Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 Odds to Win NFC North with Picks and NFL Predictions

My trip through the 2014 NFL division previews and predictions for Doc's Sports takes me to the NFC North this week. The Green Bay Packers have dominated the Black and Blue Division of the NFL for over two decades with a winning record in 18 of their last 22 seasons. The Packers have laid claimed the division title the last three seasons so it is no big surprise that they are heavy favorites to make it four in a row this year.

I would have to agree with the Oddsmakers on that call as long as quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains healthy. Green Bay stumbled to a 2-5-1 record in his absence last season due to injury and the team had to scratch and claw its way to a NFC North title with an overall record of 8-7-1.

The Chicago Bears are expected to give the Packers the most trouble this season after going 8-8 last year. It is the second year of the Marc Trestman era in Chicago and its already potent offensive attack should only get better. The question mark here is can the Bears' defense regain the form that made it one of the most formidable units in the league just a few years back?

Detroit is a franchise that just cannot stand success, most likely because it is not used to achieving it. The Lions have posted just three winning seasons since 1996 and while they had things rolling last season with a 6-3 start, a second-half collapse led to a 7-9 record overall.

Minnesota could only manage four victories last season after going to the playoffs in 2012 with a record of 10-6. The Vikings' projected win total for this season has been set at six games, but that could be a reach with far more questions than answers especially at the quarterback position.

The following is a link to my complete preview of the NFC North as originally posted on Doc's Sports.

2014 Odds to Win NFC North with Picks and NFL Predictions

Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 Odds to Win NFC South with Picks and NFL Predictions

Going back to 2002 when the NFL realigned its format to eight divisions containing four teams each, nobody in the NFC South has been able to claim the division title two years in a row. Carolina won it last year with a better than expected record of 12-4 and New Orleans was second at 11-5. After that things dropped off a cliff with Atlanta and Tampa Bay each winning just four games.

As stunning as the Panthers climb to the top of the division last season might have been after going 7-9 the year before, the biggest shock in the NFC South was the Falcons fall from grace after winning 13 games in 2012. Worst to first runs in this division are not all that uncommon, which adds some solid value to Atlanta's chances for a quick turnaround from last year's misfortunes.

With the exception of the 2012 season when head coach Sean Payton was serving out a year's suspension levied by the NFL, New Orleans has been the most consistent team in the NFC South with a winning record in five of his seven seasons with the team. The Saints are once again favored to win the division title this year and my personal best bet to get it done.

The following is a link to breakdown of all the teams in the NFC South in terms of their chances to win the division title this season as part of my ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

2014 Odds to Win NFC South with Picks and NFL Predictions

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 Odds to Win NFC West with Picks and NFL Predictions

The NFC West has been a two-team race the last few seasons between two of the best teams in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers have gone to three-straight NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl, while Seattle has been in the playoffs three of the last four seasons and last year's ride ended with a Super Bowl title in a romp over Denver.

The Oddsmakers are giving the Seahawks the slight edge to win the division again this season over their bitter rivals, but nobody is paying any attention to an Arizona team that won 10 games last season. Even St. Louis has shown better consistency over the past two seasons with back-to-back 7-9 campaigns.

The chances that the Cardinals or the Rams upset the applecart this season with a stunning run to the NFC West title are slim at best, but this division is going to far more closer than expected with all four teams staying in the title race heading into the final few weeks of the season.

The following is a link to my preview and predictions for the NFC West in 2014 as part of an ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

2014 Odds to Win NFC West with Picks and NFL Predictions

Friday, July 4, 2014

2014 Odds to Win AFC East with Picks and NFL Predictions

This week I wrap-up my tour of the four divisions in the AFC with my preview and predictions for the AFC East. Picking the winner of this division is bit of a no-brainer considering just how dominant the New England Patriots have been under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick. He has been at the helm in New England for the past 14 years and while the Patriots went 5-11 way back in 2000 during his first season with the team they have not posted a losing record since then. The most impressive stat besides five Super Bowl appearances and three world titles is 12 seasons of at least 10 wins.

Considering that none of the other three teams in this division have posted a winning season in any of the past three years, its pretty safe to say that New England is going to add another division title to its impressive resume in 2014. The one team that might be able to make some noise in the AFC East is the Miami Dolphins. Much of their success will hinge on the continued development of third-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He has already shown signs of becoming a legitimate franchise quarterback in the NFL and this season will be a key test to see if he can keep progressing in the right direction.

The following is a link to my preview and official picks for the AFC East this season as part of an ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

2014 Odds to Win AFC East with Picks and NFL Predictions

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Odds to Win AFC North with Picks and NFL Predictions

My continuing series for Doc's Sports covering the 2014 NFL futures odds in terms of each team's chances to win its division takes us to the AFC North this week. This should definitely be one of the most competitive races in the league this season as any of the four teams in this division have a shot at winning the title.

Cincinnati has the best odds to repeat as champions after going 11-5 last season, but both Baltimore and Pittsburgh follow close behind. Even Cleveland is expected to be in the mix this year with a projected win total of 6.5 and moneyline odds that favor the OVER. Division play among these four teams should eventually be the deciding factor as to which one climbs to the top, but to give you a sneak peak on my personal pick, there should be two NFL division winners in Pennsylvania this year!

The following is a link to this week's preview and picks for the AFC North as originally posted on Doc's Sports.

2014 Odds to Win AFC North with Picks and NFL Predictions