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NFC North Odds: Betting the Exact Order Following Free Agency

NFC North odds and betting breakdown. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will enter their first season without Davante Adams on the outside. What could that mean for the top of the division in 2022?
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NFC North Odds: Betting the Final Order Following Free Agency

The league-wide free agent and trade frenzy probably isn't over, but as the dust settles and the calendar dives further into April, the month of the draft, it's come time to do some preliminary evaluations around where teams stand. This is not only the case for overall power rankings, either.

The race is all the way on for this year's division chases, and as a result, DraftKings went ahead and dropped betting odds on how each of the eight divisions could shake out. Odds are listed for each of the exact scenarios, listing the division winner at the top through the last-place finisher in fourth.

Let's dive into the NFC North and how the order could play out over the course of this season.

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Top 5 Scenarios of NFC North Odds After Free Agency

OddsNFC North Exact Order
+2501st GB Packers/2nd MIN Vikings/3rd CHI Bears/4th DET Lions
+5501st GB Packers/2nd CHI Bears/3rd MIN Vikings/4th DET Lions
+5501st MIN Vikings/2nd GB Packers/3rd CHI Bears/4th DET Lions
+6001st GB Packers/2nd MIN Vikings/3rd DET Lions/4th CHI Bears
+11001st MIN Vikings/2nd GB Packers/3rd DET Lions/4th CHI Bears

Still roughly five months away from the start of the 2022 regular season, the Packers are once again favored to run away with the North. Their best value is at DraftKings Sportsbook, where they are -175, implying a near 64% chance to best the Vikings, Bears and Lions. Their season win total has been laid out at an over/under of 11 with the over favored to boot.

Next in line are the Vikings, who possess even odds to either fall short or exceed their nine-game win total. That has resulted in +275 odds -- a 27% probability -- for Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson to pull the slight upset to win the division.

There's a hard break after the Vikings, given the shear uncertainty across both the Bears and Lions. Justin Fields and Chicago, boasting a seven-win total that's getting more love on the over than the under, are listed at +800 -- a distant and more unlikely 11% implied probability. They are expected to be improved and end with more wins, but a real shot at the division? That's not a scenario many are buying into at this point.

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The same can be said for the Lions and their shot at taking the North, something they haven't accomplished since 1993, in the days of one Barry Sanders. For both the historical and current reasons alike, Detroit is +1200 for the division and projected at six wins, according to the oddsmakers. The over is favored at -125 odds versus the under at +105. It fits to see them rate fourth in each of the top 3 scenarios and in 6 of the top 10 by odds.

Is there value, though, in taking up the guard for the underdog Lions and putting them a spot or two higher? What about the Packers? Is there a thought-ladder to them stumbling and giving up the division prize for the first time in four years?

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NFC North Exact Order Value After Free Agency

OddsNFC North Exact Order
+11001st MIN Vikings/2nd GB Packers/3rd DET Lions/4th CHI Bears

What have the Vikings done this offseason? Their core three on offense are unchanged, and while they have allowed some free agents to go elsewhere, they've done some addition by addition as well as some addition by subtraction. They added former Packer and edge rusher Za'Darius Smith for big money and followed that up with Harrison Phillips from Buffalo and Jordan Hicks via Arizona. They did a lot in the way of adding defensively, and offensively, the departure of Mason Cole was far from a big hit. The 25-year-old center was above a 75 PFF grade in run blocking, however, he was below a 45 grade in pass protection. After an eight-win season in which many would say they underachieved because of the defense a year ago, Minnesota as a solid case for passing Green Bay due to their key free agents that now find themselves elsewhere.

Among those big names are star receiver Davante Adams and the aforementioned Za'Darius Smith. They re-signed Aaron Rodgers on a massive contract and brought back Rasul Douglas following his bounce-back year in Lambeau. The biggest name the Pack brought in is probably defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Reed's skillset fills a void against the run (28th against the run in 2021), but there are now gaps at receiver, linebacker and elsewhere. They'd have to do something big in the draft to put aside any thoughts of Minnesota taking the division for the first time since 2017.

The first half of the division ends here, and the second half starts here. How the third and fourth spots will play out is a big question mark. Detroit is coming off of a three-win season in which they showed more promise than many had anticipated. Jared Goff wasn't downright awful, and there were flashes from guys like Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift. They added D.J. Chark, but one thing Dan Campbell and team didn't have to address is the strong offensive line. If anything, it's likely they'll add an elite pass rusher at the top of the draft. Who's to say it will take more than that for them to make up the gap between them and the Bears.

The Bears took a sizable hit during the free agent period. They watched Allen Robinson walk his way to Los Angeles, while young offensive lineman James Daniels and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols were given opportunities on new teams, as well. Their improvement was at defensive tackle where they signed Justin Jones to help out. And, if anything, else, they have a new backup -- Trevor Siemian -- behind Justin Fields. A ton is riding on Fields to be a lot more than he was last year and thrive in a new offense under Matt Eberflus. That seems like a tall task for someone losing his best receiver and lacking a first-round selection. Detroit's made more progress, while it seems like Chicago seems to be where they were last year simply with a new coach.

It isn't a massive leap to get this exact order and its +1100 odds, but the case is there to assume a double flip-flop and take the value. A bet of $100 returns a net of $1,100 at the pre-draft odds.

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Brett Oswalt has been writing about sports for five years, has covered everything from the NBA to College Football DFS, and previously served as an editor at numberFire. He is a Senior Workforce Planning Analyst at Highmark by day, and an avid sports fan and girl-dad by night. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Marley, daughter, Aria, and goldendoodle, Braun.

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