After two years of winning the NFC South division, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now dead last in the futures odds market. Instead, the top offshore sportsbooks are making the New Orleans Saints the favorites to win it.
Here are the current NFC South odds from BetOnline, for the 2023-24 NFL season, as of August 1, 2023, and are subject to change:
- New Orleans Saints (+125)
- Atlanta Falcons (+225)
- Carolina Panthers (+325)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+750)
- The Saints are the favorites for several reasons but one big one has to do with their new man under center, Derek Carr, getting a fresh start after a career spent with the Raiders.
- If you’re a Falcons fan then you also better be a fan of the running game because the Dirty Birds decided Texas superstar Bijan Robinson was worthy of the eighth overall pick and not a quarterback to replace Marcus Mariota.
- …with former Eagles running back Miles Sanders now on the Carolina roster hoping to replicate his breakout season from last year when he trampled opposing defenses for 1,269 yards, 11 touchdowns, and a 4.9 per carry average.
- Baker Mayfield gets a fresh start with the Bucs, hoping to revive his fading career. And if he can’t do it with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin streaking down the sidelines then he might be better off carrying a clipboard for someone who can.
New Orleans Saints
- 2022 Record (7-10)
- Super Bowl Odds: +5000
- Derek Carr (QB)
- Alvin Kamara (RB
- Jamaal Williams (RB)
- Chris Olave (WR)
- Michael Thomas (WR)
The Saints are the prettiest pig in the poke they call the NFC South. And while the shortage of talent in the division was on full display last season with the Bucs copping the top spot sporting a sub .500 record, I would tend to believe this quartet can’t go anywhere but up.
The Saints are the favorites for several reasons but one big one has to do with their new man under center, Derek Carr, getting a fresh start after a career spent with the Raiders. We know the 10-year veteran has a big arm but whether he can rekindle the magic that saw him rise to nearly elite status at the pinnacle of his career is a major question mark that will be answered this season.
If Chris Olave can prove his rookie season was no fluke, with 72 catches and over 1000 yards receiving, and Michael Thomas can stay healthy while playing at his pre-injury Pro Bowl level then Carr will have a solid set of receivers coupled with a big body in tight end, Juwan Johnson, who caught seven TD’s in 2022.
No Kamara, No Problem
Lastly, we should note Alvin Kamara could be on the shelf for six games due to a suspension but the Saints were wise to sign running back Jamaal Williams who set a single-season franchise mark with 17 touchdowns last season for Detroit. This could be a surprisingly explosive offense for your NFL picks if the moon and stars align.
- 2022 Record (7-10)
- Super Bowl Odds: +7500
- Bijan Robinson (RB)
- Drake London (WR)
- Kyle Pitts (TE)
- Tyler Allgeier (RB)
If you’re a Falcons fan then you also better be a fan of the running game because the Dirty Birds decided Texas superstar Bijan Robinson was worthy of the eighth overall pick and not a quarterback.
It was an odd choice to be sure considering rookie Tyler Allgeier exceeded expectations with over 1000 rushing yards and a 4.9 per-yard carry average. Even the most casual Falcons fan was hoping they would draft a young quarterback or sign a veteran in free agency but apparently, they liked what they saw in the four games Desmond Ridder played in his rookie campaign as a third-round draft pick out of Cincinnati.
Time to Answer Questions
If Ridder isn’t ready for prime time, then veteran Taylor Heinicke will step in but if Robinson is anything less than the Saquon Barkley comparison all the pundits are making then the Falcons ship will be sunk. And what about Kyle Pitts? Is the fourth overall pick in 2021 going to finally manifest his freakish athleticism into a superior tight end in this league or will his career continue to be plagued by injuries?
There are many unanswered questions on this roster but if the passing game stumbles, then so too shall the Falcons.
- 2022 Record (7-10)
- Super Bowl Odds: +8000
- Bryce Young (AB)
- Miles Sanders (RB)
- Adam Thielen (WR)
- DJ Chark (WR)
Will the Panthers throw their No. 1 overall pick and face of the franchise, Bryce Young, into the fire or will they take a more cautious approach and give Andy Dalton the ball so the young Alabama star can learn from a seasoned veteran?
We have seen what happens to high-profile rookie quarterbacks who get a baptism by fire, and the results aren’t often pretty. All we need to do is peek over at the New York Jets organization to see how that’s gone over the last few years.
But the Panthers do have talent on the offensive side of the ball with former Eagles running back Miles Sanders now on the Carolina roster hoping to replicate his breakout season from last year when he trampled opposing defenses for 1,269 yards, 11 touchdowns, and a 4.9 per carry average.
And let’s not forget about wideouts Adam Thielen, formerly of the Vikings, and speed merchant DJ Chark, who signed as a free agent after a four-year tenure with the Jaguars. Solid acquisitions to be sure but not so good when taking into consideration that Carolina had to ship the electric DJ Moore out of town in the deal to get April’s No. 1 overall draft pick, while Thielen’s best days are likely behind him.
Anything Can Happen
Don’t bet the rent that Bryce Young will be barking out signals under center this season as this 2023 edition of the Carolina Panthers has no chance of making a deep run in the playoffs this season and will likely be on the outside looking in when the postseason does start.
Nevertheless, the Cats do reside in the NFC South, the worst division in the NFL, which means anything can happen…even a division title.
Tampa Bay Bucs
- 2022 Record (8-9)
- Super Bowl Odds: +15,000
- Baker Mayfield (QB)
- Mike Evans (WR)
- Chris Godwin (WR)
Much like Derek Carr leading the Saints this season, Baker Mayfield gets a fresh start with the Bucs, hoping to revive his fading career. And if he can’t do it with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin streaking down the sidelines then he might be better off carrying a clipboard for someone who can.
Rachaad White and Chase Edmonds will likely be the run carriers for the Bucs but that won’t strike fear into the hearts and minds of run-stop units across the league. They will only serve as a Plan B if the passing game falters.
As for the defense, it is not the same steel curtain it has been in years past when it led the league in rushing yards allowed. We will still see Vita Vea, Lavonte David, and Shaquil Barrett anchoring the unit and they could get a jolt from first-round pick Calijah Kancey out of the University of Pittsburgh.
Nevertheless, this defense will not win championships as presently constituted.
NFL Pick: 2023 NFC South – New Orleans Saints (+125) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.