NFC South Betting Breakdown: Panthers Worth A Swing - Prediction Machine

NFC South Betting Breakdown: Panthers Worth A Swing

NFC South Betting Preview

NFC North Betting Preview

If you polled 1,000 casual non-sports betting fans and asked who will win the NFC South in 2023, it seems like 80% would say the Saints. Derek Carr is by far the most proven QB in the division and fans still remember that New Orleans won 4-straight division titles before Tom Brady arrived in Tampa Bay.

But before placing futures bets on the Saints, lets remember these facts:

1.) Derek Carr has only had two winning seasons in nine years.

2.) New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen has a 15-38 W-L record, including 8-28 when paired with Carr.

3.) Saints RB Alvin Kamara may be facing a suspension.

4.) The last two season Kamara is averaging 3.88 YPC.

5.) Some of the Saints’ best players (Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas, etc.) have injury concerns.

6.) They lost Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to a training camp injury, Turner was supposed to help an O-line rated 24th by Pro Football Focus.

7.) The Saints were 2-4 in the division last season including two losses to Carolina.

The Saints defense is incredibly underrated, but it’s not enough to justify their futures market prices. I like the Saints at +150 to miss the playoffs more than +120 to win the division. 

Team Win Division Win Total Make Playoffs Miss Playoffs
New Orleans Saints +120 9.5 -180 +150
Atlanta Falcons +220 8.5 +120 -150
Carolina Panthers +400 7.5 +180 -225
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +700 6.5 +390 -550

A lot of people are shying away from the Panthers as division winners because of concerns about a rookie QB, but the Panthers won 7 games last season with a three-headed monster of Sam Darnold-P.J. Walker-Baker Mayfield. Young could be an upgrade from that group and he’s playing behind an offensive line that’s returning all five starters. The Panthers added Miles Sanders and Adam Thielen to the offense and +400 to win the division is worth a swing.

The Falcons have the easiest schedule of this bunch thanks to their last-place finish in 2022. Atlanta’s defense was awful last season, but they appear to have plugged those holes by adding CB Jeff Okudah, DE Calais Cambell and safety Jesse Bates III. The Falcons had the best offense in the division last season behind their strong rushing attack. The roster is underrated and oozing with talent at some positions, so a bet on the Falcons is understandable. Just remember you’re trusting the unproven QB Desmond Ridder who doesn’t have Bryce Young’s pedigree.

The Buccaneers’ QB situation is bleak with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask leading the QB room and the scary part is that, unlike in Atlanta, the QB will be counted on heavily because last season Tampa Bay had the leagues worst rushing attack.

The optimist says, The Bucs won the division last year and have a juicy +700 line to win the division, but the realist laughs and walks away.


A running back hasn’t won this award since Saquon Barkley in 2018, but between 2013 and 2018, RBs won it in 4-of-6 seasons.

It’s easy to see why Falcons’ RB Bijan Robinson has the shortest odds in the NFL (+280) fresh off his 20 TD season and a career at Texas where he averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Robinson is a human highlight reel and I agree with sportsbooks that he’s the most likely player to win this award but at that price, there’s just not enough value.

This division also houses the player with the 2nd-shortest odds in Panthers’ QB Bryce Young. Young has already been named the Panthers’ starter and is reportedly turning heads in training camp. Carolina safety Vonn Bell recently compared Young to Joe Burrow. If I had to bet a rookie QB to win this award, it’d be Young, but it’s just not a good bet with Robinson and so many others in a crowded market.

Player Odds
Bijan Robinson - RB, ATL +280
Bryce Young - QB, CAR +425
Kendre Miller - RB, NO +4000
Jonathan Mingo - WR, CAR +5000


As mentioned in our AFC East Preview, Damar Hamlin has completely ruined this market to the point where it doesn’t make any sense to bet anyone else other than him.

That said, Michael Thomas at +6600 is hard to ignore. Thomas was dominant from 2017-2019 racking up eye-popping numbers, but he didn’t play in 2021 and only had 16 catches in 2022 because of injuries. Reports from training camp suggest Thomas is heavily involved in the Saints’ offense and he’s made some difficult catches.

I don’t like betting guys in awards markets with short odds who have injury histories but I’m happy to overlook the fragility when those injury concerns create long-shot odds. In a normal season, I’d be rushing to the window to bet Thomas at +6600, but just can’t pull the trigger with Hamlin’s feel good story sure to grab voter’s attention.

Player Odds
Derek Carr - QB, NO +3300
Baker Mayfield - QB, TB +4000
Kyle Pitts - TE, ATL +5000
Chris Godwin - WR, TB +5000
Michael Thomas - WR, NO +6600


I think Dennis Allen is a great defensive coordinator, but a really bad head coach. Allen was 8-28 as the Raiders’ head coach and 7-10 with the Saints last year. I think Allen is more likely to get fired before the season ends than win this award.

Frank Reich won the AFC Coach of the Year award in 2018 with Colts and he’s a viable option in this market. I’m not betting it myself, but if you have faith in the Panthers shocking people this year, there’s an argument to be made that there’s more value in this market than in the Panthers’ futures markets or in Bryce Young’s award markets.

Coach Odds
Arthur Smith - ATL +1400
Frank Reich - CAR +1600
Dennis Allen - NO +2000
Todd Bowles - TB +5000