NFC divisional odds have Buccaneers trailing Saints

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL football game. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the biggest splash in this year’s NFL free agent market by signing quarterback Tom Brady and have reaped the benefits on the NFL betting futures, where they have vaulted to +200 second favourites on the odds to win the NFC South at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Buccaneers finished last season with a 7-9 record and out of playoff contention for a 12th straight year. Brady’s arrival has lifted Tampa Bay to a -140 wager to return to the playoffs next season at sports betting sites, but the Bucs remain behind the New Orleans Saints on the divisional odds as they lead as -135 favourites to repeat as NFC South champions.

The Saints have also kept busy during the offseason, re-signing quarterback Drew Brees to a two-year contract. As well, the team bolstered its receiving corps, which ranked second in the NFL last season with 36 touchdown passes, by signing Emmanuel Sanders, cementing its position among the Super Bowl 55 betting favourites as a +1000 wager.

It remains a much tighter race on the odds to win the NFC East, as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are deadlocked as +120 co-favourites. By signing wide receiver Amari Cooper to a five-year deal and slapping the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys are set to return with their key offensive contributors in the fold.

But Dallas fans will have to wait and see if the Cowboys have done enough to overtake the Eagles, who marched to the NFC East title last season despite being hobbled by injuries. Philadelphia also holds an edge over the Cowboys on the Super Bowl odds as a +1400 wager, ahead of Dallas at +1800.

Over in the NFC West the Los Angeles Rams have used the offseason to clean house, parting ways with several key on-field contributors including running back Todd Gurley and veteran linebacker Clay Matthews. Despite the team’s overhaul, the Rams have remained resilient on the divisional odds, dipping only slightly to +400.

However, the Rams continue to sit a distant second behind the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, who lead the way as +105 chalk to once again finish atop the NFC West standings. Further down the NFC West odds, the Arizona Cardinals lag as a +700 bet despite acquiring wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a blockbuster deal with the Houston Texans.

And the Green Bay Packers maintain a narrow edge on the NFC North odds at sportsbooks, where they sit as +135 favourites. The Packers are just ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, who are at +165 on those NFL odds after dealing star wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills.

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