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NFL Futures Odds: NFC Conference

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I feel like I just got a motivational speech from Ray Lewis! The closer we get to NFL season, the more intensely I feel that surge of excitement. We are getting so close to the 2018 season, and it looks to be such an interesting year.

We’ve got a plethora of young promising quarterbacks looking to prove themselves, including some first round picks in the recent draft and Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco finally getting a full season at the helm of his own squad.

The Eagles will be hoping to repeat in a feisty NFC East, where the Cowboys will be looking to get back on track. They aren’t worried about Ezekiel Elliott suspensions this year, which should be an enormous weight off their shoulders. But first, they’ll have to unseat the 2017 Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, without the help of Jason Witten or Dez Bryant.

Then you’ve got some legitimate contenders in the North, where the Vikings and Packers will be battling for the North, with both teams win totals set by Vegas at ten apiece. Minnesota is looking to build on last year’s success, but Keenum is gone, can Kirk Cousins improve on what he started? In the South, the Saints are the most heavily favored, but Cam and the Panthers are lurking and always a threat.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams hope to begin a new era of dominance in the West, hoping to ride Gurley’s bruising running and Goff’s great arm and much-improved leadership to the Big Game. But, the Niners and their shiny new QB are looking to start some new traditions of their own. Will Garoppolo continue the five-game winning streak he ended last season on? The man may be the next high-profile superstar quarterback; he’s yet to lose with his new team and has, thus far, been more efficient than every QB other than Tom Brady, Jared Goff, and Alex Smith.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve already taken down the AFC futures lines and made some bold predictions , now I’m itching to burn through these NFC divisions as well. These groups look much more competitive than the AFC did to me, with at least two competitive teams in each foursome. There are no AFC East’s in this conference, where the Patriots just get to steamroll their rivals year after year after year.

On paper, this season is going to be an absolute barnburner, especially in the NFC. I’ll first try to break down the divisional futures odds and make a prediction for each region’s winner. Then I’ll check out the over-under lines and make some picks there as well, before picking the entire conference’s representative in next years Super Bowl. Full disclosure, I swing for the fences sometimes, so you aren’t going to see all the favorites locked down like with most pundits and writers.

The odds for the futures bets were pulled from SportsBetting.ag. The win totals and the over-under odds come from the Westgate Race and Sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Odds to Win NFC West

Seattle Seahawks +400

The gradual decline of the Legion of Boom, and the Seahawks in general has been depressing to watch. Piece by piece members of their once-legendary defense have departed, and now Richard Sherman has signed with a divisional rival. Michael Bennett, their top pass rusher, left as well. The cherry on top was Kam Chancellor’s retirement, leaving them without yet another veteran leader and defensive stalwart.

The story isn’t much better on the offensive side of the ball. Sure, they still have Russell Wilson under center, and he’s always good to win you a few games you had no business winning, but he’s mainly on his own. They’ve done nothing to improve their offensive line, which has been an issue for years now and used their first-round pick on a running back.

From week 10 through week 14, Seattle’s schedule gets brutal. Wilson was already scrambling for his life in most games last year, during his toughest stretch this season he will see the Vikings, Panthers, Rams, 49ers, and Packers. Four of those teams are expected to have stout defenses with aggressive pass rushes. That’s a nightmare for poor Russell in 2018. It’s not fun being the last man on the Titanic.

Los Angeles Rams -125

The Los Angeles Rams unquestionably turned some heads last season, breaking out for 11 wins and control of the NFC West. It was a vast improvement on the four wins earned the prior year, and now the LA team is hoping to keep the ball rolling. The question is, will they be able to do that now that they’re not sneaking up on anybody? Furthermore, can they continue to improve despite having a brutal 2018 schedule?

I’m marking the Rams down as big-time regression candidates. I like Goff, and I love Gurley, but I’m not quite feeling that they’re ready to stay atop the standings in the NFC West consistently. Their home games this season are almost all against tough opponents, meaning they’ll need to win close games if they want to capture the division in consecutive years.

Arizona Cardinals +1000

The Arizona Cardinals are in for a rough one this season. Not only are they relying on either a rookie QB in Josh Rosen or Sam Bradford to step up and lead the offense, but they have the hardest schedule in their division as well. Actually, their schedule is predicted to be the second-hardest in the entire NFL.

A lot has changed in Arizona this offseason. They have a new coaching staff, have lost leadership on defense, and new quarterbacks. This feels like the beginning of a rebuild for the Cardinals, which is why their +1000 odds make perfect sense. I wouldn’t expect more than 4-5 wins maximum in 2018.

