While there are still a few more weeks until the kickoff of training camp, the NFL Odds are moving around regardless of there not being much NFL news. As we head into July, I am here to give you my first playoff predictions of the offseason.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Even though they missed out on winning the NFC West last season, the 49ers are going to come back strong after watching their archrivals win the Super Bowl last season. The Seahawks are going to be down some on defense, and after an offseason of free agent losses, Seattle is vulnerable. The Niners seem to have gotten better on both sides of the football, and even though I’m not sold on their Super Bowl NFL Odds, I do think they can win at least 12 games this season and get the #1 seed in the NFC.
2. Green Bay Packers
For some reason the Packers aren’t getting much love from the NFL Odds outside of their price to win the NFC North. However if Aaron Rodgers stays healthy and upright this season, the Packers’ chances of getting a bye are good. Eddie Lacy gives them a solid three down back that they have been missing forever it seems. Not only is Lacy going to give them another skill player, but their defense should to be pretty good this year if health is on their side.
3. New Orleans Saints
I think the Saints will take care of the NFC South pretty easily this season, and along with their softer schedule, I think the can get back to the playoffs this season. I’m not playing too much into the Jimmy Graham situation. Reports are that the NFL Is about ready to decide on his contract situation, and either way it goes, Graham will be back in uniform for the Saints in Week 1. It is in the Saints best interest to get him signed and into camp, because he sets up everything else they want to do on offense. The Saints could be a ten-win team this year.
4. Washington Redskins
This is my first shocker in the playoff predictions, but the winner of the NFC East looks like they’re getting the 4th seed again. I don’t think the Cowboys’ defense is going to be there to win the division, and the Eagles are due for a regression now that the other 31 teams have 16 games worth of film on Chip Kelly. The Skins on the other hand have a new head coach, another credible receiver, a powerhouse running back, and a defense that is severely underrated if healthy. Now that Robert Griffin III has a full offseason, even the new offense his team is going to play well enough to compete with the Eagles in the East. If Jay Gruden made Andy Dalton look like a good quarterback at times, imagine what he’ll do with a talent like Griffin.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Because I have the Niners edging out the Hawks, Seattle is my first wildcard selection. We might once again see a wildcard team with two or three more wins than some of the higher seeds, but nonetheless, Seattle will be a dangerous team no matter where they are in the rankings. Even in this scenario, I think the NFL Odds would favor the Seahawks in a cross-country game in Washington DC. It would be an epic rematch of the same game two seasons ago, in which the Hawks won on the road 24-14.
6. Chicago Bears
There are plenty of teams I could add into the 6th and final playoff spot, but not too may teams look as balanced as Chicago. The Bears have seemingly fixed their defensive ineptness from a season ago, and with one of the best offenses in the NFL, Chicago looks like a very undervalued team this season. They may not be able to beat out Green Bay for the NFC North, but they could easily go 10-6 this season to snag a wildcard spot. If they end up getting into the wildcard round, they could upset the Saints on the road, or pretty much any other team they could face in this spot. Currently Chicago is +1000 to win the NFC in the NFL Odds and +2000 to win the Super Bowl at Bovada, both are interesting betting picks.