NFC North Odds, Futures and Predictions
The NFC North just might be the worst division in the NFL. The Packers lost several players to free agency and decided to draft for the future rather than any immediate needs this past April. The Vikings also had several departures including Stefon Diggs who was traded to Buffalo. Chicago doesn’t know who will be their starting QB and it’s hard to have much confidence in either Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky. Detroit, well, they are the Lions. We will use FanDuel Sportsbook odds as our baseline. The over/under win total is listed first, followed by the juice for each total and finally the odds to win the division. The teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Chicago Bears (8, O +110, U -130, NFCN +370)
In truth, I think anyone can win this division. Perhaps, if Foles wins the starting job, he can find the magic that helped him lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory. That would seem quite a bit to ask, but not out of the realm of possibility. At +370, I don’t mind taking a shot. The O/U of eight wins, seems about right, so I would leave that alone, but if I had to take a shot, I’d go under here as it’s hard to find the Bears to be all that impressive and the first half schedule doesn’t give me much hope for a successful season in the windy city
Detroit Lions (7, O -115, U -105, NFCN +500)
While it’s not true, it does seem like every year there is one team that goes from last to first in their division. Well, if you believe this, Detroit has to be the favorite to be that team. I like the direction Miami is headed, but they aren’t going to win the AFCE. We know there isn’t a snowballs chance in Hades that Jacksonville or Cincinnati win their divisions and does anyone believe that any team other than Kansas City will win the AFCW? Washington is a mess. Carolina has the Saints and Bucs way ahead of them and while the Cardinals are improving, and probably finish second in this vote, they still aren’t ready to win the NFCW. Why not throw a few bucks on the Lions to win the division. There is no dominant team here. The first team to get to 10 wins, maybe nine, wins this division.
Green Bay Packers (9, O +120, U -140, NFCN +190)
When you have Aaron Rodgers, you have a chance, but ARod has not looked like Hall of Famer he will one day become the past couple of years. It doesn’t help that the Packers elected not to give him any immediate receiving help in a strong draft for wide receivers. The offensive line also took a hit which impacts how ARod will play as he isn’t a rhythm and timing QB. Rodgers likes to dance around in the backfield and buy time to hit the big play and may also have to do so if teams elect to do their best to take Devante Adams away from him. What I’m trying to say is that the Packers sold their soul to win 13 games last season, that’s not happening again. The Packers are still the team I expect to win the division, but it will be a close battle all season long and likely depends on which team has the least amount of injuries.
Minnesota Vikings (8.5, O -170, U +145, NFCN +165)
That the Vikings are the favorite to win the division at +165 is a surprise. Their offense is likely to sputter as the passing game may struggle without the home run threat that Diggs provided. Sure, the run game is great with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, but today’s NFL is a passing league and the run game will only get you so far, especially when you don’t have a dominant defense. There may not be any obvious weaknesses on this team, but outside of RB, there aren’t any big-time strengths either. I’m not bashing Kirk Cousins here either, but come on, he’s not the type of QB that is going to raise the level of those players around him.