2019 NFC North Divisional Futures Predictions
The Chicago Bears took everybody by surprise in 2018 winning the NFC North despite having the third-best odds in the division. Chicago is now the favorite to repeat, but the division is harder to predict now than ever.
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions used the free agency to get a lot better. The Minnesota Vikings fixed the offensive line in the NFL draft.
The Packers Winning Record
Let’s keep in mind since Aaron Rodgers is the starting quarterback of the Packers. Green Bay has won the division five times; the last time was in 2016.
The Bears have won it twice, including last season and the Vikings three times. Don’t ask about the Lions because they haven’t won it this century.
Odds To Win NFC North 2019
|Green Bay Packers||+225|
Chicago Bears +160
The Bears haven’t won back-to-back division titles since 2005 and 2006. The current Chicago team is different and has a frenetic defense.
But one of the most complicated things in the NFL is to migrate defensive success from one year to the next. It’s almost impossible. Chicago led the NFL with 36 takeaways last season; that’s very hard to repeat.
The team might be set to be a little more vulnerable on the defensive side this season. Besides, the Bears lost safety Adrian Amos and CB Bryce Callahan, who were ballhawks in the secondary.
Minnesota Vikings +175
I like what the Vikings did in the draft. Minnesota drafted three offensive linemen, including center Garrett Bradbury with the first-round pick.
Those moves should help QB Kirk Cousins have more time to find his weapons down the field. Over the last few years, the Vikings have been a defense driven team.
That changes this year. Minnesota lost two playmakers in DT Sheldon Richardson and S Andrew Sendejo. Much like the Bears, the defense should take a step back this season. I can see the Vikings involved in a lot of high scoring games.
Green Bay Packers +225 – Bet On The Packers
We don’t often find the Packers at +225 to win the division. It’s almost too good to be true. Green Bay should have QB Aaron Rodgers healthy to make a run at the division once again.
Despite a drop in production in 2018, Rodgers should bounce back this year. I can’t see the Packers missing the playoffs for the third time in a row.
At +225 Green Bay has the best value of all the NFC North teams. Unlike most years, the defensive side improved with veteran players in the free agency.
Detroit Lions +1300
Detroit is by far the team with the longest shot to win the division. It’s hard to blame the oddsmakers. The Lions haven’t won the division since 1993.
There wasn’t internet in the world, Bill Clinton was on his first year in office, and Matt Stafford was five years old. The Lions added a lot of talent in the free agency. From WR Danny Amendola, TE Jesse James to DE Trey Flowers.
But they are outclassed in terms of coaching. Matt Patricia is one of the worst HCs in the league.
2019 NFL NFC North Divisional Pick – Green Bay Packers +275
The Green Bay Packers are getting overshadowed by all the hype around the Chicago Bears. Have we forgotten how good Aaron Rodgers is? Well, he’s pretty darn good when healthy, and that’s the key this season.
Rodgers wasn’t right in 2018. I don’t care what many said. After he got injured in the week one matchup against Chicago, apparently there was something wrong about his health. He’s healthy now.
Another thing. The Packers finally got rid of HC Mike McCarthy. Boy was that offense dull under McCarthy. New head coach Matt LeFleur will do a better and more exciting job. It can’t get worse than what we saw from McCarthy over the past few seasons.
The addition of OLB Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith should make an immediate impact on the defense. Those two alongside ILB Blake Martinez makes a great linebacking group. They also stole S Adrian Amos from Chicago. He will line up next to the first-round S Darnell Savage.
The Packers Defense
Green Bay’s defense won’t be one of the five best units in the league, but it should aim to be in the top 10 in total defense. That should be enough for Green Bay to take back the division from Chicago and remind the rest of the NFL they shouldn’t be forgotten.
Betting the Bears as favorites at +160 doesn’t look attractive enough. Chicago’s defense will be different this season. They lost a few players, and especially they lost defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Denver Broncos. It’s an entirely new defense.
Also, it somehow surprising Minnesota is second in the betting odds to win the NFC North at +175. After seven years we don’t know what kind of QB Kirk Cousins is.
There are days where he looks fantastic. There are others where you wouldn’t believe he’s the starting quarterbacks of an NFL franchise.
What About The Vikings?
The Vikings should be fun to watch, but their window for success seemed to have closed fast. Knowing Minnesota’s defense should take a step back, a shootout between Cousins and Rodgers should always have the Packers as winners.
The Lions are too behind to be considered contenders in this division. History is against them. They also have a QB in Matthew Stafford who it would be fair to question his motivation to win.
Stafford is one of those players who hasn’t evolved much since he arrived in the NFL over ten years ago. We know he is talented and very good at times, but he hasn’t made a jump to the elite class.
If the Lions want to win the division, Matt Stafford needs to play out of his mind. I don’t see it happening.
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