The New Orleans Saints have dominated the NFC South Division in the last two seasons, and they are strong favourites with bookmakers to win it again in 2019.
Odds On Saints
After the controversial way that their 2018 season ended, the Saints will be determined to go one better and reach the Super Bowl this season. Much will hinge on the form of Drew Brees, but at the age of 40, there is no sign of any deterioration. The injury to Sheldon Rankin and the retirement of Max Unger has weakened their roster slightly, and all three of their NFC South rivals have strengthened in the off-season, but they remain the team to beat in this section at 4/5.
Atlanta Hard to Predict
On the face of it, Atlanta had a disappointing season last time. They were second in the Division, with a 7-9 record, though a long way behind the Saints, thanks to a five-game losing run from mid-November that ended their season. But a closer examination shows they lost a number of games by small margins, including a 37-43 Overtime loss to the Saints. They were also hampered by a string of injuries. Assuming that their offense is stronger under new co-ordinator Dirk Koetter, and that they have more luck with injuries this year, they could be a Divisional threat at 7/2.
Halfway through last season, the Panthers were 6-2 and looking like real contenders. Then Cam Newton injured his shoulder and their form nose-dived. Seven consecutive defeats followed as they finished third in the Division. The good news for Carolina is that Newton is predicted to start in their season opener, despite injuring his foot in pre-season. If he’s firing on all cylinders and can stay fit, it would be no surprise to see Carolina pose a serious threat at 6/1.
Don’t Bet On Tampa
Tampa Bay do look strong at wide-receiver and at tight-end, but their offensive line is shaky and their defense was one of the worst in the NFL last season. Their potency on offense could compensate for those shortcomings, but that would need significant improvement from quarterback Jameis Winston. In a tough Division, it’s no surprise to see the Buccaneers as big as 10/1 with bookmakers.