The odds in the NFC North are pretty tight heading towards the 2022 season – testimony really to the way the Green Bay Packers have gone backwards.
A year ago the question was whether Aaron Rodgers was going to return for the 2021 season – we were in the middle of his Cold War with the Packers front office.
A year on and the question is who will Rodgers be throwing to in 2022? The supporting cast in Wisconsin looks pretty thin right now.
Who can take advantage though? Minnesota is the obvious choice but there are question marks. Chicago is still seeking the answer at QB and Detroit is early in a(nother) rebuild.
Here is where everything currently stands after free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft, heading full speed towards the 2022 regular season.
NFC North Odds for 2022
Green Bay is again favorite to win the division, but not nearly as strong as it was in early 2021. Here are the latest odds from major online sportsbooks:
- -175 Green Bay Packers (DraftKings)
- +275 Minnesota Vikings (DraftKings, PointsBet)
- +1000 Detroit Lions (DraftKings)
- +1100 Chicago Bears (PointsBet)
NB: Odds correct on June 14, 2022
NFC North Predictions
Okay so it’s pretty difficult to bet against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay – even despite the difficult offseason they’ve had. One thing we can say for sure – we might be about to witness one of the league’s best defenses in Wisconsin. The Packers picked up some absolute studs in the Draft in Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt, and they just add to an already strong group.
The offense clearly is the question mark, in terms of that wide receiving corps now Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have both departed. But Rodgers has been terrific in games where Adams has been out in the past, and we don’t expect things to change. He will still bully teams in 2022.
The thing we really don’t like about GB are the odds – it is -175 to claim another division title (bet $175 to win $100). Nobody is getting rich betting that.
So with that in mind we’re looking to some of the futures props for our NFC North bets people, with our first one settling on those miserable Chicago Bears.
It promises to be a baptism of fire for new HC Matt Eberflus in the Windy City, after an offseason which was pretty underwhelming. Oh, and they lost WR Allen Robinson in free agency and traded away OLB Khalil Mack.
The Over/Under for Bears wins in the early going is 6.5 and we are absolutely taking the Under there.
Our other bet is again in the regular season wins lines, and we love the Over for the Minnesota Vikings with the line currently set at 8.5. After the conservative era of Mike Zimmer we expect new HC Kevin O’Connell to get the best out of a talented cast of offensive superstars, and that should be enough for a comfortable cover.
OddsCritic NFC North Predictions & Best Bets
- Chicago Bears to have Under 6.5 regular season wins at -115 (PointsBet)
- Minnesota Vikings to have Over 8.5 regular season wins at -130 (PointsBet)
Offseason moves: Free agency and trades
Green Bay Packers: Green Bay remains one of the favorites to win the NFC in 2022, but that is based as much on history and Aaron Rodgers are cold common sense. Trading Davante Adams to Vegas and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling left very little left in the WR room at Lambeau. The Packers started the process of restocking that department by trading up to select North Dakota State speedster Christian Watson in Round 2 of the Draft and spending a fourth on Romeo Doubs out of Nevada. Surprisingly Green Bay went heavy on defense at the top of the Draft, selecting a pair of studs from that national champion Georgia defense – LB Quay Walker and DT Devonte Wyatt. Picking three offensive linemen – headed by Sean Ryan (UCLA) in the third is trademark stuff from GM Brian Gutekunst and should pay off in the long term.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikes were ultimately pretty disappointing in 2021, but we have at least some hope that things might be different in 2022. The hopes that comes with a change of head coach. Bringing in Kevin O’Connell from the Rams makes us start to believe that maybe those gaudy offensive weapons Kirk Cousins has at his disposal will be utilized properly at least. Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and co have the potential to make this team at least a challenger in the North. With all those lovely offensive pieces in place, the Vikes went defense early in the Draft in a bid to shore up a secondary in dire need of improvement. After trading down 20 places (for questionable value) Minnesota took Georgia S Lewis Cine at the back end of Round 1 and followed up with Clemson CB Andrew Booth in the second – excellent picks. LSU guard Ed Ingram meanwhile should solidify the offensive line as new HC O’Connell looks to lay the foundation for offensive fireworks.
Chicago Bears: The Bears are another team with a new HC after Matt Eberflus replaced Matt Nagy, and another one of the many searching for the answer at QB. Only thing with the Bears is they’ve been searching for ever. Justin Fields enters his second season having shown flashes as a rookie, but the jury is still very much out. The loss of Allen Robinson (signed with the Rams in free agency) won’t exactly make it easier for Fields. Free agency and the Draft were so underwhelming for Chicago it is not true. It did not pick until 39 in the Draft and while Washington CB Kyler Gordon could be a nice player, he is not going to get pulses racing in Chi Town. Penn State S Jaquan Brisker in Round 2 was a nice get, while any excitement at all is likely to come via third-round WR Velus Jones JR out of Tennessee – guy really does have speed.
Detroit Lions: We love Dan Campbell, the Scrappy Doo of NFL head coaches, and we loved what he did with very little talent in 2021. His team never ever quit and always played close despite mostly being horribly overmatched. To put that into context, Detroit was 11-6 against the spread – the third best record in the entire NFL. The Lions continued with their plan in the Draft, and again we loved what they did with those premium picks. They were high fiving when terrific Michigan edge Aidan Hutchinson fell to them at #2 overall, and Campbell and co then traded up from 32 to 12 (without giving up the house) to snag the sensationally talented Alabama WR Jameson Williams. Another good offseason and Detroit – while still a year or two – is absolutely heading in the right direction.
NFC North Schedules for 2022
We now know when the games will be played yet – the NFL schedule is out – and here are their 2022 opponents:
Green Bay Packers
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans
Road: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets
Road: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team
Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, San Francisco 49ers
Road: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets
Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team
Road: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets
Green Bay, like we said, is -175 right now. With Rodgers signed and no more major moves expected, they will remain a firm favorite heading into the regular season in September.
It’s the Packers doing the heavy lifting here, they don’t call it Titletown for nothing. Green Bay has won four Lombardi trophies dating from Bart Starr through to Brett Favre and Rodgers. Chicago has a solitary triumph thanks to Ditka, McMahon, Payton, ‘The Fridge’ and co in 1985, while for the Vikes and Lions the wait goes on.
* Best division record
* Best record in common games.
* Best conference record
* Strength of victory in all games.
* Strength of schedule in all games
* Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best net points in common games.
* Best net points in all games.
* Best net touchdowns in all games.
* Coin toss
The Packers are still right in the mix here at +500, but Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head the early betting line at +350.