It’s early days, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value early on these NFL divisional futures! Here’s my breakdown and pick for this year’s NFC North Winner:
Chicago Bears @ +175
Green Bay Packers @ +187
Minnesota Vikings @ +220
Detroit Lions @ +1400
Sorry Detroit but at +1400 there is no value on you winning the North. Kerryon Johnson has shown glimpses and could have a huge sophmore year but the team is lacking in an otherwise dangerous division.
As neutrals we'll be really interested to see how Kirk Cousins does in his second season as a Viking. He flattered to decieve in his first season but we know from his time in Washington that he has the ability. Kevin Stefanski will have his first full season as offensive coordinator, which will hopefully be an upgrade. At +220 the Vikings are too short given last season's performances. An offense with Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs should never have been as sterile as it was, which is incredibly concerning. No matter how strong their defense, and it is strong, you can't take the risk at +220.
That leaves us with a choice of two and despite winning half the number of games that the Bears' totalled in 2019, it has to be the Packers.
The Bears are due regression. The NFC North as a whole is far stronger than last time out, and the Bears won't have everything their own way. Khalil Mack is still the best edge rusher in the game and he's part of a formidable defense but the Mitchell Trubisky is still under center.
The former UNC-man still has major question marks, with Madden 20 rating him at 75, the 27th best QB in the league. Madden isn't everything but Trubisky has shown time and again that his arm doesn't match his athleticism. He's prone to mistakes and he's been reliant on Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich's brilliance.
The cream always rises to the top, which is why Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers will climb back to the summit of the NFC North. Both Rodgers and the Packers are free from the shackles of Mike McCarthy. The 55-year old has held back his star man over the past few years as the league has developed in style, with the growing influence of college offenses. McCarthy quickly became yesterday's man but now Rodgers has a chance to excel once again.
The Packers defense looks different this year, minus the locks of a fading Clay Matthews but it's strong enough to compete. On offense there is Devante Adams, who continues to climb into the upper echelons of the league's WRs, the dynamic Aaron Jones and the figure of Jimmy Graham, who in a new system could be a surprise package. Then there is Rodgers and when in doubt, back the better QB.
1u – Green Bay Packers to Win the NFC North @+187