Spark Sports’ NFC South Season Preview

The New Orleans Saints final game was one of the most memorable finishes to a game in recent memory. After outperforming expectations by a large margin last season, they are now looked as one of the NFC favorites. Drew Bress and company have a small window as his age because a test against Father Time.

Odds: 

NFC SOUTH DIVISION WINNERS: +155 (Bovada)

NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +1000 (Bovada)

SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +1600 (Bovada)

Team Win Total: O/U 9.5 (Westgate)

Schedule:

Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay (-7)
Week 2 vs. Cleveland (-10)
Week 3 @ Atlanta (+3)
Week 4 @ New York (Giants) (-2.5)
Week 5 vs Washington (-7.5)
Week 6 BYE WEEK
Week 7 @ Baltimore (PK)
Week 8 @ Minnesota (+4)
Week 9 vs. Los Angeles (Rams) (-2)
Week 10 @ Cincinnati (-3)
Week 11 vs. Philadelphia (-2)
Week 12 vs. Atlanta (-3.5)
Week 13 @ Dallas (+1.5)
Week 14 @ Tampa Bay (-3)
Week 15 @ Carolina (+1)
Week 16 vs. Pittsburgh (-1)
Week 17 vs. Carolina (N/A)

Schedule Outlook

The Saints could be sitting pretty going into the bye 4-1. This schedule has some favorable match-ups. Outside of the Vikings, they will host the Rams, Eagles, and Steelers at home. The schedule features six playoff opponents but luckily they line up with the home field advantage.

Key Team Additions and Subtractions 

Additions – QB Tom Savage, RB Terrance West, WR Cameron Meredith, TE Benjamin Watson, T Jermon Bushrod, LB Demario Davis, CB Patrick Robinson, S Kurt Coleman

Subtractions – QB Chase Daniels, WR Willie Snead, T Senio Kelemete, S Kenny Vaccaro

Draft – DE Marcus Davenport, WR Tre’Quan Smith, T Rick Leanoard, DB Natrell Jamerson, CB Kamrin Moore, RB Boston Scott, and G Will Clapp

Offense

Drew Brees might be old but he is still a top five quarterback. Brees broke the single season completion percentage last year. He had the second best passer rating last year as well. Drew wasn’t so relied upon with a vastly improved run game. Look for him to dominate a few more seasons with the cast around him.

Even though Mark Ingram split carries with the versatile Offensive Rookie of the Year, Alvin Kamara, Ingram still bested his single season total rush yards with 1124. He will miss the first four games with a suspension and likely have Terrance West,  Boston Scoot and Trey Edmunds sliding into his role. Sean Payton has already said he wont work Kamara more with Ingram’s suspension. Alvin can beat players in the passing game, hurdle your low leaning tackles or barrel over soft tackles. He will get his yards no doubt. Once Mark Ingram is back with fresh legs, WATCH OUT!

Michael Thomas dominated so much in his rookie year, New Orleans traded away Brandon Cooks. He dominated in season finishing sixth in yards and was virtually unstoppable in the Vikings playoff game. Behind him, the Saints signed Cameron Meredith and hope he returns to form from his injury. Tre’Quan Smith came out of Central Florida with over 1000 yards and a double digit touchdown total. He is long, athletic and fast, Smith should be a new favorite target for Brees. Veteran Ben Watson will be the tightend this season, hoping to beat Father Time as well.

Rookie Ryan Ramczyk looked like a reach last year in the draft, in hindsight, he dominated the right tackle spot. The staple Max Unger will be the leader of the group in front of Brees with long time starter Strief retiring. Larry Warford, Andrus Peat and Terron Armstead will round out the line this season. It should return to being one of the better lines in the league.

Defense

Cameron Jordan was a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. He will be paired with freak athlete Marcus Davenport, who the Saints jumped up to grab in this years draft. Sheldon Rankins has taken a huge step forward in his development and should be a run stopper this season.

The linebacking core has been a big weakness since Vilma retired. The Saints went out and paid Demario Davis, who was top ten in total tackles last year in New York. The rest of the group including Alex Anzalone, Craig Robertson, A.J. Klien and Manti Te’o will all benefit from Davis leadership and play-making ability.

Marcus Williams won’t be remember for his interception in the Vikings game but the whiff on Stephon Diggs for the win. However, as a rookie he had a stand out year and was one of the best safeties in the league. He will be partnered with veteran presence Kurt Coleman who came over from the Panthers. Marshon Lattimore won Defensive Rookie of the Year and once he started the defense was one of the best in the league. He will be paired with Ken Crowley who is an above average corner and bring back Patrick Robinson, who played well for the Eagles.

