NFC South Division Odds
Will the Atlanta Falcons repeat as NFC South Division champs in 2017? Let’s take a look at the odds to win.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Falcons are the current favorites to win the NFC South this upcoming season. Their 33/20 odds best those of the Panthers (9/4), Buccaneers (16/5), and Saints (17/4).
Atlanta Falcons (33/20)
The national focus this offseason has been on the Falcons’ collapse against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. But Dan Quinn and Co. have quietly put together another successful offseason, adding to their defense while keeping their explosive offense intact. Gone is offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (head coach/San Francisco), but new OC Steve Sarkisian has vowed to keep the same offense in place. Rookies Duke Riley and Takkarist McKinley add to an up-and-coming young defense, as does free agent veteran Dontari Poe. The offense should be great again, but it won’t be long before the Falcons gain notoriety for Quinn’s defense.
Carolina Panthers (9/4)
The Panthers suffered from a Super Bowl hangover last year and failed to quality for the playoffs. Cam Newton got banged around and the defense couldn’t overcome the absence of Josh Norman in the secondary. But Carolina re-tooled this offseason, adding speed deminsions to their offense in running back/receiver Christian McCaffrey, as well as dynamic runner Curtis Samuel from Ohio State. The defense will also have an old/new face in Julius Peppers, who will start alongside Charles Johnson, Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. If the secondary is better, don’t rule out the Panthers winning the division after a one-year hiatus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16/5)
The Buccaneers were one of the more improved teams in the league last year and they could take another step forward this season. A wild card berth is not out of the question after the team added vertical threat DeSean Jackson to play opposite Mike Evans in the passing game. Jameis Winston also returns to an offense that has loads of potential. The defense was also solid last season under new DC Mike Smith and thanks to mainstays Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Gerald McCoy, Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves, the defense will be good again. Tampa Bay is a wild card contender this year.
New Orleans Saints (17/4)
The Saints traded receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots this offseason but added vertical threat Ted Ginn in free agency to play alongside 2016 outstanding rookie Michael Thomas. The Saints also signed Adrian Peterson to compliment Mark Ingram in the running game. The defense remains the question mark. They have some building blocks in Cameron Jordan, SHeldon Rankins and Delvin Breaux, but the unit as a whole might be in trouble again. With Drew Brees under center of Sean Payton’s offense, the Saints will be in every game. But their offense will once again need to out-score its own defense weekly.