In 2020, Tom Brady took the NFC by storm as he signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and led the franchise to a Super Bowl victory.
This year, the Bucs are once again favored to win the NFC Conference ahead of the Green Bay Packers who they beat in the NFC Championship game last year.
The Bucs look to be the first team since the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and 2014 to win the NFC in consecutive years. Prior to that, you would have to go back to the 1990’s when the Packers and the Cowboys won consecutive conference titles.
However, it’s not a guarantee that Tampa Bay can run through the conference for a second straight season as the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers aim to dethrone the Buccaneers from the top of the NFC mountain.
Will Brady and the Bucs capture another conference championship or will they fall short in their quest to win back-to-back Super Bowl victories?
Let’s huddle up to examine the latest NFC betting odds, courtesy of the best NFL betting sites, and make some conference winning predictions.
Before we pick the team that we believe will win the NFC in the upcoming 2021-22 season, let’s break down each NFC division first:
NFC East Winner
Dallas Cowboys (+150)
Washington Football Team (+200)
New York Giants (+325)
Philadelphia Eagles (+650)
The Dallas Cowboys come into the season as the slight favorites to win the NFC East over the Washington Football team who won it last year.
There’s reason to buy the hype in “The Big D” this year as Dak Prescott will return from his terrible lower leg injury that knocked him out for most of the 2020 season. His return means this offense should be one of the best in 2021.
Furthermore, the Cowboys will have a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn who was the former Atlanta Falcons head coach and the creator of the “Legion of Boom” in Seattle. He’s a solid coordinator that will do a much better job than Nolan last year.
Washington will be the toughest hurdle for the Cowboys in the division this season as they added some pieces on the offense which was their biggest weakness last year.
WFT will have Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and also signed wide receiver Curtis Samuel from Carolina to help alleviate double teams on McClaurin.
But, like last year, Washington will be led by their elite defense that looks even scarier this season. If the offense can improve from last year, then WFT could win a second straight divisional crown.
The New York Giants are the wild card of the division as they had a solid defense last year, but a terrible offense. This season, the Giants could have their best offense since their Super Bowl winning teams over a decade ago.
The Giants added a #1 WR in Kenny Golladay to join other playmakers like Sheppard, Slayton, Engram and Rudolph. Furthermore, the immensely talented Saquon Barkley returns from a torn ACL. As long as the offensive line holds up, this unit could be explosive.
The Eagles are easily the bottom feeders in the NFC East and could rival the Detroit Lions as the worst team in the conference. I doubt they win more than five games this season and should get swept in the division.
Who Wins the NFC East?
The Giants will be a factor this season. The problem is at this point in time, we just don’t know how big of a factor they will be.
Washington should be at least .500 this year which is an improvement over their 7-9 NFC East winning record last year. But, can they win more games than Dallas in 2021? I don’t think they will.
The smart play right now is on the Cowboys. With the return of Dak Prescott and the improvements on defense this should be a double-digit win team.
Take the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East for the first time since 2018.
I believe the NFC West is going to be the toughest division in football this year. I also believe that all four teams will finish with winning records. In fact, I think there’s a good chance that the NFC West could sweep the three Wild Card spots by time it’s all said and done.
The Rams and the 49ers are co-favorites to win the West this year and for good reasons.
Los Angeles returns most of their Playoff roster from last year, but with the addition of QB Matt Stafford who is expected to turn this offense into a juggernaut. Stafford could potentially throw for 5,000 yards again in his career and take the Rams further than the departed Jared Goff did last year.
The San Francisco 49ers will see all of their star players return from injuries last year which limited this team’s success on the field and in the win column. Their defense could be a Top 5 unit now that players like Nick Bosa have returned from injuries.
Seattle has never had a losing season with Russell Wilson as QB and I don’t see it happening this year either. In fact, even though they aren’t favored to win the division like they did last year, the Seahawks should win 10 or more games for the 4th straight years as long as they let Russ cook again!