Special Teams

Wil Lutz finally gave Payton a kicker he could trust and turn to in close games. Long time punter Thomas Morstead will be returning after breaking a rib in the last game of the season. Shifty Tommy Lee Lewis and Savvy Ted Ginn Jr. will assume the returning roles in which they both add potential for big play opportunities.

Outlook

The NFC South is a strong group. The Falcons, and Panthers will compete for the title. Tampa Bay should improve on defense. The first five games should be a BREES. Logically this team is as good as any in the league. With no major changes and bringing in some strong veteran presence, this team shouldn’t lose any grip this year.

Plays – 

Over 9.5 and NFC Champions

Unlike the Ram and Eagles the team didn’t add players with attitude problems. New Orleans will catch their toughest opponents in the Super Dome. The Saints took a stab at Marcus Davenport as a win now move. Drew Brees theoretically should have a few years left. Their toughest opponent will be a trip to Minnesota and they will be motivated to knock them off at home.



Norv Turner is joining forces with River Boat Ron to help catalyst Cam and the Panthers revamped offense. A few new faces on the offensive side should boost this team back into playoff contention.

Odds: 

NFC SOUTH DIVISION WINNERS: +275 (Bovada)

NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +1500 (Bovada)

SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +3500 (Bovada)

Team Win Total: O/U 8 (Westgate)

Schedule:

Week 1 vs. Dallas (-2.5)
Week 2 @ Atlanta (+4)
Week 3 vs. Cincinnati (-6)
Week 4 BYE WEEK
Week 5 vs New York (Giants) (-6)
Week 6 @Washington (-1)
Week 7 @ Philadelphia (+6)
Week 8 vs. Baltimore (-2)
Week 9 vs. Baltimore (-2)
Week 10 vs Tampa Bay (-5.5)
Week 11 @ Detroit (+2.5)
Week 12 vs Seattle (-3)
Week 13 @ Tampa Bay (+1)
Week 14 @ Cleveland (-2.5)
Week 15 vs. New Orleans (-1)
Week 16 vs. Atlanta (-1.5)
Week 17 @ New Orleans

Schedule Outlook

Favored in 10 of the 15 game lines posted, the Panthers will have some work cut out for them. A tough test at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on the road will show Carolina’s grit mid season. The Panthers will get to handle Seattle, Baltimore and  Dallas at home which should give them some advantage in those games.

Key Team Additions and Subtractions 

Additions – RB C.J. Anderson, Rb Kenjon Barner, WR Torrey Smith, DT DontariPoe

Subtractions – QB Derek Anderson, Ed Dickson, G Andrew Norwell, DT Star Lotulelei

Draft – WR D.J. Moore, CB Donte Jackson, DB Rashaan Gaulden, TE Ian Thomas, DE Marquis Haynes, LB Jermaine Carter, LB Andre Smith, DT Kendrick Norton

Offense

Cam has been asking for weapons for years. He had a depleted and injured cast around him. Cam can’t be the leading rusher on a team planning on making a Superbowl run. Newton will have some shiny new toys and a new coordinator to hopefully make him look like Super Cam again.

Running through the tackles will be up to Anderson. A bull of a runner, he ammased 1000 yards for the first time. C.J. will give a Christian McCaffery a different change of speed back. This should allow match up issues for the opposing defenses. McCffarey was constantly under pressure seeing 8 men in the box when lining up, that should change under Turner this year.

Devin Funchess started to show he could be THAT guy for came once Kelvin Benjamin was traded. He had a career high in yards with 840 and 8 touchdowns. Draftee D.J. Moore and Torrey Smith should be able to get space with their speed. Veteran Greg Olsen will be back from an injury plagued season and look to dominate with Cam once again.

The offensive line is brutal. Outisde of Trai Turner and Ryan Kalil this line is not great. The Panthers let Andrew Norwell walk and that will hurt. Norv Turner will have to be creative to get the ball out of Cam’s hand quick.

Defense

Julius Peppers returns for another year. Along with new addition, Dontari Poe and Kawann Short, this d-line should be a strong unit for the ‘Thers.

Arguably the best linebacker today is Luke Kuechly, arguably the most injuried player is also Kuechly. If he can remain healthy with Shaw Thompson and Thomas Davis, those three can dominate in the middle of the field.