San Francisco 49ers +300

The 49ers are a tough team to handicap. They started last season going 1 – 10, before trading for Jimmy Garoppolo. With their brand new started quarterback in charge, the Niners finished the season on a five-game winning streak. In fact, Jimmy has yet to have tasted defeat as the starter for his new squad.

I have high hopes for San Francisco in the next few years, but the question is whether or not they’ll make a huge jump in year one. They’ve acquired a ton of talented players this offseason, including Richard Sherman, Jerrick McKinnon, and Pierre Garcon. Plus, I’m a huge believer in Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers head coach. He has consistently built high octane offenses as a coordinator, with the Texans, Redskins, and Atlanta Falcons, including ATL’s 2016 campaign in which they were the highest-scoring in the NFL.

Having a young, creative head coach and a promising franchise are the two most essential pieces for dramatic improvement, now we’ll see if they can meet up to their enormous expectations. Personally, I think they will. Especially since science suggests a QB’s facial symmetry and handsomeness are reliable predictors for top-tier performance. Say what you want about Garoppolo, but his good looks are undeniable. Alright, moving on before I feel any weirder about this one.

I’m taking the San Francisco 49ers in an upset pick to win the NFC West. It’ll be a tall task to knock off the Rams who just recently became a contender themselves. But I believe in Garoppolo and Shanahan, so I’m grabbing those +300 odds.

My Pick: San Francisco 49ers +300

NFC West Season Win Totals / Over-Under

San Francisco 49ers – 9 wins

Over Even Odds

As you already know, I’m all in on the new Garoppalo-Shanahan partnership in the Bay in 2018. Marquis Goodwin has become more than just a speed receiver when playing with Jimmy, and now he’ll have Pierre Garcon on the field at the same time. I trust their head coach to incorporate a creative, effective playbook and put the Niners in the position to win 10-12 games. I’m going “over” for the even money.

Seattle Seahawks – 8 wins

Under -120

After having an impressive run as a top team in the league, Seattle has slowly eroded over the last few seasons. Their offensive line has been an issue for years now, and their once-terrifying defense has lost piece after piece to other franchises. They’ve finally lost too many athletes to remain competitive. Wilson might win them 4-5 games with his typical late-game heroics, but one man isn’t enough to succeed in the NFL. Especially when he’s running for his life behind a porous line.

Los Angeles Rams – 9.5 wins

Under +120

The Rams were a pleasant surprise in 2017, winning 11 games and the division. But, repeating that feat is another matter altogether. I love the talent assembled on this squad; I just hate their schedule. They’re playing contender after contender and even go on a three-game road trip, which only 35% of teams come back from having won all three. There isn’t enough room for slip-ups in this line, which is why I have to go under.

Arizona Cardinals – 5.5 wins

Under -110

Between the new coaching staff, rookie quarterback, and the second-hardest schedule in the entire league, the Cardinals are in for a long season. They still have David Johnson, a versatile work-horse back, but he’s going to be seeing defenses load the box all year long. This season is about learning for Arizona, not competing, so I have to take the under. I just can’t find six wins on their schedule.

Odds to Win NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles -160

The 2017 NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles are going to enjoy the first part of their season the most. After opening the season on Thursday, September 6th, they’ll get ten days rest to prepare for the Jameis-Winston-less Bucs, before then facing off with the lowly Colts in week 3. But then, their record is going to pick up some steam. Philadelphia will be playing a 2017 playoff team nearly every week of the season.

There are still questions about the health of starting quarterback Carson Wentz. Nick Foles, his backup, got hot during last year’s playoffs and led them to a title, winning Super Bowl MVP in the process, but he’s not Wentz. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles should still dominate. If Haloti Ngata recovers from his biceps injury, Michael Bennett clears up his legal problems, and Malcolm Jenkins is unhampered by his thumb injury, the Birds will be a nightmare to score on once again.

The Eagles are the heavy favorite to repeat as NFC East champions and are in the top-two, according to Vegas, with regards to the chances of winning another title. Last year, their schedule was considerably weaker, allowing them to earn home-field advantage in the playoffs, which greatly benefitted Foles when Wentz went down. I’m not sure that’ll be so simple in 2018.

New York Giants +500

The Giants should consider just taking the year off because this one is going to be over early. If they haven’t been eliminated from the playoffs by week 6 or 7, I’ll be shocked. After an absolute dumpster fire of a year, in which they benched Eli Manning just long enough to end his consecutive starts streak, before bringing him back, they’ve been gifted the worst schedule in their division. And shockingly, after last seasons shenanigans, Eli is starting the year at the QB spot once again.

