NFC South Futures: Are the Saints the Best of the Worst?


Nov 20, 2023

The NFC South division, often characterized by unpredictability, presents a unique scenario this NFL season. Not a single team seems deserving of a playoff spot, yet the nature of the league ensures that one will make it. The New Orleans Saints (5-5), despite a tumultuous season, emerge as the favorites, with odds of -135 on BetMGM Sportsbook, indicating a slight edge over their division rivals.

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The Atlanta Falcons (4-6), arguably the most talented team in the division, have been hindered by lackluster coaching, particularly on the offensive front. Their strategy, often perplexing and inefficient, has left fans and analysts alike baffled, especially in their recent game against the Arizona Cardinals. The decision to repeatedly run the ball on first and second down, only to rely on Taylor Heinicke for crucial third-down throws, has been a point of contention.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)  linger as contenders, albeit inconsistently. The Carolina Panthers, on the other hand, seem resigned to their fate, focusing more on draft picks with a dismal 1-9 record.

Quarterback play across the division has been underwhelming, with none of the teams boasting standout performances in this crucial role. The Saints have been juggling between Derek Carr and Jameis Winston, with Carr’s recent concussion and shoulder injury adding to the uncertainty.

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In terms of strategy, the Saints have shown some promise. They have smartly utilized Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara in the red zone, reducing the pressure on their quarterbacks. This tactical adjustment has been among the few bright spots in a division riddled with coaching missteps.

As the Saints prepare to face the Falcons in Atlanta, the game is almost at a pick’em, with the Saints currently favored by just one point. Given the close standings and each team’s erratic form, this matchup could be pivotal in determining the division leader.

While the Saints might be the best team in the NFC South by a narrow margin and possibly have an easier schedule, betting on them to win the division is risky. The division’s overall poor coaching and unpredictable nature make it a challenging bet. Better opportunities likely exist elsewhere for those looking to wager on NFL outcomes.

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Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

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