The Panthers’ secondary was in need of speed and they picked up Donte Jackson, speed himself. James Bradberry will need a bounce back year but that tandem could be a solid pairing. Da’Norris Searcy and veteran will man the two safety spots.

Special Teams

Graham Gano is a relatively proficent kicker and will continue the role again this year. There will be a combination of return men, all very shifty and agile.

Outlook

The Carolina Panthers may be overlooked. The offense will have a new look and the defense should be a dominate force again. The NFC South is tough but they will be in the thick of it for the year.

Plays – 

Over 8 wins

The Panthers will be in the playoffs again. The team looks much better than last year. Outside of the offensive line, this team is solid at every level. Eight wins seems easily obtainable.


Bet on Sports at XBet.ag

Promo Code: SPARKSPORTS


The Atlanta Falcons came into last season after one of the most horrific letdowns in sport history. However, they didn’t let it stop them from being back into the playoffs. The Falcons once again look poised to rise in the South and return to the playoffs for the third straight year.

Odds: 

NFC SOUTH DIVISION WINNERS: +185 (Bovada)

NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +1100 (Bovada)

SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +2000 (Bovada)

Team Win Total: O/U 9.5 (Westgate)

Schedule:

Week 1 @ Philadelphia (+4)
Week 2 vs. Carolina (-4)
Week 3 vs. New Orleans (-3)
Week 4 vs Cincinnati (-7)
Week 5 @ Pittsburgh (+4)
Week 6 vs Tampa Bay (-7)
Week 7 vs. New York (Giants) (-6)
Week 8 BYE WEEK
Week 9 @ Washington (-2.5)
Week 10 @ Cleveland (-3)
Week 11 vs. Dallas (-2.5)
Week 12 @ New Orleans (+3.5)
Week 13 vs Baltimore ( -3.5)
Week 14 @ Green Bay (+3.5)
Week 15 vs. Arizona (-7.5)
Week 16 @ Carolina (+1.5)
Week 17 @ Tampa Bay (N/A)

Schedule Outlook

Eagles, Steelers, and Packers on the road will be no joke. Thankfully for the Falcons, they will have a bye week in the middle of the year to give their guys some rest. The Falcons are favored in 10 of the 16 games posted and most likely will be favored in Week 17.

Key Team Additions and Subtractions 

Additions – G Brandon Fusco

Subtractions – WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Levine Toilolo, DT Dontari Poe,  DE Courtney Upshaw, and DE Adrian Clayborn

Draft – WR Calvin Ridley, CB Isiah Oliver, DT Deadrin Senat, RB Ito Smith, WR Russel Gage, and LB Foyesade Oluokun

Offense

Matt Ryan is a year removed from his MVP year. Ryan was still top ten in yards but fell back in the middle of the pack for almost every category. Matt needs to get back to his MVP caliber game for the Falcons to continue their dominance.

Devonta Freeman has been a great lead back since assuming the full time job. Again he should be one of the better backs in the league. Paired with Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith are shifty and give the team two nice change of speed backs.

The Falcons already had one of the best wide receiver pairs if not the best in Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Ideally Jones needs to have more touchdowns than he did last year, but he still will allow Sanu and Ridley to be in single coverage which may be more valuable. Austin Hooper had a great opening game but never regained that form. He will need to improve as a threat this season.

Alex Mack is and All-Pro center. With an injury bug running a muck on their line last year, it was still a strong unit. The team added Brandon Fusco who should be starting at the right guard position. This line should be a strong force for Ryan and the Falcons.

Defense

Vic Bealsey and Takkarist Mckinley will bookend the defensive line. Both are hard to stop and dual threats for the Falcons. Senat was a highly touted rookie who comes with a great motor. Grady Jarrett has improved each season since joining the league.

Deion Jones was top ten in total tackles and will be the return as the middle linebacker. De’Vondre Campbell and Duke Riley will need to step on the outsides to solidify this unit.

Atlanta has one of the best secondaries in the league. Desmond Trufant is a true number one corner, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Neal are one of the best set of safeties in the league. If Robert Alford or Isaiah Oliver can solidify the second corner position, this secondary will be tough.

Special Teams

Matt Bryant has been kicking for quiet some time and continues to be a steady kicker. The Falcons will miss Taylor Gabriel in the return game but Ito Smith or Justin Hardy will take over the role now.

Outlook

The Falcons again will be a strong team. But Matt Ryan looked like his age might be effecting him. Hopefully his talented weapons can keep him spry. The defense is going to be a very strong group and could help this team make a deep run. This is a very complete team.

