Predictions for the 2020 NFC South – Betting Odds and Analysis for Each Team
It is no longer a certainty who will win the NFC South. That used to be the New Orleans Saints, with little hesitation.
With the dismantling of the Carolina Panthers, the fragility of the Atlanta Falcons, and the pedestrian play of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, most would have expected more of the same in 2020.
Alas, Tom Brady had other ideas.
The future Hall of Famer and six-time Super Bowl champion made waves when he signed with the Buccaneers, instantly putting them on the map as title threats.
Suffice it to say, that’ll make them viable bets to win the NFC South division, too.
Is that how sports bettors should wager, though? Join me as I break down the latest odds and provide my NFC South predictions for this season.
NFC South Odds for 2020
Drew Brees and company still get the credit they deserve, per the top NFL sportsbooks. New Orleans has won this division in each of the last three seasons, and at least for the moment, they’re favored to make it four in a row.
The arrival of Tom Brady in free agency and a trade for Rob Gronkowski make the Bucs interesting contenders, of course.
Atlanta will try to pretend like this is the year they get over their Super Bowl collapse, but they’re as distant of a third option as there could be. Carolina, clearly in a true rebuild, has almost zero chance when you look at the latest NFC South odds.
Assessing the NFC South Teams
The NFC South looks incredibly top-heavy on paper, but sports bettors need to ask themselves two things: is this just a two-team race, and should we even be taking Tampa Bay seriously?
Atlanta deserves a cursory glance, too, which may be enough to force us to give all four teams a hard look before betting on the NFC South this year.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees is back for (probably) one last rodeo, and it’s only fitting his likely final attempt to ride off into the sunset is greeted with two regular season meetings (and perhaps one more in the playoffs) against Tom Brady.
Brees is just one piece of a dynamic offensive puzzle in New Orleans. Sean Payton runs a stacked unit that has been knocked out of the playoffs on a last-second play in each of the last three years.
Not just an offensive juggernaut, the Saints also have the defense and experience to go the distance, both inside this division and out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s all about Tom Terrific. Bucs fans have to be encouraged by Tampa Bay going 7-9 and putting up 458 points with Jameis Winston under center. Just imagine what a more controlled Brady could do.
Add another future Hall of Famer like Rob Gronkowski to an offense that features Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and the sky’s the limit for this passing attack.
Heck, this team could do a lot more than win this division. There’s reason to believe the Buccaneers can win Super Bowl 2020.
That, or a 43-year-old Brady is a very bad thing, Gronk’s year off works against him, and Tampa Bay’s middling defense doesn’t do its part.
The Buccaneers have all of the upside, but “certainty” isn’t a word to associate with them.
Dan Quinn held onto his job after a nice turnaround last year, but his leash may not be so long in 2020. His defense has been in shambles ever since it collapsed in the Falcons’ Super Bowl loss, and it’s unclear if that will ever change.
If it does, the Falcons clearly have a shot at returning elite betting value when you look at their +700 price tag.
The arrival of Todd Gurley could be the missing link for an already loaded offense, too. The problem with the Falcons, however, is we’ve been saying all of these same things for years.
Christian McCaffrey is still here after signing a huge contract, and he gives the Panthers one of the NFL’s best offensive weapons. Unfortunately, he’s about all the Panthers have to hang their collective hat on.
Cam Newton is gone, Ron Rivera got canned, and Luke Kuechly retired. It’s truly the dawn of a new era, and if you’re ready to bet it all on Teddy Bridgewater and a leaky run defense, I say godspeed.
Who Will Win the NFC South in 2020?
As you can probably imagine, it’s almost certainly a two-team race when you sit down to make 2020 NFC South predictions.
Tom Brady absolutely puts the Bucs on the map, and if they’re not the favorites in your mind, they’re here to give the Saints all they can handle.
Perhaps they will, but there is a lot of wiggle room for failure down in Florida. Brady is old, Gronkowski was already falling apart, and Tampa Bay has question marks elsewhere on the roster.
New Orleans simply doesn’t.
The Saints own everyone in this division defensively, they have better coaching, their offense is more efficient, and they (gulp) have the best quarterback.
I stood by the Saints to win it all last year. I won’t do that again, but I do think they’ll win this division again.