The NFC is ruled by two Big Dogs—the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers—with a handful of other teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers fighting to make the grade in the NFC—2½-point faves to win Super Bowl 50 at Bovada. So who makes the NFC Playoffs and are there any Futures Bets worth making here in the very late spring?
We talked about who might make the NFL Playoffs in the AFC, so now let’s look at the NFC now, where the defending conference champion Seattle Seahawks (5/1 to win Super Bowl, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and the team they rallied to edge out in the NFC Championship game, the Green Bay Packers (5/1 to win Super Bowl, opened 7/1), seem to be the two teams to beat of late, and rightfully so. In the odds of the NFL Divisions Futures Book for the four NFC divisions, we find Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys (6/5 to win NFC East) and Philadelphia Eagles (8/5) likely postseason teams from the NFC East, with one probably making it as a Wild Card berth; the aforementioned Packers (1/4 to win NFC North) monster favorites in their division, the NFC North; the aforementioned Seahawks (1/4 to win NFC West) likely rolling in the NFC West, and, like last season, the most competitive division in the NFC is probably going to be the NFC South, where last year all four teams finished below .500 and the Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) sort of made it into the postseason by default over the New Orleans Saints (7-9) and the Atlanta Falcons (6-10).
NFC East Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Giants (13/4 to win Super Bowl, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and the Washington Redskins (15/1) could tighten the NFC North by winning Road games in Dallas and/or Philadelphia, but it seems these two have a long way to go after the way both played last season and with Eli Manning and Robert Griffin at QB, there could be problems. Expect the Eagles (25/1 to win Super Bowl, opened 20/1) and the Cowboys (14/1 to win Super Bowl) to battle it out with Chip Kelly and the guys from the City of Brotherly Love getting the slight edge to win the division because of the Cowboys (6/5 to win NFC East, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) rugged schedule which includes both Super Bowl teams (New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks), the Green Packers (12-4, 9-3 in NFC in 2014) and WRs Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, the underrated Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles (8/5) twice, six pretty tough games.
NFC North Winner: Green Bay Packers
Yeah, the Detroit Lions (5/1 to win NC North, opened 9/2; Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and QB Matt Stafford and the Minnesota Vikings (8/1) could make some noise in 2015, but those who place NFL picks know that this division is all about the Green Bay Packers (1/4, opened 2/7) and QB Aaron Rodgers and the NFL odds show it. The Chicago Bears and cigarette-smoking QB Jay Cutler (14/1, opened 12/1) drafted a nice kid in West Virginia WR Kevin White, but this team forgot its’ forte—playing solid Defense. The Lions and Vikings may fight for that last NFC Wild Card berth, and I’d actually give the edge to the Purple People Eaters this year with budding QB Teddy Bridgewater, star RB Adrian Peterson coming back and WR Mike Wallace (Dolphins) helping the Offense and their rival Lions losing stud NT Ndamukong Suh (Miami Dolphins) via Free Agency this offseason. Next.
NFC South Winner: Carolina Panthers
As discussed, this NFC division should be wide open again, but maybe somehow the NFC South gets a team into the postseason through a Wild Card spot also? That would mean that two of the Carolina Panthers (9/5 to win NFC South, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), New Orleans Saints (2/1, opened 9/5) and likely the Atlanta Falcons (7/4, opened 9/5) would have to finish over .500 this season and in the 9-7 range. And with QBs like Cam Newton and Drew Brees, anything is possible and nobody in the NFL likes playing the Panthers or Saints at Home or on the Road. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/1, opened 12/1) did take Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston (Florida State) with the #1 pick of the NFL Draft, but it may take some time for the young QB to adjust to the incredible game speed of the new league. But, better to be a rebuilding team in the NFC South race than in any other of the seven Divisional Races in the NFL these days. The street heats the urgency of Now.
NFC West Winner: Seattle Seahawks
The Arizona Cardinals (5/1 to win NFC West, opened 6/1; Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) went a surprising 11-5 last season and played some great Defense, but backing a team that has so much trouble scoring points isn’t fun Jimmy, so this is a team which may regress some in the 2015 NFL season. The Seahawks (1/4, opened 2/7) picked up TE Jimmy Graham (Saints) in the Offseason via a Trade (C Max Unger), so Seattle QB Wilson will have a nice option to go with RB Marshawn Lynch who re-signed after huffing puffing for a second. Beasts do that you know. The St. Louis Rams (8/1, opened 7/1) will also need some time to grow at the QB position and will probably have a competition (Nick Foles, Austin Davis, Case Keenum) for awhile for that crucial starting spot. They’re a team to watch. And, the San Francisco 49ers (14/1, opened 9/1) lost so much on Defense as well as revered Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who returned to his alma mater, the University of Michigan to head the program, and with flighty QB Colin Kaepernick leading the circus of Offense and guys like RB Frank Gore (Colts) and WR Michael Crabtree (Raiders) also gone, finishing ahead of the Cardinals and Rams is a possibility for the 49ers (40/1 to win Super Bowl, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) in the NFC West, but getting over the Seahawks is now just a dream and the postseason hopes look slim also, despite the shiny new stadium (Levi’s) down in Santa Clara.
NFC Wild Cards: Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints (over Vikings and Rams)
NFC Divisional Pick: Carolina Panthers 9/5 to win NFC South (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)