NFC Championship Odds

In this article, we will look at some of the favorites to win the NFC as well as take a look at all of the teams and give their current odds to win the NFC provided by Bovada. At the end, we will recommend some wagering picks. We will break down the teams into four categories -

  1. Home Field Contenders
  2. Playoff Contenders
  3. Could Surprise
  4. Not this year

Home Field Contenders - San Francisco tops this section (4-1) and with good reason. They are the defending conference champs and have added several players to an already deep roster. However, injuries have racked this team in the offseason and at training camp. WR Michael Crabtree is expected to miss most if not all the season with a foot injury and ILBs NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are battling nagging injuries. The 49ers traded for WR Anquan Boldin but he doesn’t help the need for deep speed at receiver. QB Colin Kaepernick should be better but RB Frank Gore is aging. Settle is next at 5-1 but an injury has hurt them at wideout also. Prized trade acquisition WR Percy Harvin needs hip surgery and will probably miss the season. The already-strong defense added some more pass rushers in DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett and still have the league’s best secondary. Look for QB Russell Wilson to improve but he again lacks a big-time target. Atlanta (7-1) came close last year and if QB Matt Ryan had spotted an open TE Tony Gonzalez in the end zone, the Falcons would have played the Ravens in the Super Bowl. They added RB Steven Jackson to an already potent offense and he also gives Ryan a threat out of the backfield, something the departed RB Michael turner never was. They used the draft to strengthen the defense, especially the secondary and DE spot. This defense will face growing pains but expect them to be playing better in the second half of the year. Green Bay is at 11-2 but we don’t think they are of the same calibre as the other teams in this group. The defense still has questions; they are counting on two rookie RBs to give them balance; veteran wideouts Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are gone and their remaining two best receivers, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are nicked up. Any team with QB Aaron Rodgers can’t be counted out but we don’t see it for The Pack in 2013.

Playoff Contenders - New Orleans leads this group at 10-1 and could do some damage on the offensive side of the ball. The return of HC Sean Payton will obviously help and QB Drew Brees will want to make up for a down season by the Saints in 2012. The defense is transitioning to a 3-4 but we don’t feel they have the players in place to play it effectively. If nothing else, the Saints should be involved in plenty of shootouts. The Giants are at 12-1 and face several questions on both sides of the ball. Can RB David Wilson step up as a starter? Can Hakeem Nicks stay healthy in a contract year? Can an aging O-line incorporate some young blood? Can the D-line find their pass-rush passion again? Can an undermanned LB corps step up their play? Can a decent secondary on paper stay healthy? That’s too many questions for us. Dallas is at 14-1 but they are a perennial tease. The defense is moving to a 4-3 and should be good in the front seven. The secondary has some new blood at safety, a perpetual weak spot for this team. The O-line still has questions but there is talent at the skill positions. A big question mark. Chicago at 16-1 is an interesting proposition. The O-line has been upgraded and WR Alshon Jeffery looks like he may become a good complement to WR Brandon Marshall. The addition of HC Marc Trestman should have a very positive effect on QB Jay Cutler. The defense is mixing in new players in the front seven but the TO-forcing secondary is intact. There is a lot of talent on this roster. Washington finishes this group at 18-1. Their division is up for grabs and they could repeat. The defense needs some work and the receiving corps needs to stay healthy. RB Albert Morris was a revelation and QB Robert Griffin III is one of the most exciting players in the league. They could make the playoffs but look like a one-and-done type of team.

Could Surprise - Minnesota and St. Louis both come in at 22-1. The Vikings added WR Greg Jennings in FA and drafted WR Cordarrelle Patterson. Rookies CB Xavier Rhodes is an immediate starter and DT Sharrif Floyd will see lots of playing time. RB Adrian Peterson is coming off a monster season but this team will go as far as QB Christian Ponder takes them. QB Matt Cassel is decent insurance. The Rams were 4-1-1 in the division last year and used the offseason to get better on offense. LT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook were added in free agency and the draft brought WRs Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. The loss of RB Steven Jackson hurts and they may use a committee approach in the backfield. The defense got younger and faster.

Not This Year - Tampa Bay is at 25-1 and is quite a bit better than the AFC teams in this section. They upgraded a woeful secondary with CB Darrelle Revis and SS Dashon Goldson and added more players to improve a unit that was gold in run defense (1st) but Paper Mache in pass defense (32nd). RB Doug Martin appears to be a stud but inconsistent QB Josh Freeman needs to improve. Playing against the Falcons and Saints is no picnic either. Detroit and Philadelphia are both at 28-1 and trying to rebound from 4-12 seasons. The Lions added RB Reggie Bush to try and give their offense some balance and got younger and faster on defense. They are good enough to pull a key upset and possibly derail some team’s playoff hopes. The Eagles are undergoing a major shakeup on both sides of the ball and at the head coaching position. QB Michael Vick will lead an up-tempo attack as Chip Kelly tries to bring his Oregon offense to the NFL. The defense is making the move to a 3-4 but they are loaded with 4-3 types. Carolina is at 33-1 and like Tampa Bay, would hold their own against their AFC counterparts in this section. The defense has been upgraded but the offense will only improve if QB Cam Newton matures; the coaches’ figure out how to use their stable of running backs and if a No.2 receiver finally emerges. Definitely a team making moves in the right direction. Arizona is last at 66-1 but could be the best ‘worst’ team in years. The defense played very well last season under DC Ray Horton but he left after Bruce Arians was named head coach. The defense should keep the team in most games. The offense welcomes Carson Palmer as their new QB and that should be a godsend to WR Larry Fitzgerald. He played with multiple imposters under center in 2012 but this team just doesn’t have enough to compete with the big boys in the NFC.

San Francisco and Seattle are the co-favorites but we’ll take an Atlanta team that is more balanced offensively and more explosive on that side of the ball. As sleepers, we’ll take Chicago and Minnesota. As a deep sleeper, we’ll roll the dice on St. Louis.

  • San Francisco 49ers 4/1
  • Seattle Seahawks 5/1
  • Green Bay Packers 11/2
  • Atlanta Falcons 7/1
  • New Orleans Saints 10/1
  • New York Giants 12/1
  • Dallas Cowboys 14/1
  • Chicago Bears 16/1
  • Washington Redskins 18/1
  • Minnesota Vikings 22/1
  • St. Louis Rams 22/1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25/1
  • Detroit Lions 28/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles 28/1
  • Carolina Panthers 33/1
  • Arizona Cardinals 66/1
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