The NFC South was the weakest division in the NFL last season. With Tom Brady’s retirement, there’s a good chance that it’s even worse this year.
The New Orleans Saints remain the favorites after signing quarterback Derek Carr, but the Atlanta Falcons have begun to pick up steam.
The Carolina Panthers trail closely behind after selecting Bryce Young first overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers round out the odds list.
Let’s dig into the latest NFC South winner odds to make a prediction and pick out our favorite sleeper bet.
NFC South Winner Betting Odds 2023
Note: These NFC South betting odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Thursday, June 29 at noon ET. Be careful, as many of these NFL odds may shift as we get closer to the 2023 NFL season.
- New Orleans Saints (+120)
- Atlanta Falcons (+215)
- Carolina Panthers (+400)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+800)
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The Saints are the preseason favorites, arguably not because of their own aptitude, but the lack of it from divisional opponents.
Carr provides a veteran presence at quarterback, Alvin Kamara remains one of the most dynamic backs in the league and up-and-coming star Chris Olave should garner less attention with the expected return of Michael Thomas.
The Falcons have a number of roster issues heading into the season — including quarterback Desmond Ridder — but they’ve given him plenty of playmakers. Atlanta used a top-10 pick on offensive skill positions for the third straight year after taking Bijan Robinson at No. 8.
The Panthers took Bryce Young after trading DJ Moore and a number of high-value picks to move up to first overall. It’s likely too soon for the Panthers to make any real noise, even in a weak division, but the future is bright in Carolina.
- For more on the draft, check out Anthony Cervino’s latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
The Bucs are a bit of an intriguing team because they still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. However, a quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask is a far cry from having the greatest of all time at the helm.
NFC South Winner Best Bet
New Orleans Saints (+120) | DraftKings Sportsbook
While Carr isn’t going to set the league on fire with his passing ability, he’s a definite upgrade over Andy Dalton, which in what will likely be the worst division in football should be enough.
The return of Thomas could be huge, although he’s also been unable to stay healthy playing in just 10 games in the last three seasons.
Thomas had cracked at least 1,000 yards in each of his four full seasons. If he’s even 90% of his former self, he and second-year wideout Olave could rival the top WR duos in the league.
Kamara has shown little to no signs of slipping thus far, but he turns 28 in July and faces an ongoing battery charge that could land him a suspension.
The main area of concern for the Saints on offense is the offensive line, but it should be a solid enough unit to keep Carr upright for long enough for him to get the ball to one of the playmakers.
Trevor Penning, a first-round pick last season, dealt with injuries in his rookie campaign but could be an anchor on the line if he can stay on the field.
The New Orleans defense has been solid under Dennis Allen but will deal with a couple of key losses in the front seven. A major reason for the Saints picking two defensive linemen – Bryan Bresee out of Clemson and Isaiah Foskey from Notre Dame – in the first two rounds.
Even with a far below-average offense with a knack for putting the defense in tough positions, the Saints finished top-10 in scoring defense last year. With a more consistent offense, we should see the defense benefit as well.
At the end of the day, this breaks down to more of a fade of the other three squads, than a endorsement of the Saints. But at +120 odds, we’re getting good enough value to recommend the favorites in the NFC South.
NFC South Winner Sleeper Pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+800) | DraftKings Sportsbook
Tampa Bay has the longest odds in the division, and rightfully so, after stumbling into a division title at 7-9 last season and dealing with a massive downgrade at quarterback.
Yes, Mayfield has struggled in the last couple of seasons. He also hasn’t had the benefit of throwing to guys of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin‘s caliber in his NFL career.
Former second-round pick Trask will also compete for the job, but he’s seen just 10 regular season snaps in the NFL.
Tampa also brought in the promising young mind of Danny Canales – who was the Seahawks’ passing game coordinator in Geno Smith’s breakout last season – as offensive coordinator.
Even so, Tampa will need to run the ball better – they finished last in the NFL in 2022 – as Rachaad White enters his second year. White showed flashes last season but was generally underwhelming, and he expects to lead the backfield with Leonard Fournette out the door.
The offensive line remains a major cause for concern after it struggled to protect Brady last season, but it was decimated by injuries all season long. This unit desperately needs to stay healthy for Tampa to have a chance.
Tampa was able to keep the defensive core mostly intact, resigning Lavonte David, extending Jamel Dean, and not moving Devin White (yet) despite his trade request.
Depth remains a concern on both sides of the ball, but this team has as much talent as anyone in the division so at (+800), I’ll take a flyer in an expectedly horrid NFC South.
NFC South Winner By Year
|Year||NFC South Winner||Record|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||11-5|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||13-3|
|2019||New Orleans Saints||13-3|
|2020||New Orleans Saints||12-4|
|2021||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||13-4|
|2022||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8-9|