NFC North 2023 Divisional Preview & Picks: Lions Reign Supreme

Devon Platana

Written by: Devon Platana

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NFC North 2023 Divisional Preview & Picks: Lions Reign Supreme cover


The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2023 NFL season hoping to win back-to-back NFC North titles. While it’s something the Vikings haven’t done since 2008 and 2009, that goal become more realistic ever the moment that Aaron Rodgers left the Green Bay Packers to join the New York Jets.

After Rodgers led the Packers to eight of the last 12 division titles, the Vikings, Detroit Lions, and Chicago Bears now have their chance to shine.

Needless to say, the division will be competitive this year. The Vikings are hungry for consecutive titles, the Lions and Bears will be better than they have been in recent years, and you can’t count the Packers out if Jordan Love succeeds as a starting quarterback.

With the new campaign quickly approaching, Betting News has you covered with our NFC North betting preview, complete with the latest odds and a divisional winner pick.

NFC North Odds 2023

Odds courtesy of BetOnline as of 11:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, August 30.

  • Detroit Lions (+175)
  • Minnesota Vikings (+270)
  • Green Bay Packers (+300)
  • Chicago Bears (+375)

NFC North 2023 Preview

Detroit Lions (+175)

It’s been a long time since the Lions won the NFC North, going without a division title since 1993.

For reference, Detroit QB Jared Goff was a year away from being born when that happened.

Nevertheless, the optimism surrounding the Lions this year is well-warranted. Dan Campbell’s team finished the 2022 campaign with a 9-7 record, marking their first winning season since 2017. A lot of that success had to do with an offense that averaged 26.6 PPG (No. 5 in NFL).

NFC North 2023 divisional preview
Can Jared Goff lead the Lions’ offense to another productive campaign?

While the offense lost running backs Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift this offseason, the unit won’t miss a beat. 2023 first-rounder Jahmyr Gibbs is shaping up to be a beast out of the backfield while Amon-Ra St. Brown, Marvin Jones Jr., and Jameson Williams (when he returns from suspension) make for a terrific wide receiver trio.

The Lions’ ability to win the division hinges on their defensive play. Detroit finished with a bottom-five defense last year, resulting in offseason additions like C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley.

If the defense steps up, the Lions will be in the NFC North race all season long.

Minnesota Vikings (+270)

Despite being the defending NFC North Champions, the Vikings aren’t getting much respect from oddsmakers.

At the same time, it’s understandable given that Minnesota left fans disappointed with a wild-card loss to the New York Giants after going 13-4 in the regular season. The franchise has now gone three consecutive years without a postseason victory.

Still, it’s important to remember that the Vikings owned a top-10 offense in 2022 thanks to the chemistry between Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. Although they lost star RB Dalvin Cook in free agency, Alexander Mattison has proven that he can be a lead back with 1,670 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 404 carries over the last four seasons.

Like the Lions, the Vikings’ future depends on their defensive play this fall.

While the offense had no issues putting up points, the defense couldn’t keep opponents out of the end zone, allowing 25.4 PPG (No. 30). Nevertheless, Brian Flores is the new defensive coordinator in town and should help the unit play much better.

Who knows? Perhaps the slightly disrespectful odds will motivate the Vikings to prove the doubters wrong this season.

Green Bay Packers (+300)

Despite the Rodgers era coming to an end, the Packers’ +300 odds to win the NFC North are only +125 behind the Lions for the top spot.

Even though the roster isn’t as stacked as it was in recent years, the Packers still look decent on paper. The defense was a middle-of-the-pack unit last year (21.8 PPG, No. 16) and should be above average barring any serious injuries.

The offense isn’t bad, either. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon form one of the NFL’s better backfield tandems while WRs Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and rookie Jayden Reed have all of the potential in the world.

Nevertheless, the Packers won’t have much success if Love can’t prove that he’s NFL-ready.

On one hand, he was solid in the preseason, completing 63.6% of passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. On the other, he’s attempted 83 regular-season passes despite being drafted back in 2020.

If proves that he can be ‘that guy,’ the Packers can make some noise. If not, it’s going to be a long season.

Chicago Bears (+375)

Lastly, we close out the NFC North 2023 preview with the Bears.

It isn’t a secret that Chicago fans are growing tired. On top of going 9-25 over the last two seasons, the Bears only have one division title since 2011 and have only won a single playoff game since reaching Super Bowl LXI nearly 20 years ago.

Expectations were high for the Bears in 2022 and things even looked promising with a 2-1 start, however, that positivity quickly faded when they lost 13 of the subsequent 14 games.

NFC North 2023 divisional preview & picks
Can the Bears end their NFC North title drought in 2023?

The majority of Bears fans were frustrated that the team let QB Justin Fields’ strong season go to waste last year. The dual-threat gunslinger threw for 2,242 passing yards and 17 TDs (to 11 INTs) while turning 160 carries into another 1,143 yards and eight scores, finishing ninth in NFL MVP voting along the way.

Fields is going to have to ball out again if Chicagos’ defense finishes at the bottom of the NFL again. Even with some offseason additions, it’s hard to have faith until results are shown on the field.

NFC North 2023 Division Prediction: Detroit Lions (+175)

I’m siding with BetOnline by backing the Lions to win the 2023 NFC North crown. Their future looks bright on both sides of the ball and the players are buying into Campbell’s vision. With Rodgers no longer being an obstacle, it’s time for Detroit to return to prominence.

Where to Bet on the NFL in 2023

Many of the top online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of NFL odds throughout the season.

In addition to being able to bet on Super Bowl spread and over/under odds when the big game arrives, you can make weekly NFL picks on games all season long. Also, you can bet on the major awards like NFL MVP, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, and more at the most reputable sports betting sites.

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Devon Platana
Devon Platana

Devon is a Master of Journalism graduate who joined the sports betting world in 2020. His favorite leagues to cover are the NHL, NBA and NFL, and has a soft spot for fantasy football specifically. Outside of sports, he enjoys the finer things in life like pasta, live music and getting even more tattoos.

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