There are eight NFL divisions. You can bet on who will win any of them at BetMGM.
You don’t have to bet them all. The NFC South might be one to skip.
Unless you enjoy laying really short odds, the NFC South won’t offer much of a betting opportunity. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are -300 to win the division. No other team is shorter than -190 to win their division.
Maybe the Buccaneers have major injury issues or Tom Brady hits the wall harder than anyone could imagine. Are you willing to bet on that?
Buccaneers are big favorites
The odds at BetMGM for the NFC South show how anticlimactic the division is likely to be:
New Orleans Saints +375
Carolina Panthers +1000
Atlanta Falcons +2000
The Buccaneers are big favorites for a reason. Maybe if Brady had stayed retired and Blaine Gabbert was starting for the Bucs, the odds would look a little more reasonable. But Brady came back from a short retirement, a couple minutes after the NCAA tournament bracket was revealed in March, and that turned the Bucs into a runaway favorite.
The Buccaneers are loaded. If you’re making an argument against them, it’s probably surrounding Brady falling apart at age 45. No quarterback has ever come close to being effective into his 40s like Brady has. History says Brady will crash at some point. But he was an MVP candidate last season and even if he slips some, he’ll still be better than any other quarterback in the NFC South. He’d probably hold that crown even if he slipped a lot. The Panthers’ Baker Mayfield trade doesn’t change that, either.
NFC South doesn’t have many contenders
The rest of the NFC South is a bit of a mess.
The Saints have a very good defense, but quarterback questions. Jameis Winston is coming off a torn ACL, and he has not been a reliable quarterback in his NFL career. The Saints also lost Sean Payton, a coach who is likely going to the Hall of Fame someday. Dennis Allen seems ready for his second head-coaching gig, but it’s hard to replace Payton. There is also a question about an Alvin Kamara suspension and how healthy Michael Thomas is.
And despite all that the Saints are clearly the second-best team in the division, though the Panthers will get some buzz after trading for Mayfield.
Mayfield is an upgrade over Sam Darnold. He also is a flawed quarterback who the Cleveland Browns were eager to dump, despite their uncertainty over Deshaun Watson. Sure, maybe the Mayfield-Browns relationship was beyond repair and he’ll be just fine in Carolina, but it’s alarming the Browns reportedly paid $10.5 million of Mayfield’s salary and took almost nothing in a trade when they’re looking at starting Jacoby Brissett for most or all of this season. It’s a big leap of faith to think the Panthers can suddenly match up with the Buccaneers. However, their division odds moved from +1200 to +1000 with the Mayfield trade.
At least Carolina is better than the Falcons. Atlanta traded Matt Ryan and signed Marcus Mariota, who is clearly a bridge quarterback for whoever comes to the Falcons in 2023 or after that. The overall roster is not very good. Their odds have moved from +1200 earlier this offseason to +2000. As the season gets closer, bettors are realizing the Falcons could be the worst team in football.
Unless you really believe in Winston and the Saints defense, or are hugely optimistic about Mayfield’s impact in Carolina, it’s hard to find a viable bet on anyone other than the Buccaneers. And the Buccaneers have by far the shortest division winning odds of any team in the NFL. Like the NFC South race, betting on the division winner will probably be pretty pointless.