Mid-Season NFC Evaluation
David Troy (@FuturePrez2024) - November 17th, 2020
Last week we took at a look at how the AFC teams look halfway through the year. This week we are going to check out the NFC in the same fashion. We want to break down the teams and identify if there is any value for betting and overall performance.
Buccaneers – Brady and the Bucs can be the real deal… if they don’t play the Saints. There was an anomaly loss to the Bears that also made little sense, but they can score and do it in bunches. Their offensive weapons are as good as any team in the NFL and defensively their biggest weakness is against the pass. I don’t see the Saints beating them three times in one year if they matched up in the playoffs, but I also wouldn’t feel confident in betting on them to win the conference (+400). On the other hand, if Brees is out for any length, I’d consider grabbing them to win the division at +200 in a bet against Winston.
Saints – They have arguably a top 3 MVP candidate in Kamara. They have one of the best WRs in the game in Thomas. Their defense has been reliable for the most part. And, even though all the talk has been about how Brees is not throwing the ball downfield, he still has been protective with the ball, and has one of his best QBR scores of his career. The playoffs have been heartbreaking for the Saints. Even with home field advantage at less than 3/1 favorite for the conference, there isn’t much value. Their updated win total is 11.5 (preseason 10.5). Again, without the Brees knowledge it is hard to pick a side on this one.
Packers – Perhaps against my better judgement, I am putting the Packers as contenders. You obviously can’t count out Aaron Rodgers. Adams has been unbelievable since his return from injury, and Jones/Williams have been a top combo this season. Last week we talked about the Titans disappearing for halves of games – the Packers seem discombobulated during multiple games. They gave up a ton of yards to the Vikings in a home loss (it shouldn’t have been an issue, but the Packers got no favors from the refs in that game). They looked awful after the first quarter against the Bucs, and struggled with the Jaguars in a windy game. They have a decent chance of winning out for the season and finishing at 14 – 2 or 13 – 2. If you can still find over 11.5 I’d take it.
Cardinals – Murray is balling and has a real shot at winning the MVP (Mahomes, Murray, Kamara are my top three). Defensively they aren’t very strong, but there aren’t too many safe leads against them either. They are currently the third favorite in the division to win it at +200. If they beat Seattle this week, they likely will be the favorite to win the division, so it might be worth snatching up now.
Rams – Sean McVay might be my only reason for this. They are 31-0 when leading at halftime. Keep in mind, those numbers are with Goff. They would need an awful lot to go right in order to win the conference, and they do have a shot at the division which would help them to win a playoff game by starting at home. They’ve been there before and have the capability to beat anyone in the NFC. Their win total is at 9.5, I’d expect them to get to 10 wins for the season.
Seahawks – To everyone that bet on Wilson for MVP as his odds got lower and lower. I feel for you. That isn’t to say this season is his fault. In fact, the once dominant defense is non-existent now so that’s the real problem. They’ve given up 30 or more points in 4 of 9 games, and the lowest points allowed were 23 to the Dolphins and Rams. Is it possible that the Seahawks win out? Sure, it is possible. With a win total of 11.5 they need to go 6-1 to hit it, again possible, but I wouldn’t feel confident about it. I have their odds of winning the conference at closer to 9/1 or 10/1 than the current +700. I have no confidence that their team can get a stop when needed and Wilson is making mistakes he wasn’t at the beginning of the season.
Bears – The Bears don’t have a quarterback, and believe it or not, that’s pretty important for a football team. Their play calling is illogical. Can we all just give up on Patterson? He isn’t a good receiver, and for some reason Matt Nagy thinks that they can transform him into a running back. On the season, he has a 3.0 ypr average. Honestly, they should be down in the complete jokes, but their defense keeps them respectable. If you think I am just a Bears basher, keep in mind the Eagles are favored over the Bears to win the conference.
What a Mess
Eagles – Speaking of the Eagles, the NFC East title seems a lot like herpes. It just keeps getting passed around and no one to claim it or fully get rid of it. They are getting healthy, so they likely should win the division. But, I have a better shot of dressing like an eagle jumping off my house and flying than they do of going to the Super Bowl. They started with a win total of 9.5 so the under will hit on that one. I wouldn’t be surprised if they only win two more games the rest of the season.
Giants – They actually have been pretty competitive lately. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t a good team. But, they do have an outside shot at the division still. The sad thing is, the Eagles will probably win the division at 5-10-1. The Giants could end up with 5 wins as well, but lose the division because of the tie.
Vikings – Good thing the Vikings gave Cousins all that money so that he can turn to hand off the ball to Dalvin Cook. Obviously that is their best offensive play, but how unreliable is this guy? Cousins has 17 touchdown passes on the season, and 10 interceptions. Add that to a defense that gives offenses anything they want; it makes for a rough situation.
Falcons, Lions – The Falcons and Lions have similar teams to me. They both have some nice offensive pieces that they don’t seem to know how to use. They both have a defense that gives up big plays and lets everyone back in the games. One of the best bets to make is live betting these teams because you know their opponent is going to come back and score on them.
49ers, Panthers – Injuries have hurt both of them and they have virtually no chance to win anything. The 49ers are listed at 7.5 wins and I don’t see them getting there. I look at them winning two of their last six, not four of their last six games. If your book has this, take it. Panthers have shown flashes of being a competent team and then Teddy Bridgewater breaks down. Not having McCaffery is obviously a problem, but their receiving team has done a great job and so has Davis in his absence. They are inconsistent at best, giving the Chiefs a game and then getting embarrassed at home by the Bucs.
Football Team – I would have liked them to be the champions this year so we could hear about how the “Football Team won the Super Bowl.” Little jokes like that make me happy. Nonetheless, we can all still be happy for Alex Smith coming back from his injury. It does seem like they have pieces in place to be a better team than they are, but it isn’t coming together.
Cowboys – Even before Dak got injured, they were trash. They couldn’t stop anyone and constantly were giving up points. There is always next year.
There is still plenty of time left to cash tickets with the BTB team and get in on his live parlay plays.
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