The National Football Conference is going to be just as competitive as it was a season ago, and even though the NFL odds are similarly priced, this division could have a few dark horse candidates.
Considering that they are fresh off of a Super Bowl, and considering that most of their team from 2013 is still intact, the Seattle Seahawks look like a good value NFL pick at nearly 4/1 to win the NFC this upcoming season. Although they did lose some key members (on defense especially), the Hawks might just be a little undervalued heading into the 2014 season. We tend to think solely about their defense when we talk about the Hawks, but their offense is still going to be tough to stop. As long as Marshawn Lynch stays healthy again, this team is by far the best going into the season.
The NFC West is vastly improved this offseason, and it starts with the Hawks’ archrival: the San Francisco 49ers. They could directly challenge the Seahawks for the division this season, however (as it is with most teams in the NFL), their health is going to go a long way in deciding whether or not they truly are a good value going into the Super Bowl over the defending champs. The Niners were able to retain Aquan Boldin, but they are going to be going into the season with a re-made secondary, and not a great amount of defensive depth.
After the Niners, there is somewhat of a drop off until where the Packers are sitting at +700 from Bovada NFL odds. Green Bay had a solid draft, and while they didn’t have a very noisy offseason when it came to free agency, they spent their money wisely, and they were able to bring in some bargain players who might have a big impact. They picked up Julius Peppers who was cut by the Bears this offseason. They did lose several offensive lineman as well, such as James Jones and MD Jennings.
I’m not sure if the Saints are appropriately priced at 10/1 to win the division. We always tend to think about the Saints as being one of the better teams in the NFC, but I’m just not sold on them this season. They are going to have a very improved secondary with the additions of Jarius Byrd and Champ Bailey, but they lost two starting offensive lineman, as well as both of their starting safeties from a season ago. All in all, the Saints may be somewhat of a paper tiger in the NFC South this season, and at +1000, they may also be somewhat overvalued heading into the summer months.
The Bears went on a spending spree this offseason, and they seem to have come out ahead. They were able to retain both of their starting corners (which was huge), as well as drafting Kyle Fuller in the first round. They seem like a nice dark horse candidate in the NFC with how well their offense played last season. Their main problem was their defenses’ health last season, and with some of the additions they made this offseason, the Bears have made sure that depth on defense is not going to be a problem this season. I wouldn’t mind saying the Bears have nice value at +1200.