The NFL Draft is deep in the rearview. OTAs are underway, but we are hurtling towards the dead period in the NFL. There’s no better time to embark upon a dangerous but fun mission: looking at the win totals for every NFL team and deciding whether or not each team will win more or less games than Vegas predicts.
Nothing ages better than NFL predictions in May right? Turns out I’m not terrible at it! The last few seasons have been pretty profitable: 2016 I went 10-5-1 in the AFC and . In 2017 I . Last year in the NFC was not ideal with a 7-8-1 record. The AFC was once again absurd, as I went 12-4 in my over/under picks for that conference.
For you math majors, my AFC record from MAY the last three years is 34-11-3 in terms of picking over-unders. That’s stupid. I’d tell you to bet on every AFC pick I give here, but there’s some regression coming at some point probably.
Last year we went team-by-team with these picks, but this year we’ll be going back to the divisional format I used in 2016 and 2017. If you hate any picks, love any picks or have better ideas, leave them in the comments or yell at me on Twitter @WillBrinson. You can also get an audio breakdown of all these divisions on the Pick Six Podcast, as we run through each division on our DAILY NFL PODCAST over the next few weeks. Listen to the latest episode in the player below.
All lines are courtesy of the Westgate at the time the article was published. They’re subject to change but I’ll be grading myself next May on these numbers. The numbers next to the win total indicate the juice. If an over is +150, it means you make $150 for betting $100. If it’s -150 you need to bet $150 just to win $100.
Win Total: 10 Over (EV) / Under (-120)
This may all come down to Carson Wentz’s health, with Nick Foles no longer on the roster to bail Philly out if their franchise quarterback is injured. Nate Sudfeld isn’t a bad backup option, but if Wentz goes down, the Eagles could sink quickly. It would be a shame, because this roster looks great. Kudos to Howie Roseman for building out depth and talent across the board. Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson are going to cause problems. The draft created depth at offensive line and wide receiver. Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard give them a very nice dynamic in the backfield. DeSean Jackson’s return complements Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz/Dallas Goedert well. The schedule isn’t bad either, with the Giants (2x)/Dolphins/Redskins on the schedule four times in the final five weeks. I think this is an over play but would vastly prefer 9.5 instead. This is the best team in the division to me.
VERDICT: Over (10)
Win Total: 9 Over (EV) / Under (-120)
I kind of like this Cowboys team. The numbers Dak Prescott put up after Dallas traded for Amari Cooper are incredible. Ezekiel Elliott is one of the two or three best running backs in the league. Dallas has an elite offensive line. The defense looked like it could be an emerging unit late last year. DeMarcus Lawrence is back in the fold. The secondary is young and talented. Leighton VanderEsch and Jaylon Smith are maybe the best young linebacking duo in football. I worry a little about Kellen Moore taking over the play calling on offense, just because it’s his first time. I worry a lot about Jason Garrett coaching the team because we know how he operates. There’s big win potential here, but I also think there could be some regression on the offense and defense this year. With the schedule, I look at this team and I see a squad that is going to win eight or nine games so I’ll go under.
VERDICT: Under (9)
Win Total: 6.5 Over (+110) / Under (-130)
If you like this under, you should take it now. It’s only going to drop and get more expensive as the Redskins roster really reveals itself. Credit to Jay Gruden for winning the games he does; he’s coaching above the talent on the roster. And now the quarterback situation is in flux too. Dwayne Haskins will be pressed into duty because of ownership preference. If it’s not him, it’s Case Keenum or Colt McCoy. Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson staying healthy with the offensive line all playing give this team eight or nine win potential, but the Redskins are never healthy. At some point you need to quit looking at luck and wonder about something internal. I like Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon a lot but this is a very weak pass catching corps. Reuben Foster’s OTA injury is crippling. Is Landon Collins that big a difference maker? The Redskins could easily be 0-5 going to the Dolphins in Week 6.
VERDICT: Under (6.5)
New York Giants
Win Total: 6 Over (EV) / Under (-120)
Call me a sucker but I’m starting to be here for the Giants season. I don’t agree with all of Dave Gettleman’s moves, but I think he’s made a lot of smart football decisions in the last 24 months. Shuttling Odell Beckham, going running back (Saquon Barkley) over quarterback (Sam Darnold) and taking a backup quarterback out of Duke at No. 6 overall (Daniel Jones) stand out. But he’s actually made some reasonable moves and I can see the Giants becoming a clone of the 2016 Cowboys. Run the heck out of the ball with a revamped offensive line, turn Barkley into the focal point of the offense and don’t let Eli Manning blow any games. They open up at the Cowboys, versus the Bills, at the Buccaneers and home against the Redskins. You sure they can’t start 4-0??? The Cardinals, Lions and Dolphins are also on the schedule. The secondary is a concern, but the front seven has some sneaky talent including Lorenzo Carter (one of ), rookie behemoth Dexter Lawrence and B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson. I’m not looking for some 13-win season or anything. They just need to steal seven wins with an option to push at 6-10.
VERDICT: Over (6)