NFC North NFL Betting Preview

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2014

NFC North

NFL Betting Preview

Odds and Predictions

The NFC North had an irregular 2013 season to say the least. The Packers locked up their third straight division, despite Aaron Rodgers missing seven Games. The division was there for the Bears and Lions to win, but both failed to seize the opportunity, as Chicago lost its final two Games and Detroit lost six of its final seven Games. With Rodgers expected to play in more than nine Games, the Packers are looking to win their Fourth straight division title.

Odds to win NFC North

courtesy of Sportsbook.ag

Green Bay Packers -120
Chicago Bears +320
Detroit Lions +400
Minnesota Vikings +1500

The Green Bay Packers didn’t have much to do in the offseason for obvious reasons. They already boast one of the best offenses in the league when Aaron Rodgers is healthy. The defense was mediocre last season, but that’s what happens when you get injuries. Rodgers lost James Jones in the passing Game, but they still have Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and the viable Jarrett Boykin. On the defensive end, the Packers picked up Julius Peppers, who can make an immediate impact with Clay Matthews on the other side. The Packers drafted CB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and he’s expected to start from the go along with WR Davante Adams, who can step up if injuries occur. The Packers are favored for a reason and they have a winning pedigree.

All the talk in the offseason has been about the Chicago Bears offense and how they can be one of the elites in the league. There’s no reason that can’t be the case, but the bigger factor may be the offseason additions on the defensive end, an area where they struggled in 2013. The Bears added Jared Allen and LAmarr Houston at defensive end, along with M.D. Jennings and Ryan Mundy at safety. Those are just a couple of names and they re-signed all of their top playmakers as well. Combine a better defense and potent offense and there’s no reason the Bears can’t compete with the Packers. Jay Cutler has two of the best wide receivers in the league to work with in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, as well as one of the best all-around backs in Matt Forte. The problem may be if Cutler gets injured because it’s looking like Jordan Palmer may be his immediate backup.

The Detroit Lions are slightly behind the Bears in the odds and that’s more of a testament to their recent play. The Lions have a high-powered offense and solid defense, but have not been able to put it all together. If you bet the Lions, you believe that Jim Caldwell can lead this team in a different direction and that Joe Lombardi can get this offense going like his Saints teams. The Lions have the tools on offense; they added Golden Tate and Eric Ebron to bolster the receiver corps even more. Their front seven on the defensive side is one of the best in the Game, but their secondary still lacks playmakers and they replace Louis Delmas at safety with former Raven James Ihedigbo. Even with the new coaches, it’s hard to trust the Lions at this point.

While the Minnesota Vikings have some things going in their favor, they aren’t going to win the division this year. They are still a couple years away from competing, unless Teddy Bridgewater is the next Andrew LUck.

To get the Packers at -120 is fairly decent. If Rodgers stays healthy for the majority of the season, it’s hard to see how anyone will overcome them in the standings. The Bears and Lions have been around for the last few seasons, but both still lack that finishing touch.

 

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