NFC North Betting Preview: Who Will Be the North’s Best Team in 2020?

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The Green Bay Packers are the reigning NFC North division champs. However, they come into the 2020 NFL season as a very slight underdog to the Minnesota Vikings in regards to winning the NFC North title this year.

According to most NFL betting sites, the Packers and Vikings are very close to “even” as the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are trailing far behind.

Let’s take a closer look at these NFC North betting odds to see which team will win the division and examine whether or not the Bears and Lions are worthy of a flier.

NFL Betting Odds

The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Minnesota Vikings (+175)
  • Green Bay Packers (+180)
  • Chicago Bears (+425)
  • Detroit Lions (+425)

Minnesota Vikings (+175)

  • Over 9 wins (-125)
  • Under 9 wins (-105)

The Minnesota Vikings come into the 2020 NFL season with noticeable changes on both sides of the ball. First, Gary Kubiak will take over as the offensive coordinator after Kevin Stefanski left to become the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. I actually think this is an upgrade for Minnesota.

The team will be a run heavy offense featuring RB Dalvin Cook. However, they also have a very talented backup in Alexander Mattison as well.

QB Kirk Cousins should have another steady year in guiding this offense to a potential Playoff run. However, I do have some concerns over his passing weapons.

The Vikings traded Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills and drafted LSU receiver Justin Jefferson in the 1st round to replace Diggs. He will join the team’s #1 receiver Adam Thielen, but the depth drops off after these two.

I’m not sold on Tajae Sharpe being much of a contributor this year. Plus, Thielen has been banged up over the last few seasons. If Thielen goes down for any stretch of time during the season, this passing game is in trouble.

On the defensive side of the ball, there are numerous concerns as the “purple people eaters” lost more talent than they gained.

Minnesota lost DT Linval Joseph, CB Trae Waynes, DE Everson Griffen, CB Xavier Rhodes, S Andrew Sendejo and more. Yet, they didn’t replace any of those departures with players that fans could even brag about.

Minnesota Vikings Season Schedule

The Vikings kick off the season against the Packers where both teams will show us who the early favorite really is. They then play the Colts, Titans, Texans, Seahawks and Falcons before their Week 7 bye. I see Minnesota going 3-3 heading into the Bye Week.

With 10 games remaining, let’s split them into groups of five. Their first five games following the Bye Week are against the Packers, Lions, Bears, Cowboys and Panthers. I see Minnesota going 2-3 or 3-2 depending on how good the Bears are.

Their last five games of the season are against the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Bears, Saints and Lions. This is a 3-2 stretch as well.

Minnesota should end up going at least 9-7 with a ceiling of 10-6. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they regressed some due to the lack of overall talent on this team.

It’s not a stretch to say that Minnesota had the most loss of talent in the division. The O/U of 9 wins is pretty much spot on. The question is whether or not you believe the Vikings are a double digit win team. I do not. I think this is a push.

Since 2002, Minnesota has won the NFC North on four occasions. Their last divisional crown came in 2017 when they ended up losing in the NFC Championship game to the Eagles.

Green Bay Packers (+180)

  • Over 9 wins (+115)
  • Under 9 wins (-145)

In an offseason where the Green Bay Packers were a few moves away from competing with the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints for the NFC championship, Green Bay absolutely blew it. In fact, I can’t see how even the diehard Packer fans can be happy about this.

With their 1st pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Green Bay took QB Jordan Love from Utah State. They basically signaled to future HOF QB Aaron Rodgers that his time is running out. Then they chose RB AJ Dillon in the 2nd round despite having a legitimate starting RB in Aaron Jones and backup Jamaal Williams.

In free agency, the Packers brought in Devin Funchess to give Rodgers another passing weapon, but he’s nothing to brag about. Funchess is a #3 WR at this point in his career.

The Packers lost OT Bryan Bulage, K Mason Crosby, TE Jimmy Graham, LB Blake Martinez and a host of other contributors. Yet, they didn’t do much to plug in the holes especially when it comes to their run defense that was gashed by the 49ers in the Playoffs.

Although Green Bay didn’t lose as much talent as the Vikings, they were even more inept in regards to their decision making.

Green Bay Packers Season Schedule

The Packers face the Vikings, Lions, Saints and Falcons heading into their Bye Week. If there’s any issues with the team, they will have an early bye to make adjustments for the rest of the season. Green Bay should go at least 2-2 if not 3-1 in the first month of the 2020 NFL season.

Green Bay comes out of the bye with games against Tampa Bay, Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Indianapolis. I see a 3-3 stretch here with losses to Tampa, the 49ers and the Colts.

Their final six games area against the Bears, Eagles, Lions, Panthers, Titans and Bears. That’s another 3-3 stretch, possibly 4-2 if they can beat the Titans or Eagles. I think they split with the Bears this season.

Green Bay will be right on the cusp of a 10 win season. They could go anywhere from 9-7 to 11-5 depending on their level of play. I say take the Over 9 wins.

Since Rodgers became the full-time starter in 2008, the Packers have had double digit wins in eight of the last 12 seasons. Last year they went 13-3.

