2019 NFL Season Win Totals
Full disclosure: I like the NFL. I bet the NFL. But, historically, I’m far better at betting college football than the NFL. I’ll make money betting the NFL but it’s more of a grind for me. Additionally, I just prefer college football. So disclosures aside, I found a few NFL totals that stood out to me that I’m betting.
Just like our college totals, each number was taken from the Westgate. Enough shitdickin...here are my NFL win totals sure to be wrong.
Atlanta (Over 8.5): It sure felt like no team was bitten by the injury bug more than Atlanta in 2018. Keanu Neal, Devonta Freeman, Deion Jones, Ricardo Allen, Grady Jarrett, and Andy Levitre all spent time on the IR. Despite the losses of Levitre and Freeman, Atlanta still was a Top-10 scoring offense and was 6th in yards per game. They also spent 2 first round picks on the offensive line. Defensively, getting Jones and Neal back will help significantly and should get them much closer to the Top 10 defense they were in 2017. Even given the injuries in 2018, they lost 4 games by one score or less and still went 7-9. Granted, the schedule is difficult. Out of division road games against Minnesota, Indianapolis, and Houston are tough, in addition to hosting the Rams and Philadelphia. Regardless, this is a team I really like in 2019 and have going 10-6.
Cleveland (Over 9): Look, I have no idea what the stats say for this one. I really don’t. Put simply, I’m buying Baker Mayfield. The beer chugging clip from the Indians game put me over the edge (kidding...sorta). A team with Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, and Jarvis Landry is either going to be an unmitigated disaster or they’re going 12-4. Give me 12-4. Each of those guys has a massive chip on their shoulder for widely varying reasons. Combine that with some serious young talent in Myles Garrett, David Njoku, and Nick Chubb….I’m all in. Not to mention, the schedule is incredibly reasonable. Their cross divisional road games are the Jets, 49ers, Patriots, Denver, and Arizona. They could easily go 4-1 in those 5 games. They also host Tennessee (see below, I’m down on the Titans), Seattle, Buffalo, and Miami. And they get to play Cincinnati twice. Like I said, 12-4. Fine, maybe 11-5.
Tennessee (Under 8): No team confused me more in 2018 than the Titans. How do you lose to Miami and Buffalo but absolutely blow out New England by more than 3 touchdowns? Odd. Part of the play here is I believe their division could be the most difficult in the NFL. A bounceback year from Jacksonville is entirely possible, Indianapolis is one of the best teams in football (my opinion...see below), and I’m high on Houston in 2019. So this is one of those “someone in the division has to be bad” bets. Maybe more specifically, who has the worst QB in the division? I think that’s Mariota. After 4 seasons, Mariota still has not taken the next step (18TD & 11 INTs last year) and hasn’t played all 16 games in a season. However, there’s certainly an argument for Tennessee: their offensive line is elite and they had the 3rd best scoring defense in 2018. But then you look at the schedule. Road trips to Cleveland, Atlanta, and Carolina are difficult. Home games against the Chargers, Kansas City, and New Orleans are also difficult. And you play Indianapolis, Houston, and Jacksonville twice. Pencil me in for 6-10 and a team vying to draft Jake Fromm or Tua Tagovailoa.
Indianapolis (Over 10): This comes with a major caveat - you have to believe Andrew Luck’s calf is healthy. That’s going to be my assumption for the purposes of this pick. And since I believe that, I also believe Indianapolis is not only going to the Super Bowl, they’re winning the Super Bowl. They have (arguably) the best player in the league behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. And he has the skill around him in Marlon Mack (4.7 ypc in 2018), TY Hilton (1270 yards receiving), and Eric Ebron (13 receiving TDs). The defense was a Top 10 scoring defense in 2018 and 11th in total defense behind All-Pro Darius Leonard. This feels like the first year it’s all coming together around Andrew Luck. Scary thought. I’ll end with this stat: Andrew Luck hasn’t won fewer than 10 games in any season in which he’s played a full year (He went 8-7 in 2016 so the stat is juuuust barely true but he also had shoulder surgery immediately following the season). I absolutely love the Colts this year. Give me 13-3 and a Super Bowl.
Three Other Likes, Not Loves: Seattle under 8.5, Rams under 10.5, Bears over 9