The NFC South Division produced the NFL’s best regular season team of 2018. The New Orleans Saints finished with a 13-3 record, the best in the league and the best in their franchise history. They also clinched home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs for the first time since 2009. New Orleans eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round of the playoffs but a controversial call cost them the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams.

This season, the Saints are favored to win the NFC South Division and the NFC Conference as well. Here are the odds to win the 2019 NFL NFC South Division. These odds were taken from TitanBet as of 9/17/19:

  • New Orleans Saints -200
  • Atlanta Falcons +350
  • Carolina Panthers +800
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800

Football Who are the Favorites?

The New Orleans Saints have almost the same look as the had in 2018. Sure, Mark Ingram and Max Unger are gone but they added Latavius Murray to fill in Ingram’s shoes. They also brought in Nick Easton and 2nd-rounder Erik McCoy to replace Unger. Jared Cook at tight end gives Drew Brees and extra weapon although the depth behind Michael Thomas is a question mark. New Orleans also signed defensive tackle Malcolm Brown from the New England Patriots. The Saints were the #1 seed in the NFC before their heartbreaking loss to the Rams in the NFC title game so they didn’t have to make big changes. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are back. Kamara is coming off an 803-yard rush season with 14 touchdowns while also adding 709 receiving yards and four touchdown passes caught. Barring any major incident, the Saints are expected to top the NFC South this season.

Whether it was Devonta Freeman, Deion Jones or Keanu Neal, the Atlanta Falcons were hounded by injuries last season. With Jones and Neal out of action, the Falcons’ defense crumbled. Now that Tevin Coleman is gone, Freeman will be more valuable to them this season. On offense, the Falcons drafted two first round picks who are expected to improve the right side of their offensive line. Atlanta also has new coordinators after the team let go of both offensive and defensive coordinators during the offseason, so we’ll see what happens. The Falcons were 7-9 last season but they won their last three games. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are among the best in their respective positions. Ryan threw for 4,924 yards with 35 touchdowns last season while Jones had 113 catches for 1,677 yards with 8 scores. Atlanta is the second in the list of NFL betting favorites to win the NFC South but I don’t see them upending the Saints this year.

The Carolina Panthers’ 2018 was a tale of two seasons. They started at 6-2 and looked like a Super Bowl contender but they won just one game in the second half of the season and it came during a week 17 game where the Saints rested their players. The reason behind their struggles was Cam Newton’s injured shoulder which at one point, led to seven straight losses last season. Newton’s health has been the key to the franchise’s success. Newton has thrown for 28,469 yards and 182 touchdowns since the Panthers picked him first overall in 2011. Carolina reached the Super Bowl in 2015 and Newton was named as MVP. But they’ve struggled since then because of his injuries.This past summer, they said goodbye to Julius Peppers and they used their first round pick to select an Athletic EDGE in Brian Burns from Florida State. Thomas Davis and Mike Adams are also no longer around and these veterans departures could leave questions, if not holes. Christian McCaffrey is one of the best running backs in the league and if only Newton can stay healthy, this team could make a good run.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the teams with a new head coach this season. But Bruce Arians isn’t new to the NFL and his aggressive offensive style may be a good fit for QB Jameis Winston who has struggled since the Bucs drafted him first overall in 2015. Arians was Peyton Manning’s first quarterback coach so Tamp Bay is bucking that history will work again. The Bucs lost Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson this summer but they still have plenty of quality on offense so I don’t think that won’t be a big issue. The Bucs also added five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh and picked LSU linebacker Devin White with the fifth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay was 5-11 last season, the same record they had in 2017. They have missed the playoffs in 11 straight years and it could very well be 12 in a row this season.

Football Who Wins?

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers have two of the best quarterbacks in the league so you can’t count them out, really. But the Saints have an equally talented, or even better quarterback, in Drew Brees and they also have Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas who are coming off big-time seasons. The Saints are one of the favorites to win Super Bowl 54 and they have retained the core of their 2018 team and with that kind of talent and familiarity, New Orleans is a solid choice here. I’m looking at the Saints finishing first with Carolina coming in second and Atlanta third.  Prediction: New Orleans Saints

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