NFC North - What You Need To Know
-Record Last Year 12-4; Division Champs; Lost in Wildcard game to Eagles 16-15
-Season Win total 9 -140, +120
-Odds to win NFC North +180 favorites
-Odds to win NFC 9-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 16-1
-Odds to make Playoffs -115
-The Bears feel very much like the "It" team to me this year. They are the #1 team in terms of ticket count to win the Super Bowl, and Mitchell Trubisky has gone from 200-1 to 20-1 to win the NFL MVP.
-I think Trubisky should be thanking his lucky stars that the Bears brought in Matt Nagy. He basically setup Andy Reid's offense to put him in positions to succeed. Had they retained John Fox, Trubisky would have been what Jared Goff would have been had they retained Jeff Fisher. His TD rate went up 100% in just year 1 to 2.
-That said, the word I keep hearing around Chicago from pro bettors is regression. Last year the Bears faced the easiest schedule of opposing defenses when it was all said and done. That changes this year.
-On the defensive side, everyone is just assuming they'll be the same unit as last year---they lose the guy who created that unit, Vic Fangio, who left for Denver. Not easy to replace. The Bears turnover margin increased by 32 from 2017 to 2018 which we've seen over the years is just unsustainable, so some regression is expected there.
-Schedule--they also have a top 5 hardest SoS whereas last year it was 26th.
-Record Last Year 8-7-1; Missed the Playoffs
-Season Win total 9 -120, +100
-Odds to win NFC North +210
-Odds to win NFC 13-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 28-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +120
-I think you're going to see a lot of changes here for Minnesota offensively. New OC Kevin Stefanski takes over full-time here. Might not be the worst thing in the world, should take some of the pressure off Cousins to go deep, keep him in that middle range of passes, where he's extremely efficient. -Getting Dalvin Cook back full-time I think will do wonders for Cousins as well, teams won't be able to just sit back and wait on him...Huge year for him here in my view. -Their home-field advantage will continue to be there, the best in the league in my view next to Seattle. The defense will be right there as well, this is a unit that was 9th in ppg allowed and 4th in ypg allowed. -Their schedule is definitely tricky once they hit the road though with away games outside of their division at KC, Dallas, Seattle, and Chargers. Green Bay Packers
-Record Last Year 6-9-1; Missed the Playoffs
-Season Win total 9 -105, -115
-Odds to win NFC North +190
-Odds to win NFC 10-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 22-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +110
-I think any breakdown of this season for Green Bay has to start with the coaching. We've been hammering Mike McCarthy on this Podcast and on Twitter for years, and they finally got rid of him. It's a shame it took them about 5 years too late, and they lost so much of Aaron Rodger's prime as a result.
-This team has gone Under their season win total every year since 2014, which I think speaks to McCarthy and just how much he was underperforming based on the talent around him. The Matt LaFleur hiring was a head scratcher for sure. This was a guy whose offense in Tennessee was in the bottom 10 of efficiency, and he had no previous Head Coaching experience. That said, literally anyone other than McCarthy at this point is addition by subtraction. That ship had sailed. Rodgers was clearly zoning him out at this point and it just wasn't working anymore.
-LaFleur has a history of focusing on the running game going back to Tennessee, so we'll see if he brings that with him to Green Bay, maybe takes some of the pressure off of Rodgers, or maybe Rodgers hates it and just calls audibles all day long like he was doing with McCarthy toward the end last year.
-As much as everyone likes to talk about the offense, the defense was extremely underperforming last year. 23rd in PPG given up and 22nd against the run and their schedule was on the easier side too--Must improve to go Over this win total.
-Record Last Year 6-10; Missed the Playoffs
-Season Win total 6.5 -150, +120
-Odds to win NFC North 12-1
-Odds to win NFC 40-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 100-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +450
-Lots of varying opinions on this team. I've heard some guys predicting them as a dark horse to win this division, and a few others predicting them to be around 4-12. If you are betting them to win the division, you are certainly bucking history as they haven't won the division in 25 years.
-I've said numerous times, I'm no fan of Matt Patricia. He completely overhauled this offense from a pass happy team to focusing on the run and slowing down the clock, which in my view is the exact opposite of what you want to do with a QB like Matthew Stafford. The offense really regressed last year, as a result they finally got rid of OC Jim Bob Cooter, he goes to the Jets, and they bring in Darrel Bevell. He was formerly the OC for the Vikings and the Seahawks, and normally when you have a completely new system for the 2nd year in a row, it's a bad thing, but I actually think it could help Stafford here. Bevell likes to focus on play action and getting the ball out quickly, both traits the could suit Stafford.