How Will Your Favorite NFL Team Fare Against Vegas’s Over/Under Predictions?

by 8 years ago

The college football over the weekend was just an appetizer for NFL fans like myself who don’t have a college football team to root for. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from doing a number of things: throwing some money behind the spreads of a few games, investing in a year-long confidence pool, and even taking the step into college fantasy football (I’m already addicted). There is something special and different, however, about the opening week of the professional season, which starts this Thursday night. There is a reason the Super Bowl is watched by more people than any other sporting event in America, right? With that said, here’s my preview of the NFL season by going through each team’s Vegas over/under for wins. I took a run at this for baseball, and despite the bashing I received in the comments section for incompetence, I had some good results, including a 6-2 record on my best bets for the season. Are you ready for some football?!?  


New England Patriots: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (even)

Moss and Brady are in contract years. That should be enough to get the offense rolling even though the offensive line is a little suspect.   

New York Jets: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-120)

The Jets are campaigning to be a Super Bowl contender after their offseason additions, yet Vegas is giving them no respect. Vegas is usually smarter than Joe Public, but even Tony Dungy and the parents associations fed up with Rex Ryan’s cursing know that the Jets are better than 8.5 wins.

Miami Dolphins: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (even)

Chad Henne isn’t my favorite quarterback, but it’s hard to argue with the upgrades of Marshall and Dansby at WR and LB. I’m probably most torn on this selection of any this year, but most things went right for Miami last year to end up 8-8, namely Ricky Williams finding his 2003 self to blow up at season’s end.

Buffalo Bills: 5.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-140)

There’s a reason the line is at -140 for the under right now. Buffalo is absolutely God awful and is my odds-on favorite to be selecting first in next April’s draft. They’ll need the pick to find a suitable NFL-caliber quarterback.



Baltimore Ravens: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-130)

Add Boldin and now Houshmandzadeh (yes aging, but perfectly adequate to be a third receiver) to an offense that started making waves last year and you can see why this team is getting hyped. Flacco’s a year more experienced and you know the defense is coming to play every week.    

Pittsburgh Steelers: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-130)

The obvious statement to make is that the loss of Roethlisberger will obviously hurt the Steelers in the early part of the season. The schedule isn’t forgiving for the first four games without Big Ben and the Steelers might dig themselves a hole too deep to get out of. Polamalu also has to prove he can stay on the field for more than half a season, because the Steelers defense is very average without him.  

Cincinnati Bengals: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (even)

I’ve been involved in two fantasy drafts in the last week where someone selected Carson Palmer in the fourth round and I demanded both owners take sobriety tests on the spot. Anyone who watched him take on the Jets in last year’s playoffs knows he’s lost his fastball, and having two loudmouth receivers will bring issues quickly to the surface. The loudmouths will also prevent the coaching staff from being a run-first team, which is the only reason they were so successful last year.  

Cleveland Browns: 5.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+120)

Any team that has confidence in Jake Delhomme at the helm in this stage of his career obviously can’t be trusted to come up with high-quality football. Jerome Harrison’s fantasy owners are happy he won’t have to deal with Monterio Hardesty breathing down his neck, but that’s about the only positive thing going for the Browns this year. The Mangina will surely be out of town by year’s end.       



Indianapolis Colts: 11 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (+130)

The Colts have won more than 11 games in seven straight seasons. As long as Manning is still there, why believe anything else will happen?

Houston Texans: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+115)

People think every year is the year the Texans will make the playoffs, but every year they fall short. Last year was the first year Matt Schaub was able to make it through a full season without injury in three tries, and it still wasn’t good enough. The division is too tough and the remaining schedule is the hardest around. There’s always next year…

Tennessee Titans: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-135)

The comeback Vince Young made last year was rather remarkable given how far he had fallen. The offense, however, isn’t the issue for the Titans these days as the quality defense from two years ago seems to have fallen by the wayside.  

Jacksonville Jaguars: 7 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-135)

Jacksonville had the chance to draft Tim Tebow as a way of jumpstarting a fan base in need of a boost. It chose to go in another direction. While passing on Tebow might end up being a smart football decision, the talent on the roster isn’t deep enough to think the Jaguars won’t have prime real estate in next year’s draft to finally select the QB of the future.     


