The NFL offseason has entered the stage where we pretty much know what all 32 teams will look like this upcoming season after going through the bulk of the free agency signings and the college draft. Bovada has recently updated its moneyline betting odds for the projected win total for each and every team, making it a perfect time to find the best value in the numbers.
Top NFL Teams- OVER
When looking for solid value in the win total odds for teams that have the best chance to go "over" their projected number, I usually start at the bottom of the list with some of the ones that have no place to go but up.
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The Tennessee Titans earned the dubious honor of picking second in the draft after posting just two wins in 2014. They decided to go with former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with that pick, which should immediately improve an offense that was 29th in the NFL in total yards and 30th in scoring. They also plugged a big hole in a defense that was 29th in points allowed by signing free agent linebacker Brian Orakpo away from Washington.
The Titans' moneyline odds for over 5.5 wins is set at -130, and the main reason I like their chances to get to six wins or more this season is head coach Ken Whisenhunt. He proved what he could do with a talented team in Arizona, and while this ball club is still a few years away from being a playoff contender, it should take a healthy step forward in 2015.
Another team that is coming off a less-than-stellar campaign with a record of 4-12 is the New York Jets. This downturn cost Rex Ryan his job as head coach, so Todd Bowles will take over the reins in 2015. He made defense his top priority by drafting lineman Leonard Williams with the sixth overall pick while bringing cornerback Darrelle Revis back into the fold as a free agent.
The Jets' betting odds for over 7.5 wins is a bullish -150, but I am willing to take the risk that they can double their win total from a year ago. This team is still laced with talent, and I think Bowles' fresh approach will squeeze a few wins more wins out of last season's 1-5 record in the AFC East. While New York may be hard-pressed to improve an offense that was ranked 28th in the league in scoring, I expect a dramatic improvement from a defense that allowed an average of 25.1 points a game.
Top NFL Teams- UNDER
Bovada's NFL futures odds still have the Dallas Cowboys favored to win the NFC East at +125 odds, and they are 6/1 third-favorites to win the conference. However, these numbers are geared towards the betting public and are heavily influenced by last season's 11-5 record. The Cowboys' projected win total for this season is set at 9.5, with the betting odds on the "under" sitting at +100, which is a winner in my book.
Many Dallas fans and a few NFL experts will point to this team's offensive line as the reason for running back DeMarco Murray's success last season, but the bottom line is that it has yet to find a viable replacement for its best player on offense since he decided to jump ship for Philadelphia as a free agent. Anytime you put more pressure on quarterback Tony Romo to win games, bad things tend to happen. The Cowboys also have to be concerned about another round of losses on the defensive side of the ball, including linebackers Bruce Carter and Justin Durant, which cut into this unit's overall depth.
The Carolina Panthers were the first team to win back-to-back NFC South titles since the NFL realigned its divisions in 2002, but they did so with a losing record of 7-9-1. Their projected win total for this season has been set at 8.5 with a money line of -140 set for the under. To me this is a gift for a team that could easily struggle to meet last season's win total.
The Panthers' vaunted defense that helped fuel a 12-win season in 2013 slid down to 21st in the NFL in points allowed last season. Add in a few more defections this past offseason, and this slide could continue in 2015. I am not completely sold on Cam Newton's ability to move this offense forward in the passing game, and Carolina will have to rely heavily on the health of injury-prone running back Jonathan Stewart after it decided to part ways with DeAngelo Williams.
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