NFC North Odds: 2012 Preview
The Green Bay Packers lost only one game in the regular season last year, but fell short in the playoffs. Winning the NFC North looks like a sure thing for the Packers, who are huge favorites on the futures.
The Packers ran away with the NFC North last season and they're a 4/9 favorite at Bovada to repeat as champs. Offensively the Packers are a force behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He has a ton of standout receiving options, including Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
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Randall Cobb also has big play making ability and could have a breakout season if he gets the opportunity. The Green Bay running game is a question mark heading into the season with James Starks not looking good in camp and Cedric Benson looking like a desperation signing.
The Packers also need their defense to improve to take some of the pressure off their offense.
The Chicago Bear were 8-8 last season, but after retooling their offense the oddsmakers have given them a boost up the odds to 7/2. Chicago reunited Jay Cutler with his former Denver teammate Brandon Marshall, giving Cutler he first true No. 1 receiver since arriving in the Windy City.
Chicago also brought in Michael Bush and he'll form an interesting backfield tandem with incumbent Matt Forte. Chicago's defense still boasts their high profile veterans, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers, but they were weak against the pass last season and will definitely need to improve on that if they hope to catch Green Bay in the division.
The Detroit Lions haven't won the AFC North division since 1993. Last season was the first time they've finished over .500 since 2000. It's safe to say that the Lions are due.
The Lions are hitting their stride offensively with an elite quarterback in Matt Stafford and arguably the best wide receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson. Their running game could be a sticking point with Jahvid Best still not cleared for contact due to concussion issues.
If Best remains out the running game could be in the hands of veteran Kevin Smith and Mikel LeShoure. On defense the Lions have some great young talent, but a few questions, including can Ndamukong Suh keep his head on straight to be an impact player for a full season?
The Minnesota Vikings are not winning the NFC North this season. You can call that right now, which is why they're a 40/1 underdog at Bovada in the division. The Vikings are in rebuild mode, starting at quarterback with Christian Ponder.
Minnesota still has two big playmakers in Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, but AP is coming off major knee surgery and despite his reported miraculous recovery, even he can't carry this team to a winning record on his own.
Odds to win NFC North courtesy of Bovada
Green Bay 4/9
NFC North teams futures odds:
Odds to win NFC title
Green Bay 7/2
Odds to win Super Bowl
Green Bay 6/1
2012-13 win totals
Green Bay 12 (Over +105/Under -135)
Chicago 9.5 (Over -115/Under -115)
Detroit 9 (Over -105/Under -125)
Minnesota 6 (Over +110/Under -140)