams! I'm all in with Matthew Stafford and this top-ranked defense. The loss of Cam Akers was pretty significant, but adding Sony Michel makes me feel a bit better about their chances.
Breech: 49ers +200. I'm not sold on the 49ers, but for some reason, I feel like they're going to be the best team in the impossible-to-predict NFC West.
Prisco: 49ers +200. No matter who plays quarterback for the 49ers, they will win the division. Jimmy Garoppolo should open the season and the 49ers will be run-heavy again. The defense will be better. The Rams with Matt Stafford will push them, but keep an eye on the Cardinals. They will be much better on defense. I have the Cardinals edging the Rams for second.
Edwards: 49ers +200. It should be a tight divisional race between all four members but I'm placing confidence in Kyle Shanahan. I do think Trey Lance will be the starter sooner rather than later and that will be a fruitful marriage with Shanahan. The Rams will take this down to the wire.
Kerr: Seahawks +280. This is the hardest division to pick, as all four teams can win it. Seattle has Russell Wilson and a defense that allowed just 16 points per game over the final eight games of last season -- first in the NFL. I'll take a risk and pick a team that has a better offensive line and a dangerous passing attack.
Trapasso: 49ers +200. I believe in Kyle Shanahan's play-designing inventiveness and the 49ers star power.
La Canfora: Rams +180. New QB will be massive