I am back for my second article and this time instead of breaking down college football season win totals, I will now be revealing my picks and reasoning for NFL win totals. All these win totals are found on Bovada.com.
Atlanta Falcons over 9 wins: The Atlanta Falcons have been underrated by vegas the past couple seasons. Even after their Super Bowl run in 2016, they are still underrated in my opinion. While losing Kyle Shanahan changed the ceiling of this team, Matt Ryan is still a top 5 quarterback and this will help Atlanta stay in games they otherwise wouldn’t. The Falcons also have an improved defense this season and drafting Calvin Ridley helps improve the offense. Atlanta also has the best passing success rate in the league on first and 10 and second and 6-10 in the entire league at .61. This potent passing attack should lead the Falcons to another double digit win season and another playoff appearance.
Buffalo Bills under 6 wins: This is one of my favorite bets on the board for either the NFL or College football win totals. The Bills offense is probably the worst in the NFL regardless of who they decide to start. Their defense is also projected for high regression from last season according to most analytical websites. Buffalo also benefited from a great turnover differential due to Tyrod Taylor protecting the ball so well. Starting Nathan Peterman, AJ Mccarron, or Josh Allen will lead to plenty of more turnovers.. Combine all of this along with the fact that Buffalo lucked their way to the playoffs last season, some casual fans will not be ready for this huge downfall that I believe is coming for the Bills this season. According to Mike Clay’s win projections, he only has them favored in 2 games this season. Take the under.
Chicago Bears over 6.5 wins: The Bears hiring Matt Nagy is going to be the best short term hire in the NFL, just because of how bad the the past coaching regime had was so far behind in terms modern analytics when basing off of play calling. The Bears ran the ball 70% of the time and had a success rate of .29. On the other hand, they only threw the ball 30% of the time and had a .42 success rate. With Mitch Trubisky improving, plus better play calling, and free agents making a solid impact, I believe that Chicago will be one of the most improved teams in the NFL next season.
New York Giants under 7 wins: Eli Manning is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL and he’s aging, which is a huge problem for New York. But the bigger problem for New York that less are talking about is their brutal schedule: the Giants play the most difficult schedule in the NFL this season. Mike Clay’s win projections have the Giants favored in 4 games this year. The only teams with less are the 3 AFC East teams not named New England (they are only favored against each other at home), and the Cardinals who are in fact favored in 0 games this year. The Giants are going to have to win half their games this year for you to lose this bet, and every single one is projected to have a less than 50% chance of winning. How much easier of a bet do you see? The Giants may very well start off 2-5 or 1-6 with a brutal stretch to begin the season, which includes Jacksonville, At Dallas, At Houston, New Orleans, At Carolina, Philly, At Atlanta. This under is easy money.
Oakland Raiders under 8 wins: Many people love John Gruden and the energy that he’s going to bring to the Raiders, but I see a disaster occuring in Oakland. The Raiders are becoming one of the most public teams in the eyes of Vegas because of the upcoming move to the desert. Because of this, the Vegas casinos could be liable for large amounts of Raiders money coming in so I believe this line opened a shade too high. Combine this with the fact that Gruden wants to go back 10 seasons in terms of analytics, and this could be a disaster decade (most likely less) for Raider nation. Derek Carr is also one of the most overrated quarterbacks in football in almost any stat that measures how good a QB is. Carr routinely finds himself right next to Joe Flacco and Blake Bortles, not the type of company you want a supposed franchise QB to be with. Khalil Mack, clearly the best player on the team, is also holding out over a contract. Combine this with the fact that Oakland is only projected to be a favorite in 2 games this season according to Mike Clay’s win projections, despite playing the 3rd easiest schedule in the league.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers under 6.5 wins: Tampa Bay seems like a total chaos situation right now, as Jameis Winston is suspended for the first 3 games, which are against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers. This is a likely 0-3 start and I could see this team unraveling after that. Another factor that makes me lower on the Bucs is that they have the most difficult divisional schedule in the league, playing 2 games against the Saints, Falcons, and the Panthers. This schedule is a recipe for disaster and I envision a 2-4 stretch at best in these games. Even if that happens the Bucs would have to go 5-5 in the other 10 games to go over this win total, and I don’t envision this happening.
Those were all my official picks for the NFL win totals, I will also be posting picks every week for College Football and NFL and then recaps of my picks from the past week.