Publish date:

Examining the Over/Under 2016 Win Totals for the NFC North

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay and Minnesota figured to be the two top contenders to win the NFC North, but that may not be the case now thanks to a significant injury. Chicago and Detroit are pretty far behind in terms of talent although the Lions appear to be closer than the Bears, which have a long way to go.

Image placeholder title

Related: NFL Scouts Talk Anonymously About NFC North Teams

Much like I did with the college football win totals, I will break down the schedules in terms of home and road opponents outside the division. In most situations, I'll give a split to each team in divisional play with them winning at home and losing on the road. Vegas is much more on the ball in the NFL compared to college football so the numbers are a lot sharper.

Note: Over/under odds courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook

NFC North

Image placeholder title

Chicago Bears

(Over 7 wins -134, Under 7 wins +104)

Record Last Year: 6-10

Offense: I don't know what else there is that can be said about Jay Cutler. He doesn't have Matt Forte to help him out of the backfield. What he does have is 2015 first-round pick Kevin White, who is finally healthy after missing last season. White and Alshon Jeffery form a nice duo, especially because of their size. Jeremy Langford is going to lead the way at running back although others will be involved in the backfield.

Defense: The Bears continue to dip into free agency to try to fix what ails them defensively. Jerrell Freeman comes over from Indianapolis while Danny Trevathan has been reunited with his former head coach when both were in Denver. The secondary is an issue though as top cornerback Kyle Fuller has struggled with injuries and poor play while veteran Tracy Porter is dealing with a concussion.

Schedule: Chicago alternates road and home games for the first eight weeks of the season before its Week 9 bye. The Bears have a friendly stretch of four games at home in five weeks near the end of the regular season (Nov. 27-Dec. 24). The first two of those matchups are against the Titans and 49ers, which are winnable.

Prediction: The under is the play here. Chicago's rebuilding and in this division you can't afford to do so and contend. Any time you can get a plus price for the under with the Bears, you jump on that.

Image placeholder title

Detroit Lions

(Over 7 wins -125, Under 7 wins +105)

Record Last Year: 7-9

Offense: I think this offense has a chance to be sneaky good despite losing Calvin Johnson. Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin are a good group to go with Eric Ebron, who should be fine after a training camp scare. The big question is if the Lions can get any semblance of a run game to take some pressure off of Matthew Stafford.

Recommended Articles

Defense: Ziggy Ansah is the leader here as he and Haloti Ngata try to wreak havoc up front. I really like Darius Slay as a corner and feel like he's underrated. I'm not a huge fan of the rest of the secondary, which will get tested in this division.

Schedule: For the second straight year, Detroit has a three-game homestand with the Eagles, Rams and Redskins paying visits to the Motor City in October. The Lions also have three back-to-back sets of road games, including a tough one late at Dallas and New York before hosting the Packers to close out the season.

Prediction: I think the over is very attainable especially with a friendly home slate. As I said above, I think the Lions’ offense could be real fun to watch despite the loss of Megatron. The defense just has to do enough to get that O back on the field.

Image placeholder title

Green Bay Packers

(Over 11 wins +106, Under 11 wins -136)

Record Last Year: 10-6

Offense: What else can I say about this group other than the fact that Jordy Nelson is getting healthier and Jared Cook is a nice addition. With Nelson back, Randall Cobb doesn't have to be the No. 1 receiver and his production will be better. The extra pieces become a whole lot better too if Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Jared Abbrederis can figure it out.

Defense: This is a veteran group with some youth sprinkled in as well. Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews will still terrorize the quarterback while Sam Shields and Damarious Randall man the corners.

Schedule: The Packers have the easiest schedule of anyone in the league. The only issue might be the early Week 4 bye. They are home for four straight games over five weeks beginning on Sept. 25. The toughest stretch might be the three straight on the road in Weeks 10-12 – at Tennessee, Washington and Philadelphia.

Prediction: I think 11 is a good number for the Packers. The biggest enemy of the Packers will be their health. There's no doubt this is a good team and they should be in the mix for the NFC North title.

Minnesota Vikings

(Over 10 wins -138, Under 10 wins +108)

Record Last Year: 11-5

Offense: The Vikings’ outlook changed dramatically when Teddy Bridgewater went down with a non-contact injury on Tuesday and was diagnosed with a dislocated knee and torn ACL. His absence leaves the quarterback position (for now) to veteran Shaun Hill and undrafted free agent Joel Stave, who played last season for Wisconsin. Even with the uncertainty at quarterback, Adrian Peterson will get his yards as he has done throughout his career. Charles Johnson, Laquon Treadwell and Stefon Diggs isn't a bad group of WRs. Kyle Rudolph is a solid and reliable tight end.

Defense: I really like this defense especially the young linebackers Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Chad Greenway. The secondary has some depth issues, but is filled with veterans. Lineman Linval Joseph has been a nice piece ever since coming over from the Giants.

Schedule: The question is whether or not this team is ready for a first-place schedule, especially given the injury to Bridgewater. The toughest non-divisional road game is at Carolina in Week 3. Other than that, the Vikings’ toughest games are in brand-new U.S. Bank Stadium.

Prediction: This is off the board in quite a few places as Bridgewater's injury changes the outlook. Some people have moved the win total to eight which may be about right. The young defense has the chance to win a game or two, but it could be an uphill battle. 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.