NFL NFC South Odds Update: Falcons Soar to the Top

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NFL NFC South Odds Update: Falcons Soar to the Top

The NFC South has taken a turn over the last two weeks. The New Orleans Saints have lost three consecutive games, while the Atlanta Falcons are riding a two-game winning streak. Plus, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 1-1 over their last two contests.

This has caused a shift in the South standings with the Falcons (6-6) sitting atop the division with a one-game lead. The Saints (5-7) and Buccaneers (5-7) are tied for second place, and the Carolina Panthers are out of the title race with a league-worst 1-11 record.

With the shift in standings, FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds for the NFC South have also moved. The division has a new favorite to take the crown. Let's dive into the latest NFC South odds with a breakdown of each remaining team in the divisional title pursuit.

2023-24 NFC South Winner
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Atlanta Falcons-190
Tampa Bay Buccaneers+340
New Orleans Saints+370

Atlanta Falcons (-190)

The Falcons have emerged as the clear favorite to win the division. The last two weeks have been like an early Christmas present for Atlanta fans. They won back-to-back games, including a pivotal clash against the Saints.

They have not turned into a dominant team by any means as numberFire's 17th-best team in the nERD-based power rankings. The run game has severely underachieved at 4.2 yards per carry (16th-best) while having the 10th-worst mark in numberFire's adjusted run offense ratings.

Bijan Robinson has seen his workload increase over the last three weeks with 18.7 carries per game paired with a 71.7% snap share. However, it has not paid off, as Robinson has totaled -2.9 rushing yards over expectation (RYOE) during the three-game span.

The quarterback position has been a revolving door, and Desmond Ridder took over as the starter once again in Week 12. Ridder's play has still been weak with -0.13 expected points added per dropback (EPA/DB) over his previous two starts.

The defense has been carrying the load as numberFire's seventh-best unit led by the third-best adjusted run defense in football. Atlanta is giving up only 3.9 yards per carry (9th-best) and 6.3 yards per pass attempt (10th-best).

According to Tankathon, the Falcons have the second-easiest remaining schedule, which includes games against the Panthers, Buccaneers, Saints, and Chicago Bears. Controlling the run game late in the season usually leads to success in the NFL. Atlanta's run defense has been stingy, and if the offense can get the rushing attack going, the Falcons could be on their way to their first NFC South title since 2016.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+340)

Tampa Bay has seen their odds drop to +340, becoming the second choice to win the division (it was +410 two weeks ago). This mostly has to do with the Saints' struggles. The Buccaneers have the more difficult schedule remaining; New Orleans has the third-easiest while Tampa has the ninth-easiest.

The Bucs will get their shot at the divisional leader in Week 14, followed by a pair of tough games against the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Tampa Bay ends the season with battles against the Saints and Panthers. The upcoming three games will likely decide if the Buccaneers could actually win the division.

Per usual, Tampa Bay will likely lean on their passing offense (11th-best schedule-adjusted rating) and the run defense (5th-best adjusted rating). Baker Mayfield has -0.21 EPA/DB over his previous two games, though. Of course, this must improve, and it's unlikely that the Bucs will find much success without some contributions from run game. It averages only 3.5 yards per carry (last in the NFL).

New Orleans Saints (+370)

In just two weeks, the Saints went from -130 to win the division to +370. New Orleans has the third-easiest remaining schedule. This includes clashes with the Panthers, Buccaneers, and New York Giants. Week 18's matchup with the Falcons could be the most important game remaining, especially after the Saints fell to Atlanta in Week 12.

Turnovers have been an issue during New Orleans' three-game losing streak. They have averaged 2.0 giveaways during the span compared to their season average of 1.3 (16th-best). The defense has also generated only two takeaways over the last three games, which is good for a 0.7 average. This defense has had a nose for the ball all season, averaging 1.7 takeaways (fifth-best). The Saints must get the turnover category under control.

It's not like Derek Carr has been that bad, either. He comes off a good performance with 0.32 EPA/DB in Week 13.

The run defense has been the major problem, allowing 165.0 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry during the three-game losing streak. This isn't a new problem, as New Orleans has allowed 4.5 yards per carry on the season (6th-worst) and is numberFire's 14th-worst adjusted run defense. Fortunately, four of the Saints' final five opponents are among the top 10 worst schedule-adjusted run offenses.

With five weeks of regular-season football to go, the NFC South has swung back into the favor of the Falcons. Don't count out the Buccaneers and Saints, though, as both teams are only one game back from first place.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.