2013 NFL Win Total Best Bets
August 9, 2013
By Mark Franco
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Last year, I was able to produce a 4-1 (80%) record in my NFL Win Total predictions but I’ll admit that I was fortunate to catch a few breaks at the end of the season.
WIN - Pittsburgh Steelers - Under 10 (-120)
Notes – The Steelers finished 8-8, which included a dreadful 2-5 close to the season. Also, Pittsburgh lost five of its games by three points and no loss was worse than 12 points, which occurred in Week 1 at Denver (remember the pick six?)
WIN - Chicago Bears – Over 9 (-130)
Notes – This ticket was a roller coaster as Chicago started the season 7-1. The Bears followed that run with a 1-5 slump and fortunately won their last two games of the season on the road to finish 10-6.
WIN - Atlanta Falcons – Over 9 (-140)
Notes – I guess there was a reason the books made you lay 5/7 (Bet $140 to win $100) on this selection last year because it was popular and an easy winner too. The Falcons started the season 8-0 and eclipsed 10 wins by Thanksgiving.
WIN - St. Louis Rams – Over 6 (-120)
Notes – Definitely an ugly win here as the Rams finished 7-8-1. Even though the 49ers and Seahawks get all the attention in the NFC West, St. Louis went 4-1-1 in the division last season.
LOSS - San Diego Chargers – Over 9 (+100)
Notes – My lone loser was San Diego, and despite a 3-1 start to the season, this club folded after it suffered three straight losses to the Saints, Broncos and Browns, which all featured collapses by the Bolts.
If you played one-unit ($100) on the above selections, you would’ve profited $300.
Despite my lean to ‘over’ tickets last season, I normally tend to take ‘under’ selections and that’s my focus in 2013.
Here are my top three Win Total selections for 2013 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Under 5 (+110)
The Jaguars have a combined seven wins the previous two seasons, which includes a 2-14 record in 2012, and I just don’t see this team improving by more than three wins in 2013. The Jaguars may not be favored in any game this season, plus they have a new rookie head coach in Gus Bradley.
Looking at the Jacksonville schedule, I believe they have eight automatic losses – at Seattle, at Denver, at Houston, at Indianapolis, at St Louis and at home vs. Colts, Texans, and the 49ers.
I only see three winnable games at most, which are road games at Oakland and Arizona and Buffalo at home.
When you factor in the eight losses, the Jaguars would have to go 6-2 in their other eight games to beat me and I don’t see that happening. It will be another tough year for the young Jaguars.
Buffalo Bills - Under 6.5 (-130)
Buffalo has not had a winning season since 2004, when it went 9-7. Since then, the team hasn’t been better than 7-9 and the last four years have seen three 6-10 records and a 4-12 ledger. Similar to the Jaguars, they have a new head coach in Doug Marrone from Syracuse. Also similar to Jacksonville, they will continue having problems at quarterback. Kevin Kolb is coming over from Arizona and they have a rookie behind him in E.J. Manual who they drafted out of Florida State.
The Bills have just six wins versus the AFC East over the last five seasons. Buffalo has tough games outside of their division in Carolina, Baltimore, Cincinnati, at New Orleans, at Pittsburgh, Atlanta and at Tampa Bay.
When you add in four tough games vs. division rivals New England and Miami, I believe the Bills are in for a long season and I can’t see them winning seven or more games in 2013.
New York Jets – Under 6.5 (-135)
The infamous duo of head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez will begin the fifth season together and most pundits, including myself, believe it will be the last. The New York Jets franchise had their problems the last two seasons, going 8-8 and 6-10 after reaching the AFC Championship the two prior seasons (2009, 2010).
It will not be long before the Jets fans are calling for Sanchez, if he’s the starting quarterback, and coach Ryan’s heads. Waiting in the wings at quarterback is rookie Geno Smith from West Virginia, who has a lot of work to do to become an average signal caller at this level.
The Jets schedule plays out with difficult non-division road contests at Atlanta, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Carolina which I don’t see them winning any one of those. Plus I don’t see them winning division road games against the Dolphins or Patriots either, which brings their loss tally to six.
There are a few games that look like possible wins – home contests against Buffalo, Oakland and Cleveland. On the road, they might have chances at Tennessee and Buffalo. However, backing a team that’s gone 5-11 as a visitor the last two seasons isn’t a sound investment.
The Jets won six games last season and the best case I see for this dysfunctional team is five wins come 2013.