The team took a running back with the second pick of the draft, which I never like. If Saquon Barkley is the next Adrian Peterson or Le’Veon Bell, then more power to them. But, if not, they’re paying huge money for a position most teams can fill with a committee or lower draft picks and undrafted free agents. Whatever the case, they passed on drafting Manning’s successor, so he’s probably here to stay for awhile.

The Giants can look forward to getting Odell Beckham Jr. back, which will definitely give Eli something to work with on offense, but it’s not enough. They’ve traded away their top pass-rusher, Jason Pierre-Paul, only to replace him with a player who only notched 3.5 sacks in 2017. This is a team that recently cleaned house in the front office and coaching staff, so it’ll be at least 2-3 years before their contending for the division title again.

Washington Redskins +800

The Washington Racial Slurs have finally let Kirk Cousins move on after stringing him along for a few years, replacing him with Alex Smith. Smith isn’t anything to write home about, but he won’t lose you too many games either. He’s a safe check-down-loving quarterback that’s just there to manage games at this point.

Somehow the scheduling department gave the two worst teams in the NFC East the two hardest schedules. The poor Redskins would be potential playoff contenders in the AFC, but in their current conference, they’re currently the underdog in 14 of their games this upcoming season. Jay Gruden’s team isn’t a bad squad, they’ve just been dealt a lousy hand, leaving a division title out of reach in 2018.

Dallas Cowboys +350

The Cowboys spent much of last season fighting the league over Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, which looks worse and worse the more you research it. Goodell really is a tyrant, and his six-game ban that was ultimately applied midway through the season crushed the team. When available, he was great, and the Cowboys offense looked good. When he wasn’t, there was a significant drop-off from 2016 and in-fighting ensued.

Now the team is officially Dak Prescott’s. Jason Witten retired, and Dez Bryant was cut, ending the Romo era once and for all. It seems that Prescott and Bryant had a rocky relationship, and the outspoken wide receiver was a problem in the locker room. Now, Prescott is the man, and the offensive playbook is being revamped to suit his unique playing style.

Nobody in the NFC is going to have an easy road to the playoffs this year; there’s just too much competition. The battle for the NFC East should be particularly brutal. But the Cowboys, who have the easiest schedule amongst these divisional rivals, should get back to the promise that they showed two seasons ago.

I’m picking the Cowboys to win the East this season, as much as I hate ever betting on Dallas. My primary reason is their late-season schedule. While we’ve seen them start out hot only to crumble down the stretch, it’s hard to imagine them faltering too much when they finish their year with the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants.

If this new playbook highlights Dak’s strengths, Elliott plays 16 games, and the team has better chemistry, this might finally be the year Cowboys fans have been dreaming about since the 90’s. At +350, I feel like this bet holds more value than taking the Eagles at -160. There are too many factors at play not to grab the better odds.

My Pick: Dallas Cowboys +350

NFC East Season Win Totals / Over-Under

Philadelphia Eagles – 10.5 wins

Under -140

Eleven wins is a challenging number to hit, especially with a significantly harder schedule than the year prior. After winning it all last year, I expect a bit of a letdown in the follow-up campaign. Whether or not Wentz will be cleared to play early in the season is still a big question mark, as are the availabilities of several impact defenders. I like Foles, and expect this team to be in contention for the division title all year, but they’ll fall short of this line either way.

Dallas Cowboys – 8.5 wins

Over -150

I’m making picks for every team, and do anticipate seeing a much-improved Cowboys team in 2018, but in real life, they’re not worth betting. Their fan base is so massive and delusional; the line gets wholly skewed each year, ruining any chance of buying them at a decent price.

I’d be okay with the “over” at -130 or less, but -150 is a joke. We need to see this new Dak-centric offense and whether or not this depleted receiving core can get the offense moving again before odds like that would make sense. It feels like their year, but I’d only bet on the division futures odds, not the win total at their current prices.

New York Giants – 6.5 wins

Under +110

You’ve got an aging Eli Manning, coming off a year in which he was benched, a rookie running back that should be the Giants’ most potent weapon, and OBJ is returning from injury. Those are some okay weapons, and in Barkley’s case, could be a great one, but it’s just not enough. They don’t look like a team that will generate any sort of pass rush on defense.

