2022 NFL Division Futures: Buccaneers a Lock in NFC South?

  • BetOnline’s NFL Division Futures heavily favor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-325) to win the NFC South
  • New Orleans (+500) lost coach Sean Payton but the team stayed aggressive in free agency and the draft.
  • Carolina (+900) and Atlanta (+1200) have two of the worst quarterback rooms in the NFL heading into the 2020 season

When his playing career finally ends, Tom Brady will join Fox Sports as its lead NFL analyst. Until then, the soon-to-be 45-year-old has an excellent chance to win an eighth Super Bowl ring.

With the possible exception of the Colts, Tampa Bay will face the weakest slate of divisional opponents in all of football, and the entire NFC looks up for grabs after stars like Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, Matt Ryan left the conference this offseason.

Are the Buccaneers a lock to win the NFC South? Before we look at the division futures, here’s where you can check out the top betting sites for NFL football in 2022 and the Super Bowl betting guide.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers-325
New Orleans Saints+500
Carolina Panthers+900
Atlanta Falcons+1200

Tampa Bay on top

It had been 13 long seasons since Tampa Bay (-325) last claimed the NFC South before Tom Brady delivered a division title in 2021, just one year after earning the franchise its second-ever Lombardi Trophy. However, after a playoff loss to the Rams ended his bid to repeat, the GOAT fake-retired before coming back to the Buccaneers this spring.

Todd Bowles now runs the ship in Tampa after Brady (probably) pushed 69-year-old Bruce Arians overboard, but otherwise this is the same squad that finished 13-4 last season. With Rob Gronkowski likely coming back to join Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and Russell Gage on offense, TB12 should once again put up jaw-dropping numbers before joining the FOX booth.


Who can beat the Bucs?

With the notable exception of an NFC Divisional Round playoff loss, the Saints (+500) have owned Tom Brady since he joined the division, beating him in all four regular-season contests over the past two seasons. Dennis Allen’s defense played a large part in that success, and he is now the man in charge in the Big Easy after Sean Payton bolted town.

New Orleans used the 2022 NFL Draft to reinforce their receiving corps and offensive line, bringing in wideout Chris Olave and left tackle Trevor Penning, and signed All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu in the second wave of free agency. This is a win-now team that believes their Super Bowl window is still open – but Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas will need to be at their best for the Saints to snag the NFC South crown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneersto win NFC South
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New Orleans Saintsto win NFC South
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No hope in Carolina and Atlanta

Sam Darnold or third-round pick Matt Corral will likely be under center for Carolina (+900) in September, while the Falcons (+1200) will start either Marcus Mariota or third-round rookie Desmond Ridder. If you’re placing a wager on either club, make sure it’s a “finish with the worst record in the NFL” bet because both teams will almost assuredly be picking in the top-10 next April.

With both Atlanta coach Arthur Smith and Panthers boss Matt Rhule on steam trains to the unemployment line, don’t dare touch either of these longshots.

Best Bet: New Orleans Saints (+500)

Atlanta Falconsto win NFC South
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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