Since 2002, the Packers have won the NFC North 10 times, which is more than the other three teams combined.

Chicago Bears (+425)

  • Over 8.5 wins (+130)
  • Under 8.5 wins (-160)

Was there a team more disappointing than the Chicago Bears last year? With so much talent on both sides of the ball, the Bears were expected to contend for the NFC championship. Instead of building off of their 12-4 record in 2018, Chicago went 8-8 last year.

Those eight wins last season were largely due to the elite defense. The offense was the biggest reason why Chicago failed miserably in 2019.

Chicago identified QB Mitch Trubisky as the reason why the offense was bad last year and decided to trade for QB Nick Foles who will upgrade this position and should provide the game manager that this team needs.

The Bears have plenty of weapons on offense including WRs Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Cordarrelle Patterson and RBs David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. They added Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet in the 2020 NFL Draft, which was a solid pick.

The offensive line should be steady this season as well. With Foles at QB, he can make up for inconsistent o-line play where Trubisky does not.

Once again, Chicago’s identity will be on the defensive side of the ball where they have plenty of top shelf talent. If the Bears’ offense can put up 21 points per game, this team could end up winning 10 games due to the defense.

Chicago Bears Season Schedule

I like the Bears to come out of the gate strong with wins over Detroit, the Giants and the Falcons. They will then lose to Tampa Bay and the Colts. That’s a 3-2 stretch in their first five contests.

Their next five games are against the Panthers, Rams, Saints, Titans, and Vikings. That’s most likely a 2-3 stretch where the Bears will head into their Bye Week with a record of 5-5.

Following the Bye Week, Chicago plays Green Bay twice, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville. I think there’s room in there to go 3-3 and possibly 4-2 if they can beat Minnesota. However, it’s hard seeing the Bears having a winning record in 2020 due to the question marks at QB.

In reality, I see the Bears sitting at 8-8 or 9-7 at best. With the O/U set at 8.5 wins, I would play it safe and take the Under. This team is a franchise QB away from being a legitimate contender in the NFC. I’m just not sure that Nick Foles can do enough to win games on this tough 2020 schedule.

Chicago has won the NFC North on four different occasions. Their last divisional crown came in 2018. Unfortunately, I don’t see this franchise winning the division until they solve their quarterback issue.

Detroit Lions (+425)

  • Over 6.5 wins (-150)
  • Under 6.5 wins (+120)

The Detroit Lions are pegged to finish at the bottom of the NFC North and it really isn’t a surprise to anyone. This team has been mired in losing for the last two decades. Since the league realignment in 2002, the Lions have had losing records in 14 of the last 18 seasons.

I liked what Detroit did in the NFL Draft by selecting the best DB in Jeff Okudah, a talented RB in D’Andre Swift and a solid DE in Julian Okwara. I think these three players will make the team better in a year or two, but not this season.

The Lions will have a potent offense with a healthy Matt Stafford at QB. He will throw to some talented weapons in WRs Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and TEs T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James. The running game will be strong with Swift and Kerryon Johnson.

On the defense, this team has had a lot of roster turnover. They did add some talented playmakers like LB Jamie Collins, but they also lost star players like CB Darius Slay. I’m not sure this defense will be able to stop explosive offenses that they face this season.

Detroit Lions Season Schedule

Detroit starts off with the Bears, Packers, Cardinals and Saints. They will be lucky to get a win in the first month of the season. I predict they will go 0-4 heading into their Bye Week.

Following the Bye Week, Detroit plays Jacksonville, Atlanta, Indy and Minnesota. At best, they go 2-2 in this stretch of games.

The next four game stretch is against Washington, Carolina, Houston and Chicago. This is their best chance to string together some wins. I see a 3-1 run for Detroit heading into the final month of the season.

Unfortunately, the wheels will fall off on Detroit’s season in the final month as they will lose to Green Bay, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Minnesota.

At best, I see Detroit going 6-10. More than likely, they finish 4-12 or 5-11. I expect the head coach to be fired probably before the season ends, if not then it will be the day after the 2020 regular seasons concludes.

Detroit hasn’t won their division since 1993. I don’t see the Lions contending for the NFC North title for the next few years. Perhaps, a new coach can find a way to turn this franchise back into a winner.

Who Wins the NFC North in 2020?

When looking over the division, if Chicago gets solid QB play from Trubisky or Foles, they could take the NFC North due to having one of the best defenses in the NFL.

However, it’s probably best to play this NFL futures bet safely. And, that means picking between the Vikings and the Packers.

Although Green Bay had one of the stupidest offseasons imaginable, I still think they have more talent on both sides of the ball than Minnesota does.

The Vikings have lost too much talent for me to believe that they can leapfrog Green Bay in the pecking order and win the NFC North.

As long as they have Aaron Rodgers at QB, and that might not be for much longer, the Packers are my pick to win the NFC North in 2020 and beyond.

Who Wins the NFC North in 2020? –Green Bay Packers (+180)
Rick Rockwell

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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