For its first 11 decades of their NFC South’s existence, starting in 2002, no division champion had repeated. Now it’s happened twice in five years. Can the Saints do it again?
The NFC South has always been a strange beast. Until recently, every team had that one opponent that they either possessed or couldn’t beat. For those of us generating NFL picks, it had been like a few of the matchups in college soccer which were so one-sided, you did not need to find out more about the game, simply circle the club together using the border.
That is a little less so in the past couple of years but don’t kid yourself, in this region of the nation where they take college football very seriously, they do the same with those four groups.
Here is a peek at the most current NFL chances to win the NFC South and New Orleans is preferred to be the next three-peat champion.
NFC South Division – (by 5Dimes – updated 8/17)
New Orleans -148
Atlanta +370
Carolina +500
Tampa Bay +1500
The Saints have the weapons to repeat, but the simple fact is that the quarterback play in this division is as strong as some of the eight in the league as we have seen a number of times that can change the standings. But heading into a new season, we believe the oddsmakers are put on and encourage their own choices.
1) New Orleans Saints
In a league in which coaches and players come and go with regularity, New Orleans has completed what best franchises perform, they remain the program. When Bountygate occurred along with the Saints went 7-9 in four of five years, most owners would have wanted change. But GM Mickey Loomis rebuilt New Orleans without having to rip it to the ground and Sean Payton stayed true to himself. The Saints have had REALLY bad luck in the playoffs in the last two seasons, how can they catch a rest and win it all?
2) Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are the key personnel to perform struggle with New Orleans. That is not their issue. Catching or exceeding them revolves around Atlanta putting together an offensive line which may rank near the Best 10. This implies both in moving the line of scrimmage in the series and shielding Matt Ryan if he drops back to pass. To come back to the playoffs as a wild card or division champ, trainer Dan Quinn has to get a quality defense. They don’t have to be Measure 5, only have the ability to stop the run, rush the passer and make turnovers because they did three decades ago when they won the Super Bowl. Would Atlanta clean up this? We will find out.
3) Carolina Panthers
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It might be a wonderful story if Jameis Winston and Bruce Arians can turn into the football edition of the film,”Karate Kid.” This is where the older master takes an undisciplined youngster and molds him into one of the finest in his game. But soccer is a team game and even if Arians can turn Winston to a Top 12 quarterback, Tampa Bay has numerous other holes to match, it would take a couple bushels of Gorilla Tape to seal all the cracks the Buccaneers have. The Bucs will improve but they will still be cellar bound.
Writer/Handicapper Doug Upstone was a documented 50-34, 59.5 percent at sports betting monitors at the NFL last year and is 15-7 the past 3 years in the NFL preseason. Follow his NFL picks here at

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