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(Never) Too Early 2024 NFL Bets: NFC



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(Never) Too Early 2024 NFL Bets: NFC Edition


We’re continuing with Part 2 of our early off-season NFL betting thoughts today with the NFC Edition.


If you missed my early AFC Thoughts article, make sure to check that out here.


Below are a few of my thoughts (and maybe some bets) on each team in the NFC…


(Note: this article was written prior to last week's NFL draft. Full team previews will be coming later in summer).


NFC East


Dallas Cowboys - O/U 10.5: +100/-130


As you’ll see by the odds, the market is not in love with any team in the NFC East, and after a preliminary dive into each, I see why.


In my opinion, the Cowboys definitely lost more talent than they acquired, plus their defensive coordinator, and decided to retain the poster child for mediocrity at head coach, Mike McCarthy.


They still return a ton of talent on an offense that finished 2nd in EPA/play last year, but my gut tells me the loss against the Packers in the playoffs last year was the start of a slide for this team. And it wouldn’t surprise me if McCarthy didn’t last the entire season.


I could only bet under this win total, but I’m gonna pass for now.



Philadelphia Eagles - O/U 10.5: +110/-140


As much pessimism as there is for the Cowboys, there’s even more for the Eagles.


There were a lot of people who thought Nick Sirianni’s job was in jeopardy the way they finished last season. And while they retained him, he’s definitely on the hot seat this year.


Now, there were a lot of reasons to expect a regression from the Eagles last year. Aside from the traditional Super Bowl hangover, they played a much tougher schedule and lost both of their coordinators.


Coming into this season, much like the Cowboys, there is not a lot I love about this team. I guess if I had to pick one of the two teams to go over the 10.5 it would be Philly, by virtue of having a slightly easier schedule…


But also like the Cowboys, I’m not betting anything right now.



Washington Commanders - O/U 6.5: -115/-115


The Commanders are coming into the year with a new coaching staff and in all likelihood, a rookie QB - while also trying to improve on one of the leagues worst defenses from a year ago.


They made a lot of moves in free agency, and depending on whether the guy they select at QB is closer to CJ Stroud or Bryce Young, you could definitely make strong cases for both sides of this win total.


But without even knowing who the QB is at this point, no bet to make right now.



New York Giants - O/U 6.5: +125/-155


It would appear the Giants are going to trot Daniel Jones out at QB again this year…


They also lost Saquon Barkley off an offense void of weapons as it was…


While also losing some key players off their defense…


The under 6.5 is one of the most heavily juiced win totals we have right now, and to me it’s justified.


I may bet it as well sometime this offseason, if I get better odds.



NFC South


Atlanta Falcons - O/U 10: -125/-105


This is a team many thought was a QB away from being a real contender in the NFC this year. Well, they went out and got that QB in Kurt Cousins.


What we’re going to get from Cousins after his injury last season remains to be seen. However, he is going to have plenty of weapons on this offense.


Defense remains a question for a lot of people. However, this was a group that finished in the top 12 by EPA last year, and in a weak division with a much upgraded offense, I don’t think they have to be that good in order to go over this number.


A double digit win total makes sense, but not one I want to bet right now.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers - O/U 8: -110/-120


The Bucs are running it back with basically the same offense they had last year.


I definitely respect what Baker Mayfield did after pretty much being left for dead by the rest of the league, but I have a hard time believing this team can replicate the “success” they had last year, now playing a first place schedule and with how improved the Falcons should be as well.


I would not be surprised if I ended up with an Under bet on this win total at some point this offseason.



New Orleans Saints - O/U 7.5: -125/-105


This is probably the team I got the most wrong prior to last season, and I probably deserve it for thinking to trust Derek Carr.


As a defense, this team was really solid last year - top 5 in EPA. Offense wasn’t terrible either, finishing in the top 15, and with a new offensive coordinator, maybe they can improve on that.


But one question I like to ask myself when looking at teams is “Do I trust this head coach/QB combo to exceed whatever the expectations are?”


Right now, the expectations for Dennis Allen and Carr are mediocrity. And have either of them really ever been better than that?


I’ll let you decide.




Carolina Panthers - O/U 4.5: -145/+115

Panthers hold the title for lowest expectations going into the season, and I can’t disagree with that.


Bryce Young showed absolutely no promise his rookie season. In his defense, his coaching staff and surrounding cast did him absolutely zero favors…but still.


There is reason for optimism with the hiring of new head coach, Dave Canalas.

Canalas oversaw the turnaround of both Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield, so I think there is reason for optimism in him getting to work with Bryce Young in the pivotal second-year.

It’s also the NFL and 4.5 wins is a pretty low bar, even for the worst teams.


However, the market is already heavily juiced that way too, so while I think an Over bet is a reasonable play, I’m not playing it at these odds.



