The NFL never rests, that should almost be common knowledge by now. From free agency to the draft; rookie training camps then OTAs, we are inundated with football and we aren’t complaining. To kick off May, the South Point sportsbook in Las Vegas released their 2017 win totals for every team this season which means we get to talk betting! Back with me this year is Shaun Meyer aka Dead Duck and here are our favorite bets for this season’s win totals:
Oakland Raiders OVER 9.5 (-120)
It was somewhat odd seeing the Raiders win total seem low after this team went an astounding 12-4 last season, blowing expectations out of the water. Not that the surge wasn’t expected all together, but this line tells me that Vegas wasn’t expecting it so soon and that the Raiders might come back to earth this year. I’m not seeing it. Sure they let Latavius Murray walk, but they replaced him with Marshawn Lynch and addressed more defensive needs in the draft. Returning one of the best offensive lines in the league, getting Derrick Carr back after breaking his leg at the end of 2016, and another year of growth from their young core of studs in Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, I feel this team is on track to at least match their win total from 2016, but this line gives us 3 games of wiggle room.
Arizona Cardinals OVER 7.5 (-125)
One of last year’s biggest disappointments in the football world were the Arizona Cardinals. After making a deep playoff run in 2015, they fizzled out of the gate in 2016 and were never able to get things on track. With Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald coming back for what will probably be their last season in the league, I expect this team to put it all out there and be back to what they were 2 years ago. They still have David Johnson, one of the best RBs in the league, and with their receiving core coming back healthy, along with their defense, there’s no reason they can’t go at least 8-8 especially in a division where they possess the top offensive weapons. It’s now or never for AZ and I think we are going to see a “win now” effort.
New York Jets UNDER 5.5 (-110)
I don’t condone tanking. I don’t think players condone tanking. But if there was ever a time to tank, this season for the New York Jets might be the right time and it would appear they feel that way too. They’ve struck out year after year when trying to draft a QB, having 2 young bucks on their roster who will start the year behind career backup Josh McCown who wasn’t good enough for even Cleveland to want to keep around. They’ve also lost Brandon Marshall and will soon waste the final years of Matt Forte’s career. They scored in this year’s draft snagging Jamal Adams, top ranked safety out of LSU, which should start to lay a good foundation on defense. But next year, there are 3 highly sought after QBs coming out and it would be in their best interest to set themselves up to get one. They won 5 games last year and have only gotten worse in my opinion. Suck it up for one more year and then watch things start to turn around.
Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 6 (-110)
After a surprising 2015 (from Jaguars standards) saw the emergence of Allen Robinson and possibly a turning point for Blake Bortles, 2016 showed up to slap them back down to reality. I think most people saw a regression coming from Bortles, but not necessarily the team as whole as they massively upgraded their defense to try and avoid shootouts. Well the offseason this year hasn’t been much different. In free agency they added some of the most sought after defensive players in Calais Campbell, Barry Church, and a CB from division rival Houston in AJ Bouye. On top of that, they drafted themselves someone I consider to be the top RB in this class in Leonard Fournette and followed up that pick by top OL prospect Cam Robinson. Is this finally the year the Jaguars make a playoff run? Well with Houston’s defense and the specter of Andrew Luck always looming, let’s not go that far. But six wins? I can see that. Hell I see them going 8-8 if Bortles can keep his head on straight.
Baltimore Ravens UNDER 9.5 (-125)
What the hell? Am I missing something? This Ravens team that finished 8-8 last year, and if I am not mistaken are still in a division with the Steelers and Bengals, is favored to win almost 10 games? Did they change the rules and Baltimore now plays Cleveland 7 times? I mean Flacco is a fine real world QB and everyone is hoping Dixon finally claims ownership of the Ravens backfield, but I am not expecting Baltimore to be any better than .500 this year. They haven't done anything in the offseason that makes me think the Ravens will be any better than last year. Take the under and forget the about the Ravens until 2018 or later.
Minnesota Vikings UNDER 8.5 (-110)
The Vikings lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in a freak practice injury last year and things looked bleak. Enter Sam Bradford. The Eagles got a couple nice picks to send him to Minnesota and he had them off to a surprising 5-0 start heading into the bye. Well I am not sure if Bradford just remembered he was Bradford, or if the D that had been dominant just quit for some reason, but the Vikes struggled the rest of the way going 3-8 after the bye to finish 8-8. Latavius Murray was brought in to replace a departing Adrian Peterson, but then Dalvin Cook was also drafted. The Vikings will rely on a strong D and a deep backfield to keep the ball out of Sam's hands but I don't see Minnesota getting close to 8 wins this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers OVER 8 (-110)
The Bucs offense had a good year last year. Evans put himself in the class of elite fantasy WRs, and Winston put himself squarely in the "startable" category. The RBs all got hurt but whether it was Hamster, Sims, or Jaquizz, they were all flex worthy. They lost in a lot of close ones finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs. After some nice offseason moves and a decent draft, I believe this is a team on the rise. I like the Buccaneers to come out of the NFC South this year, winning 9-10 games securing the over.
Atlanta Falcons UNDER 10 (-120)
The Falcons offense put up points at a near record pace last year seemingly out of nowhere on pace to an 11-5 record and trip to "the big game." Matty Ice wasn't making the mistakes his past owners were so accustomed to seeing and the duo of Coleman and Freeman were money in the backfield. The WRs battled injuries like always but Matty made fantasy starters out of Sanu and then Gibson. Then proceeded to blow a huge lead in a quarter and a half to lose the championship. Super Bowl hangover anyone? I say Matty's mistakes come back and while I expect them to compete for the division I will take under 10 for the year.