Jared Goff and the Rams are now favored to win the 2019 NFC Championship after a strong draft. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire.
- The Los Angeles Rams have overtaken the New Orleans Saints as the favorites to win the 2019 NFC Championship
- Why is Los Angeles is now ranked higher than New Orleans?
- Are there any better value picks out there?
The defending NFC champs are right back in the driver’s seat just four months out from the start of the 2019 regular season. After a draft haul that put some doubts to rest, the Los Angeles Rams are now favored to defend their NFC Championship based on the updated odds from BetOnline.
2019 NFC Championship Odds
|Team||2019 NFC Championship Odds at
|Los Angeles Rams||+450|
|New Orleans Saints||+550|
*Odds taken May 2nd, 2019
Many pundits were predicting a fall from grace for the Rams because of the health of offensive lynchpin Todd Gurley. Coupled with the fact that the team decided to let unsung postseason hero CJ Anderson walk, it looked like too much of the load was going to be heaped on young QB Jared Goff.
However, the Rams found a potential hidden gem in the draft in running back Darrell Henderson out of Memphis.
As you can see in the table above, draft night made bettors and oddsmakers feel a little more confident in LA’s NFC Championship odds.
The Difference of the Run Game
As mentioned, the Rams have upgraded their ground attack, while the Saints have taken a bit of a different approach.
New Orleans decided to let Mark Ingram walk this offseason and, in March, he signed a new three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. They replaced Ingram with free agent Latavius Murray on the depth chart, while the underrated Dwayne Washington will also see some action out of the backfield.
2019 Latavius Murray Props: Saints New RB Projected to Score 6 Touchdowns
The problem here is that Murray is basically Ingram-Light. Neither are great as receivers, but Ingram is a more effective between-the-tackles runner. He’s averaged nearly five yards per carry the last three seasons; Murray hasn’t been above 4.1 since 2014.
As for the Rams, the addition of Darrell Henderson is a big one. It’s not like they took a late-round flier on the kid either. He was a third-round selection and the third running back off the board (behind Josh Jacobs, #24, and Miles Sanders, #53). Expectations are high.
But he’s also coming into an experienced offense that’s basically in its third season together. He won’t have the weight of the world on his shoulders. We see huge things on the horizon for the former Memphis Tiger and the Rams offense.
— Memphis Football (@MemphisFB) April 27, 2019
Gurley is an outside runner, packed with agility and finesse, and is built to make guys miss. Henderson has got some major wheels to him, as well, but can also bounce off guys like there’s no tomorrow.
The two will complement each other very nicely in a Super Bowl-caliber offense that’s welcoming back Cooper Kupp from injury.
If the Rams can stay healthy and not put too much on Gurley’s workload (to keep that knee churning), they could be snapping footballs in February again.
Best Value Picks in the NFC
It’s easy to say, but given they’re second in the odds, New Orleans is an obvious choice.
However, looking a little further down the board, the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers at +1200 standout, along with the Seattle Seahawks at +1600. With a healthy Jerick McKinnon, a newly acquired Tevin Coleman and Nick Bosa on their D-line, the Niners could surprise.
Meanwhile, there’s a new head coach for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, so we’re expecting a bounce back season for the cheeseheads.
A scout convinced DK Metcalf to show up to meet with the Seahawks staff with no shirt, so Pete Carroll “got pissed” and took his off too 😂
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2019
Finally, in Seattle, with Doug Baldwin likely retiring and Frank Clark gone, the Hawks added a few huge pieces in the draft (DE LJ Collier and WR DK Metcalf). If they can come in NFL-ready, the Hawks could shock the masses.