Somebody has to win the NFC South this year. According to the NFL futures market at press time, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are the top “favorites” at +200, with the New Orleans Saints in the mix at +225. It's a long way down from there to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +750.

All four of these teams have question marks, but the Saints have won at least 11 games four times over the past six seasons under head coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees (97.0 passer rating). They should be better all-around this year after sacrificing TE Jimmy Graham (85 catches) to upgrade the offensive line with center Max Unger.


Hold the Line


Carolina won the NFC South last year at 7-8-1 (8-8 ATS), but the offensive line was a mess in front of QB Cam Newton (82.1 passer rating), and it isn't likely to improve this year after the signing of once-promising offensive tackle Michael Oher. However, Atlanta has an even worse line in front of QB Matt Ryan (93.9 passer rating). Maybe new offensive co-ordinator Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking schemes will help patch things up.

Fixing the last-place Buccaneers will take a while longer. Jameis Winston was their No. 1 overall pick this year, and while Winston could step right in as a pro-style QB, he projects as a likelier draft bust than No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota. Winston could end up getting trampled behind a poor offensive line, as well. Never a dull moment in Tampa.


*Odds as of June 19, 2015