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NFC South Division Title Odds, Picks and 2022 Preview: Buccaneers Will Run Away With Division Race

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NFC South Division Title Odds, Picks and 2022 Preview: Buccaneers Will Run Away With Division Race
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers points against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game. Photo by Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images via AFP

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady spent 40 days in retirement, but his decision to return for another season at age 44 completely shifted the futures odds in the NFC South.

Of all eight preseason favorites to win their respective divisions, the Buccaneers have the steepest odds at -300 and are one of just two teams with odds greater than -200. The NFC South is projected to be a one-team race after Tampa Bay won the division by four games last year. The four-game gap between them and the second-place New Orleans Saints was the second-biggest of all divisions last year.

Here are our picks and predictions to win the NFC South title in 2022 based on the odds from our top-rated sportsbooks.

NFC South Title Odds

NFC South Title Picks

  • Buccaneers to win the division (-300 via FanDuel)
  • Saints to miss the playoffs (-155 via DraftKings)
  • Falcons Under 5 regular-season wins (-140 via DraftKings)
  • NFC South Exact Order: Buccaneers/Saints/Panthers/Falcons (+250 via DraftKings)

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NFC South Division Preview

Buccaneers to win division (-300)

The Buccaneers are not the sexiest pick among all division winners, but barring an injury to Brady, they should cruise to a second straight division title. Brady does not have much competition from the other starting quarterbacks in a division that features Jameis Winston, Sam Darnold, and Marcus Mariota. The latter two could be replaced by rookies Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder at some point this season, especially if they struggle early.

Tampa Bay has a loaded roster once again, and Brady has the second-best odds to finish with the most passing yards, which suggests oddsmakers think an offense that ranked second in the league with 405.9 yards per game should remain explosive.

Saints to miss the playoffs (-155)

The Saints missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2016, but this could become more of the norm in the post-Drew Brees era. Winston went 5-2 as the starter for New Orleans last year, but his 59% completion percentage was his lowest since his rookie year in 2015, and he is just one full season removed from leading the league with 30 interceptions.

New Orleans' offensive ceiling is limited now that the winningest coach in Saints history, Sean Payton, has retired. DraftKings has the best odds for New Orleans to miss the playoffs, as FanDuel offers odds of -162 and BetMGM is at -165.

Falcons Under 5 wins (-140)

The Atlanta Falcons arguably have the worst roster in football and will have a new look offensively now that longtime quarterback Matt Ryan is no longer under center. He is replaced by Mariota, who has a 29-32 career record and has not started a game since 2019. Mariota will be without his best weapon for the 2022 season with Calvin Ridley suspended for gambling on games.

In addition, the Falcons' defense, which ranked 26th in total defense and 29th in scoring, did not improve measurably. If you are a Falcons under backer, DraftKings is the place to make this bet, as it is the only sportsbook offering an Over/Under of five wins, while FanDuel and BetMGM are at 4.5. Thus, it will take Atlanta going 6-11 or better to lose this wager, which is a chance we are willing to take.

NFC South exact order: Buccaneers/Saints/Panthers/Falcons (+250)

With the Buccaneers solidified as division winners, this wager is all about figuring out how the rest of the division will shake out. The Saints are our pick to finish second (but not make the playoffs), as they have enough veteran presence on their roster and are not in a complete rebuild like the Carolina Panthers and Falcons.

We are tabbing Carolina to finish third in the NFC South, as we respect the job that head coach Matt Rhule did in transforming the culture at Baylor. The Panthers also would have likely finished much better than 5-12 in 2021 had their best player, Christian McCaffrey, not been limited to just seven games.

2021 Division Standings

  • Buccaneers 13-4 (-200 on Sept. 9)
  • Saints 9-8 (+350)
  • Falcons 7-10 (+800)
  • Panthers 5-12 (+1000)

Where to Bet on NFL Division Odds

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

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NFC South Division picks made on 7/4/2022 at 5:02 p.m. ET.