2020 NFL NFC North Predictions
NFC North Betting Odds and Forecast
There is plenty to be excited about in 2020 if you are a fan of any of the four NFC North teams, although you'd probably prefer a bit less drama at most places. Chicago brought in QB Nick Foles to light a competitive fire under Mitchell Trubisky. Minnesota has been dealing with plenty of rumors about why they had to decide to move on from WR Stefon Diggs, and catering to their QB a bit too much is one of those things that comes up.
And then there are the Green Bay Packers, who went out and Aaron “Rodgered” Aaron Rodgers, in drafting QB Jordan Love to sit on the bench for at least a year or two and learn from a future Hall of Famer. Rodgers career started the same way all those years ago, getting drafted late in the 1st round to sit under Brett Favre.
Favre and Green Bay never fully saw eye to eye after that, and there are already signs that Rodgers and the Packers are coming upon a similar street. That played out with Favre putting on a few other jerseys before he hung them up, and Rodgers has already been discussing the possibility of him doing the same.
As it was said, there is plenty to be excited about within the NFC North, as all those story lines are floating around, and all three of those teams have the chance to be very good at the same time. There is money to be made in this futures market though, so let's get to it.
The Packers advanced to the NFC championship last season but there is no guarantee Green Bay will advance that far this season (AP).
2020 NFC North Title Odds
- Minnesota (+165)
- Green Bay (+170)
- Chicago (+400)
- Detroit (+550)
The Vikings and Packers each had double digits wins in 2019, but it was Green Bay's 13-3 SU record that took the cake. Green Bay owned this division for the majority of the 2010's with six division crowns, but they haven't repeated as champs since 2013-14.
Aaron Rodgers is going to have some sort of chip on his shoulder early in the year, and with the Packers coming out of the gate with two consecutive home games (at Minnesota, vs Detroit), Green Bay can't afford a sloppy, losing start or the year could end up going a bit sideways.
The Bears dominated this division two years ago with that great defense that they've still got, Chicago has plenty of questions about their own offense's ability to produce and it's why they brought in QB Nick Foles. Bears fans are hoping the old saying that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none” isn't true there, as any significant and consistent offensive production would be huge for this club.
Detroit's looking to compete again and they very well should, but worst to first flips in this division are hard to do with all the depth. Which leaves a Vikings team that's plenty confident with what they've got in their current roster configuration. And how can they not when it's good enough for them to be priced as the favorite here.
2020 NFC Championship Odds
- MInnesota (+1200)
- Green Bay (+1400)
- Chicago (+2000)
- Detroit (+2800)
Whether the overall depth in the division is there or not, divisions that are expected to be tighter ones like this can have a tendency to beat each other up too much. Every other division in the NFC has at least two teams with better odds then the Vikings do as the favorite from the North, with the rest of the North falling in shortly behind.
It makes backing the correct team from this division a little bit tougher to pick out, but potentially a bit more value in the payoff if you get the selection correct. Green Bay and Minnesota each won a playoff game a year ago, so it's not like they've got far to go to that next step and give this future some real sweat potential.
Right now it's got to be one of those two teams if it's really anyone from this division, but if Chicago can figure out their QB situation early, they've got the defense you want to have when trying to make a deep playoff run.
2020 Super Bowl 55 Odds
- Minnesota (+2500)
- Green Bay (+2800)
- Chicago (+4000)
- Detroit (+6000)
From a betting perspective the decision is pretty simple here as it just relates to the last market regarding the conference odds. If a bettor feels strongly enough about backing one of these NFC North teams to win the NFC, then going ahead and doubling up with a Super Bowl future is not a bad choice.
With the NFC North slightly being cast aside with all those other NFC teams from other divisions having better odds, there is an argument to be made for those prices having some value. Well, that same value carries over to the Super Bowl market as well, as only three AFC teams total have better odds then the Packers (KC, Baltimore, New England).
So if you're going to take a shot with one (NFC Championship), it's easy to get behind spreading some of that investment on a Super Bowl win as well.
2020 NFC North Win Totals Odds
- Minnesota (8.5)
- Green Bay (9)
- Chicago (7.5)
- Detroit (7)
It's always important to shop around, as the Vikings at 8.5 is still in the -125 range for the 'over', while Green Bay's 'over' at 9 is generally plus money. The big picture of those NFL Wins Totals Odds does suggest that not one of these four teams will separate themselves from the pack, and will be too banged up or just not in an ideal situation – road playoff game for example – to make a deep playoff run.
