NFC North Preview
Drama. Drama. Drama. That’s the name of the division for the NFC North. We will break down the drama that surrounds each team and while some is more significant than others, each still has a good piece to chew on and examine. As we do so, we’ll consider some bets for each team. As always, though, if you’re looking for whale, hammer, bomb, stone cold locks… look elsewhere. If you’re looking for expert capping and reliable plays, look no further than the Buy Packages button above and sign up for BTB and BTBJesse’s plays.
Last year: 13 – 3, first in division
Arguably the most drama filled offseason in the entire NFL (if you don’t count the sex scandal of Deshaun Watson), the Packers enter a year which is quite possibly the last season with Aaron Rodgers in yellow and green. Rodgers is a weird dude, but he also is one of the most talented QBs to ever play the game, and he has at least one offensive weapon in Devonte Adams that is excellent. The Packers are currently listed at 10 wins. I had to check this a few times because I thought it was a typo or something. They won 13 games last year and their win total is 10 at -140. They are easily the best team in the division. The rest of their schedule does look pretty tough, but I can’t see a situation where they go 9-8. Rodgers won’t be traded, and he isn’t going to be benched. I may take out a second mortgage on my house for this. I could see them losing in the divisional round though at +300.
Last year: 8-8, second in division
The drama here will likely lie with the fans chanting for Justin Fields the moment the season starts and instead getting the Red Riffle, Andy Dalton. I’d be willing to bet the Bears, a poorly run organization, doesn’t learn anything from the Mitch Trubisky debacle and start Fields after a couple of poor performances from Dalton. The difference is Fields should be a difference making QB from the moment he plays. The Bears are known for their defense almost every year, but they are getting older and I don’t think they will be quite as effective this year. Maybe they won’t need to be as they should have a QB that doesn’t give them only 3-and-outs each time. The Bears have a win total of 7.5 with the juice on the under. It doesn’t surprise me as a quick glance puts them at about six wins in my estimation. I probably won’t touch it though because Fields could be a difference maker. Allen Robinson has had two consecutive seasons over 1,090 yards in 16 games – that was with Trubisky, Nick Foles, and whoever else the Bears had under center. I’m going to take him to get over that total this year with Dalton/Fields peppering him.
Last year: 7-9, third in division
Will Kirk Cousins continue to be the world’s most overpaid employee? Or, will he turn it around and get the Vikings back into playoff contention? With a win total of 9, the books seem to think there will at least be some improvement from the Minnesota squad. The team is highlighted by some young talent in Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. I like Cook, but can’t bet on him for any futures because I feel like he gets injured once or twice a season and has TDs stolen from him after carrying them, literally, downfield. Cousins should rebound and not lead the league in interceptions. I don’t love any bet for this team as I think their defense will be better and they won’t need to pass to get back into every game, but I would lean towards the over on Adam Thielen touchdowns at 9 for +105.
Last year: 5-11, fourth in division
Jared Goff is their quarterback. Dan Campbell is their coach. These two new faces to Detroit are supposed to lead them from the darkness and into relevance again. I think we can all agree that Matthew Stafford is a better quarterback than Jared Goff, but perhaps, with the right coach and the right plan, Goff can replicate Alex Smith’s Kansas City success after a rough start on the bay. There really is no reason to be excited about the Lions in any other position aside from maybe D’Andre Swift. I expect the Lions to use him much more and average about 75 to 80 yards per game. If he plays the full 17 game season, that puts him at well over 1,000 yards for the season. His total is 900.5 yards. I’m taking the over at -110 and hoping his “tight groin” isn’t serious.
- David Troy
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