Odds to win NFC North in 2014
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – The odds to win the NFC North Division have been released and oddsmakers expect the Pacers to successfully defend their crown.
According to oddsmakers from BetDSI, the Pacers are 10/13 favorites to win the NFC North in 2014 after winning the division title a season ago. The Bears have the next-best odds at 11/4, while the Lions are 17/4 and the Vikings are 12/1.
As usual, GM Ted Thompson didn’t make a huge splash in free agency but the team did sign former Bear defensive end Julius Peppers to help give its pass rush a boost. While the defense is expected to improve, the team still lives and dies on the right arm of Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers is healthy, the Pack should be in contention all season.
As for the Bears, they set out to revamp their defensive line and they did so with the additions of former Viking Jared Allen, former Raider LaMarr Houston and former Lion Willie Young, who will be used in a rotation. Shea McClellin was also moved to linebacker and the team used its first round pick on cornerback Kyle Fuller. If the defense has improved, then Chicago will compete for at least a wild card spot thanks to an offense that was explosive a season ago.
Speaking of offense, the Lions boast a unit that features receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Reggie Bush and 10th overall pick Eric Ebron, who will start at tight end. The team also picked up Golden Tate in free agency and re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The question is whether or not cornerback will become a major weakness as Chris Houston is recovering from a toe injury and after GM Martin Mayhew ignored the position until the middle rounds.
Last but not least, the Vikings have a new head coach in Mike Zimmer and a new offensive coordinator in Norv Turner. Zimmer should work wonders for a defense that has talent but has lacked direction over the years, while Turner should get the most out of Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings. But do the Vikes have a quarterback that can lead them to the promise land? Matt Cassel and rookie Teddy Bridgewater will compete for the starting gig in training camp but this team could be a year off from making the postseason again.