Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
NFC Divisional Best Bets
12 Weeks of 2019 NFL Futures Predictions
Can you believe it? We are just 14 days away from the first NFL preseason game of the 2019 season and from there, a chaotic and busy 5+ months get going for handicappers everywhere. Football season is always King in this industry and with the explosion of football handicapping contests in terms of popularity and volume of how many are offered already being endlessly promoted out there 2019 football betting fever is already starting to get quite high.
Eleven weeks ago when I started doing these pieces, football was barely on the radar of most with the MLB season really just getting going and the NHL and NBA playoffs in full swing. But the latter two have been completed for more than a month, and the artificial cut-off point for many to bet baseball being the All-Star break having come and gone, it's all football all the time now for seemingly everyone in this marketplace.
After 10 weeks of previewing various season win totals, individual award props, playoff potential, and AFC division winners last week – two of which have already seen significant line movement with (Jacksonville went from +500 to +350) and against (Cleveland went from +110 to +125) last week's selections. In large part those moves are simply a product of it being mid-July and more football money coming into the market – whether you agree with those selections or not – and bettors should expect to see plenty of line shifts on NFL and CFB futures markets over the coming days.
But with 10 weeks down and two to go, it's on to NFC division winners for the 2019 campaign, and just like last week's piece on the AFC division winners, the teams will sound a little familiar if you've been following along each week with these pieces.
To win the NFC North
Chicago Bears (+170)
Oddsmakers have pegged the NFC North as a three-team race between the Bears, Packers (+190) and Vikings (+210) and rightfully so. All three teams have enough talent and ability to end up as division champs at season's end, but neither the Packers nor Vikings are as complete a team as Chicago in all three phases of the game.
Now, none of these thoughts should come as a complete surprise given my thoughts on the Bears a few months back, as Trubisky should be able to take that next step forward in his development, while the Bears defense continues to be one of the more feared units in the league.
It will be the play of that defense that should separate Chicago's results from the Vikings and Packers in those tougher non-division games, say against the AFC West, especially given that arguably the two best teams from that division – Kansas City and the LA Chargers – both have to visit Chicago, while both Green Bay and Minnesota will be the visitor in their games against the Chiefs and Chargers. That could very well end up being the difference between the Bears finishing atop this division as opposed to the other two, and it's got to be considered at this point of the year.
As long as Trubisky and the offense continue to improve and be that team that averaged 26.3 points per game last year on a weekly basis, Chicago's defense will be able to take it from there. It was a lack of offensive production that cost Chicago in that playoff loss to the Eagles last January, and while the Bears were 2-0 SU in games that they scored fewer than 20 points in during the regular season, Trubisky and company have to be able to blow out more teams to give their defense some rest.
With a coaching staff and team core that's going into their second year together, the comfort and confidence level this team has will only continue to rise, and it should lead Chicago to a second straight division crown when all is said and done in 2019.
To win the NFC East
Dallas Cowboys (+130)
While oddsmakers have pegged the NFC North as a three-team race essentially, they've got the NFC East as a two-team show between the Cowboys and Eagles (+130). I don't believe you can disagree with that assessment on a macro level as there is a good chance both Washington and the Giants finish the year with rookie QB's taking their inaugural NFL lumps by November/December, while Dallas and Philadelphia battle for division supremacy.
Again, if you've followed along all spring/summer with these 2019 NFL predictions, this selection won't be a surprise at all, given that I covered my thoughts on Dallas and Philadelphia here. I probably don't need to go into full detail again on all those thoughts, as it will probably be that brutal final stretch for the Eagles with four straight division games that ends up doing them in during this race, barring injury for either side of course.
It's been 14 years since this division has had a repeat champion, and while I am working against that historical trend with this selection on Dallas, there is a whole lot to like about this Cowboys squad on both sides of the ball, and streaks like that are out there to get snapped.
NFL Win Total Predictions
1) Baltimore Ravens
2) Indianapolis Colts
3) Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers
4) Atlanta Falcons
5) NFL ROY
6) Passing Yards
7) Receiving Yards
8) Rushing Yards
9) Make Playoffs Yes/No