NFL Win Totals
June 23, 2013
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Regular season win totals are everyone's favorite NFL futures bet. So let's not waste time with an intro. Let's break down each and every team with reckless abandon! Sit tight, this is a long read.
Arizona Cardinals (UNDER 5.5)
Keep in mind that four of the Cardinals' five wins in 2012 came during a suspicious four game winning streak at the beginning of last year. They could potentially have one of the sneakiest defenses in the league, but are playing in a division that is loading up on firepower across the board. I think the defense is good for about four wins this season, but with this regular season betting total overall I have to go under. Also - Carson Palmer. Yeesh.
Atlanta Falcons (OVER 10.0 Wins)
The question you really have to ask yourself is this: how good is the NFC South going to be compared to last year? The Falcons finished 13-3 SU in 2012 and are only going to get better (even if it isn't by much). I wouldn't underestimate the addition of Steven Jackson, but I'm also worried about their defense which has lost some major contributors. Atlanta can definitely go OVER 10.0 wins, but they are more likely to hit a 12-4 SU or 11-3 SU record depending on the Saints and Bucs.
Baltimore Ravens (UNDER 8.5 Wins)
Seems low for a defending champion right? This season will be the biggest test for Jon Harbaugh, who basically inherited a championship caliber team and pushed it over the edge. They've lost pivotal locker room guys and big impact players on the field by letting Boldin and Reed go, and the loss of Ray Lewis can't be underestimated. I'm pessimistic about the Ravens in the regular season and downright against them as repeat champs.
Buffalo Bills (OVER 6.5 Wins)
Only because I think Buffalo is one of those sneaky good teams. They supposedly have a capable quarterback in rookie E.J. Manuel from FSU, but they are also the Bills. It's hard to be optimistic about these guys. I think they take advantage of a weak pair of Jets and Dolphins teams to get them to the 8-8 SU range.
Carolina Panthers (UNDER 7.0 Wins)
Cam Newton is a fantasy stud, but I hate Ron Rivera as a head coach. This is the worst roster in arguably the most competitive division in football.
Chicago Bears (OVER 8.5 Wins)
There's a lot of reason to doubt Marc Trestman's migration from the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL. But this is a great team that can repeat their 10-6 SU record from last season, and if Jay Cutler stays healthy they have a very good chance of improving. Yes, that's a big "if".
Cincinnati Bengals (UNDER 8.5 Wins)
Everyone is going to see A.J. Green and Andy Dalton coming this year. With a full year of game tape to dissect on the Bengals, opposing defenses will be able to see through this one-trick pony coming. The Bengals are building the right way, but they're still a year away from taking it to the next level.
Cleveland Browns (UNDER 6.0 Wins)
I love Trent Richardson. L-O-V-E. But I hate the rest of the roster and the Browns have no reliable quarterback to rely on.
Dallas Cowboys (UNDER 8.5 Wins)
By a hair, the Cowboys miss this OVER by repeating their 8-8 SU season from last year. DeMarco Murray was injured for the majority of last season, but there's no reason to think that a tattered offensive line can benefit from his (still unproven over the long haul) skill set.
Denver Broncos (OVER 11.5 Wins)
Yeah, Wes Welker and Peyton Manning are going to get along famously.
Detroit Lions (OVER 7.5 Wins)
The Lions were capsized by a brutal losing streak last year, falling to just 4-12 SU but everyone knows that this team is far better than their record indicates. They are slowly but surely adding all the pieces required to make them competitive. They're not Super Bowl contenders yet, but they're an explosive team that will get the lucky bounces that didn't fall their was last season.
Green Bay Packers (OVER 10.5 Wins)
Nobody is going to love having the real refs back for a full season more than the Green Bay Packers.
Houston Texans (UNDER 10.5 Wins)
Am I the only one that thinks J.J. Watt is about to serve a suspension for PED's? Even with him in the fold, the Texans are a perennial underachiever. Their 12-4 SU record was an anomaly. Everything broke Houston's way last year. It won't this year. I see a 9-7 SU headache coming their way.
Indianapolis Colts (UNDER 8.5 Wins)
Last season wasn't supposed to pan out the way that it did, and the loss of Bruce Arians is a big void that you can't fill in the coaching ranks. The 5-11 SU season they were projected to reach in 2012 will rear its ugly head in 2013.
Jacksonville Jaguars (UNDER 5.0 Wins)
Ironically, the fifth round is where I expect you to be able to take Maurice Jones-Drew in fantasy as well.
Kansas City Chiefs (OVER 7.0 Wins)
Andy Reid! Alex Smith! So many Pro-Bowlers! A better offensive line! Optimism abounds! And I'm actually serious about them!
Miami Dolphins (UNDER 7.5 Wins)
Mike Wallace is a great player, but Ryan Tannehill is still playing quarterback for just the third season in his life and the loss of Reggie Bush means that you're hoping Lamar Smith becomes reliable. Good luck with that, especially without Jake Long.
