The beginning of March brings us one step closer to the start of NFL free agency and next month’s college draft as all 32 teams continue to try and find the missing pieces that will get them to a Super Bowl next season. This week, NFL Betting Trends wrap-ups its look at winning the conference championship in 2013, with TopBet futures odds for a few of the teams favored to win the NFC.
The San Francisco 49ers won the NFC last season with 28-24 road victory over Atlanta after coming just short in the game in 2011 with a loss to the New York Giants. Given that all the pieces from a shutdown defense and a highly productive offense should remain in place, it is east to see why the 49ers have been opened at +400 to win the conference again in 2013. The one wildcard in this whole scenario is quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He certainly looked like the real deal over the second-half of the regular season and in the playoffs, but defensive coordinators will now have plenty of time to scheme against him. If he returns to form right out of the gate, San Francisco is going to be very hard to beat, but the pressure will be dialed-up on the third-year vet to play at that same high level.
NFL Futures Odds As long as Aaron Rodgers lines up behind center, the Green Bay Packers will remain one of the favorites to win the NFC. For 2013, they have also been opened at +400 to get back to the Super Bowl. One of the issues for the Packers heading into next season could be finding a few new targets for Rodgers in the passing game with Donald Driver retiring and Greg Jennings’ future with the team still up in the air. Green Bay will also have to address a running game that ranked 20th in the league last season as well as plug a few holes on a defense that was ranked 17th at stopping the run. None the less, the Packers’ overall talent remains deep enough to secure another NFC North title and favorable seed for the playoffs.
The third favorite to win the NFC nest season is the Seattle Seahawks at +600. The Seahawks are coming off a very successful season that took them all the way to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The main problem I have with them getting even farther next season is two-fold. First, Seattle still has to contend with the 49ers in the division and would most likely have to once again take the wildcard route to get to the title game. The second is quarterback Russell Wilson. There is no doubt that his performance last season as a rookie was both unexpected and spectacular. The big question is how will he avoid the dreaded sophomore slump that has affected so many other quarterbacks in the past? Just ask Cam Newton how his second season in the NFL went.
The Atlanta Falcons have been one of the most consistent teams during the regular season over the past few years and 2012 was no exception with a NFC-best record of 13-3. All of their past issues have come in the playoffs, but they are still +800 fourth-favorites to break through and finally win the NFC next year. The Falcons may have already taken a step backwards after having to release some high-profile veterans such as Michael Turner, John Abraham and Dunta Robinson due to salary cap issues. They will also have to contend with the rejuvenated New Orleans Saints who have head coach Sean Payton back at the helm.
The odds for a few of the other main contenders to win the NFC next season are the Saints at +1000, the New York Giants at +1100 and the Washington Redskins at +1200.
2013 NFC Championship Futures Odds
Arizona Cardinals +5000
Atlanta Falcons +800
Carolina Panthers +2000
Chicago Bears +1600
Dallas Cowboys +1400
Detroit Lions +2500
Green Bay Packers +400
Minnesota Vikings +2500
New Orleans Saints +1000
New York Giants +1100
Philadelphia Eagles +2000
San Francisco 49ers +400
Seattle Seahawks +600
St Louis Rams +3300
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3300
Washington Redskins +1200
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.