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A quick look at the outright odds at New Jersey’s top NFL betting sites shows the NFC North as this season’s tightest division. The Minnesota Vikings are posted at +165 at FanDuel, closely followed by the division’s defending champions, the Green Bay Packers, at +175. The Chicago Bears are posted at +350 and the Detroit Lions are the outsiders at +600.
Out of all the NFL divisions, the Kansas City Chiefs are the biggest favorites odds to win their title at -390 in the AFC West. FanDuel has the Cincinnati Bengals as the biggest longshot at +2600 to win the AFC North.
The Vikings made the playoffs last season with a run-heavy team that ranked fourth in the league in rushing attempts and sixth in rushing yards. Dalvin Cook rushed for 1,135 yards and also ranked second on the team with 519 receiving yards. He missed two games last season due to injury and has missed 19 in his three years in the league, so his health is a concern.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was solid last season under center, but the Vikings traded away their leading wide receiver from last season in Stefon Diggs. He will be replaced by first-round draft pick Justin Jefferson, while Adam Thielen will look to bounce back from an injury-marred season where he played 10 games. The Minnesota defense is solid up front, but the secondary is a concern since the team lost their top three cornerbacks in the off-season.
Minnesota open the season at home against the Packers and face them twice in their first seven games.
Speaking of the Packers, they had an interesting off-season. They went 13-3 last season and advanced to the NFC title game, but they may have some issues with their top dog in Aaron Rodgers. The team has a glaring need at the wide receiver position and in the last draft, which many experts called the best ever for receivers, Green Bay did not take one wideout. On top of that, they traded up to take quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.
Even with the issues the Packers have, they still have Rodgers and a solid ground game led by Aaron Jones, who had 1,558 yards from scrimmage last season (1,084 rushing yards, 474 receiving yards) and led the league with 19 touchdowns. The defense was also solid last season and should be again.
The Chicago Bears missed out on the playoffs last season, due in no small part to the regression of third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. They have now brought in former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, so there may be a QB controversy in the Windy City.
The offense does not have many weapons and Chicago need better quarterback play this season no matter who is under center. The defense also needs to bounce back, as injures kept it from being the dominant unit it was in 2018 when the Bears made the playoffs.
Chicago need to take advantage of a first-half schedule where they do not face a team that made the playoffs last season in their first seven games.
The Detroit Lions have the worst betting odds to win the NFC North. However, at +600, those are the best odds of any team picked to finished in the basement of their respective division.
Detroit took a nosedive last season after losing quarterback Matthew Stafford to injury. Head coach Matt Patricia is in his third season and has retooled the defense. The line is a good one and the young Lions have talent, but Stafford’s health is key and the defense has to gel with many new players.