Join us as we analyze the NFL Futures Book Odds from some popular markets for the NFC North. We share free picks for this interesting and ever-changing division.
The NFC East and NFC West divisions seem to offer little value right now at current prices and realities in the betting markets, but with the angry Green Bay Packers, the upstart Minnesota Vikings and two teams who may be on the downslide in the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, the NFC North offers more than its share of betting opportunities in Futures and Props markets this Summer. Let’s analyze this division from what has happened so far, look at some Futures Book Odds in the NFC North from some popular markets and then make some NFL picks from both the Futures and Props marketplaces, with an emphasis on backing the Pack in the Westgate Las Vegas Games of Year marketplace.
Packers Rodgers Often Overshadows Brilliance of Teammates Lacy, Nelson, Cobb
The NFC North (To Be Winning Division in NFC +210, 5Dimes) division has been all about the Green Packers since Aaron Rodgers (29-12 ATS vs NFC North) came onto the scene, seemingly in the Green-and-Gold wake of Brett Favre, and with the Detroit Lions losing All-Pro DT Ndamukong Suh to Free Agency to the Miami Dolphins this Offseason and possibly having peaked last season, this division is again all about the Cheeseheads. And when oddsmakers post odds of 1/4 for football teams or horses, then you know the race is all but over before it has really started, brother. True, the Minnesota Vikings may be a team on the upswing this season with QB Teddy Bridgewater having a year of NFL play under his belt and RB Adrian Peterson (+400, AP Comeback Player of the Year, 5Dimes) returning and most likely running mad and inspired after all he’s been through. But Green Bay is still loaded, and the Packers re-signed everyone they needed to re-sign this Offseason and will surely be driven by the nasty memories of that 4th Quarter collapse to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game last season in the Emerald City. Whatever gets you through the night. It’s all right. It’s all right.
For the Packers and Head Coach Mike McCarthy (90-63-4 ATS) to get to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara next February, they will likely need to deal with the Seahawks and the NFL’s top defense again, which means probably two things from this distance from their POV: 1—Create a Monster Offense that can simply outscore opponents, including the Seahawks, through their fluidity and productivity. And with future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers (34-18-3 ATS Home) having guys like RB Eddie Lacy (246 rushes, 1,139 yards, 9 TDs), WR Jordy Nelson (98 receptions, 1,519 yards, 13 TDs) and WR Randall Cobb (91 receptions, 1,287 yards, 12 TDs) to work with, getting big chunks of yards quickly and racking up the TDs has sort of become an Art form with Alabama product Lacy (+1000, NFL Rushing Leader, 5Dimes) soften up the opposing defense and Nelson (+800, NFL Regular Season Receiving Yards leader, 5Dimes) and Cobb (+2000, 5Dimes) both solid deep threats with good speed and great hands providing incredible weapons at the main skill positions. And then there’s FB John Kuhn. Players like John Kuhn are how football teams win championships. Seriously. Undrafted Free Agents who are willing to put the hard work and long hours in to hone their craft and make it as a professional football player by doing all the little things like blocking, being in the right place at the right time and always picking up that short yardage on 3rd or 4th Downs because you know your teammates are counting on you. With an unheralded player like Kuhn—a 32-year-old veteran out of tiny Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania—the Packers may be destined for greatness this 2015/16 NFL season. And there is probably no player the Green Bay faithful would prefer doing the “Lambeau Leap” and jumping into their waiting arms after a Packers TD than one John Kuhn. Not even Aaron Rodgers. For real. And, (my that was a lot of words between things, man) 2—Green Bay must earn the valuable Homefield advantage in the NFC over the Regular Season. The Seahawks having that aforementioned NFC Championship game at Home last year was ultimately the difference as the crowd helped bring home Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and their boys in that critical 4th Quarter the Packers would love to forget, but simply can’t. So they will use that bitter memory as fuel to an internal fire to try to get them back into a position where they can win another NFL championship. But like all professional sports championships, it won’t come easy, but at least Green Bay seems to have all of the pieces in place again as Training Camp carries on this Summer. Including 32-year-old John Kuhn.
