The NFC North is the NFL’s most wide open division ahead of the 2019 season. The Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are all contenders with the Detroit Lions projected to end up in last place.

As the defending NFC North champions, the Bears are the consensus favorites to finish in first place. Some online sportsbooks give Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota the exact same odds to win the division, according to OddsShark, though there is a clear pecking order with Week 1 just around the corner.

Chicago has a slim edge over their divisional rivals at New Jersey’s FanDuel Sportsbook with +180 odds to win the NFC North. All seven other divisional favorites have +155 odds or better to finish in first place.

Green Bay is right behind Chicago with +185 odds. Minnesota comes in third with +210 odds. A division title for Detroit would come as a shock since the Lions have +1200 odds.

Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Bears cruised to the 2018 NFC North championship with a 12-4 record, finishing 3.5 games ahead of the second-place Vikings. Chicago was led by the conference’s best defense. The team was upset on Wild-Card Weekend.

With the loss of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and a few members of the secondary, the Bears are considered to be one of the top candidates to regress in 2019. Chicago’s season could ultimately be determined by the play of Mitchell Trubisky. The quarterback must take another step forward in his third NFL season.

The Packers don’t have any questions at quarterback with Aaron Rodgers still under center. The two-time MVP was once a virtual lock to reach the playoffs, but Green Bay has missed the postseason in each of the last two years. 

After dealing with injuries in both 2017 and 2018, Rodgers could be primed for another MVP season. It’s the first season he’s not being coached by Mike McCarthy. The Packers spent big money on defensive additions in free agency, hoping to surround Rodgers with enough help to form a Super Bowl contender.

The Vikings might be the most well-rounded team in the division. Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen give Minnesota an elite group of playmakers. The Vikings have a returning Pro Bowl player on all three levels of the defense. 

Kirk Cousins was brutal against winning teams in his first year with Minnesota. If the quarterback improves in 2019, the Vikings will have a real chance to make a deep run.

The Lions went 6-10 in 2018 after posting a winning record in three of the previous four seasons. It’s been 28 years since Detroit won a playoff game.