The NFC South has been a weird division since its inception in 2002. Only once has a team repeated as division champions and that was Carolina, who won it three consecutive times from 2013-2015.
This division has produced two Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay (2002) and New Orleans (2009) and four participants and not once have those clubs come back to even win the NFC South again. Obviously we are curious to see if Atlanta can defend its title.
Here is our preseason preview and all the NFL odds listed are courtesy of Bookmaker.
The old story of the 'Super Bowl Hangover' for the team that lost the big game, takes on epic proportions with Atlanta having blown 25-point lead before losing to New England in OT. Coach Dan Quinn has said, "You are not over it, you move past it", which is his job during training camp and the first month of the season in particular. With QB Matt Ryan and all the offensive weapons in place, the Falcons should still score a lot of points, nonetheless, Steve Sarkisian is the new offensive coordinator and there will be differences. The defense was so young last year and having that experience of going all the way to Super Bowl should make this bunch much stronger. The schedule is actually manageable, but not sure if the magic will exist and prefer the Under 9.5 wins.
Odds to Win the Division (as of 7/29)
Tampa Bay +282
New Orleans +422
Carolina recently fired there GM, but that should not impact what happens on the field for Carolina, who fell from Super Bowl loser (17-2 record) to 6-10 and last in the division. The Panthers were unusually aggressive in spending money to keep valuable assets, added free agents and drafted well. Cam Newton had a poor season and if he's as ready as he claims to be, he rebounds and plays like he did in 2015, when he was the MVP. The Carolina defense remains largely intact, yet has to play with a great deal more fervor after finishing 21st in total defense. Look for Panthers to bounce back and possibly be strong for NFL picks on Over for win total and division champs.
Season Win Totals (as of 7/29)
Tampa Bay Ov8
New Orleans Un8
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Tampa Bay front office and its players agree, the time for rebuilding is over and now it is time to make the playoffs and determine needs from there. Only six quarterbacks threw for more yards than Jameis Winston in 2017, who is now in charge of this still young club. Coach Dirk Koetter loves to attack vertically and by adding DeSean Jackson, there is one more way to be successful. If the run game moves from 24th to the middle of pack, this Buccaneers offense will shine. Expect the defense to be more variable and aggressive this season as DC Mike Smith understands his personnel better. If studs like Gerald McCoy play to potential and others follow accordingly, the Bucs should be Over play on win total.
Odds To Win the NFC (as of 7/29)
Atlanta +470 (2nd in NFC)
Carolina +1400 (6th)
Tampa Bay +1520 (7th)
New Orleans +2448 (13th)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
It's safe to say after three straight 7-9 campaigns, New Orleans is stuck in neutral. It is given the Saints with Drew Brees will score points, but what about the defense. Shedding Rob Ryan as DC and bringing in Dennis Allen made the New Orleans more sound, nevertheless, they still finished 27th in yards allowed, nobody surrendered more passing yards and only San Francisco gave up more points. New Orleans is stuck in football purgatory, neither good enough to make the playoffs or awful enough to secure a couple top draft picks. If Under 8 sounds right with another 7-9 season, you are not alone.