The NFC North has traditionally been one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL over the years, and the race to be crowned the winner of the North in 2019 is shaping up to be yet another exciting one.
At Bovada, the Chicago Bears are the +160 favorites to attain the banner. The Green Bay Packers (+195), Minnesota Vikings (+240) and Detroit Lions (+1000) rank behind Mitchell Trubisky and company.
Here’s a breakdown of each team’s chances to win the NFC North in 2019:
Read more on the betting odds to win the NFC South and NFC East.
Chicago Bears (+160)
Led by a ferocious defense, the Bears once again lived up to the “Monsters of the Midway” moniker in 2018 and were far and away the best team in the division with a 12-4 SU record. Unfortunately for Matt Nagy’s club, that excellent regular season won’t be remembered.
Instead, Cody Parkey’s missed 43-yard field-goal attempt in a wild-card playoff loss against the Philadelphia Eagles will remain as the standout moment in the Bears’ campaign.
That disappointing ending was a tough pill to swallow for Bears fans, but Chicago made some major strides last year and is in a prime position to contend again.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looked like the real deal in 2018 and Nagy’s system yielded some great results. With Khalil Mack set to terrorize opposing offenses, the Bears’ +160 price feels warranted.
Green Bay Packers (+195)
Last season was one to forget for the Packers and their fans, but the good news for the green and gold faithful is the team seems ready to turn the page. Ex-head coach Mike McCarthy’s midseason firing was a long time coming, and Green Bay found its new leader in Sean McVay disciple Matt LaFleur.
The Packers have now missed the playoffs for two straight seasons – the first time that’s happened since 2005 and 2006. But if Aaron Rodgers can stay healthy and the club adapts to LaFleur, I don’t expect Green Bay’s postseason drought to continue.
Challenging the Bears for the top seed in the division will be tough, but even if they can’t catch Chicago, a wild-card spot is certainly attainable.
Minnesota Vikings (+240)
When Kirk Cousins signed a three-year, $84-million contract with the Vikings last spring, expectations for Minnesota were immediately increased. Those expectations weren’t met by the entire team, and Cousins’ first year in the Gopher State went along with a missed playoff berth.
If the Vikings are to make a playoff push in 2019, Cousins will have to figure out how to beat good teams. Minnesota went 1-6 SU against squads with winning records last season, and Cousins is now 5-25 SU in his career against winning teams.
The Vikes defense remains solid and Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs present arguably the best one-two combo at the wide receiver position in the NFL, but I just can’t put any stock into Cousins until he starts winning big games. For that reason, I think their +240 price to win the North is a stay-away bet to me.
Detroit Lions (+1000)
The Lions were the forgotten team in the NFC North in a dreadful stretch from 2000 to 2010 that saw them miss the playoffs every year, and despite making the postseason three times in a six-year span from 2011 to 2016, the Lions have once again found themselves as the “other” team in the division over the past few seasons.
On the heels of an uninspiring 6-10 SU campaign, Lions general manager Bob Quinn was busy in free agency, signing Trey Flowers, Jesse James, Justin Coleman, Rashaan Melvin, C.J. Anderson and Andrew Adams.
New rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson will add a much-needed facet to the offense, but I just don’t think the Lions have the talent to make a run in the division. Clearly Bovada agrees, as evidenced by their +1000 number.
|Green Bay Packers||+195|
Odds as of July 12 at Bovada