This article is part of a series previewing the 2018-2019 NFL season where we will cover quick notes on all 32 NFL teams, favorite potential storylines, win-loss predictions, the playoff picture, and my picks to compete in Super Bowl LIII.
The 2018 NFL season is set to begin next Thursday, and I would like to put out my five favorite win total over-under bets. Most of these totals are pretty close to my predictions, and I will not touch any of those teams, but there are a few outliers that I am ready to put some money on. All my lines come from Mybookie.ag.
Win Total: 5.5
My Bet: Under (+160)
The Cardinals are my favorite to have the number one overall pick in the draft, and I cannot find six wins on this schedule. Quarterback is going to be a question mark all season long, and the guys blocking up front is even more concerning. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald are the only reliable playmakers on offense. The defensive front seven is one of the league’s worst, and the secondary is old. The team likely goes 1-5 in the division, and playing in the NFC, it will be hard to go 5-5 the rest of the way.
Win Total: 6.5
My Bet: Under (+160)
The Bengals dealt with a lot of injuries in 2017, and they are a popular pick to bounce back. I am just not a believer in the Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis partnership anymore. They hit their ceiling, and I think the team waited one year too long to move on from Lewis. Are we sure that the team was not just good because of their loading coaching staffs a few years ago? Mike Zimmer, Jay Gruden, and Hue Jackson were all good enough in Cincinnati to earn head coaching job. That is a hot take, but I am sticking to my guns. Hammer the under.
Kansas City Chiefs
Win Total: 8
My Bet: Over (-150)
Andy Reid wins regular season games. That is his MO. The Chiefs have been a playoff team in each of the last four seasons, and this year’s offense is the most talented to date. Safety Eric Berry is back, and ready to lead the defense back to relevance. I got the Chiefs at 11 wins this season, and unless the team is riddled with injuries, I do not see them falling below 8 wins.
Win Total: 10
My Bet: Over (-130)
The Minnesota Vikings won 12 games last season, and only got better this offseason. RB Dalvin Cook is returning from injury and could be a top five running back. QB Kirk Cousins goes from a dysfunctional franchise in the Washington Redskins to loaded roster in Minnesota, and I expect him to explode. The Defense adds DT Sheldon Richardson, SS George Iloka, and CB Mike Hughes to a unit that already topped the league in total defense. I do not see any regression here.
Lock of the Year
Win Total: 8
My Bet: Under (-145)
I love Jon Gruden, but this transition is not going to happen overnight. The defense is below average without Khalil Mack on the field. Without Mack, the defense has the potential to be the worst in the league. The offense is betting on QB Derek Carr to be healthy for an entire season, while getting the ball old vets like WR Jordy Nelson and RB Marshawn Lynch. WR Amari Cooper is going to have a ton of pressure on him to eliminate his chronic drop issues. Gruden dismantled all the changes the progress the front office has made the past five seasons, and I think we see that on the field in 2018.
(Updated 9/4/2018 at 9am to account for loss of Khalil Mack)