Plays – 

Over 9.5

Again the NFC South is tough group. However, three of four teams will be over 9 wins. Logically it will be Saints, Panthers and Falcons.


Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Promo Code: SparkSports100



Many believed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were about to leap back into the playoffs after being the host of Hard Knocks. Jameis Winston’s game took a bit of a step forward, but his leadership took a drastic step back. The Bucs defense looks improved but will it be enough to bring themselves out of the cellar.

Odds: 

NFC SOUTH DIVISION WINNERS: +950 (Bovada)

NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +3300 (Bovada)

SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +7500 (Bovada)

Team Win Total: O/U 6.5 (Westgate)

Schedule:

Week 1 @ New Orleans (+7)
Week 2 vs Philadelphia (+3)
Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh (+4)
Week 4 @ Chicago (+2.5)
Week 5 BYE WEEK
Week 6 @ Atlanta (+7)
Week 7 vs. Cleveland (-5.5)
Week 8 @ Cincinnati (+1.5)
Week 9 @ Carolina (+5.5)
Week 10 vs Washington (-3.5)
Week 11 @ New York (Giants) (+3)
Week 12 vs San Francisco (+1)
Week 13 vs. Carolina (-1)
Week 14 vs. New Orleans (+3)
Week 15 @ Baltimore (+6)
Week 16 @ Dallas (+6)
Week 17 vs. Atlanta (N/A)

Schedule Outlook

Favored in just two games looks brutal. One of the two is also against the Panthers and may swing heavy in the Panthers favor as we get closer to that week. The easier opponents will be on the road, giving the Bucs no advantage.

Key Team Additions and Subtractions 

Additions – C Ryan Jensen, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Vinny Curry, DT Beau Allen, K Chandler Catanzaro

Subtractions – RB Doug Martin,  T Kevin Pamphile, DT Clinton McDonald, DT Chris Baker, and S T.J. Ward

Draft – DT Vita Vea, RB Ronald Jones II, DB M.J. Stewart, CB Carlton Davis, T Alex Cappa, S Jordan Whitehead, WR Justin Watson, and LB Jack Cichy

Offense

Dirk Koetter will need Jameis Winston to step up his level of game and leadership for this boat to move. He needs to revert to his previous two seasons. Last year instigating fights in NOLA and becoming a meme isn’t what you want from your franchise quarterback.

Doug Martin is gone and the majority of the work will be left to rookie Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber. This group isn’t great but Jones could be a potential stud with his skills.

The recieving core is solid. Mike Evans is unguardable in the air, while Desean Jackson still has the speed to blow by single coverage. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate are great options for Winston but Howard needs to take the next step in his development.

The line for Winston is in serious question. Leonard Wester is hurt already, J.R. Sweezy was cut, Caleb Benenoch is missing time in camp. Evan Smith is a bright spot on this line and rookie Alex Cappa out of DII football may be the new backbones. This line is in trouble and needs to get healthy.

Defense

There may not be a better defensive line than the Bucs. Tampa Bay focused on fixing their biggest problem last year, stopping the run. Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, and draftee Vita Vea will all be new faces along the line to joing Gerald McCoy. There is no doubt this line is vastly improved.

Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are tackling machines in the linebacking core. However,  Devante Bond will need to step up to help the other two out.

Brett Grimes continues to be useful into his later years. But outside of him Hargreaves, Justin Evans and Chris Conte will all need to improve to help from getting dominated in a strong quarterback division.

Special Teams

Chandler Catanzaro will take over the kicking role and hopefully solidify a major problem for the Bucs. Jacquizz Rodgers and Adam Humphries will handle the return roles and are formidable at the positions.

Outlook

The Carolina Panthers may be overlooked. The offense will have a new look and the defense should be a dominate force again. The NFC South is tough but they will be in the thick of it for the year.

Plays – 

Under 6.5

The offensive line is horrible. Jameis Winston will have to take a giant leap to handle the pressure he will face. The running back situation isn’t ideal for a still relatively young quarterback. The defensive line is strong and could be the best in the league but smart quarterbacks will be able to carve the secondary. This may be a real eye opening year for the front office and Winston.


Follow @FreeCheeseKid on twitter.
Also follow @SparkSportsBets


Please help support Spark Sports by signing up with one of our many sponsors.

Click one of the affiliate banners below and sign up now!

Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Promo Code: SparkSports100
Bet on Sports at XBet.ag

Promo Code: SPARKSPORTS

980x90_ITSBWelcomeBonus2  Bet on Horses at betusracing.ag Today!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: