The NFL season is almost here, and college football starts tomorrow. I'm excited for both, but if we are being honest, I seem to gravitate more toward the NFL than I do the NCAA. Something about the elite of the elite playing each other every week gets me excited. Sure, stupid rules and things can overshadow games, but overall, I like it. I'm going to preview the NFC North in this article and share my thoughts on where they might end up with their wins and losses in respect to what the book has posted. Just so you know, these aren't Jesse or BTB's picks. If you want those, click Buy Packages above and get the full set of futures with four MAX plays and one Double MAX.
Minnesota Vikings, 13-4 Last year, 1st in division
Did you watch Quarterback on Netflix? If you didn't I highly recommend it. Marcus Mariota's storyline was a bit boring, but the insight into Patrick Mahomes was interesting enough. But, the real winner was Kirk Cousins. He was awesome in the show and made me really want to root for him. Now, that doesn't much matter when it comes to betting, but I do still like the Vikings. They have the best wide receiver in football, a solid enough running back, and a reliable - even if he can be frustrating - quarterback. The problem last season was their defense. This team was 13-4 and they somehow still had a negative point differential. That number doesn't mean everything, but it does mean something. Looking at their schedule I still find it hard to believe they finish with less than 9 wins. I'll take the over 8.5 in this one. 13 wins is quite the stretch, but 10 should be doable.
Detroit Lions, 9-8, 2nd
I won't dig up the articles, but I did mention last year that I thought the Lions could be solid and better than expected. Now it seems like everyone is on the Detroit bandwagon, and frankly, I'm not sure that I want to support that. Don't get me wrong, I think they could be very good this season, but they still have Jared Goff under center. I actually want to see Teddy Bridgewater under center for them as I think he might give them a better chance to win. Hendon Hooker is injured but I'd really like to see how his game translates. We probably won't see that until next year though. In any case, the team will go as far as their defense goes. Last season they were the only team in the division with a positive point differential, but they still allowed as many points as the Vikings. I'm putting them at 9 or 10 wins. I don't think I'll take their over 9.5 but the under isn't a safe option either.
Green Bay Packers, 8-9, 3rd
Well, the Aaron Rodgers era has come to an end. And, I for one, am certainly happy this is finally done so we can stop hearing about the drama. Last time a franchise quarterback left Green Bay he also went to the Jets. Favre left and the ball went to Rodgers. Now the ball is turned over to Jordan Love. He has some talent and I do think he could be a strong starter in the league for years to come. I am less impressed with his wide receivers though. His running backs need to be relied on heavily and they are some of the better ones in the league. Defensively they will likely be able to hold their own. I'm sure all of the Packers want to prove they can win without Rodgers since he got so much credit for their success. 7.5 seems like a spot on number for them. I'd lean toward the under as I think seven is where they get to, but I don't feel confident enough to bet it.
Chicago Bears, 3-14, 4th
I live in Chicago. Watching the Bears is not something I actually enjoy. I've never really been a Bears fan, I am not exactly a fan of any team anyway, more just players. I do think that Justin Fields is an entertaining guy to watch, but I'm not convinced he is going to be a franchise quarterback that actually can throw the ball accurately. Don't get me wrong, he had a 60.4% completion percentage last season, but when the Bears were at their best last season it was when he was running the ball. He has arguably the best weapons as receivers that the Bears have ever had (not individually, but collectively) so if he can't make it work he might not be a good enough quarterback. Defense has been the calling card of Chicago for years, but even that wasn't great last season. I'm not sure where the Bears love is coming from. Sure, they will be better, but will they be five games better? I really doubt it. I think they are still a year away from that progress. I'll take the under 7.5 wins happily.
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