Expert Predictions for NFL Season Win Total Head-to-Head Props
This one doesn't really need too much setup. We have covered season win totals in the NFL a few times already this offseason, and we know that they are one of the most interesting and potentially lucrative odds available each spring. And now BetOnline has posted head-to-head matchups between teams, so we can look for chances to leverage our opinions of some teams out there. I can't possibly resist looking at that. (The price is -110 for all bets unless otherwise listed.)
Browns (-3) vs. Bengals: It has been a long time since you have been able to even remotely consider the Browns in this matchup. But the Browns, while certainly overhyped, are going to be a solid, dangerous team. And the Bengals are going to be a mess. They have to rebuild everything after far too long under the incompetence of Marvin Lewis, and they have done a lousy job of talent management. Three games are a whole lot, but if you are going to look at this one then the Browns are your only option.
Steelers (-0.5, +110) vs. Cowboys: Pittsburgh has lost their two most explosive offensive players, and their QB isn't getting any younger. There are reasons for concern. But at the core, there is still talent here, and it's not like they are going to implode. And while Dallas isn't blowing up, either, they aren't exactly the league's most inspiring, complete squad right now. This feels like a true coin flip. And when I can get better than even money for flipping a coin, I'll look at it.
Cowboys (-3) vs. Giants: While I wasn't high on the Cowboys last time, I sure am here. The Giants are positioned to be just awful. Like three-or-four-wins-feels-so-high-it's-like-a-vaulted-ceiling awful. They have no good answer at quarterback, they have made bad moves all over the place, and morale in that building can't be anything but dismal. This could get ugly. Dallas feels like a very comfortable pick here.
Eagles (-4) vs. Giants: The reasoning is the same as the last one. I would take almost any decent team against the Giants - especially one that largely controls their own fate because they play New York twice. (The Cowboys at -3 aren't too bad, either) The Eagles should bounce back fairly strong from a rough year last year, and will be the much, much better team here.
Bears (even) vs. Packers: If I don't have to give up any games, then I am taking the Bears without any hesitation at all. The Packers have to change a whole lot and do it under a new coach. The Bears have a better defense. Green Bay obviously has the far better QB, but I don't entirely trust Aaron Rodgers' health at this point. The Bears could take a bit of a step back from last year. However, that defense is terrifying, and they are the easier team to trust by far here.
Chiefs (-3.5) vs. Raiders: I am almost as happy to bet against the clown circus going on in Oakland as I am to bet against the Giants. Jon Gruden embarrasses himself every time he gets out of bed, and the gap between where this team is and respectability is blocked by him. The Chiefs have some questions to answer, and they will be hunted this year, but they are the better team here by about a million miles.
Ravens (+0.5, +105) vs. Steelers: This one is very reminiscent to me of that Dallas and Pittsburgh number earlier. It doesn't take too active an imagination to figure out ways that the Steelers could be the better team here. But you also don't need to be on an acid trip to see the Ravens coming out on top. I like the offseason Baltimore had, for the most part, and the lack of confusion at QB will only help them. Another coin flip, so another chance to be on the cheaper side.
Ravens (+1.5, +100) vs. Colts: This is another fairly interesting number - and one of the tougher ones on the board to decode. I am, as I said, reasonably high on the Ravens. I don't expect them to hoist the Lombardi or anything, but they will be respectable. Eight or nine wins feels like a reasonably comfortable target, and there is perhaps a little more upside than downside on that range. So, let's call it 8.5. We know that Indy is going to be a solid team after a strong finish to last year and a very decent offseason. And they have a chance to be solidly more than just decent. But are we confident enough to say that 10 wins is a floor for them? Maybe. But it feels like a lot less than a lock to me. I would lean towards taking Baltimore here because of the price, and because I like the Ravens - probably a little more than I should.
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