The Chicago Bears were one of the surprise packages of the NFL last season and they go into the new campaign as the favourites with bookmakers to top the NFC North.
Bears Roar to Top of Betting
Chicago Bears topped the NFC North last season and they are narrow favourites to repeat that feat this time round, rated as 5/6 shots with some bookmakers. But having fallen at the first play-off hurdle, they will be keen to go further. Their roster, bolstered by the arrival of Khalil Mack, is one of the strongest in the NFL, and if Mitchell Trubisky can continue to improve, they have a solid chance of topping the Division, although the schedule suggests they will have a tough run-in.
Rodgers the Key for Green Bay
After finishing third in the Division last season, there have been significant changes for Green Bay, most notably on defense, where Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith will combine with Kyler Fackrell to make one of the most dangerous pass-rushing units in the NFL. But the key for Green Bay remains Aaron Rodgers. If he stays fit, they are genuine Super Bowl contenders, but if he has another injury-interrupted campaign, Green Bay may struggle to top the Division, which explains why they are slightly behind the Bears in the betting, rated at 2/1 chance with most bookmakers.
Don’t Discount Minnesota
The NFC North is one of the tightest Divisions in the NFL and the Vikings are a third team in this section with a legitimate play-off shot. Kirk Cousins should improve with a year at the franchise under his belt, although there are question marks about his ability to cope with the pressure of the big games. Defensively, the Vikings are solid, although there are some question marks over the offensive line, which is probably the reason why they are third favourites at 9/4 in the NFC North markets.
Another Tough Season in Detroit
The Lions never really recovered from the trade of Golden Tate midway through last season and although they look strong defensively, their offense remains weak going into the new campaign. Combine that with what looks like a tough start and it’s not hard to see why bookmakers are prepared to offer odds of 12/1 against the Lions in the NFC North betting.