NFC South Round Up Heading into Week 14
Week 13 in the NFC South was an eventful one to say the least. Below is a round up of all the happenings and going ons in the NFC South in case you missed something plus a few odds and betting lines going into Week 14.
It was a big week for the Atlanta Falcons who not only defeated their division rivals, or perhaps even nemesis, the New Orleans Saints, but in doing so they clinched the NFC South division championships. A spot normally held by the Saints. With no real threats left for the Falcons in the NFC South I’d expect them to start playing some safe football until playoff time.
According to Bovada, the Falcons are 15/2 to win the Super Bowl. Their are only four teams with better odds than the Falcons, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. Their next game is against another division rival in the form of the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons are the current favorites to win that game with a -3.5 spread. More on the Panthers later.
New Orleans Saints
In the end it all became too much for the Saints to overcome. Playing without head coach Sean Payton and other players on the team constantly dealing with the “bountygate” scandal it was too much even for the enigmatic Drew Brees to overcome.
Their biggest issue was consistency all throughout the season. Sometimes they would play like a team ready to go to the Super Bowl other times they would play like a team that the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs could beat. At 5-7 the Saints chances at the playoffs have all but dwindled away with 90/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, but do not expect this team to simply give up just yet.
Their next game will be against the New York Giants which is a game they could win. They will have to win against a 5.5 point spread, however, but at best they can be pretty big spoilers here if they manage to upset the Giants. This will open the door in the NFC East for the Washington Redskins and/or Dallas Cowboys to take the division. Both those teams are 6-6 and only one game behind the Giants.
At 6-6 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have a very real shot and securing a wild card spot in the playoffs. They are coming off a loss to the Broncos, but they should bounce back this week against the very awful Philadelphia Eagles. The Bucs have a 7.5 point spread favoring them in this game.. In fact, the rest of the season looks good for the Bucs. They will play a struggling Saints team, an inconsistent St.Louis Rams, and in the last game of the season they will play an Atlanta Falcons team in a game where their starters will likely see minimal play time in order to ensure their health for the playoffs. The Bucs schedule is definitely on their side if they can play good football in the coming weeks.
Once they get to the playoff they may not fair too well, however as they only have 125/1 odds to win the Super Bowl according to Bovada.
After an explosive rookies year for Cam Newton last season, the Carolina Panthers were the team that everyone was saying would be playoff contenders this year. Alas, they failed miserably. Their upcoming schedule is also filled with some very tough teams, including a game against the Falcons this week, so they will be lucky if they get to add more wins to their terrible 3-9 record. Their current odds of winning the Super Bowl is a sad to look at 1,000-1