NFL Betting Expert Pick: NFC South – Not So Fast New Orleans

If NFL bettors think the New Orleans Saints will coast to an NFC South division title in the upcoming NFL betting season, they may want to take a quick glance at the improvements made by some of the Saints division rivals.

NFL Betting Odds:

To Win NFC South

New Orleans Saints -150

Atlanta Falcons +200

Carolina Panthers +600

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2000

Here is a breakdown of what’s been going in the NFC South and why New Orleans won’t win the division this 2010-11 NFL betting season.

New Orleans Saints

The defending Super Bowl champions had a dream season last year. At 13-3, the Saints finished with the best record in the NFC and completed a magical postseason run with a Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the game and doesn’t seem to mind putting up 30 points a game for the Saints to win. The problem for the Saints will lie in their defense.

The Saints D produced a crazy amount of turnovers (39) and provided a remarkable eight defensive touchdowns in 2009. Unfortunately for defensive schemes that depend on game-changing turnovers, it is difficult to reproduce these kind of numbers.

Aside from those big plays, the New Orleans Saints are an average defense and will be exposed this 2010-11 NFL betting season.

Atlanta Falcons

A starting lineup that was riddled with injuries at key skill positions, the Atlanta Falcons return rushing touchdown machine Michael Turner and 2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Matt Ryan from a season the Falcons would love to forget.

The Falcons began their 2009 NFL betting campaign 4-1 but, faltered midway through the season and finished 9-7, second in the NFC South.

Although this result was respectable, taking into account the injuries at skill positions, the Falcons were projected to be a division winner and make a run deep into the NFL playoffs.

Atlanta finished the 2009 season on a three-game winning streak and are hungry to continue there winning ways into this 2010-11 NFL betting season, looking to prove they are the best team in the NFC South.

Carolina Panthers

A very scary team, the Panthers have a new starting quarterback in Matt Moore, who produced a 4-1 record as a starter last season. In his final three starts, his stat line looked like this: 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and three wins.

The problem I foresee for the Panthers is their defense. Typically a strong unit, the Carolina defense lost Julius Peppers, Maake Kemoetu, Na’il Diggs, and Hollis Thomas in the offseason.

They were terrible against the run last year, allowing 19 touchdowns to running backs and yielding an average of 124.8 yards per game on the ground last season.

This won’t get any better for Carolina next season as they have not put any pieces in place to improve their rush defense and will make it tough for a “Game Manager-Type” quarterback like Matt Moore to play his style.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs had a mirror record last season of division leaders New Orleans, finishing 3-13. They gave up 400 points and will have the majority of their rookie draft picks in starting roles this upcoming NFL betting season.

Rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be productive right away but, there are far too many questions on offensive to think the Bucs will consistently be able to put points on the board.

I love 22-year-old quarterback Josh Freeman, but he has a long way to go in terms of development. This is another rebuilding year for the Buccaneers franchise that should begin to see some results in a couple years.

NFL Betting Expert Pick: Take Atlanta Falcons +200 to Win NFC South

Check out all the preseason odds here!