Football season is upon us, which means it’s time to start previewing some NFL odds from a DraftKings Sportsbook perspective. Below, I’ll break down the futures market for the four teams in the NFC North.
NFC Conference Odds: +400
NFC North Division Odds: -190
Team Win Total: 11
To Make Playoffs: -500
Week 1 Spread: -1 (at MIN)
MVP: Aaron Rodgers (+1000)
OPOY: Aaron Rodgers (+2800)
DPOY: Rashan Gary (+3000)
OROY: Romeo Doubs (+1100) & Christian Watson (+1600)
DROY: Quay Walker (+1000) & Devonte Wyatt (+2500)
The Packers opened 2021 with an embarrassing loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, but bounced back in a big way, following up Week 1 with seven consecutive victories. It wound up being an extremely strong regular season for the Packers en route to a 13-4 record and Aaron Rodgers was obviously a major part of that, winning the NFL’s MVP award for the second straight season. Rodgers has clearly become one of the all-time great quarterbacks and 2021 was certainly no exception as he finished the season 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
2022 figures to be a bit more challenging for Rodgers as he’ll be without his top wide receiver from the last six-plus seasons: Davante Adams. Adams has been an elite NFL wideout for a long time now, and while the Packers have brought in plenty of talent to make up for the loss, there’s just no replacing a guy like Adams. Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins figure to be the starters, while 2022 fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs is actually among the early favorites for OROY. The Packers used some picks to solidify their defense, as well, most notably with linebacker Quay Walker (+1000 for DROY) in the first round.
NFC Conference Odds: +1800
Team Win Total: 9.5
To Make Playoffs: -115
Week 1 Spread: +1 (vs. GB)
OPOY: Justin Jefferson (+1200) & Dalvin Cook (+3000)
DPOY: Danielle Hunter (+3000)
DROY: Andrew Booth Jr. (+2500)
COY: Kevin O’Connell (+1600)
The Vikings were inconsistent in 2021 and were probably an underachieving team given how much talent they had offensively. It’s no surprise then that they made a head coaching change, moving from Mike Zimmer to former Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings had been a run-first offense under Zimmer, but bringing in O’Connell should mean a more pass-heavy attack, even though the core of their roster is largely the same as it was a year ago. Kirk Cousins remains the team’s starting quarterback with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen at wide receiver and Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison in the backfield.
The Vikings offense had its issues in 2021, but the biggest problems were on the other side of the ball, particularly when it came to the health of their top players. Linebacker Danielle Hunter is one of the early favorites for DPOY, but he played just seven games last season due to a torn pec muscle. The Vikings also brought in Za’Darius Smith via free agency and his health will be a concern moving forward, as he missed most of the 2021 season in Green Bay. If the Vikings can take a step forward with more aggressive play-calling on offense and make improvements with a healthier and more solid defense, there’s no reason why the NFC North would be out of reach. In Week 1 the Vikings square-off with the Packers, opening as small favorites at home in Minnesota.
NFC Conference Odds: +6000
NFC North Division Odds: +1000
Team Win Total: 6.5
To Make Playoffs: +400
Week 1 Spread: +4 (vs. PHI)
DROY: Aidan Hutchinson (+450)
COY: Dan Campbell (+1600)
The Lions had a rough start to the 2021 season as they opened with eight consecutive losses before finally recording a tie. They then needed three more games to get their first win, a Week 13 home victory over the Vikings, which improved their record to 1-10-1. The Lions managed to secure two more home victories after that, and combined with all of the close losses they had, there may be some reason for optimism going into the 2022 season. Despite finishing just 3-13-1, the Lions were actually among the best teams against the spread with an 11-6 ATS record.
The Lions are getting a lot of attention in 2022 thanks to being featured on Hard Knocks, and it’s possible that some of their betting lines are inflated due to the extra hype. Despite that, they still have a win total set at just 6.5 are only +400 to make the playoffs, so the expectations remain relatively light. Amon-Ra St. Brown showed some flashes of greatness during 2021 and could be in for a big year. The team acquired DJ Chark to pair with him, though the most impactful move was probably the one the Lions made at the top of the draft. The Lions selected Aidan Hutchinson second-overall and if the team is going to make a significant step forward in 2022, he’s likely going to have to be a major part of it.
NFC Conference Odds: +8000
NFC North Division Odds: +1500
To Make Playoffs: +450
Week 1 Spread: +7 (vs. SF)
The Bears were 3-2 through their first five games in 2021 and seemed to be poised for a surprising season. However, the wheels came off from there and they wound up losing their next five games, ultimately finishing 6-11. Justin Fields and Andy Dalton were both inconsistent in their shared responsibilities at starting quarterback, and the Bears simply never managed enough offensive firepower to sustain a winning season. To make matters worse, they entered the offseason without a first-round pick as they used it in their trade for Fields the season before.
The Bears have a win total set at 6 and are +450 to make the playoffs, both of which are the worst marks in the NFC North. There’s of course some potential if Fields can take a major step forward in 2022, but the lack of significant offseason moves around him should mean tempered expectations. The Bears’ biggest bright spot from 2021 was probably wide receiver Darnell Mooney, a fifth-round pick from 2020, who wound up eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards while topping 100 yards in four separate games. Mooney figures to be in line for another productive season, but it’s unclear if it’ll translate to success for his team.
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