For its first 11 decades of the NFC South’s presence, beginning in 2002, no division champion had replicated. Now it’s happened three times in five years. Would the Saints do it again?
The NFC South has always been a peculiar monster. Until recently, each team had that one opponent they either possessed or could not conquer. For those of us creating NFL picks, it had been like a few of the matchups in college football which were so one-sided, you did not need to investigate the game, simply circle the club using the border.
That is a little less in the past couple of years but don’t kid yourself, within this region of the nation where they take college football very seriously, they do exactly the same with these four teams.
Here is a look at the most recent NFL odds to win the NFC South and New Orleans is preferred to be the second three-peat winner.
NFC South Division – (out of 5Dimes – upgraded 8/17)
New Orleans -148
Tampa Bay +1500
The Saints have the weapons to repeat, but the truth is that the quarterback play in this division is as strong as any of the eight at the league as we have seen a number of times that may change the standings. But heading into a new season, we think the oddsmakers are spot on and encourage their choices.
1) New Orleans Saints
In a league where players and coaches come and go with regularity, New Orleans has completed what top franchises perform, they stay the program. When Bountygate happened along with the Saints went 7-9 in four years, most owners would have desired change. However, GM Mickey Loomis rebuilt New Orleans without having to tear it to the floor and Sean Payton stayed true to himself. The Saints have had REALLY bad luck in the play at the previous two seasons, so can they capture a rest and win everything?
2) Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons hold the critical employees to perform conflict with New Orleans. That’s not their issue. Catching or exceeding them revolves around Atlanta putting together an offensive line which could rank near the Top 10. This means both in moving the line of scrimmage in the jog and protecting Matt Ryan when he drops back to pass. To come back to the playoffs as a wild card or division champ, coach Dan Quinn has to get an excellent defense. They do not need to be Top 5, just have the ability to stop the run, rush the passer and create turnovers because they did three years ago when they nearly won the Super Bowl. Would Atlanta clean up this? We’ll find out.
3) Carolina Panthers
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It might be a great story if Jameis Winston and Bruce Arians may turn in the soccer version of the movie,”Karate Kid.” This is where the old master takes an undisciplined youngster and molds him to one of the best in his game. But football is a team game and even though Arians could turn Winston into a Top 12 quarterback, Tampa Bay has numerous other holes to match, it would take a couple bushels of Gorilla Tape to secure all of the cracks the Buccaneers have. The Bucs will improve but they will still be basement bound.
Writer/Handicapper Doug Upstone was a registered 50-34, 59.5% at sports gaming courses at the NFL last year and can be 15-7 the past 3 years from the NFL preseason. Follow his NFL picks here in SportsBookReview.com.
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