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NFL Betting – NFC North Odds and Preview 2020

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
May/25/2020


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Finishing last season in second-place three games behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North and trading away one of the best receivers in the game, the Minnesota Vikings opened as the favorite to win the division in 2020. How is that you ask? Well, the Packers fooled everyone by alienating Aaron Rodgers with the drafting of Jordan Love. The Bears have some figuring out to do at quarterback and the Lions ... well, they’re the Lions. Meanwhile, the Vikings had a tremendous draft and look poised to claim their third division crown in six seasons.

Odds to Win 2020 NFC North

Minnesota Vikings +148
Green Bay Packers +166

Chicago Bears +472
Detroit Lions +585

NFC North Preview

The division has had three different winners in the last three seasons. The odd team out is Detroit, so, maybe this is their year. They’ve been saying that for nearly three decades in the Motor City. The Lions haven’t won a division title since 1993 when Barry Sanders was toting the rock and Wayne Fontes was on the big headset. They’ve had just two 1,000-yard rushers since Sanders retired in 1998 along with a carousel of coaches.

The Lions probably won’t win the division in 2020, but desperation is a wonderful thing. Matt Patricia is back for another try after going 3-12-1 last season and winning a total of nine games in two seasons. The good news is that Matthew Stafford should be back to resume his quarterback role. With Stafford injured for the second half of last season the Lions went winless. Obviously Jeff Driskell and David Blough weren’t ready. The team brought in veteran Chase Daniel as an insurance policy.

An absolute dumpster fire defensively, the Lions made some moves to strengthen that side of the football. Drafting Jeff Okudah and Julian Okwara is a start. They also reunited Patricia with former Patriots Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon.

The Vikings are the favorite but I’m not sold on them. They had a solid 10-win season and bounced the Saints in the wild card round only to get hammered by the Niners. Bringing in Kirk Cousins two seasons ago was supposed to transform the passing game. It hasn’t quite worked. Captain Kirk had a nice season throwing for over 3,600 yards with 26 touchdowns and just six picks. But the Vikes ranked 23rd in passing and 16th in total offense. Now they’ll work without Stefon Diggs, who was shipped to Buffalo.

With Adam Thielen recovering from an injury-plagued season where he amassed only 418 receiving yards, the pressure is on top pick Justin Jefferson and Kyle Rudolph to make the aerial attack click. Defensively the Vikings lost a number of holdovers and it remains to be seen if the players brought in can do the same kind of damage.

The Packers won 13 games and the division last year, but they never appeared to be as good as their record. Most expected the Pack to draft a receiver with their first pick instead they took Jordan Love as the potential successor to Aaron Rodgers. It wasn’t a typical Green Bay offense in 2019. They were in the middle of the pack in passing and total offense, and averaged 23.5 points per game. And I’m sure Rodgers isn’t happy with the direction the team is heading.

There was a reason why the Pack shied away from drafting a receiver. The belief is that one of the guys currently on the roster can step up next to Davante Adams. Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow and Marquez Vales-Scantling are all young and talented. The ground game is set with 1,000-yard rusher Aaron Jones. A.J. Dillon, who scampered for 4,382 yards in three years at BC will push for attempts.

The Bears went from winning the division in 2018 to 8-8 last year, and they didn’t have a first-round draft pick. It looks like the Bears are on the verge of giving up on Mitchell Trubisky after the offense regressed last season. Acquiring Nick Foles will either push the former No. 2 overall pick or give the Bears a veteran starter. Either way, the offense has to pick it up and a lot of that falls on Matt Nagy. They were one of the worst last year ranking in the bottom third of every major offensive stat category.

Even with a sorry offense the Bears finished at .500 because of their stingy defense. They will again be tough and with a little help from the guys on the other side of the football, the Bears could be in the running to claim the division.

2020 NFC North Pick

There are a lot of flaws from top to bottom in this division making it ripe for an upset winner. I like Green Bay, but will Rodgers have his head in the game with Love waiting in the wings? The Vikings overhauled their defense and will rely on a rookie receiver to be their top threat. Nobody is giving the Bears a chance, but their defense is ferocious. The QB competition should spark one of the guys and look for Nagy to open up the playbook. Dropping a few bucks on Chicago has a nice payout.

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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