When Tom Brady announced his retirement u-turn, he completely shook up the NFL futures markets for the 2022/23 season, and none more so than the NFC South, where the latest odds suggest it’s going to be a lock for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady’s decision to reverse his retirement means the soon-to-be 45-year-old has the chance to be an eight-time Super-Bowl champion and also has the chance to add to his five Super Bowl MVP awards.
Before we get too carried away, though, the Buccaneers have to perform in the NFC South. And that’s what we are focussing on here in our latest NFL futures article.
Tampa Bay @ 1.28
The NFC South division betting odds with Sports Interaction make it pretty clear they don’t see past a fifth title for Brady’s team. This is down to a combination of a few things, one being the perceived weaknesses of their NFC South opponents.
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Despite only competing in this division since 2002, the Bucs already have four titles. But before Brady’s arrival, their last division title was back in 2007. So even given their perceived strength this year, the Buccaneers would do well to remember that they can take nothing for granted.
Taking things for granted may have been what did for Bruce Arians, with the former head coach leaving shortly after Brady announced he was coming back. Arians denied conflict between the pair, but it does seem a strange coincidence.
Are the two incidents related? Decide for yourself.
Either way, the Bucs now have Todd Bowles in charge, who has been promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach. And with Bowles having been at the club for over three years, it’s expected to be a smooth transition.
On the field, and with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette, and Russell Gage working in tandem again with Brady, expect the man widely known as the GOAT to produce some huge numbers again in 2022/23.
At the very least, the Buccaneers will be expected to get further than last year’s defeat in the Divisional playoffs. So it’s a given that they will be expected to sweep the NFC South.
Threats To The Buccaneers
So, who, if anyone, can stop the Buccaneers from winning the NFC South two years running?
Let’s look at their opponents and see if we can find any reason to oppose Todd Bowles’ team this coming season.
And don’t forget, when the season does get started, keep an eye on our NFL Free Picks page for more value bets.
New Orleans Saints @ 5.00
Bizarrely, the Saints have a more than decent record against the Buccaneers in recent times. Now coached by Dennis Allen, after Sean Payton left town after 15 years, the Saints defeated the Buccaneers in both regular-season matches last season.
They even did the double over the Bucs in the previous season. The Buccaneers’ 30 points to 20 win in the playoffs in 2021 are the only recent win over their NFC South rivals.
New Orleans also used the draft to bring in Chris Olave, Trevor Penning, and Tyrann Mathieu. All three will need to hit the ground running this year to have any chance.
The Saints by far look the best and probably, the only bet to run the Buccaneers close.
Check out our Sports Interaction Review for more information on one of Canada’s most popular sportsbooks.
Carolina Panthers @ 12.00
The Panthers finished bottom of the NFC South last season with a 5-12 record. And although they are expected to better that record this time around, it’s still hard to see them getting anywhere near the Saints, never mind the Bucs.
The Panthers started last season strongly, winning their opening three matches, and then proceeded to lose 12 of their next 14.
They had the second-ranked defence in the NFL last season, but it was coupled with the 31st-ranked offence.
Not helping their cause is the departures of defensive trio Stephon Gilmore, Hasson Reddick, and DaQuan Jones. Heading inbound to help out this season is Matt Ioannidis, Damien Wilson, and Xavier Woods.
Will they prove to be more influential than the players heading out? I doubt it.
Atlanta Falcons @ 17.00
Finally, the Atlanta Falcons. Arthur Smith’s team finished third last season with a 7-10 record in what was Smith’s first season in charge.
Odds of 17.00 this year says the best NFL betting sites are expecting a tougher season when we get going this Fall.
Additions to the squad include Drake London, Desmond Ridder, and Marcus Mariota. The latter two will be competing for the quarterback role.
I’m not expecting anything other than a season of struggle for the Falcons. And even if you added another zero to the end of their odds, I still wouldn’t be wagering on them.