Depending on how you look at it, betting on the NFC South division in 2015 was either simple or frustrating. Maybe it was both. Now, ahead of the 2016 campaign, you need to ask yourself: Is this about to change? If it doesn't change, the Carolina Panthers are your only moneymakers in the division. They won 15 games last season, unexpectedly boasting one of the most balanced attacks in the NFL. They made it all the way to the Super Bowl, before cracking against an overwhelming Denver Broncos defense.
Not much has changed for the Panthers since then. They lost cornerback Josh Norman, which stings. But the defense still projects as a terrifying unit, and the offense, though unimpressive on paper, will look the same as it did last year. Ergo, if Cam Newton is healthy and ready to shoulder a similar playmaking burden, the Panthers will once again be elite.
And if they're still one of the best teams in football, it's not clear which of their division rivals, if any, will be able to challenge them.
The smart money is on the New Orleans Saints. They won just seven games in 2015, but they have worked to improve their defensive structure, and Drew Brees can still light up the scoreboard with the best of the NFL's quarterbacks.
There's a chance the Atlanta Hawks improve upon their eight wins as well, if only because it's foolish to count out an offense comprising Julio Jones, DeVonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Matt Ryan.
The Tampa Bay Buccanneers are an interesting play. Their offense is on the rise with Jameis Winston under center and a receiving corps that includes Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. But the defense, along with Winston's learning curve as a sophomore, will hold them back to some degree.
For now, the Panthers are this division's only legitimate, non-long shot everything plays. They should, in turn, be considered the heavy favorites to win the NFC South overall. Even if there is another playoff team among this sector, even if the Falcons or Saints are worthy NFC and Super Bowl fliers, the Panthers are by far and away the superior squad in this division. Investing in any other group to win the NFC South would, for now, be a waste of sportsbetting funds.
Best NFC South Betting Lines
Find the best betting lines for the NFC South division here. With all these ideally crafted odds in one place, you get to spend more time researching your bet.
Once you look at these odds, though, don't think that you're done. If you're proceeding to make a bet right away, that's fine. But if you're waiting until later in the day, or even later in the week, you'll want to retrace your steps back here to make sure the lines haven't changed.
That happens quite often in the NFL. Single game odds are more open to adaptive factors because they are published days in advance of kickoff. So much can change during that time.
For example, if the Carolina Panthers open up as 13 point favorites with an over/under of 49.5 against the Atlanta Falcons, you may try to capitalize on those odds right off the bat, choosing Carolina to cover or betting on the over because of Atlanta's crummy defense.
Say you do this on Wednesday, but then on Friday you find out that Carolina's quarterback, Cam Newton, is a no-go with a shoulder injury. Suddenly both the spread bet in the Panthers' favor and the over look like terrible plays.
If you don't return to this page, you won't know about those changes. Either you'll have already placed your bet and won't have a chance to lay down another one to make up for your gaffe, or you'll go to the sportsbook to submit your initial bet, assuming the validity of information that has become outdated.
What Are The NFC South standings
Here are your NFC South standings. This is basic information, but it's nevertheless extremely valuable. This is boundlessly true for the midseason futures bettors out there.
While team records are seldom everything, wins and losses tell you which teams are worth researching at all.
If you see that New Orleans Saints are neck and neck with the Carolina Panthers inside the division, you know to consider their division odds, even if they aren't favorites. From there, you can then see if they have somehow become everything future plays.
Take the records within the division, stack them up against those from around the NFL, see if they're comparable to universally accepted conferfence and Super Bowl contenders, and you'll have your answer.
Of course, just because, say, the Panthers' record is similar to the New England Patriots' doesn't make them automatic Super Bowl bets. You'll want to dig deeper to check out the Panthers' play style, preferably seeing how they've performed when up against their perceived peers.
Still, the original step starts with the record and a team's place within the standings. That information will always be waiting for you right here.
How To Win NFC South Bets
What follows are some friendly betting tips for each of the four teams in the NFC South division. You may want to monitor how they perform at the beginning of the season to confirm this advice, but overall, these should make for some nice betting guidelines.
The NFC, as you should know, is just begging for powerhouses at the moment. Sure, it has the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, but the Seattle Seahawks are really the lone recurring juggernaut—the one team guaranteed to light it up.
There is an opening for another team or two in that category, and the Panthers could be it. So consider them viable NFC championship and Super Bowl investments, unless the return is to ridiculously low.
Continue to bet the over with the New Orleans Saints. Their offense should still be above average, even with quaterback Drew Brees on the wrong side of 37.
They have an insanely good running back rotation in Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller, which will make life easier on Brees' arm. And their receiving corps, headlined by Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead, is sneaky deep.
Conversely, go with the under more often than not when betting on the Atlanta Falcons. It seems counterintuitive, given that they have a nice four-man nucleus in Julio Jones, DeVonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Matt Ryan.
But they still ranked 21st in points per game, and that was with Jones exploding. Their defense, which ranked 14th in points allowed, should be better as well. And an underachieving offense, plus an improving defense, equates to under bets.
Finally, just steer clear of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. They're too young and unproven. Leaven them alone in all betting areas if you can stand it for at least the first half of the season.