2019 NFC South Divisional Futures Predictions
Crazy or not, 2018 was the first time the New Orleans Saints have won the NFC South division in back-to-back years. New Orleans is always a contender to earn the divisional title, but until last season, they hadn’t won it in consecutive years.
The Challenge Is To Win It For The Third Year
While the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers desperately trying to change the course of the division. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a spot behind in this fight, but they sure will be a lot more competent under new head coach Bruce Arians.
Last season not only the New Orleans Saints took the divisional title home, but they were the number one seed inside the NFC. I’m sure New Orleans prefers to forget about last season and focus in the present.
But it’s hard not to think about the possibility of a Super Bowl between the Saints and Patriots down in Atlanta. Let’s see the betting odds to win the NFC South division.
Odds To Win NFC South 2019
|New Orleans Saints||-160|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1200|
New Orleans Saints -160
The Saints are big-time favorites to win the NFC South because they look loaded on both sides of the ball. New Orleans is aiming for a Super Bowl win in Miami and winning the division is just a small step to get there.
The team is just more than QB Drew Brees, but it’s hard to explain how good Brees continues to be at the age of 40 years old. New Orleans also knows their window to win a second Super Bowl under Brees is closing, so it’s all or nothing for them.
Atlanta Falcons +325 – Bet On The Falcons
The Falcons missed the playoffs last season with a 7-9 record. With the number of injuries they sustained right from the start of the year, it’s incredible they won seven games.
The team is poised to bounce back under a very underrated offense that should take a step forward this season. Atlanta is excellent on offense, and that should be good enough to compete against the Saints.
Carolina Panthers +350
The Carolina Panthers enter the 2019 season under the ninth year with head coach Ron Rivera. The team will try to go back to the basics, leaning on a good defense while handling the ball to the running game.
When your running back is as unique as Christian McCaffrey, you can’t blame a team for giving him many touches. McCaffrey had 117 rushing attempts in his rookie season, but that number was quickly up in 2018 reaching 219 carries. The Panthers will remain hard to beat.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1200
2019 is a relevant year for Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So far, Winston hasn’t shown he’s good enough to be the face of the franchise, and he’s running out of time.
2019 is his last year under the rookie deal; so, it’s all or nothing for him. The good news for Winston is he will have QB guru Bruce Arians as his head coach.
Arians worked in the past with Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer. If Jameis Winston doesn’t have the best season of his career, the Bucs should move on from him.
2019 NFL NFC South Divisional Pick – Atlanta Falcons +325
Betting The Falcons has an implied probability of 24%, which is good enough for a team as talented as this one. I get that the Saints are the favorites and they should be but staying at the top of this division for three years in a row it’s a tricky thing.
New Orleans’ window might have closed last season with the no-call against the LA Rams in the NFC Championship game. 2018 was their best shot to get back at the Super Bowl, but they haven’t realized it, yet. After a crushing blow like that one, bouncing back takes a lot, and I’m not sure they have it.
Atlanta on the side has a loaded roster on offense trying to get back on top. The Falcons suffered a severe blow losing Super Bowl LI three years ago, and they weren’t the same the next season. It was a missed chance, and that’s exactly why I expect from the Saints.
Matt Ryan In 2018
Falcons QB Matt Ryan had an MVP type in 2018, but he was never in the conversation for the award because his team only won seven games.
Ryan completed 69.4% of his passes and was less than 80 yards shy from throwing 5000-yards last season. He also threw 35 touchdowns against seven interceptions. Any other quarterback with those numbers and we would have been talking about it nonstop.
The team fired offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to hire Dirk Kotter as the new guy. Kotter has worked with Matt Ryan in the past, so there is a relationship there. But there is also a lot of talent to help Ryan. Julio Jones is the obvious answer, but the arrival of Calvin Ridley last season took this unit to the next level.
Ridley led On His Rookie Year
Ridley led the team with ten touchdown catches on his rookie year. And let’s not forget about Mohamed Sanu, who is an underrated third receiver.
The Falcons also picked two offensive linemen in the first round of the 2019 draft to give Ryan even more protection this season. That should help a quarterback who is having the best seasons of his career pretty much unnoticed.
Atlanta’s defense welcomes back DE Adrian Clayborn who spent last season with the Patriots. They also franchised tag DT Grady Jarret, who is an unstoppable force in the middle of the D-line. But the most critical addition on defense is the return of
LB Deion Jones to the middle of the defense. Jones got injured early in 2018, and the Falcons missed him deeply.
I expect the Saints to take a small back that a team like the Falcons should take advantage. There is a lot of value on betting Atlanta +325.
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