Based on the summer over/under wins totals and division betting odds at SI Sportsbook, the Buccaneers are the NFC South favorites (-350) with an over/under of 11.5 wins. The odds indicate they won’t face any competition from the Falcons (+2000), while their most significant threat looks to be the Saints (+350).
Earlier this summer, I thought the Buccaneers had a chance to be picked off in the NFC South. After adding wide receiver Julio Jones and tight end Kyle Rudolph, their offense appears to have a better receiving structure.
Jones may be past his prime, but defenses will respect him enough to create better spacing for receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Rudolph should chip in scoring at the goal line. Tampa has the talent on defense to keep them in many games.
Many have lost betting against quarterback Tom Brady, so the odds aren’t in your favor to invest in another NFC South team.
New Orleans enters the 2022 season with a change at head coach, but its offense and defense should have a similar look.
The Saints need Jameis Winston to carry the load in the passing game. His receiving corps is talented, giving the Saints the foundation to push back up the offensive rankings. Their defense tends to play well against the run, but their second and third levels need multiple players to step up to keep up with the best teams in the league.
AFC East Over/Under Wins Total: BUF | NE | MIA | NYJ | Division Odds
NFC East Over/Under Wins Total: DAL | PHI | WSH | NYG | Division Odds
AFC South Over/Under Wins Total: TEN | IND | HOU | JAX | Division Odds
NFC South Over/Under Wins Total: TB | NO | ATL | CAR
Carolina has plenty of firepower on offense if Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy for the entire season. Baker Mayfield should give the passing game a spark, but he is far from a lock. The Panthers have three viable wideouts plus a developing tight end.
Their defense has the talent to steal some games versus weaker opponents if their young cornerbacks show growth.
The lack of star power at quarterback is a strike for the Falcons, but Marcus Mariota comes with a first-round pedigree (2015). If he trips up, the structure of the offense should transition well to third-round pick Desmond Ridder.
The Falcons’ defense looks multiple away from being league average.
When betting on a division winner, finding flaws in the odds is a must while also understanding the direction and potential of each team.
Picking Tampa to win its division looks too easy with no reward.
So, the fun investment is on the Panthers. Their roster isn’t that different from the Saints while getting nearly triple the payoff (+1000). McCaffrey sets the tone for the offense, and Carolina has the receiving talent to score many more points this season.
Any chance at making the postseason starts with Mayfield developing into a much better passer. The saver bet for the Panthers is betting on over 5.5 wins.
BET: Panthers (+1000)
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