AFC West: Season Win Totals Predictions
by Dave Busk - 8/25/2009
Even though NFL season win totals predictions have been offered here at Doc's homepage, I am going to break down every team's season win total division by division, and I have waited two weeks into the preseason to gather some additional information. I will give all my leans, opinions and must bets right here with odds provided by Sportsbook.com.
San Diego Chargers: Over (10) -150/Under (10) +120
While I fully expect the Chargers to bounce back here from an 8-8 record in 2008, this number is high with that steep juice attached. This team lost Shawne Merriman early and also lost LaDainian Tomlinson for considerable time. Besides those injuries the team faced a brutal schedule that saw them travel to the East Coast four times and they even had to travel overseas to London. They lost all eight games by single digits, including a 39-38 loss to Pittsburgh on a blown call and all these things combined to take a toll on a team that had so many high expectations. The 2009 schedule is much better with the Chargers getting five of their eight home games against teams traveling across country, along with the fact that their bye week comes at the perfect time -- the week after they go to Pittsburgh in what should be a physical game, allowing them time to regroup before facing Denver at home. This has me thinking this team is talented enough to get more than 10 wins, but that high juice coupled with Norv Turner coaching this team makes me hesitant. A pass for me.
Denver Broncos: Over (7) +170/Under (7) -220
There were many big changes in Denver in the offseason and it all started with the firing of head coach Mike Shanahan after 14 years of employment. He was replaced with a Bill Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels. That was just the beginning of the offseason as McDaniels came in and basically ran a Pro Bowl quarterback, Jay Cutler, out of town, replacing him with Kyle Orton. This move was flat-out insane to me. This team has won eight games the last three years and I don't see anything that they have done that will improve the team in 2009. However, I still can't lay -220 to find out. Another pass for me.
Kansas City Chiefs: Over (6) -120/Under (6) -110
This is another team in the West that has made some significant changes. However, unlike Denver I think the Chiefs changes are mostly positive. They hired the former offensive coordinator for the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals to be their head guy and brought in Matt Cassel, who stepped up big time when Tom Brady went down in the first quarter in the season opener last season. The offense hasn't clicked in the preseason yet but a lot of things are new right now and the Chiefs still have some blocks to build off of with their star running back Larry Johnson and an improving defense. Kansas City's schedule is a tough one in the first couple of weeks as they open up against a tough defense, traveling to Baltimore, and then facing the entire NFC East in Weeks 3-6 -- talk about physical football. If the Chiefs survive that they have a shot here as the last five weeks of the season they face Denver, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Denver again. Small play for me for Kansas City to get the over (6) -1.20 at Sportsbook.com.
Oakland Raiders: (6) -1.15 Under (6) -1.15
I Love this one. Throw out the records -- this team improved under Tom Cable in 2009 after getting the job four games in. This team has some potential on offense even though everybody criticizes them for selecting speed burner Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree in the NFL Draft. However, Crabtree is still a holdout and asking for a ton of money - so right now the Raiders got the better deal. The Raiders have more then a few winnable home games getting the Jets, Chiefs, Bengals, Redskins and the Broncos. This team won five games in 2008 and I think they will get at least seven in 2009. Go over (6) -1.15 at Sportsbook.com.
For more info on Busk's NFL and college football picks, check out his Insider's Page here.
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