The better question to ask yourself as a bettor is whether or not you do indeed believe these teams will all be hovering around a .500-type of season when all is said and done. It's easy to see that they could, but chances are they all won't. Makes that extra work in breaking down these four win totals that much more important.
2020 NFC North Playoff PropsMinnesota: Yes (-143) or No (+118)
Green Bay: Yes (-143) or No (+118)
Chicago: Yes (+160) or No (-200)
Detroit: Yes (+260) or No (-335)
This may be the future market that becomes more appealing then the win total market with respect to this division, as taking a side here is a somewhat creative way to get over potential dilemmas with the win totals. A team like the Packers could easily end up with a 9-7 SU record and get into the playoffs, pushing on their win total number, but cashing a 'yes' ticket here.
Then there are those that may be higher on the Bears or Lions then the market is and double down on a win total 'over' bet with a playoff 'yes' play as well, looking to sweeten that bounty a bit more should it be one of those organizations that survives this division in 2020. Definitely some interesting ways to approach things in this NFL Playoff Prop Odds market with the teams in this division.
2020 NFC North MVP ContendersGreen Bay QB: Aaron Rodgers (+3300)
Detroit QB: Matthew Stafford (+5000)
Minnesota QB: Kirk Cousins (+6600)
Minnesota RB: Dalvin Cook (+6600)
Chicago DL: Khalil Mack (+10000)
Chicago QB: Nick Foles (+15000)
Chicago QB: Mitchell Trubisky (+15000)
QB - Quarterback, RB - Running Back, WR - Wide Receiver, TE - Tight End, DL - Defensive Lineman
Important to note that Detroit QB Matthew Stafford is second best within this division, despite his team bringing up the rear in all the other team-based futures odds already discussed. Stafford will need to have a MVP-type season if any tickets on Detroit going to the playoffs want to cash.
Clearly Aaron Rodgers is the guy that most will gravitate towards when considering these names and rightfully so. You'd much prefer backing a team that's got their QB as their highest priced candidate for NFL MVP Futures Odds, then say the Bears, where a pass rusher is priced as their best MVP candidate, and their two QB's are priced the same.
2020 NFC North ROY Contenders
OffenseDetroit RB: De'Andre Swift (+1200)
Minnesota WR: Justin Jefferson (+2000)
Green Bay RB: AJ Dillon (+4000)
Chicago TE: Cole Kmet (+6600)
Green Bay QB: Jordan Love (+10000)
QB - Quarterback, RB - Running Back, WR - Wide Receiver, TE - Tight End
DefenseDetroit CB: Jeffrey Okudah (+1600)
Minnesota CB: Jeff Gladney (+4000)
Chicago CB: Jaylon Johnson (+6000)
Minnesota LB: Troy Dye (+6600)
Detroit DL: Julian Okwara (+10000)
DL - Defensive Lineman, DE - Defensive End, CB - Cornerback, S - Safety
Unless you believe Aaron Rodgers will be busy on the phone calling his reps at State Farm for injury relief, backing Jordan Love for Rookie of the Year is simply a non starter. The other offensive names on that list have opportunities to be significant contributors for their respective clubs, and Swift should lead the way among players in this division.
Defensively, I'm not sure any of these names merit significant investment as they all should contribute, but not likely on a ROY type of level. There are no shortage of new faces at corner for the veteran QB's in this division to attack either, as every team looks for that key shutdown guy on the outside.
2020 NFC North Predictions
Best Bet/Value on NFC North Division Winner
Best Best: Chicago (+400)
Definitely not the most confident selection to potentially get to the window, but for this price and the entire division expected to be relatively tight in terms of win total odds, I'll take a shot at Chicago figuring out their QB issues relatively quickly and find success from that.
Who knows how the Packers season ends up going, as there is potential for Rodgers discontent with the organization to manifest itself into negative results on the field, and Minnesota's still hard to trust, especially at a favorite price. The Vikings are the ones that probably win this division in the end, but grabbing the Bears at +400 is worth some risk.
