With just two more Sundays before the NFL preseason schedule kicks off, it is time to start looking at which teams Las Vegas oddsmakers are favoring to do well this season.
The NFC North belonged to the Chicago Bears last season, however, this year the North looks to be a wide-open race. Here is why any team can realistically win the crown.
Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers lead the way
The Chicago Bears have traditionally been known for their strong defense. The Bears lived up to the “Monsters of the Midway” reputation in 2018 as they were one of the toughest teams to score points against. The Bears will be tough once again in 2019, however, with three other great QB’s in the division, repeating will not be easy.
The Bears feel like they have some unfinished business this season. After a 12-4 campaign, the wild-card playoff loss to Philadelphia still stings.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looks like a QB who is maturing fast, but make no mistake – he will have to play better than last season if the Bears want back-to-back division titles.
Before we crown the Bears champs once again, don’t forget about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Last season was one to forget, that’s for sure. 2019 brings new players and new coaches to Green Bay, something that hasn’t been done in a long time.
Matt LaFleur will take the reins from Mike McCarthy – who led the Packers as head coach since 2006.
Yes, Rodgers, if healthy, will keep Green Bay in every game, but to be the second overall favorite, and so close to the Bears odds wise seems a bit of a stretch.
Green Bay is more on the decline than any other team in this division right now and it may be a long freshman season for LaFleur and company.
Lions ready to make a run, Vikings feel the pressure
The Detroit Lions are ready to take over the NFC North. No, seriously, they are. It will take a lot of “what if’s” but if this team can stay healthy, you have to love the changes they made this offseason.
The Lions missed the playoffs from 2000 to 2010. Since then they made the postseason three times in a six-year span from 2011 to 2016.
Just making it to the postseason has become like a party in Detroit. That isn’t good. Now GM and head coach Matt Patricia are ready to start taking chances and winning games.
The Lions and Quinn had the busiest offseason in, well, ever! Detroit, who is not known for signing a lot of free agents, picked up several marquee players including Trey Flowers, Jesse James, Danny Amendola, Justin Coleman, Rashaan Melvin, C.J. Anderson, and Andrew Adams.
Can the Leo’s win the North? You never know. But at +1000, only a fool would not take a chance. Wagering on the long shot in a four-team race is always a wise investment.
Finally, the Vikings.
After Kirk Cousins signed a three-year, $84-million contract, the Vikings latest expectations went through the roof. Now the pressure is on.
Minnesota was a lousy 1-6 against teams with winning records last season. To make matters worse, Cousins is now 5-25 in his career against winning teams. That will have to change quickly if Minnesota hopes to regain their postseason form just two seasons ago.
Here are the current odds to win the NFC North.
- Chicago Bears +160
- Green Bay Packers +195
- Minnesota Vikings +240
- Detroit Lions +1000