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NFC Team by Team Breakdowns

NFL Futures: NFC Team by Team Breakdowns

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

In this article, we break down all the teams in the NFC conference, as we try to get started on our NFL futures betting. We will offer a brief preview all teams in the NFC, analyzing where they stand in the 2019 season and where they either improved or slipped from last season. Once the regular season begins, it doesn't take long for the picture to crystallize—at which point, the value is gone. When we get an early start on the betting and venture to take a stand before we get a good look at the NFC landscape, there can be some outstanding value.

We will sum up what happened with each team in the offseason, followed by our picks on whether the team will go over/under their projected win total or if they make the playoffs. And when we pick a team to make the playoffs or not, we're doing so with the value of the pick in mind. In other words, we might like a team to make the playoffs straight-up, but not at -300 odds, for example. Let's get started with the NFC East!

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: The winners of the NFC East last season, the Cowboys face tough opposition from within the division, in addition to games with the Saints, Vikings, Packers, Patriots, and Rams. On defense, the Cowboys are a unit on the rise and with breaks on the injury-front, they should be pretty good. With one of the best backs in the league in Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper showing he was a good fit last season, along with a still-respected line, the offense should be better. Jason Witten returning and Randall Cobb being in the fold could also give them a boost. There is also high-urgency on the part of the coaching staff and key players to make something big happen now. The Cowboys could be a factor.
Regular Season Wins: 9 (Over)
Make Playoffs: +115 (Yes)

New York Giants: Things haven't gone well for the Giants with 8 total wins in the last two seasons. Now, they face life without their top receiver, with Odell Beckham off to Cleveland. They are hoping either Eli Manning can get a second wind or rookie Daniel Jones can step into the fold. They have a rising force at running back in Saquon Barkley and are hoping maybe Golden Tate, Corey Coleman, and returning Sterling Shepard can round out a respectable receiver crew. They added some juice on both lines and a promising draft could set up well for the Giants to be better. Still, there's a lot to address and they will in very tough in the NFC East.
Regular Season Wins: 6 (Under)
Make Playoffs: +450 (No)

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Philadelphia Eagles: They were able to surge late last season, win a playoff game, and have a respectable season following their Super Bowl win. Losing Nick Foles could hurt, but if Carson Wentz stays healthy, they set themselves up for another nice run this season. Adding to an already-robust offense, the Eagles have DeSean Jackson back in the fold, along with exciting rookie receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The run-game could see a resurgence with the addition of Jordan Howard. They also added some depth on the other side of the ball. The schedule isn't easy and some tough patches will push them to their limit. A solid team to be sure, the value just isn't terribly strong.
Regular Season Wins: 9.5 (Under)
Make Playoffs: -210 (No)

Washington Redskins: Most neutral observers have soured on the Redskins, who were in control of the NFC East before the bad injury to Alex Smith last season. Adding Case Keenum and rookie first-rounder Dwayne Haskins could offer some relief on the QB-front. The aerial weapons at the disposal of whoever ends up at quarterback seem pretty thin, as aging back Adrian Peterson is their best weapon on offense. Some team-youth or a productive draft could help, but they look to be a clear notch below the other two frontrunners in the division. The value for calling a Redskins upsurge is there, but it's still hard to picture in 2019.
Regular Season Wins: 6.5 (Over)
Make Playoffs: +535 (No)

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Last season ended on a sour note, as the Bears showed they weren't quite ready to join the conference-elite. With a few breaks, things could be different. On defense, they have the chance to forge something truly special this season. The "D" is stacked with talent and could be the best in football in 2019. But after winning 12 games last season, their schedule is infinitely harder. But they added a few playmakers on defense with Buster Skrine and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. In his third season, QB Mitchell Trubisky could get better and a little more production on that side of the ball could go a long way. A definite contender.
Regular Season Wins: 9 (Over)
Make Playoffs: -140 (Yes)

Detroit Lions: The Lions look for a better season in head coach Matt Patricia's second season at the helm. They were 6-10 last season, showing flashes, but unable to establish any consistency. Adding CJ Anderson to go along with Kerryon Johnson gives them what could be an impactful run-game, which could help an aerial game that is young, but coming along. A few additions on defense could help them discover their former playmaking form. The "D" has been showing signs of becoming more-rigid. Two new tight ends in Jesse James and first-rounder TJ Hockenson could help, as will growing receiver Kenny Golladay. They are a candidate to be an improved team, though a lot of holes remain.
Regular Season Wins: 6.5 (Over)
Make Playoffs: +500 (No)

Green Bay Packers: New leadership offers new hope, though their recent dicey track-record remains a bone-of-contention. While there is cause for some optimism heading into the new season, the value seems strikingly poor if you were able to call that one right. A healthy Aaron Rodgers should have a good season. Still, a defense that lacks juice up-front and an offense without a ton of difference-makers stands out as potential roadblocks to success. Still, adding Adrian Amos, Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and rookie first-rounder Rashan Gary could help a "D" that isn't that far off. And if the offense sees all their major pieces stay healthy, who knows?
Regular Season Wins: 9.5 (Under)
Make Playoffs: -110 (No)