NFC North


Detroit Lions - O/U 10.5: -115/-115


I have a hard time making a case for the Lions to take a step back this year. The offense remains largely intact, and they even retained OC Ben Johnson who has made Jared Goff look more like the #1 overall pick than Sean McVay ever did.


Definitely they made some improvements as well, particularly on the DL.


The only thing I think keeping this win total from being higher is they have to play a first place schedule this year.


Otherwise I think this win total is spot on.



Green Bay Packers - O/U 10: -115/-115


Oh boy, here we go…


In case you didn’t know, I’ve been a Packers fan all my life. And I cannot recall this team getting more hype coming into a season, since maybe the year after they won their last Super Bowl.


This team had a win total of 7.5 coming into last season, which to be fair, I did think was too low given the unknowns at QB and I bet the over…


But a 2.5 win jump for a team I think still has a lot of questions to me seems like a lot.


Let’s not forget, this team struggled on offense last year without Aaron Jones, who is now with division rival Minnesota Vikings.


They’re also breaking in a new defensive coordinator with a defense that still has a lot holes.

I’m very optimistic about the future of this team, especially if Jordan Love can clean up some of the yolo throws…


But I think we’re getting to the point where the Packers are getting overvalued. The fan in me wants to bet over, but the bettor believes all the value is gone.



Chicago Bears - O/U 8.5: -120/-110


Obviously the big question for the Bears this year is how good is Caleb Williams going to be?


He’s coming into an offense that already had DJ Moore and also added Keenan Allen, De’Andre Swift, and Gerald Everett.



Defensively, from Week 10 on, the Bears finished as the 3rd best defense by EPA.

So as far as situations for a rookie QB to find themselves in go, this is about as good as it gets, which is why the win total is what it is.


I think the upside of this team is similar to that of what the Texans did last year, so later in the offseason I wouldn’t rule out an Over bet of some form.



Minnesota Vikings - O/U 6.5: -145/+115


The big question here is who’s going to play QB.


Even if the Vikings draft someone, you have to expect Sam Darnold is at least beginning the season as the starter.


But I think if they even get competent QB play, these team can be competitive.


However, with the uncertainty at the most important position, no bets to make here right now.


NFC West


San Fransisco 49ers - O/U 11.5: +120/-150


The Niners definitely deserve to be the favorite in the NFC.


But to me that seems more of a byproduct of a weak rest of the conference vs them being set up as a dominant team again.


The offense will be good for sure. But they also lost a lot of talent along the defensive line; for a defense that actually struggled down the stretch. For the season San Fran’s defense was 10th in EPA, but if you take the last 5 weeks plus postseason, they ranked 23rd!


Before I even did a quick dive into their FA additions/losses, 11.5 felt high to me. Under 11.5 will be a bet if I can find better juice. Otherwise an alternate under 11 or 10.5 will be a play once those open.



Los Angeles Rams - O/U 8.5: -140/+110


The Rams are actually one of the teams that fit the DVOA Super trend I mentioned in the last article.


Their offense surprised most people last year, finishing 7th in DVOA. Their defense wasn’t great, but was still good enough to help propel them to a playoff berth no one really expected.


The big loss on defense is obviously Aaron Donald to retirement. But they did a good job shoring up the defensive backfield in free agency.


The 8.5 seemed a bit low to me, and the market agrees with some heavy juice to the over. And since I like the Niners under, it only makes sense that I like the Rams to compete for this division.


Overs, Alt Overs, To Win the Division, and Make the Playoffs are all bets I’ll be looking at.



Seattle Seahawks - O/U 7.5: -140/+110


The Seahawks feel like a team in limbo coming into 2024.


They brought in former Raven’s D coordinator Mike Macdonald to be their head coach and fix the defensive side of the ball.


Offensively they’re still quarterbacked by Geno Smith and have enough playmakers to be dangerous. But overall there’s really nothing that inspires me about this team right now.


Over 8 wins seems very attainable. But not something I feel like putting my money behind right now.



Arizona Cardinals - O/U 6.5: -115/-115


This Cardinals team showed flashes of competitiveness under new head coach Jonathan Gannon last year. But they still have a lot of work to do.


They lost a few of their bigger playmakers on offense. Everyone assumes they’re going to draft WR Marvin Harrison Jr but that alone isn’t going to propel their offense.


Defensively they were one of the worst teams in the league, so they have a big hill to climb there as well.


With a full season of a healthy Kyler Murray, I expect them to be feisty in games. But that’s not enough for me to do anything right now.



Do you have any early bets you like in the AFC? Agree or disagree with any of mine? Lemme know in the comments!




Jorden is a health and fitness coach, sports bettor, and Packers fan living in California. He specializes in NFL betting and contests; amassing a 57% ATS record since 2020 as documented by both the Circa Millions and Westgate Supercontests. He writes betting content for his Substack, Cold-Brewed Bets.


 

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