The Cardinals are picked to finish last, but in this division that means they could still go 9-8 or better. Arizona added many former Pro Bowl players like Connor, Green and Hudson on offense and J.J. Watt on defense.
Arizona’s offense was playing at a high level last year before Kyler Murray was hampered by a lower leg injury. He’s health and this offense appears even better on paper.
Defensively, Arizona has the makings of a solid pass defense. But, their run defense could be a liability. Nevertheless, I like this team to be competitive in the West and in the Wild Card race.
Who Wins the NFC West?
On paper, the Rams and the 49ers appear to have a bit more talent on their rosters than the Seahawks and Cardinals do.
Seattle should still be one of the top Wild Card teams, but I believe they will fall short of winning the division for a second straight year and their 10th time overall. The Seattle secondary has too many question marks just like last year.
The Cardinals could fight for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC and also be a dark horse team in the West provided that Kyler Murray takes that next step in on-field progress like Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield recently have. However, it remains to be seen and can’t be 100% counted on.
I think this division will come down to the 49ers and the Rams. With that in mind, I feel that the 49ers have a slightly easier schedule than the Rams do which should be the difference in which team finishes on top of the West.
Both will have elite defenses, and the Rams will have a better passing attack, but San Francisco will have the better running game and a Top 15 passing attack with a health Greg Kittle and Deebo Samuel.
Take the 49ers to edge out the Rams for the NFC West as they capture the divisional title for the second time in the last three years and for their 21st time overall.
The Green Bay Packers come into this season as a large betting favorite to win the NFC North. They won the division last year for the seventh time in the last decade and look to win it for a third year in a row.
Obviously, Green Bay’s 2021 success will all come down to the rift between Aaron Rodgers and the front office. If the two sides have truly put their differences behind them then this team should easily win the division.
Green Bay returns most of their starters from both sides of the ball and are still a step above the rest of the teams in the division.
The new agreement, once finalized, would help set up Aaron Rodgers’ departure from Green Bay after this season, per sources. https://t.co/NojVojcHjy
The Minnesota Vikings have one of the best running games in the league and a prolific wide receiver duo in Thielen and Jefferson. However, that are some question marks along the offensive line that could hinder the offense’s overall success.
On the defense, Minnesota should be able to improve from their poor 2020 season. The defensive line will take a big step forward with the returns of Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce who both missed all of 2020 due to injuries. Patrick Peterson gives the Vikings a #1 corner as well.
The Bears have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but they have arguably the worst starting QB in the division with Andy Dalton. Furthermore, I don’t trust that coaching staff at all. The offensive line is inconsistent as well.
Chicago will be led by their defense once again, but this offense could be a liability especially if they’re forced to play from behind and can’t rely on their talented running game.
As mentioned above, the Lions will be the worst team in the conference. They’re rebuilding after gutting their franchise, getting new coaches, and letting go key players like Matt Stafford and Kenny Golladay. This team will go winless in the division and possibly finish with the worst record in the NFL.
Who Wins the NFC North?
The Lions will be a step up from a Bye Week for the rest of the division. However, the NFC North winner should come down to the Vikings and Packers. The Bears just don’t have the quarterback play nor the coaching to compete with Minnesota and Green Bay.
Between the Vikings and the Packers, you have to give the edge to Green Bay. The 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is back and that offense will be one of the best in the league. With a Top 15 defense, this team should easily run through the NFC North and finish with one of the best records in the NFC.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the biggest betting favorite to win their division in the entire conference. In fact, only the Kansas City Chiefs (-250) are a larger favorite to win their division than the Buccaneers.
For the Buccaneers, they bring back almost their entire Super Bowl winning roster with a few key additions like Giovani Bernard who will add another dimension to the passing game out of the backfield.
The entire defense is back and poised to become a Top 10 unit as their young players have another year under their belts. Really, there’s no stopping Tampa Bay this year.
