Last year, the NFC South was a mess as no team finished with a record above .500. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the division at 8-9, while the three other teams — Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints — finished 7-10. Once again, the division is up for grabs in 2023. Below, we preview the NFC South and explore the odds for each team to win the division. Plus, we share our predictions and expert picks for the NFC South in 2023.
NFC South 2023: Team Odds, Preview, And Contenders
Contender – Atlanta Falcons
2023 marks year three under head coach Arthur Smith as the Falcons look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
Atlanta’s strength is its rushing attack, which averaged the third-most rushing yards per game in 2022 with 159.9.
Because of their rushing success, the Falcons surprised many by taking running back Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The talented Robinson joins a crowded backfield that includes Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Carlos Washington Jr.
The defense was the weak link in 2022, especially the defensive line, which only registered 21 sacks, the second-fewest in the league. The Falcons hope offseason acquisitions Calais Campbell, David Onyemata, and Bud Dupree will bolster the defensive line.
The biggest question mark for the Falcons is whether 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder will be a viable option at quarterback.
|Over 8.5 wins||-160|
|Under 8.5 wins||+130|
A new era in Carolina begins this season with head coach Frank Reich and quarterback Bryce Young, the first overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Young will try to bring stability to a Panthers’ offense that started three quarterbacks in 2022.
D.J. Moore is gone, but the Panthers signed Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark Jr. to fill the void left at receiver. Plus, the Panthers used a 2023 second-round pick on WR Jonathan Mingo.
On the defensive side, Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, and Derrick Brown are excellent players. However, the rest of the defense is mediocre and must improve on their 2022 average of 350.2 yards allowed per game (22nd in the NFL).
|Over 7.5 wins||-110|
|Under 7.5 wins||-120|
Contender – New Orleans Saints
Life without Drew Brees has been difficult in New Orleans, as the Saints have failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons.
Looking to turn the tide in New Orleans is veteran QB Derek Carr, who signed with the Saints in the offseason after spending nearly a decade with the Raiders. Carr will have an ascending star in Chris Olave as his top target, with a healthy Michael Thomas as his No. 2.
Alvin Kamara is suspended for the first three games of the season. However, Jamaal Williams and rookie Keandre Miller form a solid committee to replace Kamara.
The Saints have a top-15 defense, though it showed signs of deterioration in 2022.
The Saints also have the easiest schedule in the NFL, according to Sharp Football Analysis.
|New Orleans Saints||Odds||Play|
|Over 9 wins||-135|
|Under 9 wins||+105|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers could be in for a rude awakening.
Life was easy under Tom Brady as the future Hall of Fame quarterback fixed many problems for the Bucs in 2022. Without Brady, the Bucs do not make the playoffs.
With Brady’s retirement, the Bucs will turn to Baker Mayfield, in what could be his last chance as a starting QB, or Kyle Trask, who has never started a game in the NFL.
The Bucs still have Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, but their offensive line has three new starters, four if you count Tristan Wirfs from right tackle to left tackle.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Odds||Play|
|Over 6 wins||-120|
|Under 6 wins||-110|
NFC South 2023: Expert Picks and Predictions
Like 2022, the NFC South in 2023 should be competitive up until the very end. Every team will have a new Week 1 starting quarterback this season. Because of their experience, the New Orleans Saints (+125) are the favorite to win the division. However, the Falcons (+175) and Panthers (+425) are not too far behind.
View the odds below via BetOnline.
|To Win NFC South||Odds||Play|
|New Orleans Saints||+125|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+850|
New Orleans Saints to Win NFC South (+125)
The Saints have the most stable quarterback in the division in Carr. New Orleans won seven games in 2022 with inconsistent quarterback play. Carr should fix that right away. Although Dennis Allen is not the long-term solution as head coach, the Saints have enough talent on both sides of the ball to win the NFC South with at least nine wins.
Atlanta Falcons Under 8.5 Wins (+130)
The Saints have the easiest schedule in the NFL. Right behind them is the Falcons at No. 2. However, Ridder is a major question mark at quarterback. Although Robinson will be a solid addition at RB, the Falcons did not need it. The defense could be a major issue if they cannot pressure the quarterback. Nine wins is way too much for a team without a proven quarterback and defense.
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