The NFC South used to be a log-jam of a division, but it looks like the New Orleans Saints have put some space between them and the rest of their divisional rivals. New Orleans tries to become just the second team to win the NFC South three straight years, and is priced like it in the NFL futures odds.
Here’s the betting sites list of odds to win the NFC South for the 2019 NFL season:
New Orleans Saints -150
The Saints were a no-call away from the Super Bowl – maybe – and come into the 2019 season with a chip on their shoulder. New Orleans is rooted in the combo of Drew Brees and Michael Thomas with dynamic RB Alvin Kamara also giving opposing defenses fits. New Orleans ran a lot in 2018 but don’t have RB Mark Ingram in the mix anymore, which could lead to a more air-orientated playbook. The Saints defense made leaps and bounds last season in terms of statistical turnaround but gets helped out by an offense that chews up the fifth-highest TOP. If New Orleans doesn’t run the ball as much, there could be some weaknesses exposed with this stop unit.
Atlanta Falcons +380
Injuries ravaged the Falcons defense in 2018, leaving the offense to shoulder the load. Atlanta brings back offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this year, hoping to spark the playbook. Matt Ryan is still an incredible passer and Julio Jones is the top receiver in the NFL: that’s the easy part. Calvin Jones is an incredible second option, but the rushing game won’t complement the air attack, making it a simple game plan for opposing defenses. The Falcons stop unit will be under head coach Dan Quinn this season and all those injuries leave an aura of mystery around this group. They will need to create their own opportunities if the rushing game doesn’t by them time on the sideline, coming off a season in which Atlanta recorded just 19 takeaways and 37 sacks.
Carolina Panthers +450
The wear and tear are starting to show on Cam Newton, who finished the 2018 campaign with a noodle arm that required offseason shoulder surgery. The dual-threat QB is one hard hit away from being on the sidelines and will likely need to limit his exposure by staying in the pocket and passing more – not what he does best. Christian McCaffery is once again the workhorse of this offense, especially since the Panthers don’t have much in the way of receivers besides D.J. Moore and an aging TE Greg Olsen. Carolina’s defense looked solid on the surface in 2018 but ranked among the worst in the league in yards allowed per play. The Panthers struggled to get pressure on opposing passers and need someone other than LB Luke Kuechly to step up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1,000
The 2018 season was a wild one for the Bucs, who started the year with “Fitz Magic” lighting the league on fire. Jameis Winston returned as the No. 1 and doesn’t have much room for error in 2019, hoping to undergo career resurgence under new head coach Bruce Arians. He has top targets in WR Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as well as some capable pass-catching tight ends, so don’t expect to see many handoffs from this squad. Todd Bowles gets the reclamation job on the Bucs defense. The former Jets head coach is swapping out schemes and looking to many unproven players to fit the mold.