Value Positions on NFL Futures and Props: NFC South 2019

Written by:
C Costigan
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We’ll finish up our division by division NFL futures odds and props preview with a look at the NFC South.  Last year, the NFC South was a completely lopsided division—the New Orleans Saints simply ran away with the title going 13-3. 

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No other team in the division finished over .500 with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers tied for second place at 7-9.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished last with a 5-11 record.



There are plenty of similarities between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons—both are talented teams that were completely undone by injuries last season.  Carolina got off to a solid start last season winning six of their first eight games but nosedived from that point.  A seven game losing streak effectively took them out of playoff contention.  The biggest issue was Cam Newton’s shoulder—he dealt with it all year and clearly lost a lot of velocity and range on his passes.  He says he’s back to full strength in his arm and from what we’ve seen in preseason that appears to be the case.  The entire Carolina franchise may have breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday when Newton completed a 50 yard pass to Curtis Samuel in practice.  The speedy Samuel could be Newton’s favorite target this season.  Carolina took QB Will Grier out of West Virginia but until he gets up to speed on the pro game he’s little more than an emergency option.  All of the team’s eggs are in basket of their starting quarterback.

In addition to Newton’s injuries last year, Carolina’s offensive line was in tatters and that didn’t help their quarterback.  All Pro left guard Daryl Williams missed most of last year due to injury but he’s a beast when healthy.  Carolina thinks he’s got a lot of football left and signed him to a contract extension in the offseason.  They also acquired free agent center Matt Paradis and along with Williams they’ve got the nucleus of an excellent OL.  On the defensive side of the ball, Carolina had fewer sacks than any team in the NFL.  In the team defense rankings they were mediocre #15 in total defense and #19 in scoring defense. Overall, this is a good team coming off a tough year.  They should be able to finish above .500 and since 9-7 was good enough to make the NFC playoffs last year we expect to see them back in the postseason.


Based on the team win totals at the marketplace expects a much better season out of Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.  Ryan was healthy for the entire season but it was almost as if no one else on the team was.  Ryan doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his durability—in his 10 year NFL career he’s missed a total of two regular season games.   The good news for Atlanta is most of their injured from a year ago are back at 100% and that gives Ryan an almost absurd array of weapons around him including RB Devonta Freeman, WRs Julio  Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley and All Pro tight end Austin  Hooper.  Atlanta’s offensive line was an issue last year and the team did a good job addressing it in the draft taking Kaleb McGary and  Chris Lindstrom.  McGary in particular is an absolute monster physically but he’s out indefinitely after what is being described as a  'minimally invasive heart procedure'.  McGary reportedly had the same procedure done during his college career so hopes are high for a complete recovery.  The defense slipped significantly in 2018 dropping to #28 in total defense and #25 in scoring defense.  The year before, they had been a top ten unit in both of these statistical categories.  Injuries played a large part of the decline here as well and the stop unit should be better immediately with the return of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones.  Like Carolina, this isn’t a .500 roster and assuming that they don’t suffer another rash of injury it’s tough to see them doing worse than 9-7. 

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