NFC South Odds
Here's our rundown on what has happened in the offseason for all of the NFC South teams and their odds to win the NFC South as listed at bodog
Atlanta Falcons (+120)
Lost – RB Jerious Norwood, WR Michael Jenkins, G Harvey Dahl, DE Jamaal Anderson.
If it wasn' t clear where Atlanta feels they are in relation to the rest of the league, they left no doubt in April. They traded a myriad of picks to move up to select Jones. They expect him to pair with WR Roddy White to give the offense two dynamic playmakers on the outside. The defense added Edwards to spice up a weak pass rush but little help was added for the secondary. The Falcons were 13-3 last year before getting blasted by the Packers in the playoffs. They hope the addition of Jones can make their offense more explosive so they can score enough points to overcome a shaky defense. Definitely a title contender but can the defense improve enough to match a high-scoring offense?
Carolina Panthers (+1800)
Lost – QB Matt Moore, TE Jeff King, TE Dante Rosario, DT Derek Landri, DT Ed Johnson, DE Tyler Brayton, PK John Kasay.
Carolina bottomed out last season with a 3-13 record in HC John Fox' s final year with the team. New HC Ron Rivera should have more success with his aggressive style and better staff. The Panthers used the draft to snag Newton, last year' s Heisman Trophy winner and look for him to start in Week 1. The additions of Shockey and Olsen give Newton a pair of targets he can rely on. The defense wasn' t the disaster the offense was last year and they retained their key free agents. There is a new beginning in Carolina but it will take time. 5-7 wins would be a good start in their turnaround.
New Orleans Saints (+110)
Lost – RB Reggie Bush, TE Jeremy Shockey, OT Jon Stinchcomb, C Jonathan Goodwin, DE Anthony Hargrove, DT Remi Ayodele, LB Danny Clark, LB Stanley Arnoux, LB Marvin Mitchell, CB Randall Gay, S Usama Young, S Darren Sharper.
New Orleans used the offseason to address issues that led to their shock exit in the first round of the playoffs last season. The running game was stagnant for most of the season: enter Ingram, the former Heisman Trophy winner. He may not start but expect him to get plenty of carries. The Saints were pushed around up front by strong running teams last year: enter Rogers and Franklin, two strong run stuffers. Herring was signed to solidify one outside LB spot. The O-line lost two starters but gained multi-time Pro Bowler Kreutz. This is a very strong team that is a legit Super Bowl contender. If they win the division and gain home-field advantage, watch out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+550)
Lost – RB Carnell Williams, WR Maurice Stovall, MLB Barrett Ruud.
The Buccaneers had a curious offseason. They were $50 million under the salary cap but have been inactive in free agency. They also allowed Ruud to leave, a tackling machine and captain of the defense. HC Raheem Morris has a lot of confidence in his young team, maybe too much. A few key FAs would have helped this team but GM Mark Dominik is pretty adamant about building almost exclusively through the draft. The D-line will feature four players that are either rookies or second-year players. The Bucs ranked 28th vs. the run and must turn that around. The offense is in the capable hands of budding star QB Josh Freeman but giving him another weapon or two wouldn' t have hurt. A good team but no better than third in their division.
NFC South Odds
Odds avaialble at bodog
- New Orleans Saints +110
- Atlanta Falcons +120
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +550
- Carolina Panthers +1800