The New Orleans Saints saw their franchise QB Drew Brees retire and now the team will be in Winston’s or Hill’s hands. That’s a big drop in talent from Brees and one that could turn this offense into a subpar unit.
Furthermore, the Saints had many salary cap casualties this offseason which will hurt their depth and overall level of talent. The New Orleans Saints will be lucky to win nine games. They need a better QB in order to be a Playoff caliber team once again.
The Atlanta Falcons have a new head coach, but the same old problems. The offense struggles to run the ball and pass protect consistently. They also just traded their #1 receiver Julio Jones which means they’re down a huge weapon in the passing game.
Their defense has been a liability the last few seasons and I don’t see this changing in the upcoming season. Atlanta will be 8-9 at best and we could be seeing the end of the Matt Ryan era.
I’m surprised to see the Carolina Panthers listed as the odds on favorite to finish last in the NFC South. They improved their QB play by trading for Sam Darnold who will have plenty of talent around him in WRs Robbie Anderson and DJ Moore.
The big reason why I like Carolina to surprise many this year is the return of RB Christian McCaffrey. He was injured for most of last year. When healthy, he’s the best dual threat running back in the NFL.
The offensive line will be the biggest question mark with plenty of concerns along the line. But, Darnold had played with a worse offensive line and supporting cast when with the Jets. So, I still see Carolina performing well offensively due to Darnold and company.
Defensively, this unit isn’t getting nearly enough credit heading into the 2021 season. They’re young, but very talented.
Chinn, Gross-Matos and Brown performed great as rookies. Add in Brian Burns, Haason Reddick, Denzel Perryman and Shaq Thompson along with rookie 1st round pick DB Jaycee Horner, and this defense has the potential to finish near the Top 10.
Who Wins the NFC South?
Obviously, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to win this division. Even if Brady gets hurt and misses half of the season, Tampa Bay will still take the NFC South title for the first time since 2007.
I think the most under the radar storyline in the NFC South is just how good the Carolina Panthers can be. If Darnold can avoid costly turnovers and McCaffrey can remain healthy, this team could win nine or 10 games.
I don’t see the Saints of Falcons being able to win nine or 10 games this season. In fact, I believe these two teams will most likely go 8-9 or worse.
Take the Bucs to win the division, but place a small flier on the Panthers to finish second in the NFC South.
As you can see above, I like the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win their respective divisions.
As for the Wild Cards, I like the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The Rams and Seahawks will each win at least 10 games each. That locks them in for the 5th and 6th spots.
The race will be for the 7th Playoff spot, which is the third Wild Card. Right now, I have Arizona in that position. However, I see the Cardinals probably finishing 9-8 which means that teams like the Vikings, WFT, and Panthers could all be a contender for this last spot.
Currently, I am taking the Cardinals to edge out the rest of those teams, and that’s because Kyler Murray is a better QB than what the Vikings, WFT, and Panthers have.
The Playoffs Will Go Through Tampa Bay
Last year, the Playoffs went through Green Bay and it seemed like the Packers were destined for a chance to go the Super Bowl due to having home field advantage throughout the postseason and the weather.
Unfortunately for the Packers last year, the Buccaneers proved that nothing could stop them from winning the NFC and then the Super Bowl. Not Rodgers and Lambeau Field, not the elite WFT defense, and not the best player in the league in Patrick Mahomes.
This year, I believe the Bucs will be the best team in the NFC and have home field advantage throughout the Playoffs.
Tampa Bay will have an easier time in their division than the Packers, 49ers and Cowboys. That gives them a big advantage for conference tie breakers and to pad their win total. Furthermore, they bring back just about every starter on both sides of the ball.
Additionally, Tom Brady appears to be fully healthy and motivated to win another Super Bowl with the Bucs.
Last year, Tampa Bay beat Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. This year, I see the Buccaneers beating the Rams or the 49ers in the NFC title game to win the conference championship.
NFC Conference in Winner 2021 –Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+300)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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