The NFC should be the more competitive conference by leaps and bounds this season, and in the South division there looks to be a lot of parity. Even though the Panthers won the division a season ago, the NFL Odds hold a new heavy favorite to win it in 2014.
New Orleans Saints (+100)
Even though they have some things to work on this summer now that the pads are strapped on, the Saints are by far the best team in this division. They have an immensely deep offense, and it’s just getting deeper. Not only are the normal cast of characters back for this season’s show, but rookie Brandin Cooks, and second-year running back Khiry Robinson both look like potential stars in waiting. Their price to win this division seems like it could have some nice potential value. The Panthers are not going to win 12 games again like a year ago, and even at the NFL Odds of even money, the Saints could be one of the better divisional values from Bovada this offseason.
Carolina Panthers (+325)
Last season’s divisional champ has a lot of work to do this summer too. Cam Newton broke out again last year but now has to virtually start from scratch. Things reportedly complicated a little bit more in training camp today as well. According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, rookie sensation Kelvin Benjamin suffered a knee bruise when he banged knees in practice today. It’s not like the Panthers are very deep at receiver, because after Benjamin, they don’t have much to get excited about at that position. Even though their defense will still likely be a very good unit, it seems unlikely they will be able to mister up enough offense to hang with New Orleans over the entire season.
Atlanta Falcons (+350)
The Hard Knocks boys are hoping to fly a lot higher that they did last season. In fact you can’t even describe the Falcons 2013 as even getting off the ground. However at +350 to win the NFC South, the Falcons are not priced bad at all. If they can get their defense back on track this season, it seems almost certain their offense is going to regain its’ 2012 form. However other than their defense and keeping guys like Julio Jones healthy, the Falcons have got to protect Matt Ryan better than they did a season ago. Ryan took 44 sacks in 2013, which was the third most in the NFL. Atlanta is starting a rookie at right tackle in Jake Matthews, and he will play a big role in how good the Falcons are both running and passing the football in 2014.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+550)
Some may be surprised of the Bucs’ NFL Betting Odds to win the division this season, but with all three other teams still dealing with holes to their football team, the Bucs are not as far behind as they were last season under Greg Schiano. Lovie Smith has completely remade this defense for the better this summer, and if Josh McCown can rekindle some of the magic he made last season in Chicago, the Bucs wouldn’t be a bad value to win the NFC South. There would have to be about 32 things that fall right into place for them, and half of those would be outside of their control, but crazier things have happened.