Selecting One Underdog to Win Each NFC Division

By Jeff Smith
Chicago Bears 2014 Preview
David Banks- USA TODAY Sports

Each of the four NFC divisions have their at least a slight favorite to take down the divisional crown in 2014. This year, the favorites are the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks. With that being said, though, here today I’m going to take a look at one underdog that could end up winning their respective division and also look at the odds in which they have to do that.

Let’s start with the NFC East, as the Eagles are the defending champs and are definitely the team to beat thanks to Chip Kelly‘s offense and some definite playmakers. But which team is an interesting bet to take them down? I’ll happily take the Dallas Cowboys at +325 to get it done, as they have the third longest odds on the board. This team has possibly the best offense in the NFC East, and I strongly believe Rod Marinelli will do wonders for this defense in 2014, even though they are now missing linebacker Sean Lee.

Now for the NFC North. The Packers are the definite popular pick, but I believe this may be the year the Chicago Bears could steal it from them. Their offense is definitely great, and you can get odds of +275 which are more than respectable for a team this good. The Bears are a playoff team, and they want to take the reigns of divisional champions from their biggest rival; right now is no better time to do it.

The NFC South is interesting, as the Carolina Panthers won it last year but lost a massive amount of receivers. The Saints get the tab as favorites, but the Atlanta Falcons, which recently had a high draft pick, are actually tied in odds as second favorites with the Panthers at +275. So which of these two would I take? It’d have to be the Falcons. Julio Jones is back, and they’ll be playing with a major chip on their shoulder after last season. They have a shot, but they are probably my least favorite pick to steal the division.

Last but of course not least is the brutal NFC West. The Seahawks are the favorites but just barely over the San Francisco 49ers. So who gets it done? Well, if we’re looking at value here, I’m actually going to take a huge chance on the St. Louis Rams. The odds of +900 are absolutely great, and they have a ton of talent. If Sam Bradford can be a strong game manager, then the defense and run game can handle the rest. I like this team a lot, and while this may not be their year, I can’t look past these odds for a team with this much upside.

Jeff Smith is a Dallas Cowboys writer for Follow him on Twitter @JSM8ith, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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