Further, their schedule is so intense upfront that by the time it eases up some down the stretch, they may be tanking for a top draft pick. Their last four games are winnable, but probably won’t be worth winning for a team that’s been eliminated from the playoffs for weeks. Add to that the fact that they need a QB of the future; they have every incentive to throw in the towel if they don’t massively exceed expectations in the first half of the year.

Washington Redskins – 7 wins

Over +110

Washington was given no favors from the league this year scheduling-wise. They’ll need to start the season strong, winning the first two, before going through a gauntlet of games which will see them play the Packers, Saints, and Panthers. Regardless, I think this squad can find seven or eight wins this season.

They get the Colts and Cardinals to start the year, two games against the Giants which are winnable, the Buccaneers, and the Titans. Then they just need a couple of those fluky divisional games, with maybe one win against Dallas and/or the Eagles. Washington will need to win the games in which they’re favored and overachieve maybe three times this year, but it’s doable. I’m taking the “over” with my fingers crossed and prayers for just a pinch of luck.

Odds to Win NFC South

Carolina Panthers +275

The battle for the NFC South is going to be absolutely brutal. With three legitimate contenders to win the division, if not the conference, I can easily see two of these teams earning playoff spots. Of the three big-dogs, the Panthers might be the most difficult to handicap.

Cam Newton has seen his efficiency drastically decline over the last few years, although the front office hasn’t done him any favors with regards to surrounding him with talent. The Panthers took a wide receiver in the first round this year, so D.J. Moore should help the offense immensely across from Devin Funchess.

Their front seven is still as stout and scary as ever, though they’ll miss Thomas Davis for the first four games while he’s serving a suspension. The Panthers’ success will come down to Cam Newton’s chemistry with his offensive weapons. They’ll also need Ryan Kalil to earn that $55-million contract, because if he’s a turnstile again, Carolina will be sunk.

New Orleans Saints +150

The Saints are favored to win this extremely competitive division in 2018, but if they do, they’ll have to work for it. With games against the Rams, Eagles, Steelers, Vikings, Falcons (x2), Chargers and Jaguars, they’re going to be battling a Super Bowl contender in over half their games, especially if the Panthers are good this year.

The positive is that many of their toughest opponents will be coming to New Orleans to play, with a week six bye week nicely scheduled right before their most daunting five-game stretch.

New Orleans offense was rejuvenated last season with the addition of Alvin Kamara who excelled in the backfield alongside Mark Ingram. Drew Brees has some strong receiving talent to target with Michael Thomas, Cameron Merideth, Tedd Ginn Jr., and Austin Carr in the slot. That’s a healthy mix of speedy underneath-route guys and deep threats for Brees and Sean Payton to utilize, which they’ve always shown they will.

If their one-two punch rushing attack repeats their 2017 campaign or improves, and Brees is the same all-world QB he’s been for years now, this team is going to be a monster. It just comes down to their ability to stay healthy and sustain a grueling schedule. They’ll need to be great at home to win it all.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800

Jameis Winston is once again mixed up in a controversy involving inappropriate sexual behavior, which is going to cost him the first three games of the season. That’s an unfortunate situation for the Bucs, considering the hardest part of their schedule happens to come early when they start the year against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers.

Starting in a 0-3 hole is not an ideal scenario for any team, and will most likely tank Tampa Bays year before it begins. Their schedule starts to ease up around week ten, but in a division with three juggernauts like the NFC South, they’ll most likely be eliminated from the playoffs by them. Mike Evans and Jameis will make for a lovely fantasy-football duo, but that’s about it.

Atlanta Falcons +200

It was only two seasons ago that the Falcons had the most potent offense in the NFL. Matt Ryan was unstoppable throwing to his superstar WR Julio Jones, and Mohammed Sanu was a brilliant second option. Coming into 2018, I love that Atlanta drafted Calvin Ridley with their first pick, adding another high-level talent to the receiving corp.

There’s only one primary concern, and that’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. The troubled coordinator has had some significant humiliations in his coaching career, but I’m not sure there’s anything worse than being unable to get the ball to Julio in the end zone. I’m expecting Sarkisian to be on a short leash this season, with the possibility of being replaced after week four if he doesn’t get the offense performing the way they have in the past, and up to their potential.

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This Falcons team is deep at most positions and has a reliable defense. I really liked their second-round pickup of cornerback Isaiah Oliver to help the secondary along with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. If Calvin Ridley can become a game-breaking receiving threat, or free up more room for Julio Jones, Atlanta should be unstoppable. If that’s not the case early, Sarkisian has got to go.

