2018 NFC Odds to Win - Picks and Analysis
The Philadelphia Eagles were the top seed in the NFC in the regular season and they lived up to expectations by winning the conference championship on its way to a stunning upset of New England in Super Bowl LII. BetOnline has posted this year’s NFC Championship futures with the Eagles still at the top of the list.
You would have to go back to the 2014 NFL season to find the last time the same team won back-to-back NFC Championships. The Seattle Seahawks accomplished that feat with a 1-1 split in the Super Bowl. Philadelphia won last season’s conference championship, but there a few teams lining up to take the Eagles place in Super Bowl LIII.
NFC Championship Top Favorite
The Eagles’ updated betting odds to successfully defend last season’s NFC title have been set at +500 as the top team on the list. Much of that value hinges on Carson Wentz’s return to the starting lineup at quarterback. Nick Foles did a tremendous job in relief when Wentz went down with a knee injury late in the season, but the third-year quarterback out of North Dakota State did most of the heavy lifting in last year’s Super Bowl run.
Philadelphia also has the avoid the typical pitfalls that have plagued past Super Bowl winners. Doug Pederson has done an excellent job in his first two seasons as head coach to quickly turn things around, but keeping this team focused and playing at a high level this time around will his toughest task to date.
NFC Championship Top Contender
The top two contenders to win the NFC this season are the Minnesota Vikings at +600 and the Los Angeles Rams at +650. Each team reached a higher level of success last season that could set the stage for a deeper run this year. Kirk Cousins will assume the role as starting quarterback in Minnesota and Jared Goff could be poised to join the ranks of the NFL elite at quarterback coming into his third season in the league. Each of these teams are favored to win their division, but I would not consider either one to be a lock to get it done.
My top contender to win the NFC this season would be the Green Bay Packers at very favorable +800 odds. Aaron Rodgers missed the better part of last season due to injury and the veteran quarterback’s team ended the year with a losing record. Much like Drew Brees last season with New Orleans, I expect Rodgers to play at a very high level this season to lead the Packers to a deep run in the playoffs. If Green Bay can win enough games to earn home field advantage as one of the top two seeds in the conference, it will be a very tough out in the postseason.
The Saints at +800 and the Atlanta Falcons at +1000 odds could also be added to the contenders list given each team’s overall talent, especially at the quarterback position.
NFC Championship Top Longshot
The hype surrounding San Francisco at +1000 odds to win the NFC is simply that until the 49ers’ new gunslinger Jimmy Garoppolo proves that last year’s run at the end of the season was not a fluke. The New York Giants are always an interesting team and their odds to win the conference are next on the list at +1400.
Of the next three teams with longer odds, the Seattle Seahawks could offer the best value at +2000 over Carolina at +1600 and Dallas at +1800. This was a team that went to back-to-back Super Bowls a few years back and it still posted a winning record in its last three seasons despite all the personnel issues that have plagued its roster. Russell Wilson cannot do it all by himself. However, if some of head coach Pete Carroll’s additions to this year’s roster pan out, Seattle could be a team to watch in the NFC.