The Packers are favorites to go back-to-back as NFC North champions. While the odds may change with the season still more than five months away, here is a breakdown of the current offers for bettors.
If you think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are going to win 11 or more games, you should bet the “Over” on this prop. Conversely, if you think Green Bay significantly regresses from last season, when they posted a 13-3 record, “Under” is the best bet. If the Packers win exactly 10 games, this wager will be graded as a “Push” and original stakes are refunded. The numbers in brackets are moneyline odds. Bettors need to wager $125 to earn a $100 profit if under is the winning side. A $100 wager returns a $105 profit if the Packers win total goes over the number.
Green Bay Packers – 10 Wins (Over +105; Under -125)
After finishing with seven wins in 2017 and just six victories in 2018, Green Bay can be classified as a team that exceeded expectations last season. The Packers’ 13-3 record was their best finish since they went 15-1 during the 2011 season. With the exception of TE Jimmy Graham, who was released and later signed with Chicago, the core of the Green Bay offense is returning. Losing free agent RT Bryan Bulaga to the Chargers is a hit to the Packers’ offensive line.
Biggest Addition in Free Agency:
Rick Wagner, Right Tackle
Green Bay signed free agent RT Ricky Wagner, but his skill set is not at the same level as Bulaga. Wagner played his first four seasons in Baltimore and then spent three three years in Detroit. He missed four games due to injury last season and didn’t play well when he was healthy. He does save the Packers some money, as his two-year, $11 million contract is way less than the three-year, $30 million deal Bulaga signed with the Chargers.
After finishing third overall last season, Green Bay has the 30th pick in the first round. Acquiring additional weapons for Aaron Rodgers, whether at wide receiver or tight end, is likely a priority for the Packers. The 2020 NFL Draft features a deep wide receiver pool, so Green Bay may target players like Tee Higgins from Clemson or Denzel Mims from Baylor. The Packers have 10 picks in the draft and at least one selection in all seven rounds.
HOME: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles
AWAY: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay went 6-0 against NFC North teams last season and should come close to the mark again this year. The Packers are 27-12-1 as hosts over the last five years, so home field advantage helps Green Bay rack up wins. That includes a 7-1 record at Lambeau Field last season. The Packers have a challenging non-division schedule that includes road games against the Saints, Colts, 49ers and Buccaneers. This bet looks like it could be a PUSH, but I see the Packers posting an 11-5 record rather than a 9-7 mark.
Play: Over 10 Total Wins (+105)
Minnesota Vikings – 9 Wins (Over -105; Under -115)
William Hill has Minnesota regressing slightly this season. The Vikings were sitting at 9-4 but lost two of their final three games and finished with a 10-6 record last year. Minnesota has a huge hole to fill after they traded stud wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. The Vikings signed QB Kirk Cousins to a two-year, $66 million contract extension that will keep him in purple and gold through the 2022 season. Minnesota needs RB Dalvin Cook to stay healthy in order to reach the 10-win plateau again this season.
Biggest Addition in Free Agency:
Michael Pierce, Defensive Tackle / Tajae Sharpe, Wide Receiver
After the Vikings released DT Linval Joseph to free up salary cap space, Minnesota filled the void by signing free agent Michael Pierce. A run-stopping specialist, Pierce should help improve a Vikings run defense that was suspect at times last season. Tajae Sharpe is a decent size target and joins the Vikings after playing 47 games during three years in Tennessee. Sharpe was fourth on the Titans’ depth chart behind A.J. Brown, Corey Davis and Adam Humphries last season.
Minnesota lost several key players during the offseason, so GM Rick Spielman will be busy during the draft. Trading Diggs to Buffalo has a bright side as Minnesota acquired the Bills’ first-round pick in the deal. That gives the Vikings the 22nd and 25th selections during Day 1 of the draft. Sharpe received a one-year contract, which indicates Minnesota will be shopping for a wideout early in the draft. The Vikings currently have 11 picks and some of them will be used to patch holes along the offensive line.
