Packers and Vikings Opened as Co-Favorites to Win NFC North, Early Money Pushes GB to Favorites

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The Green Bay Packers are early favorite to win the NFC North. Photo by @packers (Twitter)

  • The NFC North Division odds open with the Packers and Vikings as co-favorites
  • Early money has pushed Green Bay to favorites
  • See the opening odds for all teams to win the NFC North and our early prediction below

Early money moved the Green Bay Packers to favorites in the NFC North less than a day after NFL divisional odds listed with them as co-favorites with the Minnesota Vikings to win the division.

Currently, BetOnline lists the Packers at +140 to win the NFC North. Green Bay opened tied for favorite to win the division with the Vikings. The NFC North was the only division with co-favorites  at +150 each

2020 NFC North Odds

Team Odds at BetOnline
Green Bay Packers +140
Minnesota Vikings +175
Chicago Bears +350
Detroit Lions +800

Odds taken Mar. 3

Now, the Vikings odds appear headed in the opposite direction as they are +175 to with the division.

What Did Green Bay Open at Last Year?

Last year, the Green Bay Packers opened at +200 to win the division, tied with Minnesota as well. Both teams trailed the Chicago Bears who opened at +180  to win the division after they were 2018’s surprise team.

Three different teams won the NFC North the past three seasons which means 2020 should finish tight again. The Vikings and Packers odds stayed pretty close through the end of last season until Green Bay clinched the division around Christmas.

Which Bears Team Shows up in 2020?

Now,  Chicago is in the third spot with +350 odds to win the NFC North, up from opening at +400. Early money moved them and the Pack up in less than a day.

 

The Bears took major steps back on both sides of the ball through last year. Trubisky threw less touchdowns and yards and had more interceptions and a decreased passing percentage. Whether the team finishes like 2018 or 2019 relies on the quarterback play.

Chicago’s defense finished top-five in points allowed and top-ten in yards allowed but they were top-three in both categories in 2018. They stand to lose veteran starters HaHa Clinton-Dix, Danny Trevathan and Prince Amukamara in free agency but all could get replaced in the draft. Thus, the Bears are the wild card.

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Minnesota Will Lose More in Free Agency

The Vikings stand the most to lose in free agency. Minnesota is last in cap space, which makes upgrades and re-signing talent unlikely. Edge Everson Griffen will hit free agency at age 32, after finishing with eight sacks last year.

Safety Anthony Harris, corner Mackensie Alexander and corner Trae Waynes will all hit free agency for Minnesota too.  Alexander and Waynes have both been key contributors the past few seasons. Harris finished with six interceptions in 14 games so he is probably the most likely to stay. Harris will also get the most on the open market though, which makes him hard to keep and could be one reason why early money is moving to the Packers.

For Green Bay, tackle Bryan Bulaga hits free agency after starting every game last year. Edge Blake Martinez is another notable free agent who produced over 100 tackles in the last three seasons. The Packers could replace those two starters in the draft as both might find more money in free agency.

Can the Vikings Beat Aaron Rodgers?

Minnesota dropped both games to Green Bay last year. Before this year, Green Bay last beat the Vikings in 2015.

On paper, Minnesota brought the defense and running game to beat Rodgers head-to-head last year. However, Minnesota needs to retool their pass rush and secondary to compete with the Packers in 2020.

The Packers are the Best Bet

The Packers remain the best bet in the NFC North even with the early money moving towards them. They have Rodgers who is entering his second season in head coach Matt LeFleur’s offense They can find replacements for free agents as well as give Rodgers an added weapon or two in free agency with about $20 million in cap space.

Green Bay is the most stable commodity in the NFC North. Minnesota might rebuild their defense. Chicago needs to figure out their quarterback.

Detroit remains the odd team left out, as their odds did not move. The Lions last won a division title in 1993.

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