Best Bet/Value on NFC Championship Winner
Best Bet: Green Bay (+1400)
As much as I tend to side with 2020 going slightly sideways for the Packers, you can't ignore them in this market with them being a win away from this spot a year ago. Furthermore, even if Green Bay has an up-and-down regular season, who's more likely then them to get a hot hand at QB and ride that run for as long as they can?
Belief in Green Bay this year might not be through the roof, and going against them in other futures markets is arguably the way to go. But if forced to pick a NFC North team to be the ones to go to Super Bowl 55, Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay is the best option.
Best Bet/Value for Super Bowl 55 Winner
Best Value: Green Bay (+2800)
Not a specific bet I'm looking to grab excitedly or any time soon, but if the Packers are the best option as a potential NFC champion from this division, then it only stands to reason that they would be the best selection here as well.
You know that Rodgers believes he's got at least one more run at a title in him, and getting so close to #2 last year had to motivate him even more. Rodgers has carried this team for the better part of the last handful of seasons at least, so what's against backing him to do so again in 2020.
Best Bets/Value for NFC North Season Win Totals
Best Over: Chicago Over 7.5 wins
Chicago's going to need at least 10 wins to win this division as I proclaimed earlier, but if a .500 record is a winner, I'll take my chances that the Bears defense will be able to steal a few games while the QB situation gets sorted out.
It's not like Trubisky's leash will be a long one – if he's even the starter out of camp – because you don't actively and quickly pull the trigger on that Foles trade as Bears management if you were willing to give the incumbent plenty more time. Foles is playing for the rest of his own career and understands how to take advantage of an opportunity given to him.
Getting to 8-8 SU this year is much closer to the Bears outcome ranges on their floor as opposed to their ceiling, so I'll gladly back Chicago to regain their 2018 groove.
Best Under: Green Bay Under 9 wins
Contradictory advice relative to the conference and Super Bowl futures discussed earlier, but the range of possibilities for Green Bay's season in 2020 just feels so large, as a potential Super Bowl winner could also end up 7-9 SU without any significant injuries factored into that.
They've theoretically got the toughest schedule in the division as the reigning champs get all the other 1st place teams, and until other Packers playmakers other then Davonte Adams become reliable, household names, Rodgers and this offense will still have to sputtering fits that can derail them at times.
Ten wins are needed to beat me here, and I just don't see the Packers getting to that double digit figure again.
Best Bets/Value for Yes/No in the 2020 NFL Playoffs
Best Value: Chicago “Yes”
Looking at the 'no' on either the Packers or Vikings is always intriguing since potentially only one of them can win the division, but slipping into one of those Wild Card spots feels like a very realistic landing spot for either of those teams in a up-and-down year.
Chicago could sneak into one of those Wild Card spots as well with the team they've got, but if they are on my card for winning the division at a 4/1 price, taking them with more of a safety net to just make the playoffs at +160 is another layer added to the investment.
Best Bets/Value for Individual Awards
- Best Bet MVP: Aaron Rodgers (+3300)
- Best Bet OROY: AJ Dillon (+4000)
- Best Bet DROY: Jeffrey Okudah (+1600)
If you haven't been able to tell how convoluted I see the 2020 season being for the Packers already, then this final section will make it clear. Yes, these selections are only compared relatively to everything else offered in the division, but if the Packers do end up having another spectacular year, it will be because Rodgers puts that franchise on his back yet again.
Packers fans are hoping that RB AJ Dillon can be one of the beneficiaries of that success, and maybe he does become that every down type of back the Packers haven't had for years. In another highly successful Packers season, Dillon likely plays an important role, one that would likely far out-value his +4000 price tag here.
Which leaves Lions #3 overall draft pick Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State. Corner backs used to never win this award as it took until 2015 and Kansas City's Marcus Peters to be the first CB since Charles Woodson won the DROY in 1998.
But after Peters in 2015, there was Marshon Lattimore for New Orleans in 2017, and likely a handful more in the next 20 years. The game has changed to such a passing league that stopping the pass is the #1 priority for defenses today, and you'll always have a leg up with great cover corners. Detroit is hoping that Okudah is one of those types of players and that he'll show the world that potential this fall.
Analysis provided by VI Expert Matt Blunt - Odds & Betting Markets Subject to Change
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