2015-16 NFC North Preview

NFC North

This is the second of eight division previews for the 2015-16 NFL season.  You can check out yesterday’s NFC West preview and introduction here.  Once again, the data displayed comes from simulating the entire season 10,000 times.

First up are Aaron Rodgers and the heavily favored Packers:

2014 Record: 12-4  |  Home Games: SEA, STL, KC, SD, DAL  |  Away Games: ARI, SF, DEN, OAK, CAR


The most common result for Green Bay was an 11-5 season which happened in 21.4% of simulations.  One out of every 1,000 simulations ended in a perfect 16-0 season for the Packers.  The Packers were an onside kick away from playing in the Super Bowl last season and the graph shows it’s likely they will be back in the playoff mix next year with a chance to avenge last year’s playoff loss in Seattle.


Packers O/UOver %Under %Implied Odds
10.5 wins55.8%44.2%-126 / +126
11 wins34.4%44.2%+128 / -128
11.5 wins34.4%65.6%+191 / -191

Packers Under 11 -110 would actually have some positive expected value (+EV) even though your most likely result would be a push.  If you are able to shop around and find 10.5, then you would need to get a line of -126 or better on the over.


Up next could be a surprise to some, the Minnesota Vikings:

2014 Record: 7-9  |  Home Games: SEA, STL, KC, SD, NYG  |  Away Games: ARI, SF, DEN, OAK, ATL


The Vikings are the second-best projected team in the division.  8-8 is the most likely outcome but 9 or 10 wins and in the thick of the playoff hunt are well within reason for Minnesota.


Vikings O/UOver %Under %Implied Odds
7 wins62.4%20.6%-303 / +303
7.5 wins62.4%37.6%-166 / +166
8 wins41.9%37.6%-111 / +111

After finding two under bets in yesterday’s NFC West preview, we have our first over bet in the series with Vikings Over 7 / 7.5.

Let’s take a look at the Detroit Lions:

2014 Record: 11-5  |  Home Games: ARI, SF, DEN, OAK, PHI  |  Away Games: SEA, STL, SD, NO, KC*


After an 11-5 season and a playoff berth, the Lions look primed for a letdown this season.  The most common result is a 7-9 record and the odds of them getting to at least 11 wins for a consecutive season sit at 5.5%.  I can already picture the blank stares on Jim Caldwell’s face.


Lions O/UOver %Under %Implied Odds
8 wins29.6%50.5%+171 / -171
8.5 wins29.6%70.4%+238 / -238
9 wins14.7%70.4%+479 / -479

The current betting market has the Lions at 8.5 wins and although the juice is on the under, the play is still Lions Under 8.5.

At the bottom of the barrel are the Chicago Bears:

2014 Record: 5-11  |  Home Games: ARI, SF, DEN, OAK, WAS  |  Away Games: SEA, STL, KC, SD, TB


Looks like another disappointing season in the Windy City.  A 6-10 season is the most likely result and the odds of a winning season are a meager 9.6%.  Jay Cutler is expecting his third child soon, and with another lackluster performance in Chicago, he might be expecting his third professional football team as well.


Bears O/UOver %Under %Implied Odds
6.5 wins40.1%59.9%+149 / -149
7 wins21.7%59.9%+276 / -276
7.5 wins21.7%78.3%+361 / -361

Bears Under 7 looks like a solid play here.  While it may seem risky to play two unders within the same division, note that the NFC North’s schedule this year includes the tough NFC West and AFC West as opponents to go along with playing the Packers and Vikings twice each.

Next up let’s take a look at the divisional odds:

TeamDivision %Implied Odds

Surprise surprise, the Packers are the clear favorite to win the NFC North and return to the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.  If you would like to discuss these projections, head over to our new forum by clicking the button below.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the NFC South Preview.

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