Training camp is well underway for all 32 NFL teams, and some teams are strapping on the pads for the first time this summer. In the hard-hitting NFC North, all four teams have some degree of potential, and the favorite might have the worst value of the four teams’ NFL Odds.
Green Bay Packers (-110)
The Packers limped into a division win in 2013, however this season the NFC North is not going to be won by an 8-7-1 record. The NFL odds have the Packers as solid favorites at -110, and even though they are the best team in the division, at -110, their NFL Odds are pretty overvalued. In the NFC South, a much less competitive division, the Saints are the favorite at +100, and they are almost as good as Green Bay. Although I cannot fault you for liking Green Bay to win the division, their price right now is not touchable. Consider taking a wager at similar -110 on a single game, instead of counting on the Packers to finish first. The Packers are just coming off of a season where Aaron Rodgers missed half the year, so don’t take the risk with marginal NFL Odds at best.
Chicago Bears (+250)
While you’re trying to find a better straight wager, don’t forget about the Bears in the NFC North. Like the Packers, the Bears lost their quarterback for most of the season in 2013, and if Jay Cutler is healthy this season, he will surely lead the Bears to new heights. Josh McCown made this offense one of the best in the entire league, and with Cutler back in the fold, Chicago has upside for days on that side of the ball. If their remade defense can handle the high-powered offenses of the NFC North, the Bears have an excellent shot at winning this division. They are very valuable as NFL betting picks this offseason.
Detroit Lions (+400)
The Lions are under a new head coach, but of all the teams operating with a brand new coaching staff this season, the Lions may be the most talented. It’s not their offense everyone is worried about however, it’s their defense. Not only did they not perform well last season in stopping the pass, but their ‘mighty,’ pass rush ranked 28th in sacks. If they can’t get pressure on Rodgers and Cutler among others this season, they are going to be no more than a .500 football team. Matt Stafford can throw the ball 700 times this season, but in the end, it’s not going to matter if they are giving up 30 points per game.
Minnesota Vikings (+1000)
All the way down at +1000 are the Vikings, who other than a pretty big quarterback battle are looking like a team on the rise under first-year head coach, Mike Zimmer. The big question is when will we get to see Teddy Bridgewater start a game for the Vikings, and while it may not be in Week 1, it is the only real thing keeping the Vikings relevant in 2013. Adrian Peterson probably hopes that Bridgewater starts soon, because Matt Cassel doesn’t have endless upside like Teddy does. If Bridgewater comes along quickly this preseason, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Zimmer and the Vikings throwing him in the fire. It might be the only thing that gets people in Minnesota to games this season, which are going to be outdoors while the Vikings’ new stadium is being built. Would you want to go see Cassel start an NFL game in sub-zero temperatures?