The NFC North will be a fascinating race this year because you can make a case for any of the four teams to win the division. Sure, it's easy to see why Minnesota and Green Bay can do it. But I'm predicting big things for Matthew Stafford, which will help Detroit, and if Nick Foles can win the job in Chicago, the Bears could see some success as well. Because things are so tight, we'll take a look and see if there's any value on the win totals.
(Numbers provided by the Westgate Superbook)
Over 8 +110... Under 8 -130
Offense: As mentioned above, I have more faith in this side of the ball if Foles, a Super Bowl MVP, takes over for Mitchell Trubisky. Foles hasn't looked great outside of his time in Philadelphia, but Trubisky hasn't looked great pretty much ever. The running back room features Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery, whom I'd like to think the organization would like to see more out of. Out wide, Ted Ginn Jr. joins Allen Robinson II and Anthony Miller as the primary targets. Chicago signed tight end Jimmy Graham, who is nowhere near what he used to be when he came into the league, and drafted Cole Kmet out of Notre Dame.
Defense: As usual, this side of the ball will keep the team in games. Khalil Mack, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, and Robert Quinn figure to form one of the best linebacker groups in the NFC. We'll see how much help Akiem Hicks gets up front because the rest of the defensive line is a bit of a question mark, especially with Eddie Goldman opting out. Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine are the top cornerbacks with rookie Jaylon Johnson likely getting more playing time right away because of free-agent addition Artie Burns tore his ACL in training camp. The secondary should be pretty strong, especially if opposing quarterbacks are constantly on the run.
Schedule Note: There could be a potential sleepy spot towards the end of the year when the Bears travel to Jacksonville in Week 16 between divisional matchups at Minnesota and at home against Green Bay. Of course, it may not mean much if they are not in the race for a playoff spot.
Prediction: Lean to the over here because of the price and because I think Foles plays more than Trubisky.
Over 7 -110... Under 7 -110
Offense: I think Matthew Stafford has a huge season this year, and I'll be investing in any sort of props that I can find involving the signal-caller. I'd love to see more from the running backs, and we'll see how much rookie D'Andre Swift can get involved with Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough already there. It's the usual suspects at wide receiver with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Danny Amendola. I also think second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson will play a big part in the offense as well. The offensive line should be better giving the quarterback more time.
Defense: The hiring of Cory Undlin as defensive coordinator is a bit confusing considering the Eagles' secondary was really bad for years. We do know though that head coach Matt Patricia is probably the one putting the defense together, though. They added a few more former Patriots in Jamie Collins, Duron Harmon, and Danny Shelton. There's been a lot of shuffling of personnel on this side of the ball, so we'll see if it pays off. Jettisoning Darius Slay to Philly and replacing him with Desmond Trufant is a net loss, although big things are expected from first-round pick Jeff Okudah.
Schedule Note: After the home game in Week 1, Detroit plays four of its next five on the road, with a bye week coming in Week 5. The Lions do close with four of their final six at home.
Prediction: Give me the over here.
Over 9 EVEN... Under 9 -120
Offense: There weren't enough changes made to this side of the ball for my liking. Using a high draft pick on Jordan Love was confusing when they could have picked up a solid wide receiver to help out. I do love AJ Dillon for the backfield, and he'll make things difficult on opponents in the fourth quarter when the team needs to get some tough yards late to pick up a victory. Because of Dillon's addition, I'm not as high on Aaron Jones doing anywhere near what he did last year. Don't forget they also have Jamaal Williams. Davante Adams is the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver, with the team once again trying to find a consistent No. 2 between Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Defense: I love the potential of this side of the ball. They've grown a secondary through the draft with Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, and Josh Jackson at corner along with Darnell Savage at safety. The linebacker corps should still be strong despite losing Blake Martinez and Kyrell Fackrell to the Giants. Christian Kirksey provides solid depth and will probably start alongside Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith. The question will be up front where we'll see if they can get more pressure from someone other than Kenny Clark.
Schedule Note: There's a friendly home stretch of games from Nov. 29 through Dec. 27, with four of five at Lambeau Field. The Packers have tough road trips early to New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Houston.
Prediction: Push. I think this is a nine-win team.
Over 9 EVEN... Under 9 -120
Offense: Stefon Diggs has gone to Buffalo, so we'll see if LSU rookie Justin Jefferson can replace him as Adam Thielen's sidekick. Bisi Johnson took steps forward last year, and Tajae Sharpe comes over from Tennessee. I love the pairing of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, but will the lack of a new contract for Cook affect him during the season? Kirk Cousins is solid but not spectacular. He puts up good numbers, but he doesn't take a ton of chances downfield, so of course he'll have a good completion percentage.
Defense: Changes abound here with new co-coordinators as well as a bunch of new personnel. The losses of Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Andrew Sendejo, and Trae Waynes will hurt. There's some talent still here especially at linebacker where Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks roam. The secondary scares me with the potential that they will be relying on a rookie in Jeff Gladney opposite Mike Hughes. Up front, it's Danielle Hunter along with some guys that need to step up.
Schedule Note: The team has three straight at home but then closes out the season with three of four on the road, including trips to New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
Prediction: I love the under here. Think this could be a seven- or eight-win team.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.