The current odds to win the NFC South favor the Saints to win the division. Why not, they ran away with it last year compiling a 13-3 regular season record. The other three teams in the division, the Falcons, Panthers and Bucs all had losing records.
Odds Have Saints One of the Best in NFC
Not only are the Saints (-200) the favorite to win the NFC South, but they are also one of the favorites to win the NFC.
Drew Brees did not have a big number campaign last season, but he was still more than solid, and it helps to have a star WR in Michael Thomas and stud RB Alvin Kamara.
The balanced squad did not have a big off-season, but why would they, winning 13 games and losing in the NFC title game in OT?
The defense was a Jekyll and Hyde last season 29th against the pass and 2nd against the run. They made a few moves to help the secondary and while they had few draft picks their top two were to take safeties.
The New Orleans has a killer earlier season schedule facing the Texans. Rams, Seahawks, and Cowboys in their first four games.
Falcons Look to Bounce Back
The Falcons (3/1 Odds to Win NFC South) only won seven games last season and while the offense ranked a legit 6th in the league and Matt Ryan surpassed the 5,000 passing yard mark the team was just not its old dynamic self. Julio Jones leads the WR corps and Devonta Freeman has a lot of pressure to shoulder the run game with Tevin Coleman gone.
The defense for the Dirty Birds only ranked 28th in the league last season and while they picked up a few players to improve that their two first round picks were used to shore up the offensive line.
Atlanta is only 17-15 since their Super Bowl appearance and Ryan has to get back to MVP level to get back to the Promised Land.
All Eyes on Cam Newton in Carolina
Cam Newton comes into the season with a lot of pressure for the Panthers (5/1 odds to win NFC South), who were 7-9 last season. He compacted his throwing motion and even though Devin Funchess is gone and the WR may be a little thin big things are expected of Newton.
Christian McCaffery was a stud last season and needs to continue to do it all, especially running the ball, so Newton does not have to.
The defense was mediocre last season and their pass rush needs to drastically improve, especially with Atlanta and New Orleans in the division.
Carolina needs to get off to a good start, as in their first eight games they only face two teams that made the playoffs last season and in the first half do not face the Saints or Falcons.
Make or Break for Jameis Winston
While Ryan and Newton have pressure on them Buccaneers (8/1 odds to win NFC South) QB Jameis Winston may have the most. He was decent last season after coming back from suspension but has not shown he can lead the teams to wins.
He has Mike Evans and a legit WR corps but having a run game would help and Tampa did not have that last season. That may be the case this season, as last season’s leading rusher Peyton Barber is #1 on the depth chart and only average 3.7 yards per carry.
The D for Tampa only ranked 27th last season and they drafted ILB Devin White with the 5th pick, picked up two CB’s with their 2nd and 3rd round picks, and signed Ndamukong Suh. Still, the Bucs have issues and they all start with their signal caller, who has the numbers, but needs to start posting wins.