NFL NFC North Betting Preview: Division Odds, Win Totals, and More for 2020
Last updated: July 22, 2020
The NFC North made some noise last season, with both the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings reaching the postseason after posting double-digit wins. The Packers won the division at 13-3 and went on to make the NFC Championship game. The Vikings finished 10-6, beat the New Orleans Saints on the road in the first round, and then lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the next round. The Packers and Vikings are the two betting favorites to win the NFC North this season.
After being the favorites to win the division last season, the Chicago Bears could only muster an 8-8 season and have taken a step back. The Detroit Lions did even worse last season, going 3-12-1 and watching quarterback Matthew Stafford sit on the sidelines after Week 9 with a broken bone in his back.
But, last season is in the past. Now, let’s take a look at the upcoming season in this NFC North betting preview.
*All odds in this article per FanDuel Sportsbook as of July 22, 2020, and subject to change.
Odds to win the NFC North
|Team||Odds as of July 22|
|Green Bay Packers||+175|
Minnesota Vikings (+165)
The Minnesota Vikings had arguably the best one of any team. After Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills, it immediately tried to fill the void by taking LSU wideout Justin Jefferson. The team also picked up K.J. Osborn in the fifth round.
The Vikings also needed to fix up the cornerback position, and the team drafted five defensive backs. Minnesota also had needs on the defensive front and hopes the likes of DJ Wonnum, James Lynch, and Troy Dye can help there.
The Vikings also suffered a loss on the sidelines, with offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski taking the head coaching gig for the Cleveland Browns. In steps Gary Kubiak to take charge as OC. Kubiak was on the staff as an assistant head coach and offensive advisor last season, so he won’t be totally unfamiliar with the team. He’ll still have Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook to work with as a core group of offensive veterans, although there is some chatter that Cook could holdout if he doesn’t get a contract extension.
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Green Bay Packers (+175)
After the team’s run to the NFC Championship game last season, many expected Green Bay Packers to pick up some offensive weapons to assist Aaron Rodgers for another run. Well, Green Bay didn’t exactly do that, specifically in the 2020 NFL Draft that’s been heavily touted as the deepest wide receiver draft ever.
Not only did the Packers not go wideout with their first pick (or any pick, for that matter), but the team traded up to take quarterback Jordan Love. A surprising move, the selection certainly puts Rodgers on notice. In a second surprising maneuver, the Packers drafted running back A.J. Dillon next. Green Bay didn’t do much to address its offensive weapons in free agency, although it did add Devin Funchess to the mix. Offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga left in free agency, too.
On defense, the Packers did all right last season, but there is certainly room for improvement. The team will be losing Blake Martinez and look to Christian Kirksey more. The team did add a linebacker, a safety, and an edge rusher in the draft, but the latter two of those came in the seventh round. Kamal Martin, a linebacker out of Minnesota, was taken in the fifth round.
Chicago Bears (+350)
After going 12-4 and winning the NFC North two seasons ago, the Chicago Bears fell off a lot when the team went 8-8 last season and finished third in the division. That put them out of the postseason. Now, they added Nick Foles to the roster and he could challenge Mitchell Trubisky for the QB role as Matt Nagy tries to right the ship.
The Bears defense is tough and Khalil Mack is a beast. With one pick in the second round and two in the fifth, the Bears added some more defensive players. They also picked up linebacker Robert Quinn in free agency.
On offense, the Bears drafted tight end Cole Kmet out of Notre Dame and added veteran tight end Jimmy Graham. The team also now has Ted Ginn Jr. for a speedy deep threat option. If Allen Robinson can continue to be very good and Anthony Miller and Riley Ridley can come along, the weapons for the Bears are all right.
For the Bears, it comes down to Trubisky, and that’s no secret. If Trubisky doesn’t improve, Chicago could very well move on from him. After all, he’s on the final year of his rookie deal and the team already announced it was declining his fifth-year option, plus Foles signed a three-year deal.
Detroit Lions (+600)
The Detroit Lions are the underdogs to win the NFC North and it could be a make-it-or-break-it season for Matt Patricia. Since taking over as head coach, Patricia has gone 9-22-1 with the Lions and missed the postseason both years. He has a little bit of an excuse with Stafford’s injury last season, but he better turn things around quickly.
The Lions had the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and selected cornerback Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State. After Darius Slay was traded, it was very important the Lions fill this hole and Okudah should be the one to do that. With the team’s second pick, Detroit grabbed running back D’Andre Swift. Swift is pegged as a talented running back who is very versatile, but taking a running back with this pick when the team has more needs elsewhere could be a fault.
In the third round, the Lions grabbed one edge rusher and an offensive lineman. The edge rusher the team snagged, Julian Okwara out of Notre Dame, has a lot of upside to really help Detroit’s defense.
In free agency, the Lions added a couple of former New England Patriots in Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton, plus the team traded for Duron Harmon. These moves also look to fix Detroit’s defensive woes.
NFC North win totals
In the win-total department, the Packers lead the way at an over/under of 9. The Vikings aren’t too far behind with an over/under of 8.5. Both teams will get the NFC South as out-of-division opponents and games against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers set up for good matchups.
The Packers also have to travel to San Francisco and take on the 49ers, plus face the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts on the road. The Vikings also get the Texans and Colts as road games, but they avoid the 49ers and have to play the Seattle Seahawks.
|Team||Wins||Odds as of July 22|
|Green Bay Packers||Over 9||+120|
|Minnesota Vikings||Over 8.5||-135|
|Chicago Bears||Over 8||+105|
|Detroit Lions||Over 6.5||-150|
NFC North odds to make NFL Playoffs
|Team||Make Playoffs?||Odds as of July 22|
|Green Bay Packers||Yes||-130|