Minnesota Vikings: Last season's 8-7-1 mark was a letdown, but those looking to shovel dirt on the Vikes should think again. Fewer injuries would be a good start for turning things around in 2019. And maybe QB Kirk Cousins can have a better season, especially if he has more around him. They haven't fared well lately in big TV games and they better turn that around, as they have a handful of big spotlight games this year. A brutal schedule sets up well at the end of the season, where they close with a slew of home divisional games. If they're still in contention that could be big.
Regular Season Wins: 9 (Over)
Make Playoffs: +120 (Yes)

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Adding two offensive linemen in the first round shows their priorities are in the right spot. They have a lot of explosive-potential on offense, which could come to light this season. Some better breaks on the injury-front could pay off and getting the run-game going with a healthier Devonta Freeman would be a good start. Head coach Dan Quinn takes over the defensive play-calling, as that side of the ball was a major liability last season. The schedule isn't easy with 6 of their first 9 games against playoff teams from last season, but they're a good X-factor with a lot of people looking elsewhere after a 7-9 season.
Regular Season Wins: 9 (Under)
Make Playoffs: +155 (No)

Carolina Panthers: A team that might not be as far off as some people think. They added a lot to their defense and are super-strong in the front-seven, adding Gerald McCoy and first-rounder LB Brian Burns, along with LB Bruce Irvin and some other pieces that could pay off. Newton needs to rediscover his old form and while he has a growing star in Christian McCaffrey, there aren't many other dependable weapons on that side of the ball, though adding WR Chris Hogan and OL Matt Paridis could help. They also addressed the offensive line in the draft. There is definitely some value in this squad, even if overlooking them is understandable on certain levels.
Regular Season Wins: 7.5 (Under)
Make Playoffs: +250 (No)

New Orleans Saints: One of the powers in the NFC last season, the Saints put it all together, falling controversially in the conference title game. They lost a valuable weapon in Mark Ingram, but added pieces like TE Jared Cook and RB Latavius Murray. The offense still appears stacked under the stewardship of still-effective Drew Brees. Their only outstanding weakness last season was pass-defense, an area that was strengthened with some nice draft picks and the acquisition of Eli Apple. They still made it pretty far last season and with an offense with even more variety and a bolstered pass-defense, they could be the class of the conference. And they really want to win now, as they're a team built for a championship-run.
Regular Season Wins: 10.5 (Over)
Make Playoffs: -335 (Yes)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: While they appear to be a far way off, the addition of Bruce Arians as coach could pay off sooner than later. This is a definite crossroads season for QB Jameis Winston, who needs a big year. But they lost a little juice from their receiver-crew and need some guys to step up. The addition of some veterans on defense like Ndamukong Suh and first-round LB Devin White could help a "D" that needs a surge. It's just that a depleted roster on offense, a lack of a run-game, and being iffy on both lines of scrimmage will likely come at a cost, especially in this difficult conference. The Arians component, however, makes them an interesting X-factor.
Regular Season Wins: 6.5 (Under)
Make Playoffs: +525 (No)

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: The worst team in the conference last season starts 2019 with some hope that comes with new leadership. New coach Kliff Kingsbury and first overall pick Kyler Murray could get the offense pointed in the right direction. The young quarterback, however, needs a lot to go right with the guys around him for things to take off—namely a cast of weapons that appears to be thin and a line that appears to lag behind the better fronts in the division and conference. They added some juice to the secondary, which could pay off, but this looks like a longer-term project where they might not hit the ground running.
Regular Season Wins: 5 (Under)
Make Playoffs: +975 (No)

Los Angeles Rams: Last season's NFC champion, there is no abundant reason to suspect an appreciable falloff this season. They added Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews to a defense already brimming with star-power. And that side of the ball could be better with added chemistry. The offense is still-stocked, even more so if WR Cooper Kupp can give Jared Goff another viable weapon to go with an already-burgeoning aerial crew. There are major difference-makers on both sides of the ball. After coming close to winning the whole thing last season, look for the Rams to make a hard push this fall.
Regular Season Wins: 10.5 (Over)
Make Playoffs: -335 (Yes)

San Francisco 49ers: This could go any number of ways. With continued horrible luck and a rash of costly injuries, they will be also-rans once again. With most of their key pieces remaining healthy, however, they should get this ship pointed in the right direction. At QB, Jimmy Garoppolo has to stay healthy and some developing youngsters must continue to show growth. One positive byproduct of all their injuries is a lot of depth developed throughout their roster. They could be menacing up-front on defense with Dee Ford and second overall pick Nick Bosa. Getting guys to be productive coming off injury, like RB Jerick McKinnon, would be huge. They added some pieces and with some good stuff already in-place, they could be trouble.
Regular Season Wins: 8 (Too Tough to Call)
Make Playoffs: +220 (No)

Seattle Seahawks: I think there is some standout value on a team that showed last season that they're still a contender. Losing guys like Doug Baldwin and Frank Clark, on top of all the other personnel losses over the last few years, is a cause for concern. But they've replenished very well, even adding some key pieces in this last draft that could pay off quickly. If anything, the continued development of young players and their ability to adjust in the face of adversity could pay off. Last season, we saw the return to dominance of their run-game, which now features several viable weapons. I think there is enough to like on both sides of the ball to make the Seahawks an interesting pick at this value.
Regular Season Wins: 8.5 (Over)
Make Playoffs: +155 (Yes) Did you know... that you could be wagering on NFL Futures at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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