The New Orleans Saints won the NFC South last year and are favored to do so again.
The Saints were a very complete team last year, and very efficient in all phases of the game.
Their season ended on a miracle play in the playoffs against the Vikings.
They come into this year with most of the same roster as last year and should still be a good team.
I see their main competition coming from the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers come into this year with low expectations after some changes to the offensive line due to injuries and free agency.
Their offensive line was not very good last year, and they still made upgrades to their offense regardless.
The Panthers drafted playmaking WR DJ Moore and signed speedy WR Torrey Smith. They also signed CJ Anderson who showed he can play well in a competent offense but has not had that opportunity with the below average QB play in Denver the past two seasons.
The Panthers also bring in Norv Turner to be offensive coordinator. With his coaching and the personnel group that also includes RB Christian McCaffrey TE Greg Olsen and WR Devin Funchess, Cam Newton could have another MVP like season.
The Panthers had a stout defense last year led by Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. Their weak point in the defense last year was in the secondary and in the off-season they signed safeties Mike Adams and DaNorris Searcy to help fill their needs. This should help a defense that can already get after the quarterback.
Their low expectations also coincide with them being in a smaller market with a smaller fan base, and the Atlanta Falcons being fresh in people’s minds as a Super Bowl team two seasons ago.
The Falcons offense was not the same after Kyle Shanahan left and Steve Sarkisian took over at offensive coordinator. Their defense is also not very good.
The Falcons are a team that plays with no sense of urgency and have not been the same since their Super Bowl loss. I see them continuing to regress and missing the playoffs. This division will come down to the Saints or the Panthers. The Falcons and Bucs are trash.
To recap I like the Panthers over 9 wins, the Panthers to make the playoffs and the Panthers to win the NFC South. I will also hedge that wager by taking the Saints. I also like the Falcons under 9 wins and the Falcons to not make the playoffs.
Panthers over 9 wins +155
Panthers make playoffs YES +155
Panthers WIn NFC South +275
Saints Win NFC South +155 (hedge)
Falcons under 9 wins +130
Falcons make playoffs NO +115