NFL NFC South Betting Preview: Division Odds, Win Totals, and More for 2020

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints (photo credit: USA TODAY Sports)

Last updated: July 22, 2020

The NFC South has remained one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL for years, producing two recent Super Bowl runner-ups and being agonizingly close to sending another team to Super Bowl LIII.

As has become the norm lately, the New Orleans Saints are the favorites to win the NFC South, but it’s the team right behind the Saints on the board that has everyone talking. That’s the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who now have Tom Brady at quarterback and Rob Gronkowski as one of the tight ends.

*All odds in this article per FanDuel Sportsbook as of July 22, 2020, and subject to change.

Odds to win the NFC South

TeamOdds as of July 22
New Orleans Saints-110
Tampa Bay Buccaneers+160
Atlanta Falcons+700
Carolina Panthers+1400

New Orleans Saints (-110)

Drew Brees will be back with the New Orleans Saints for another season, which tells us that the Saints are all in on making another run at the Super Bowl. That run will start within the division and the conference, where there is a bit more competition this time around because New Orleans will have to battle with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice this season. Even so, the Saints remain favorites to win the NFC South.

Brees will still have Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Jared Cook as weapons, and the new kid on the block is Emmanuel Sanders, who left the San Francisco 49ers to sign with the Saints. The Saints have always been thought to have a high-powered offense, and Sanders should fit in quite nicely.

The Saints also added tight end Adam Trautman in the 2020 NFL Draft, grabbing him in the third round. Many believed his talent is better than that, so this could be a very valuable pickup for the Saints. Overall, the Saints only had four draft picks this year, but with the team being all about winning now, it’s not the worst thing.

On defense, the most notable change is the addition of safety Malcolm Jenkins, who should provide veteran leadership and versatility to the defense.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+160)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the team everyone is talking about heading into the upcoming season. Brady has left New England and joined forces with the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate in Tampa Bay. Gronkowski also came out of retirement to OK a trade from the Patriots to the Bucs, giving Brady one of his favorite targets ever. The result is a rare territory for the Buccaneers, who are one of the hottest teams on the betting market.

With an offensive-minded Bruce Arians calling the shots, Brady could be just the player to get this Buccaneers team to the next level. Jameis Winston was a turnover machine and we know how well Brady protects the ball. The questions will be, can Brady still do it at what will be 43 years old when the season starts and how well will he perform in a brand new system after being in the same one for 20 years?

One thing is for certain, the NFC South will be tougher than the AFC East, where Brady has played his entire career until this point. The Saints are one of the league’s best teams, and the Atlanta Falcons pack a lot of offensive ability to score with anyone. Gone are the days of Brady falling out of bed to 12 wins and a division title, and it will be exciting to see what the new-look Bucs have in store for us.

To help protect Brady, Tampa Bay drafted offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs 13th overall in the NFL Draft. Some believe he was the best OT coming out of college, so we’ll see. In the second round, the Bucs selected Antoine Winfield Jr., a safety out of Vanderbilt, to help fix up the defense.

The Bucs did lose wide receiver Breshad Perriman but are hoping Justin Watson, Scotty Miller, or rookie Tyler Johnson can step up and fill the void. That said, a third WR may not be heavily needed with the three tight ends the team has rostered.

For more on the Tampa Bay Bucs, check out SharpSide’s dedicated team preview.

Atlanta Falcons (+700)

If it wasn’t for Brady joining the Buccaneers, the Atlanta Falcons may be the ones getting all of the free agency buzz in the NFC South with the team’s signing of running back Todd Gurley, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams moved on from Gurley and the Falcons moved on from Devonta Freeman, so there was a need that Gurley filled. The question now will be if Gurley can get back to being his old self that took the league by storm recently.

Atlanta also lost tight end Austin Hooper, who signed with the Cleveland Browns. With a need to fill a hole at tight end, the team went out and got Hayden Hurst from the Baltimore Ravens. We don’t know if he’ll be as good for Atlanta as Hooper was, but with much of what opposing defenses do going to stopping Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, a lot of space could open up for Hurst.

On the defensive side, the Falcons brought in Dante Fowler Jr. and he should provide a much-needed boost to the defense. Also looking to help the defense, the Falcons drafted cornerback A.J. Terrell out of Clemson and defensive tackle Marlon Davidson out of Auburn. Those picks were made in the first and second rounds, respectively, and we’ll see if the players can make a year-one impact to help Atlant’s weaker side of the ball.

At +700 to win the division and +210 to make the playoffs, there could be some value on Atlanta, especially if you’re not high on the two aging QBs in the division in Brees and Brady.

Carolina Panthers (+1400)

Teddy Bridgewater left the Saints to become the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers under new head coach Matt Rhule, with the team moving on from Cam Newton. Bridgewater did very well filling in for the injured Brees last season and we’ll see if he can carry that momentum over to his new squad. The Panthers also signed XFL quarterback P.J. Walker. Bridgewater is very much expected to be the guy, but Walker could provide some competition to push Bridgewater to be better.

We all know what the Panthers have as the team’s top weapon, it’s all-world running back Christian McCaffrey. But let’s not forget about D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, who are both 23 years old and have a lot of potential. The Panthers also brought in Robby Anderson, formerly of the New York Jets, and he could be a nice threat down the field.

In the NFL Draft, the Panthers surprised many by passing on Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and instead taking defensive lineman Derrick Brown from Auburn. It was particularly surprising to many because the Panthers lost Luke Kuechly to retirement and Simmons could be plugged right in. The rest of the team’s picks went to all defensive players, too, so it’s clear that Rhule is putting a lot of emphasis on improving that side of the ball.

The thing with the Panthers is that it might take this team a couple of seasons to get everything working as Rhule hopes it will be.

NFC South win totals

The Saints lead the way with the highest win total in the division, with an over/under of 10.5. The Buccaneers are second with a win total of 9.5. What’s might be most interesting with these two teams is the odds associated with each over. The over on 10.5 wins for the Saints is +100 and the over on 9.5 wins for the Bucs is -130.

TeamWinsOdds as of July 22
New Orleans SaintsOver 10.5+100
Under 10.5-120
Tampa Bay BuccaneersOver 9.5-130
Under 9.5+110
Atlanta FalconsOver 7.5+100
Under 7.5-120
Carolina PanthersOver 5.5-130
Under 5.5+110

NFC South odds to make NFL Playoffs

TeamMake Playoffs?Odds as of July 22
New Orleans SaintsYes-350
Tampa Bay BuccaneersYes-230
Atlanta FalconsYes+210
Carolina PanthersYes+380

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