NFL Betting Trends- Odds to Win the NFC North
The calendar has turned the page to July and later this month all 32 NFL teams will open training camps in preparation for the start of another season. As part of an ongoing series, NFL Betting Trends is taking a closer look at the current odds for every NFL team in terms of their chances to win their respective division. This week we turn our attention to the NFC North.
Green Bay Packers -140
Green Bay is not only a prohibitive favorite to add yet another NFC North title to its resume this season; it is a +800 third-favorite to win the conference behind San Francisco and Seattle. The Packers have posted double-digit victories in nine of their last 12 seasons including an 11-5 mark last season. The problems with this team in the past two seasons have come in the playoffs after dominating the regular season.
Anytime you have a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers running your offense, you know that you will be able to move the ball up and down the field through the air. The key difference this season that could get the Packers back to the Super Bowl is the addition of a legitimate running game after selecting both Eddie lacy and Johnathan Franklin in the draft.
Chicago Bears +350
The Bears appear to be the only team in this division that has the talent to put some kind of pressure on Green Bay. The addition of Marc Trestman, who came over from the high-flying Montreal Alouettes of the CFL with veteran quarterback Jay Cutler could be one of the more interesting head coach-quarterback combinations to watch this season. If these two can quickly get on the same page, Chicago’s offense could be downright explosive.
The big question for this team is on the other side of the ball. The Bears decision to part ways with veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher ushers in a brand new era for their defense. How quickly the players that were added to the roster can step up to fill his void will go a long way towards determining how well Chicago does this season.
Minnesota Vikings +550
Not to take anything away from Minnesota’s stunning 10-6 record and subsequent playoff appearance in 2012, but it will be hard pressed to duplicate that kind of performance this season. The team played well beyond expectations, but it also got its fair share of breaks along the way.
It is doubtful that Adrian Peterson is going to rush for over 2000 yards so the pressure will be dialed-up on Christian Ponder at the quarterback position. This could spell trouble considering that Vikings were ranked 31st in the NFL last season in passing yards per game. Minnesota will also have to tighten up a defensive secondary that was ranked 24th against the pass.
Detroit Lions +600
The Lions took a major step backwards last season with just four wins after going 10-6 in 2011. They now become a team at the crossroads considering all the talent it acquired over the past few seasons through high picks in the draft. Detroit still has a quality quarterback in Matthew Stafford and the best wide receiver on the planet in Calvin Johnson, but that is not nearly enough to compete in this division.
Detroit’s defense could be the real key to any kind of turnaround in 2013. After ending last season ranked 27th in the league in points allowed, it added defensive end Ziggy Ansah with the fifth overall pick in the draft and cornerback Darius Slay in the second round, but it will take more than that to fully address the issues on this side of the ball.
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.