2009 NFL Betting Lines and Spreads
Vikings +150 to win NFC North
The NFC North Division seems to be wide open in 2009 and bookmakers agree. The Minnesota Vikings have been labeled the favorite at +150. However, the big surprise was that the brain trust posting the lines has decided to make the Green Bay Packers a favorite over the Chicago Bears and their new Pro Bowl quarterback, Jay Cutler.
Green Bay is listed at +160 while the Bears have been posted as +200 to win the whacky NFC North. The Bears won nine games last season opposed to Green Bay’s six wins. Meanwhile, it was no surprise that the Lions are a tremendous long shot to win the division at +1500.
Everyone in the Windy City is excited about the arrival of Jay Cutler. Finally, Bears fans won’t have to watch another season go by without someone who can handle the most important position in football. While Cutler has a solid line and an emerging star running back in Matt Forte, he still doesn’t have much at the wide receiver position. Devin Hester is the number one receiver and Rashied Davis is the number two. Cutler will have to perform without stud receivers like he had in Denver. The defense is getting older but should still be solid for at least one more year. I think the Bears are the team to beat and at 2-1 odds are a very good bet to win this division.
Front running Minnesota still has huge quarterback issues. Tavaris Jackson still hasn’t proved to be a reliable starting QB in the NFL and he will have to battle for his job as the Vikings have brought in Sage Rosenfels. Adrian Peterson is arguably the best back in football and he will be counted on to carry the offense. The arrival of Percy Harvin gives them another threat but it’s hard to say how a raw, underdeveloped wide receiver will translate in the NFL. The defense is very good especially up front but without a quality player pulling the trigger, I don’t see Minnesota outlasting the Bears for a second year in a row.
While I expect Green Bay to be improved this year, I still can’t see why they came so close to being pegged the favorite in this division by the odds makers. They have talent, much more then the six games they won last year would indicate. Aaron Rodgers had a decent year and should be better. However, the run game was flat out pathetic and in this division you have to have some sort of a running game to keep defenders off balance. They will switch to a 3-4 defense which I think will benefit them in the long run. Cullen Jenkins should be healthy to anchor the defensive line and rookie nose tackle B.J. Raji should clog up the middle. They have fast linebackers and the new scheme will allow them to roam free and make plays. I just don’t see them making the playoffs but you never know in the NFL. However, expect them to be much more competitive this year then last.
The Detroit Lions should also improve but they are more on a five year plan then anything else. They will continue to struggle and the arrival of Matthew Stafford isn’t going to change things in the first year. The Lions intend on easing him into the league which is a smart move. They know they’re not going to be in contention so why not let him take his time? The odds makers agree that it will be another long year in Detroit as they are listed at 15-1 to win their division. The NFC North will be a three horse race once again until Detroit has time to develop and build into a contender.
Betting Odds to win the NFC North in 2009:
Chicago Bears +200
Detroit Lions +1500
Green Bay Packers +160
Minnesota Vikings +150
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