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NFC North Betting Preview, Picks, and Best Bets - Ride the Line Ep. 18

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published June 16, 2023
6 min read

The Ride the Line podcast was back in action with a special NFL Futures Friday edition where co-hosts Grant Mitchell and Tanner Kern set their sights on the NFC North.

NFC North Betting Preview

The Detroit Lions are the favorites to win the NFC North, per most major sportsbooks. But despite heavy support from the oddsmakers and the general public, Grant warned that placing heavy expectations on a franchise and on players that are not used to dealing with such pressure could have catastrophic consequences.

Grant also took exception to the Lions having the ninth-best odds to win the Super Bowl in the NFL since they haven’t proved anything recently and didn’t even make the playoffs last year.

Tanner, however, was confident in the Motor City. He highlighted Jared Goff’s outstanding play in 2022 and the culture that Dan Campbell is building as reasons to buy into what the Lions are selling.

Neither Grant nor Tanner are overly excited about the Minnesota Vikings. Kirk Cousins is still under center for a team that, despite finishing the year 13-4, had a negative scoring differential during their most recent campaign. They drafted Jordan Addison in the first round but did not change much of their defense that was one of the two or three worst in the league.

The conversation then took a turn to talk about the importance of running backs in the modern NFL. The Vikings have a top-10 back in Dalvin Cook but are letting him walk to free up cap space, which begs the question, just how valuable are top-flight running backs in today’s league? According to the situations of Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley, the answer is not very.

The Underdogs

The Green Bay Packers are third in odds to win the NFC North, but they have a ton of questions surrounding them. Tanner, for one, is not a believer in Jordan Love, and their middle-of-the-road roster added more young pieces but did not get decidedly better during the offseason. 

Grant is not as pessimistic about Love as his buddy, but he believes that this team can’t be properly judged until Love gets more film on tape. In general, both co-hosts are expecting the Packers to finish under their expected win total of 7.5, however.

Last in odds to win the NFC North is the Chicago Bears, who Grant is actually very high on. They signed Tremaine Edmunds, drafted Darnell Wright, and traded for D.J. Moore, giving them a nice spread of ability. Their pass defense needs to improve, but Justin Fields blossomed in the back half of the campaign and will help them make serious noise if he can develop as a passer.

That last point is a sticking point for Tanner. He is holding off on crowning the Bears as anything more than a bottom-half team in the NFC North until Fields shows a mastery of the pocket.

Check back Monday for the next episode of Ride the Line where Grant and Tanner give out their best MLB betting picks for the new week! 

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Grant Mitchell

472 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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