I don’t have much faith in the offensive coordinator, but I feel like he’ll be out of the picture early enough to not cause too much damage. Whoever fills his shoes will be blessed with more offensive weapons than just about any team in the league. Surely they’ll be able to work with that. At +200, I can’t find a better bet in the NFC South, and that’s why I’m all in on the Falcons.

My Pick: Atlanta Falcons +200

NFC South Season Win Totals / Over-Under

Carolina Panthers – 9 wins

Under -120

This is one of those lines where I really wish there was a hook. I feel like nine wins is right on the money for the Panthers, so I’m expecting a push. Considering their question marks on offense, a significant suspension on defense and the recent play of their starting left tackle, I feel like an eight win season is more likely than ten wins, so I have to take the under. This division is just too competitive.

New Orleans Saints – 9.5 wins

Over -110

The Saints offense can run it down your throat or air it out, which is a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Looking at their extremely trying schedule, I can find likely wins against the Browns, Buccaneers (x2), Giants, Ravens, Redskins, and Bengals.

To hit the “over,” they’ll only need three more wins which seems possible if they win half of their division games against the Panthers and Falcons, and take just one game against the Cowboys, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, or Eagles. With many of their toughest games being played at home, I feel great about them going “over.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6.5 wins

Under – Even Odds

After Jameis’ suspension digs Tampa Bay an early hole, I expect their season to begin unraveling early. Week 4 against the Bears is a possibility, and they get the Browns and Bengals after a divisional game against the Falcons, but I do not see seven wins on their schedule. Starting the year without your franchise QB is a lot to ask, especially when his replacement is Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m taking the “under” with an expectation of the Bucs winning 4 or 5 games.

Atlanta Falcons – 9 wins

Over -110

I’m betting big on the Atlanta Falcons offense bouncing back in a major way. As we’ve already discussed, their offensive coordinator is an issue, but hopefully, he’s either cleaned up his act or he won’t be there long. Otherwise, that receiving core of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohammed Sanu is absolutely filthy. They’re going to put up some massive numbers this year and should win 10-11 games without much fuss.

Odds to Win NFC North

Minnesota Vikings +140

The Vikings had a stellar 13-3 record last season with Case Keenum at the helm, and have apparently improved that position by upgrading to Kirk Cousins. Cousins has been playing some great ball the last couple years, so as long as he picks up the offense quickly, this one could be the Vikings’ year to go all the way. They’ll have to get through the NFC North’s toughest schedule first.

Minnesota has all of their chips on the table for the 2018 campaign. They have lots of expiring contracts coming up at the conclusion of the season, but until then, their defense should be as stingy as ever. In fact, it could be even better with their first-round pick Mike Hughes expected to start in the slot at cornerback immediately.

I think it’s very likely that two teams from the North will be competing in the post-season this winter. Minnesota is definitely expected to be one of them. If their offense sees an improvement under cousins and their defense can manage the same level of play that won 13 games in 2017, this team is going to be a juggernaut.

Green Bay Packers +150

The Green Bay Packers are probably the best team in the NFC that gets to play a third-place schedule. That’s going to be an enormous help when it comes to taking the division crown. As always, the Packers can look forward to exceptional quarterback play from Aaron Rodgers, and this year he’s got a new toy. I expect Jimmy Graham to play a vital role in Green Bay’s offense and should be one of their primary red zone threats.

With Davante Adams and Randall Cobb picking up the rest of the receiving duties, defenses are going to have their hands full with the versatile Packers offense. Especially the defenses this team gets to meet in 2018. Green Bay is playing the Bills, Cardinals, Bears (x2), Dolphins, Jets, and Redskins giving them a lot of opportunities to run up the score and get their confidence up for a post-season push.

Chicago Bears +600

The Bears got stuck with the second most difficult schedule in the NFC North, which doesn’t bode well for second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. As a rookie, Trubisky only averaged 183 yards per game. Chicago is hoping the additions of Allen Robinson and second-round pick Anthony Miller to the receiving core will bring those numbers up some, but I doubt they’ll be nearly enough.

On defense, they don’t have much to write home about, especially as it pertains to rushing the passer. While they’ve made some slight improvements overall, they’re still a few years away from winning this division again, and that’s if Trubisky turns into a worthy starting QB. Personally, I would set this line closer to +800; I just don’t feel confident about the 2018 Bears.

