NFC South Odds, Futures and Predictions
Hey, Tom Brady is now on Tampa Bay if you didn’t know. The best part of the season starting shortly is that I don’t have to hear, see, or read any more stories about how the Bucs are now headed to the Super Bowl. Truth is I worry about any team that made major changes this offseason. There weren’t any mini-camps and even training camp was abbreviated. I would give a good size edge to any team that had minimal to no changes in personnel and the coaching ranks. 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.
Atlanta Falcons (7.5, O +100, U -120, NFCN +700)
Talent is not the Falcons problem. Staying healthy is. Matt Ryan is a top 10 QB in the NFL and we all know how good of a WR tandem that Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are. This team will score points. The defense is another matter. It’s not that they are bereft of talent there. It’s just that said talent doesn’t seem to be able to stay on the field for long periods of time. I have the Falcons at eight wins this season but that’s assuming they can beat the Saints and/or Bucs at least once. I may be asking too much. I’ll pass here.
Carolina Panthers (5.5, O -130, U -105, NFCN +1700)
When I think of the Panthers, the first thing that comes to mind is that there is a reason this team had seven picks in this past year’s NFL Draft, and with all seven picks, they took a defensive player. This defense to put it kindly is a work in progress and while they have zero chance to win the division, but they will score points as that offense is legitimate. Well, if you do the math here, they have no defense, which means teams are going to put points on the against them, and they have a good offense, which means scoring shouldn’t be an issue either. I’m smelling quite a few overs here as far as game totals are concerned. I’m also on the under 5.5 wins for the season as getting to four may be extremely difficult more or less six.
New Orleans Saints (10.5, O +100, U -140, NFCN -115)
The Saints may still be the class of the NFC even though they seem to not play their best football come playoff time. Drew Brees has only come back for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy. This team has no real weaknesses. I’m not getting a good enough price to bet on them to win the division, so I’ll punt here. The over 10.5 is in play, but looking at their schedule, I could see six losses.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9.5, O -130, U +110, NFCN +160)
Yes, I do believe the Bucs are a playoff team, but I’m not willing to call them the team to beat in the NFC, not yet, not with the Saints in their division. Sure, the Bucs WR group is fantastic, but Brady won’t have many practices to get reps with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. I love Rob Gronkowski, he might be my favorite player to watch in the NFL (the man just has too much fun playing football), but he’s not the same player that he once was, plus, the Bucs didn’t need him with Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard already on board. The defense certainly improved as the season went on last season, but it’s not elite. I like the Bucs, I really do, and I’ll bet on them to make the playoffs, but not the division.