The NFC South is both locked and wide open. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in Tom Brady’s first season as their QB. Not only that, they retained every single starter plus WR Antonio Brown for this year. They are the favorites to win the NFC South.
On the other side, Drew Brees’ retirement puts the Saints in an unknown situation. Their long-time, perennial Pro-Bowl QB is gone. They still have a competent roster, but their quarterbacking situation is a dilemma.
The Carolina Panthers were a pleasant surprise as the HC Matt Rhule era started. Rhule and OC Joe Brady did bits to ensure the Panthers are on the map.
That, alongside some moves in the offseason, makes this a promising year for the Panthers.
Oh, the Atlanta Falcons… It seems like the Falcons’ trip to the Super Bowl was the worst thing that could happen to them. They haven’t been able to evolve since then. Dan Quinn left as a head coach, so a new era begins in the ATL.
Let’s review what these teams offered in 2020, what they can bring in 2021, and a full betting guide for good measure.
The New Orleans Saints reigned supreme in the NFC South. They ended with a 12-4 record despite losing stars like QB Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas for chunks of the season. They swept the Bucs in the regular season.
Their year came to an end against the Bucs, though, as they fell short in the Divisional Round. RB Alvin Kamara had yet another stellar season, even scoring six TDs on Christmas.
The Buccaneers got off to a rocky start. QB Tom Brady was just arriving. The pandemic took OTAs and preseason out of the equation. They were learning as the season progressed.
But of course, Tom Brady joined forces with TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Antonio Brown, and the talented roster the Buccs offered. That and a violent defensive line pushed them to the playoffs.
What followed is a historic run. Brady got rid of Washington. Then, proceeded to retire Drew Brees and beat QB Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field to go to a Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers played the perfect game and nullified the Chiefs’ offense to win the Super Bowl at their home turf. You want history-making seasons? Call TB12, and he’ll deliver.
The Panthers overachieved many’s expectations. Teddy Bridgewater was their QB. It all seemed like a tragedy waiting to happen when star RB Christian McCaffrey got injured.
Somehow, the Panthers were still pretty decent. The 5-11 record doesn’t tell the whole story. They were better than that.
The Falcons lasted five weeks before having enough of Dan Quinn. They were 0-5, to be fair. Raheem Morris took charge, and the Falcons ended 4-12. It was a dismal season for Atlanta.
The Super Bowl champions are bringing everybody back. The 22 starters, plus Antonio Brown and RB Leonard Fournette, both key in the postseason. This, alongside Brees’ riding off to the sunset, makes the -200 odds to win the NFC South a tempting bet.
Brees put the Saints in Super Bowl contention every year. Now, they have two options. Either choose Taysom Hill’s versatility or Jameis Winston’s reckless but stronger arm.
They also lost players like CB Janoris Jenkins and sack leader OLB Trey Hendrickson.
The Saints will rely on Alvin Kamara’s output from the backfield and DE Cam Jordan’s pass rush.
Still a solid roster with a brilliant HC like Sean Payton. It does seem the Super Bowl window closed for the Saints.
The Panthers traded for young signal-caller Sam Darnold. He has raw talent, but his career so far has been dreadful. Coached by Adam Gase, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. This should be an upgrade over Bridgewater.
This and the fact that McCaffrey will back make them such an intriguing team.
We can give some praise to the Falcons. They signed Arthur Smith as their head coach. He was the brilliant mind behind Tennessee’s unstoppable offense.
They also drafted a generational talent like Te Kyle Pitts. Julio Jones is gone, but he won’t be missed much, as their stacked offense can live without him.
Matt Ryan is still under center, but he isn’t washed up as much as some would think. He is still capable of putting points on the board. Their defense is the biggest concern.
|2020||New Orleans Saints||12-4|
|2019||New Orleans Saints||13-3|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||13-3|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||11-5|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||13-3|
Research and line shopping are your best allies. Do both before placing a bet. Thank us later for that reminder.
The NFL betting odds table is also important, and there are three key numbers to look at. The odds are first. They tell you who the favorite team is; find it by locating the team with the lower odds number.
For example, a $100 bet on the Falcons (+800) gives you a profit of $800 and a total payout of $900 if they win the division.
Next up, look at the handle. It shows you the percentage of the total amount bet on a team to win the division.
If the Buccaneers have 70% of the handle, 70% of the money wagered on who wins the NFC South is going to Tampa Bay.
The last number is the percentage of bets. This states the numbers of bets—not the money amounts—each team is getting from the bettors.
For example, the Panthers have 20% of all bets but have only 45% of the handle. This means larger bets are being placed on Carolina.
1. Go to your favorite sportsbook and log in.
2. Select the NFL tab.
3. Click on the Division’s tab appearing on the drop-down menu.
4. Pick the odds and team to bet on.
5. Officialize your bet from the bet slip window—usually on the right side of the screen.