It wasn’t long ago when the Detroit Lions were the laughingstock of the NFL. However, times have changed. The Lions are favorites to win the NFC North this season.
The offense added a couple of high-impact rookies in a great position to succeed in Detroit.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings dominated the NFC North last season but are expected to finish second in the standings this year. Finally, the Packers and Bears have the same probability of winning the division, with +400 odds.
This division isn’t close to being the best in the NFL, but it’s truly anyone’s division in the NFC North.
Let’s take a look at the NFC North betting odds for the 2023 season. We will also dive into some NFL predictions, exclusively for the NFC North.
The Detroit Lions were incredibly close to a playoff spot last season. It was a complete turnaround from prior years. Dan Campbell leads the Lions as head coach, and he’s changed the team’s culture.
Campbell and the Lions had their first winning season since 2017 last year. This after beginning the season 1-6.
The Lions finished out the regular season 8-2. Therefore, many believe that they’ll win the division if the Lions can start from where they left off.
While the Vikings won the NFC North, the Lions went 5-1 in division play. That’s why they’ll be favorites to win the division.
Detroit added much-needed secondary help, including cornerback Cameron Sutton and safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. They also brought in Emmanuel Mosley.
However, the Lions lost Jamaal Williams to the Saints. He scored most of the touchdowns for Detroit last year. They also lost D’Andre Swift to the Eagles. However, the Lions added David Montgomery as a running back and drafted Jahmyr Gibbs. That should be a solid one-two punch at running back for the Lions.
Detroit also added Sam LaPorta, who should become the No. 1 tight end with the Lions when the season begins.
The Lions traded away Matthew Stafford to the Rams a few years ago. While Los Angeles won a Super Bowl, the Lions got a very underrated quarterback in Jared Goff. Head Coach Campbell believes that Goff is the perfect fit for the offense.
The Minnesota Vikings didn’t dominate in the NFL last year. But everything went their way early on. The Vikings won 13 games and the division title. Every game was a thriller, with the Vikings typically pulling off a one-score victory in crazy fashion.
However, this team is a little bit different. The Vikings will no longer have defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson or wide receiver Adam Thielen. Patrick Peterson and Eric Kendricks won’t be back either. Plus, Dalvin Cook went to the Jets in free agency.
Still, the offense has one of the best players in the world Justin Jefferson. Kirk Cousins is back, and Alexander Mattison is poised to take over the running back position. Minnesota also added Jordan Addison, a rookie wide receiver with enormous potential.
The Vikings are what they are. They’ll win enough games to make the postseason but likely won’t have enough talent to earn a Super Bowl.
Still, Kirk Cousins is a top-ten quarterback in the league and gels well with Jefferson. That’s what counts.
Meanwhile, the defense added Brian Flores as the defensive coordinator. That should at least help. If the defense is just a tiny bit above average, the Vikings will finish with another terrific season in the NFC North.
The NFC North betting odds should probably have the Vikings ahead of the Lions.
The Green Bay Packers are in a different chapter.
It’s a new era without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. Most Green Bay fans don’t know the Packers without those two under-center. But now it’s Jordan Love’s turn.
The Packers finished 8-9 in Rodgers’ final year in Green Bay. Rodgers was injured for most of the year but downplayed the injury to stay away from excuses. But let’s be honest. His hand hurt, and it broke the Packers’ season.
Whenever Love played snaps in the NFL, he never looked great. He had been behind Rodgers for a few years before the Packers finally decided to part ways with Rodgers.
Green Bay added Lukas Van Nezz with a first-round pick and brought in a couple of solid tight ends that could make a quick impact with Love.
I never want to root against a player. But Love has never proven he’s got what it takes to lead a franchise. I’d be worried if I were a Packers fan. This rebuild could push Green Bay to last in the NFL Conference standings.
The Chicago Bears and their fans are super high on Justin Fields.
He started to develop in his second season in the NFL last year. However, he didn’t have much help. His top receiver was Darnell Mooney, and the Bears traded a very low pick for Chase Claypool.
It’s hard to believe that the Bears are much better than last year. David Montgomery is gone. Therefore, the Bears will rely heavily on Khalil Herbert. He fits well with this offense, but we still worry that Fields doesn’t have many targets down the field.
That’s why the NFC North betting odds have the Bears at +400 odds to win the division. Fields is a terrific playmaker. He’ll earn some challenging runs down the field. But the passing game might still be what it was last year.
The Best Bet
The Vikings have a sensational offense. But I’m not so sure they’ll get lucky anymore.
The Vikings have the 25th-hardest NFL schedule this year. Meanwhile, the Lions have the 11th most manageable schedule in the league, per Sharp Football Analytics.
The Lions will always be sensational on offense. Jared Goff has many weapons, including Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, David Montgomery, Marvin Jones, and Josh Reynolds. He’ll make the offense play at a high level.
Meanwhile, the defense saw much growth out of Aidan Hutchinson last year. They’ll also have Jack Campbell at MLB, and Brian Branch could play some safety for the Lions early. The secondary has been revamped, and the defensive line has developed immensely.
The value for the NFC North betting odds is on the Lions.
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