Minnesota Vikings (UNDER 7.5 Wins)
The irony of being a Vikings fan: You could've been the Seahawks if you had just found a decent quarterback! I love Adrian Peterson, but I hate Christian Ponder and there's nothing else on offense worth backing here despite a physical defense that's easy to cheer for.
New England Patriots (UNDER 11.5 Wins)
Relax, New England! I'm just a bit worried about Danny Amendola's ability to stay on the field and Gronkowski's nagging back injury. At full strength they're the best team in the AFC, but you can't be super confident about this team with Gronk's health in doubt. I still think 10-6 SU regular season win total and a division title are in their NFL future.
New Orleans Saints (OVER 9.5 Wins)
Sean Payton will prove to everyone why he's one of the best coaches in the league when he returns to the Big Easy to push his team back in to contention.
New York Giants (OVER 9.0 Wins)
Barely. They finished 9-7 SU last year and a big reason was because Awesome Nicks was hurt for much of the year. He's a huge game changer on this roster. Somebody has to come out ahead in this division and I have more faith in New York compared to the other franchises in the group.
New York Jets (UNDER 6.5 Wins)
The funny thing about all this quarterback drama is the fact that Geno Smith isn't much better than Mark Sanchez.
Oakland Raiders (UNDER 5.5 Wins)
I think Oakland can find a little sunlight this year but nothing in the Black Hole should encourage confidence. McFadden's health, the unproven commodity that is Matt Flynn and the irritable state of this defense should all be cause for concern especially with Denver, Kansas City and San Diego making life a living hell for them. The oddsmakers have a perfect number here because Oakland is gong 5-11 SU this season.
Philadelphia Eagles (OVER 7.0 Wins)
I'm one of the few that isn't giving up on Michael Vick, especially with Chip Kelly in town. The Eagles (like the Bucs and Lions) were ravaged by injuries along the offensive line. With better depth protecting their quarterback, the Eagles can become the force of nature we expected them to be last season. I love Chip Kelly commanding this roster. I can't overstate this enough.
Pittsburgh Steelers (OVER 9.5 Wins)
Logic dictates that the Steelers aren't going to be better without key players like Mike Wallace and James Harrison influencing the outcomes of their games. But look at this division: Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati are all due to take severe steps in the wrong direction. Pittsburgh always surprises, and Big Ben is the type of quarterback that is very hard to bet against on occasion. This is one of those times.
San Diego Chargers (UNDER 7.5 Wins)
I'm not sure what makes the Chargers even remotely competitive aside from the perception that Phillip Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. They finished 7-9 SU and ATS last year. They didn't get that much better in the offseason. Let's just take the UNDER and move on to more interesting teams.
San Francisco 49ers (OVER 11.5 Wins)
With one caveat: I am the first to admit and argue that Colin Kaepernick is still an unknown entity in the realm of football betting. Can he repeat his startling success from last season? Can the read option work again? Regardless, season win totals are a gamble on the totality of the roster itself and nobody in the league holds a candle to the Niners in that regard. Even if Kaepernick takes a mild step back from last season's insane production, this is still a 12 win team.
Seattle Seahawks (UNDER 10.5 Wins)
Only because I see them going 10-6 SU and still making the playoffs. They got better on offense (Percy Harvin) and they got better on defense (Cliff Avril, others) and they were already scary on both sides of the football to begin with. Keep in mind that they were handed a win by the replacement refs that pushed them to 11-5 SU last season. They have star power, but they also have a huge target on their backs and Richard Sherman's big, fat (and totally awesome) mouth isn't helping that matter.
St. Louis Rams (UNDER 7.5 Wins)
I want to be optimistic about the Rams. I really do. Tavon Austin is going to be a great addition to this offense, but it makes zero sense to say that he's going to be as productive as Amendola. The absence of Steven Jackson will also sting this offense because nobody on this team was more reliable last year than S-Jax. I'm not sure the guys who are filling the shoes of the recently departed are going to be worth backing long term.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OVER 7.5 Wins)
This was a complete and competitive roster last season that never got to play together because of health problems. Revis is a difference maker and he'll help revitalize a defense that was horrific against the pass and the run last season despite having a lot of playmakers in the right spots. I would not fall asleep on the Bucs next season. We haven't seen them at full tilt yet and I'm not giving up on Josh Freeman just yet.
Tennessee Titans (UNDER 6.5 Wins)
While you're at it: Jake Locker UNDER 8 starts, Chris Johnson UNDER 1,500 yards and Kenny Britt OVER 1.5 arrests.
Washington Redskins (UNDER 8.5 Wins)
If you pointed a gun to my head and made me decide now (which my editor is pretty much doing) then I'd have to bet against Robert Griffin's knee. And even if he is somehow completely healthy by the start of 2013, I still don't like the Redskins. Ask Tom Brady how much destroying your knee changes the way you play the game. Also ask NFL veterans how easy it is to hate Mike Shanahan.