Odds to Win NFC North Division SuperBook vs (Highest Offshore, Online or European)
Green Bay Packers 1/4 (-275, bet365)
Detroit Lions 11/2 (+615, 5Dimes)
Minnesota Vikings 8/1 (9/1, PaddyPower)
NFC North Teams Odds to Win NFC Championship
Green Bay Packers 5/2 (+350, bet365)
Detroit Lions 15/1 (16/1, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
Minnesota Vikings 25/1 (28/1, BetVictor)
Chicago Bears 30/1 (33/1, BetVictor, Stan James, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill, bwin)
NFC North Teams Odds To Reach NFC Championship Game—(5Dimes)
Green Bay Packers +150
Detroit Lions +675
Minnesota Vikings +900
Chicago Bears +1300
NFC North Teams Odds to Win Super Bowl
Green Bay Packers 5/1 (+650, bet365, Skybet)
Detroit Lions 40/1 (33/1, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
Minnesota Vikings 50/1 (66/1, Skybet)
Chicago Bears 40/1 (66/1, Paddy Power, William Hill
NFC North Teams Select Super Bowl 50 Matchup Odds—(5Dimes)
Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots +1800 >Was +2575 a week ago
Detroit Lions vs Indianapolis Colts +9400 (94/1)
Minnesota Vikings vs Miami Dolphins +35,000 (350/1)
Chicago Bears vs Tennessee Titans +520,000 (5200/1)
Regular Season Team Win Totals—(Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Green Bay Packers 11 Over +110, Under -130
Detroit Lions 8½ Over +120, Under -140
Minnesota Vikings 7½ Over -145, Under +125
Chicago Bears 7 Over +130, Under -150
Packers to Be Driven by Bitter Memories of 4th Quarter of NFC Championship Game
Can a team from the NFC North win the Super Bowl (To Be Winning Division in Super Bowl +415, 5Dimes) this coming NFL season? This might not be a bad bet if you look at it from the perspective that you may have either the Packers and one of the game’s best QBs, (Rodgers); the Lions and one of the game’s best WRs (Johnson); or, the Vikings and one of the game’s best runners (Peterson). Or if you’re an edgy type with little football knowledge and a bad latte habit, maybe you look at it like you have the Bears and the NFL’s most prolific cigarette smoker (Cutler). To each his own, bruh. Maybe the Nicotine makes one’s throwing arm ‘strong like monkey’. Who knows. As far as the Lions and Vikings and Bears (oh my), it’s simply a matter of comparing them to the mighty Packers, and although Detroit (11-5) went 7-1 at Home and 5-1 in NFC North play last year, losing both Suh (Dolphins) and Nick Fairley (Rams) on the DL to Free Agency this offseason will have to have some kind of effect on this mistake-prone team and it seems the Lions (321 PF-282 PA) and QB Matthew Stafford may have peaked last season. We’ll soon see. And who may get that 1 or maybe 2nd NFC North interdivisional Win that Detroit got last year? Most likely the Minnesota Vikings with Bridgewater, Peterson and Free Agent WR Mike Wallace (Dolphins) as this team should be more balanced on Offense, and, if the Defense, which added top Draft Pick CB Trae Waynes (Michigan State) and Free Agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) to the secondary, can improve and get this Purple team on the positive side of the point ledger (325 PF-343 PA, -18), then maybe the sky may be the limit in Princeville.
And the Bears (6-10)? Let’s just say that when a team is trying to trade its starting QB (Jay Cutler) on NFL Draft night, and then can’t, and is then forced to keep the high-priced rebel who throws to empty spaces better than anyone else in the NFL, then, well, the season is over before it even began, brother. Chicago (319 PF-442 PA, -123) is simply, and has been, a slave to Cutler’s contract of late. And no one feels sorry for the Da Bears and no one should because they were the ones who gave him the contract. So, like many teams in the NFL this season and every season, the QB position will probably hamstring most of the other players on the roster to some degree—something not seen to this degree even with GKs in soccer, Goalies in Hockey or Pitchers in MLB who only play every fourth start (usually). When an NFL starting QB is great, like Rodgers or Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck is, he can lift his entire team and he allows owners and GMs to build around him. But when you have a QB Controversy, or Injuries or a QB who is just plain mercurial (up-and-down) like Cutler, the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick or the San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers are, then the QB can take the organization, teammates and teams’ fanbase on a proverbial rollercoaster ride which usually ends up with everyone but the QB getting sick. Hey, maybe Cutler (25/1, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, 5Dimes) turns it all around this season and maybe he really impresses and shocks the world under new Bears Head Coach John Fox (Broncos), with West Virginia Rookie WR Kevin White (12/1, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, 5Dimes) shining and the Lions and Vikings dipping and the Packers somehow slipping. Right. Logic dictates that the Bears will end up on the bottom of this division for a second straight season because they have forgotten what made them a great football team all those years in the first place—a dynamite Defense. Somewhere, Papa Bear George Halas weeps and Chicago could very well allow more than 400 points this season if Cutler keeps throwing footballs to the wrong place at the wrong time. Possession and field position matter in all levels of football and having Cutler as your starting QB must be considered a liability, at least in that regard. No one thinks he can rifle balls into imaginary holes that he thinks he sees on a football field like Jay Cutler can, and when so many of those ill-advised throws end up as Interceptions and TOs for opponents, it’s hard to keep your chin up as a teammate—whether you’re an Offensive player leaving the field because of one of those Cutler picks or if you’re a Defensive player coming back on to the field (again, gassed) because he threw the ball away. Like the Weather, Automobiles and Congress, QBs probably affect more than they should in this dumb world and bettors should always beware of who you are putting your money on. There are levels and pecking orders and guys who ensure you are truly gambling when they take the snap from Center. And avoiding the weekly potholes is the challenge.
NFC North Futures Book and Props Picks: Minnesota Vikings Regular Season Team Win Total Over 7½ -145 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook); Green Bay Packers To Win NFC Championship +350 (bet365); Randall Cobb NFL Regular Season Receiving Yards Leader +2000 (5Dimes); Adrian Peterson AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year +400 (5Dimes)
NFC North Green Bay Packers-Related NFL Games of the Year Picks: Week 4—Green Bay Packers -3 over San Francisco 49ers at Santa Clara; Week 6—Green Bay Packers -7 over San Diego Chargers at Green Bay; Week 12—Green Bay Packers -9½ over Chicago Bears at Green Bay (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, NFL Games of the Year).