Detroit Lions +600

The Detroit Lions signed one of the more desired head coaches this offseason when they lured Matthew Patricia away from the New England Patriots. He’s been one of the top defensive coordinators in the league for quite some time and appears to be making solid moves out of the gate in Detroit. I love that he drafted two offensive linemen in his first draft, as well as a full-back and a running back.

That tells me they’re looking to be more cautious on offense, relying on Matt Stafford’s cannon-arm a bit less, and increasing the time of possession. With their second-round running back and new fullback, I think we can expect a mix of heavy runs and play-action passes, with Stafford regularly going deep to stretch the defense and keep them honest.

I love the addition of LeGarrette Blount, which further indicates they’ll be utilizing a power run game. Meanwhile, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay will be there for Stafford when it’s time to air it out. The defense ranked 21st in the league last year, but that’s Patricia’s specialty, and I’d expect immediate improvement thanks to his schemes.

The combination of their more balanced offensive attack with the boost in defensive numbers a coach like Patricia brings, I’m going way out on a limb and picking the Detroit Lions to score a massive upset by winning the division. I see the Packers’ defense falling apart and Minnesota regressing to the mean, opening the door for the first-year coach to make himself a local legend.

His zone-integrity system on defense with their clock-eating offense will frustrate teams and result in lots of low-scoring wins for the Lions. I’m going way out on a limb again by predicting this one, especially with two top contenders in the division. Regardless, magic happens all the time in the NFL, and this year it’s Detroit’s turn to enjoy the ride.

My Pick: Detroit Lions +600

NFC North Season Win Totals / Over-Unders

Minnesota Vikings – 10 wins

Under -110

While Cousins should be an upgrade over Case Keenum and is the better quarterback overall, I think the Vikings actually regress this season. Minnesota enjoyed some heroic comeback moments from Keenum and won a lot of close games. That doesn’t usually happen in consecutive years. I think last season’s humiliating beatdown at the hands of the Eagles left a permanent effect, and the Vikings will struggle to win ten games. I’m taking the “under.”

Green Bay Packers – 10 wins

Over +120

I’m not as crazy about the Packers team as a whole as I am about their schedule. If Graham and Rodgers connect the way I expect them too, this offense should generate a lot of points, which will be enough to overwhelm most of their lesser opponents. I think Green Bay finishes with 11 or 12 wins but get’s trounced in the playoffs when their defense won’t be up to the task of stopping top offenses.

Chicago Bears – 6.5 wins

Under +120

The Bears didn’t do enough to improve to make me believe a full year of Trubisky is anything to get excited about. Allen Robinson is an excellent addition on the right team, but I see him being frustrated and wasted on the Bears. Between their schedule, their division, and their QB, I just can’t see them winning 7 games.

Detroit Lions – 8 wins

Over – Even Odds

I’ve got the Lions shocking the world by winning the division, so they’ll have to win more than eight games. With an improved defensive scheme and a balanced offense with an elite QB at the helm, I see massive leaps in performance as a realistic scenario in 2018. Things don’t always go well for Patriots coaches that leave the nest, but Patricia seems different to me, and his first moves as head coach have made me a believer.

Odds to Win the NFC Championship

NFL TeamsOdds
Philadelphia Eagles500
Minnesota Vikings600
Los Angeles Rams650
Green Bay Packers800
New Orleans Saints800
Atlanta Falcons1000
San Francisco 49ers1000
New York Giants1400
Carolina Panthers1600
Dallas Cowboys1800
Seattle Seahawks2000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers2500
Detroit Lions3300
Washington Redskins4000
Arizona Cardinals5000
Chicago Bears5000

The Wrap Up – My Pick(s) to Win the NFC

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Now, clearly, more than one team can’t win the NFC this year. But here’s the thing, I’m feeling one division in particular, and both possible contenders from that division are getting great odds. So, why not bet them both and maximize our chances for a massive payday?

The division I’m feeling most strongly about is the NFC South, where I see both the Falcons and Saints emerging as playoff contenders. Both teams are getting excellent prices to win the conference title, which makes me want to bet on both. If I had to choose one, it’d be the Saints. While I see their passing attack as weaker than Atlanta’s, their running backs are much better and Kamara’s second campaign should continue where his rookie season left off.

This feels like the last ride for the Brees and Payton area down in New Orleans, especially after the QB breaks the all-time passing record. If he’s thinking retirement soon, that could be the extra boost the roster needs to rally around and perform to their best. Football is an emotional game, any added motivation is useful. Putting $100 on both of these NFC frontrunners is a promising wager that I’m feeling great about!

My Pick(s): Atlanta +1000 or New Orleans +800