Of the eight divisions in the NFL, there are not many with a clear cut betting pecking order. The NFC South is one of the few. They are, at the moment, thoroughly dominated by the reigning NFC Champion Carolina Panthers, and while there is a case to be made that each of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons could improve immediately, not one of them looks like they will be forcing a groundbreaking shift in this divisional landscape.
The Panthers, for starters, are that good. They averaged more points per game than any other team in the league for the 2015 season, and their defense was equally impressive, finishing sixth in points allowed per game. It’s ridiculously difficult to successfully combat that balance.
It’s the Falcons who, on paper, have the best chance. Their strength in 2015 was defense, which ranked 14th in points allowed per game. They may improve in that department, which puts the burden of further progression on the offense.
Despite boasting star wideout Julio Franco and getting a good season from quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons finished 21st in points scored per game. But if running backs DeVonta Freeman and Tevan Colemand stay healthy for the entirety of 2016, that standing should improve by a considerable margin.
We cannot neglect the Saints, either. Their defense was the worst in the league for 2015, but the offense is forever dangerous. So many of their games saw them get within striking distance only to collapse under the weight of an incompetent defensive structure.
If new defensive cooridinator Dennis Allen instills even a semblance of integrity into his troops on the less glamorous side of the ball, the Saints, buoyed by their incredible offense, will return to “Everything plays” status.
No such jump is likely to await the Bucs. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston impressed on the offensive end, piloting an attack that ranked 20th in points scored per game. That’s not great overall; it is, however, sensational for a newbie.
Tampa Bay’s defense just has too much catching up to do, so even if the offense sneaks into the top 10 of points per game, the Bucs won’t have the well roundedness to compete for a division title, let alone an NFC championship or Super Bowl.
All of which means the Panthers, as of now, are your only guaranteed everything plays in the NFC South. Invest in their division, NFC and Super Bowl odds, provided the possible returns are not utterly terrible.
Atlanta and New Orleans are your wild cards. Monitor their progress throughout the season, then determine if they’re worth any division, NFC or Super Bowl spin. If you want to bet on them early, though, just make sure you’re working with an amount you’re okay with losing.
The Bucs, meanwhile, are merely on your periperals. Keep track of them because they could be a team on the rise. But outside of win total overs and unders, they shouldn’t be a part of your futures rotation.
Best NFC South Sportsbook Odds
Enjoy a look at the best NFC South sportsbook odds around. We take the research labor out of the equation, delivering you the best locations and odds on which to bet.
Always be sure to check out this page more than once throughout any given week. Even though these are the best odds, they can still change. That’s what happens in the NFL, when game lines are published a few days in advance: They are uniquely susceptible to injuries, breaking news and heavy action in one area or on one team.
Take a hypothetical matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers, in this scenario, open up as 13 point favorites on Tuesday or Wednesday. By Friday, though, so many people have bet on the Bucs covering that spread, sportsbooks have no choice but to move the line a bit, perhaps making the Panthers eight or 10 point favorites instead.
Routinely coming back to this page, even after you place an early bet, will help you keep track of any surprises, unsavory or otherwise.
What Are The NFC South Standings Today
These are your current NFC South Standings. They are most valuable to for taking stock of potential futures.
By seeing which teams are better than the rest in their division, you’ll know who to bet on when it comes to divisional futures. That much is obvious. But this is also a great tool for big picture future bets.
Jot down the records of the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After that, see how their win totals compare to other teams through the NFC and the rest of the NFL.
If any of their records rank near the top of either category, you’ll know to treat them as NFC championship or Super Bowl contenders. If any of their performances do not stack up to known commodities in those departments, you’ll have enough information to steer clear of them at the sportsbooks.
How To Make Money Betting On NFC South
For anyone looking to make money betting on the NFC South, consider the following tips, which are all individualized and aimed at giving you the best shot to turn a profit no matter which team you’re investing in.
Continue betting everything on the Carolina Panthers. They are good over plays on a weekly basis, and solid division, NFC Championship and Super Bowl gambits on the futures front.
Also think about betting the under when it comes to win total futures. Sportsbooks won’t set the line at 15 wins, but the benchmark should still be pretty high, and it’ll be extremely difficult for the Panthers to follow up a 15 victory year with a 13 or 14 win effort.
Keep rolling with the under for the Atlanta Falcons, even if there’s a chance they strike a balance they didn’t have last season. Their offense was still bad, and their defense was mediocre. Should they fail to take a step forward in even one of those areas, it’ll make for low-scoring affairs. Be sure to stay on top of this to start the season, just to make sure it’s accurate. But until the Falcons prove their offensive mettle, they are under gambles.
Coversely, cozy up to over for the New Orleans Saints. Their defense should improve, but that’s only because they have nowhere to go but up after finishing dead last among every NFL team in points allowed per game. And whenever you combine such a bad defense with an offense that routinely ranks in the top seven of production, you have no choice but to play the weekly overs.
Don’t rule the Saints out as a flier plays on the futures grounds during the offseason. Their NFC championship and Super Bowl odds are bound to be pretty good, and they have the offensive talent to make things interesting in those departments as long shot plays.
Finally, view the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as over plays, too. Quarterback Jameis Winston carried them out of the bottom 10 doldrums as a rookie and should be able to push the bill further in 2016. The defense, as currently constructed, just won’t be able to follow suit.