NFL Handicapping: The NFC South
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NFL Handicapping Insight
Every year the NFC South seems to be full of surprises, and that was the case again last season when the Atlanta Falcons stunned football fans and bettors alike by making it all the way to the Super Bowl.
The year prior, it was the Carolina Panthers who played for the title. Who will break out this year?
Let’s take a look.
2017 NFC South Predictions: Atlanta Falcons
Falcons Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +1400
Falcons Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +600
Falcons Odds to Win 2017 NFC South Division: +170
The Falcons had the Super Bowl in their grasp before letting it slip between their fingers in one of the worst collapses in Super Bowl history. As much as they’d like to crawl into a hole, they’re on the hook to play 16 games this season.
The team’s focus in the offseason was largely about keeping their Super Bowl roster intact, and they did a pretty good job of that.
Kyle Shanahan was the big loss, as he and Matt Ryan finally got on the same page last season, and that showed in a big way on the field.
Dontari Poe’s a great addition to a defense that can use all the weapons it can get on the defensive line.
2017 NFC South Predictions: Carolina Panthers
Panthers Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +2500
Panthers Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +1400
Panthers Odds to Win 2017 NFC South Division: +250
The Panthers were one of the biggest disappointments last season. They used the offseason to build up their offense in an effort to return to relevance.
Christian McCaffrey was acquired via a high draft pick, so he’ll surely be called upon early and often to get some quick returns on that pick. They’ll definitely try to find some creative ways to get the ball in his hand.
Second round wide receiver Curtis Samuel was brought in to hopefully push Kelvin Benjamin, who once again showed up to camp out of shape.
The return of a healthy Luke Kuechly will be key for a defense that leans heavily on its stud middle linebacker.
2017 NFC South Predictions: New Orleans Saints
Saints Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +4000
Saints Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +1800
Saints Odds to Win 2017 NFC South Division: +260
The Saints’ prize offseason acquisition would have been far more significant is they’d made it five years ago.
His arrival means question marks for Mark Ingram’s future, but doesn’t necessarily make the Saints’ offense any better, as they were getting pretty good production out of Tim Hightower.
The Saints let Brandin Cooks leave despite his rapport with Drew Brees.
They didn’t do much to replace him, instead leaving Michael Thomas in line for a ton of looks. Drew Brees is running out of good years, and there just isn’t enough talent around him for this team to be a real threat.
2017 NFC South Predictions: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +3300
Bucs Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +1800
Bucs Odds to Win 2017 NFC South Division: +350
There are a lot of question marks around the Bucs’ roster entering this season. They spend a first round pick on tight end O.J. Howard. He’s a beast, but Cameron Brate was doing well as the guy at the position.
And they have an obvious need at running back with Doug Martin suspended and out indefinitely.
They added DeSean Jackson to give Jameis Winston a big play threat alongside Mike Evans.
That should help Winston take another step forward, but he really needs to cut down on the interceptions and develop a little more consistency if he’s going to be the guy the Bucs thought he was when they drafted him first overall.
Cappers Picks 2017 NFC South Predictions
The NFC South must be the most difficult division to pick on a yearly basis. Every year some team emerges and often it’s one no one considered. The Saints just don’t have the pieces to be that team this year, so they’re out.
The Bucs could get off to a slow start while they wait for Doug Martin to return from his suspension. The Falcons could have a bit of a hangover after the way their season ended.
That leaves the Panthers as the team most likely to provide a return to bettors in this crowded division.
More 2017 NFL Division By Division Gambling Previews
- 2017 AFC East Predictions
- 2017 AFC West Predictions
- 2017 AFC South Predictions
- 2017 AFC North Predictions
- 2017 NFC West Predictions
- 2017 NFC North Predictions
- 2017 NFC East Predictions
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