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2014 NFC North Predictions – Odds To Win Super Bowl XLIX

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Aaron Rodgers keeps the Packers the team to beat in the NFL’s Black and Blue Division

Green Bay has once again been opened as a heavy favorite to win the NFC North this season and they are one of the top favorites to win the conference. Despite the posted odds, do not count Chicago or Detroit out of this race after battling the Packers to the bitter end for last season’s title.

Green Bay Packers

  • Packers Odds to Win 2015 Super Bowl XLIX +1000
  • Packers Odds to Win the 2015 NFC Conference +550
  • Packers Odds to Win the 2014 NFC North -145
  • Packers NFC North Odds from BetOnline

The Packers have been perennial contenders in the NFL’s Black and Blue Division for the past two decades, but this is a completely different team when quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not in the lineup. They went just 2-5-1 last season when he went down with a broken collarbone as part of an overall record of 8-7-1 so it is pretty obvious that he remains to the key to winning a fourth-straight division title in 2014.

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While there is little doubt that this team will go as far as Rodgers can take it, Green Bay took some steps to tighten up its defense with the addition of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and defensive tackle Khyri Thornton in the draft. It also brought in another target in the passing game with second-round pick Davante Adams at wide receiver.

NFC North Prediction: 1st

Chicago Bears

  • Bears Odds to Win 2015 Super Bowl XLIX +2800
  • Bears Odds to Win the 2015 NFC Conference +1400
  • Bears Odds to Win the 2014 NFC North +325
  • Bears NFC North Odds from BetOnline

The Bears appear to be the biggest threat to Green Bay’s division title chances. There is little doubt that this team will once again have one of the most prolific offenses in the league after finishing the 2013 season ranked second in scoring with 27.8 points per game.

The big question with Chicago heading into head coach Marc Trestman’s second season at the helm is how improved will it be on defense. This unit was ranked 30th in the NFL in total yards allowed and points allowed, which was the big reason for the 8-8 record.

The Bears used four of their first five draft picks on this side of the ball including their first-round pick on cornerback Kyle Fuller.

NFC North Prediction: 2nd
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Detroit Lions

  • Lions Odds to Win 2015 Super Bowl XLIX +2000
  • Lions Odds to Win the 2015 NFC Conference +2000
  • Lions Odds to Win the 2014 NFC North +350
  • Lions NFC North Odds from BetOnline

The Lions will start the season with veteran head coach Jim Caldwell running the show after a late season collapse last year cost Jim Schwartz his job. With Matthew Stafford throwing the ball to Calvin Johnson the offense should continue to rack up the points.

The addition of tight end Eric Ebron with the 10th overall pick in the draft and wide receiver Golden Tate as a free agent should only help an offense that was already ranked in the top three of the league in passing yards in 2013.

This is another team that needs to tighten things up on defense. The talent is there, especially in the Lions’ defensive line, but they still finished last season ranked 23rd in the league against the pass and 16th overall.

Caldwell added some depth on defense with the remainder of the draft and he brought in safety James Ihedigbo as a free agent.

NFC North Prediction: 3rd

Minnesota Vikings

  • Vikings Odds to Win 2015 Super Bowl XLIX +5000
  • Vikings Odds to Win the 2015 NFC Conference +3300
  • Vikings Odds to Win the 2014 NFC North +1600
  • Vikings NFC North Odds from BetOnline

The Vikings’ run to 10 wins and a spot in the playoffs in 2012 is starting to become a fading memory after last season’s backslide to just half as many victories. They will also start the season with a new head coach after Mike Zimmer was brought in to replace Leslie Frazier.

Zimmer will have his hands full trying to rebuild an offense that fell to 23rd in passing last season behind a trio of quarterbacks.

While Minnesota did draft quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the final pick of the first round, it looks like veteran signal-caller Matt Cassel will begin the season as the starter. The Vikings still have Adrian Peterson, so look for a heavy dose of the running game again in 2014.

Minnesota used the ninth overall pick in the draft to bolster its defense by adding linebacker Anthony Barr to the mix.

All-in-all, Zimmer used six of his nine total draft picks to add some depth to a defense that was ranked 31st in the league in yards allowed last year.

NFC North Prediction: 4th

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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