HOME: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys
AWAY: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams
Defense was also an issue at times for Minnesota last year and losing players like Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander is concerning. Since moving into U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota is 23-9 at home and 16-15-1 on the road. The Vikings’ 2020 home slate features a few lightweights and I can see them going 5-3 as hosts. The road schedule is more daunting and a 4-4 record would match the Vikings’ four-year average as visitors. Similar to Green Bay, the Minnesota win total feels like a PUSH so this is a pass for me. If the line moves to 8.5, consider betting on the over.
Chicago Bears – 8.5 Wins (Over -120; Under +100)
Chicago entered the 2019 NFL season with its total set at 9 wins. After a 3-1 start, Chicago closed with a 5-7 slide and under bettors cashed when the Bears finished with an 8-8 record. QB Mitchell Trubisky didn’t play up to expectations and the offense ranked in the bottom four, scoring 17.5 points per game. Trubisky will battle with Nick Foles to be the Bears’ starting quarterback this season.
Biggest Addition in Free Agency:
Nick Foles, Quarterback (via trade)
This wasn’t a free agent move, but Chicago felt they needed to push Trubisky so they picked up Foles in a trade with Jacksonville. Foles played for Bears head coach Matt Nagy when he was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City. Foles will also reunite with John DeFilippo, who was his QB coach in Philadelphia during the Eagles’ Super Bowl 52 championship season. The Bears signed free agent TE Jimmy Graham, but he turns 34 in November and his best days are behind him.
Chickens come to roost as the Bears do not have a first-round draft pick after they acquired edge rusher Khalil Mack in a trade with Oakland prior to the 2018 season. The Bears currently own two second-round picks (11th and 18th) and will likely target a wide receiver with one of them. Chicago lost free agent safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Dallas and released cornerback Prince Amukamara. That means the Bears have pressing needs in the secondary as well.
HOME: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants
AWAY: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams
Uncertainty at quarterback makes it tricky to place an early wager on this prop. Chicago is paying Foles and Trubisky a lot of money, so the battle for the starting role will be heated during training camp. Allen Robinson is in the final year of his contract. After posting 1,147 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, expect Robinson to have similar numbers prior to inking his new deal. While that’s a plus toward the Bears’ win total going over, it won’t be enough and an 8-8 record seems about right here.
Play: Under 8.5 Wins (+100)
Detroit Lions – 6.5 Wins (Over +100; Under -120)
Expectations were low in Detroit last year, as the Lions were posted with a 6.5 preseason win total. Bettors who backed the OVER on Detroit’s low win total were feeling good after the Lions opened with a 2-0-1 record. Detroit stumbled after that, though, and recorded just one win over the last 13 games. Injuries played a role in the Lions’ dismal record as QB Matthew Stafford and RB Kerryon Johnson both missed eight games. The Lions also lost WR Marvin Jones and TE T.J. Hockenson to injury late in the season.
Biggest Addition in Free Agency:
Desmond Trufant, Defensive Back
Detroit made a lot of free agent moves, but didn’t add many top caliber players. After being released by Atlanta, the Lions signed free agent DB Desmond Trufant, but he turns 30 this season. Detroit traded top corner Darius Slay to Philadelphia so Trufant will be asked to fill that void. Free agent nose tackle Danny Shelton left New England after two seasons and will be asked to help shore up the Lions’ weak defensive line.
Detroit finished bottom three in standings, just ahead of Cincinnati and Washington, which earned them the third overall pick in the first round. Detroit has pressing needs on both sides of the ball, so it is difficult to forecast which need they fill first. Trufant can’t be counted on as a true No 1 cornerback so the Lions may take Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah with their first pick. Detroit could really shake up the draft if they take QB Tua Tagovailoa. The Lions also need to think about replacing Matthew Stafford, who may be entering his final season in the Motor City.
HOME: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins
AWAY: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals
Following a dreadful run last season, Detroit has endured an equally rough offseason. The Lions’ free agent losses appear to outweigh any additions they have made. Add in a tough schedule that doesn’t have too many soft spots and another long season is on the horizon. Detroit is one of the front-runners to finish last overall this season, so posting a 7-9 record seems like a lofty goal.
Play: Under 6.5 Wins (-120)
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