NFL NFC Futures – Best Bets

08 / 25 / 2022 By Ally Mielnicki

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We dissected each NFC division for the past few weeks and predicted the over/under for every team’s win total. Now, let’s look at who we like to win the conference and advance to the Super Bowl.

Here are the odds (via Action Network) for who will win the AFC and our best bets and sleeper picks below.

  • Bucs +345
  • Packers +450
  • Rams +500
  • 49ers +750
  • Cowboys +875
  • Eagles +1300
  • Saints +1750
  • Vikings +1750
  • Cardinals +1750
  • Commanders +3500
  • Lions +5000
  • Panthers +5000
  • Giants +5000
  • Bears +6000
  • Seahawks +8000
  • Falcons +10000

Best Bets


Retirement didn’t last long for Tom Brady, so it should be no surprise that the Bucs have the best odds of winning the NFC this season. After a disappointing loss to the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round last season, the Bucs return as favorites, despite having several new additions and departures to their roster. TE Rob Gronkowski opted to retire, and G Alex Cappa chose to sign with the Bengals. On the defense, S Jordan Whitehead left for the Jets while Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh remain unsigned. Still, the Bucs made the necessary adjustments, signing WRs Russell Gage, Julio Jones, and TE Kyle Rudolph. They also inked LB Carl Nassib on defense.

Yet, the most significant change may lie in the coaching. Bruce Arians decided to move on from the sidelines and enter the front office, paving the way for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to take over. Though Bowles had an impressive head coaching stint with the Jets, he turned the Bucs defense into one of the premier squads in the NFC. And with Brady leading the offense, he may not have much else to do.

This Bucs team is one season removed from a Super Bowl championship, so there is a great chance they will wind up back in the dance, especially with Brady anchoring the offense. With a significant discrepancy between the elite teams in the NFC and the rest being subpar, the Bucs lead the way as the best bet to win the NFC Conference Championship. 


It would be disrespectful to negate the defending Super Bowl champion’s chances to defend their title. After all, this team brings back the same core talent that enabled the Rams to go the distance and bring home the Lombardi trophy. Though they lost WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Robert Woods, LA made up for their departures by signing longtime Bears WR Allen Robinson II. The Rams will also bring back a healthy Cam Akers, who missed the majority of last season with an injury.

On the defensive front, the Rams responded to midseason acquisition Von Miller leaving for Buffalo by inking perennial Pro Bowler LB Bobby Wagner to a deal. If anything, this team has upgraded in several key positions and may be even better than last season. If Matt Stafford can engineer this high-powered offense to be the most feared in the conference, the Rams should have no trouble making it back to the Conference Championship. With superstars on the offense (Cooper Kupp) and defense (Aaron Donald), this team is arguably the best in football.


Surprisingly, the talk of the Packers’ offseason did not solely focus on Aaron Rodgers for a change. Instead, the conversation centered on WR Davante Adams requesting a trade and reuniting with his college roommate Derek Carr in Las Vegas. As a result, the Packers drafted two WRs in the second and third rounds of the NFL draft – Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, respectively.

Though Adams has been Rodgers’ go-to receiver for years, the Packers remain favorites to win the NFC. Rodgers is known to elevate the talent around him. With one of the best backfield duos in the league (Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon), there is good reason to imagine this team will continue to be explosive and dominant on offense. Add the fact that the Packers defense is one of the most underrated units in the league, and this team should have no trouble competing for the No. 1 seed come postseason play. Rodgers may be in line for his third consecutive MVP award if he manages to propel this team to the top of the conference.



Out of their nine losses last year, eight came by one score or less. The lone loss by more than a score? It was when backup Sean Mannion had to make a spot start on a Monday night showdown against the division rival Packers. Deciding to part ways with head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings turned to Rams OC Kevin O’Connell to take over at the helm.

O’Connell worked wonders with the Rams the past few seasons with Jared Goff and Matt Stafford. If he can perform the same magic with Kirk Cousins, there is no telling this team’s ceiling. Justin Jefferson is arguably the best WR in the NFC (save for Cooper Kupp), and Dalvin Cook is one of the most talented two-way players in the league. This team has the roster to make a deep postseason run on paper. If they can pull it together, especially on the defensive front, the Vikings could be a scary sleeper team come playoff time.


If Jameis Winston didn’t suffer a season-ending injury in Week 8 last season, this Saints squad would have been a lock to reach the postseason. Instead, New Orleans missed clinching in the final weekend of the regular season. That game happened to be longtime head coach Sean Payton’s last as he stepped down not too long after and was replaced by former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.

Allen, who has a career 8-28 record as a head coach, may not have the best credentials, but he inherits a Saints team stacked with talent. A healthy Winston will get star wideout Michael Thomas back, who missed all of 2021 with an injury, along with former Browns WR Jarvis Landry and first-round pick Chris Olave. Add in RB Alvin Kamara to the mix, and this offense has the potential to be a scoring machine. Though the Saints may be limited by their defense, their offense could carry them to a deep playoff run. It would be surprising but not out of the question if the Saints found themselves in the NFC Conference Championship game. 


All it took was for one trade to turn the Panthers from perceived bottom-dwellers to legitimate contenders for a Wild Card berth. Baker Mayfield should be the spark plug this team needs to get over the .500 hump – and save third-year head coach Matt Rhule his job. It is a long shot that Carolina will make a postseason run, let alone be crowned NFC Champions. However, many forget Baker won a playoff game against the Steelers in 2020 and came close to upsetting the Chiefs. Who is to say that this team, with a healthy Baker and RB Christian McCaffrey, can’t surpass expectations and find its way to the NFC Conference Championship.


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