San Diego Chargers: 10.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-110)

The Chargers are clearly a worse team than last year without holdouts Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil, but their division is still one of the weakest in football. The addition of rookie Ryan Matthews will give the offense an ability to run, which was missing last season, and few quarterbacks are fierier than ol’ Phil Rivers.  

Denver Broncos: 7 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-125)

It’s hard to imagine how much worse this year could get for Denver. They lost their best pass rusher for the season and the team is already riddled with numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. They can’t get off to as quick as a start as they did last year and Josh McDaniels might be feeling the pressure at year’s end after another sub-par season. 

Kansas City Chiefs: 6.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-140)

I’m on record as thinking Todd Haley’s a moron, but at least Scott Pioli has the player personnel going in the right direction. Now only if the coach was focused on playing his best players as opposed to beating his chest and demonstrating power…  

Oakland Raiders: 6.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+105)

I read over the weekend that the Raiders cut safety Steve Brown despite everyone in the organization thinking that another safety, Michael Mitchell, should be the one cut. Everyone, that is, except Al Davis. When a senile old man is controlling your operation, success is not an option.  

AFC Best Bets: Buffalo, Denver, Indianpolis, New England

On the next page, the NFC Over/Unders… {pagebreak}


Dallas Cowboys: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-120)

The Cowboys usually have as much talent as any team in football and this year is no different. They’re clearly the favorite in the NFC East and should be able to make a run towards the Super Bowl if everyone stays healthy. That's a big if, however, given the injury history of Felix Jones and Demarcus Ware from last year. It would also help if Dez Bryant didn’t miss training camp due to injury.

New York Giants: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-160)

The Giants are known for their defense and running game, but both were abysmal last year. They’ve made the necessary upgrades to get back to traditional ways, so there’s faith that this year should be a return to playoff football.

Philadelphia Eagles: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-135)

Kevin Kolb has the athletic ability to make Eagles management proud of their decision to ditch Donovan McNabb, but it’s the running game that has been an issue for the Eagles in recent years. Andy Reid’s reluctance to concentrate on running the ball has hurt him in recent years, and the same will hold as the Eagles take a step back this year.

Washington Redskins: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (even)

Owner Dan Snyder decided this offseason that it was time to be hanging by a string from Mike Shanahan, sucking on his behind all the time. McNabb will help this team get back to respectability this year, but that’s about as far as they’ll go this year.


Green Bay Packers: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-140)

Despite having the #2-ranked defense in the regular season last year, it was in fact the Packers’ defense that was completely exposed by the Cardinals in the Wild Card round. We all know they have offense that makes fantasy owners salivate, so it’ll be on the defense to get their act together, especially without Al Harris for the first part of the season.   

Minnesota Vikings: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (+110)

The big news in Minnesota this offseason was the trade of Sage Rosenfels to the Giants, was it not? I kid, I kid. Favre’s return should get this team at least 10 wins, despite the loss of Rice at receiver for the first eight weeks or so.   

Chicago Bears: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-130)

I’ve always backed an Air Martz offense, but knowing Cutler will be piloting the plane doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy. The league record of 42 interceptions by George Blanda is well within Cutler’s reach this season. I can’t wait for Cutler’s first anti-Martz comments in the media.  

Detroit Lions: 5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-130)

The pieces are all in place for the Lions to have a monstrous offensive season. Stafford looks like he’s taking a step forward, Best has the most talent of any Lions running back since Barry Sanders, and the wide-receiving duo of Johnson and Burleson might help fans relive the glory days of Moore and Perriman. The defense remains a work in progress, but the offense should allow this team to easily advance past the five-win mark.


New Orleans Saints: 10.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-125)

We’re talking about the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints and the only change is an injured Darren Sharper on a defense that’s otherwise improved? Child please…  

Atlanta Falcons: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (even)

The Falcons are a trendy pick to make headway in the NFC this year, but I don’t see what some others are seeing. The offense is pretty decent, but the defense, specifically the secondary, has holes that were not fixed in the offseason.  

Carolina Panthers: 7 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (+145)

I’ve got a feeling the Panthers are going to be rather frisky this year. They finished 6-2 in their final eight games last year with Matt Moore at the helm, so he shouldn’t be discounted. Add that to an always-impressive running game and a defense that has been a monster in the preseason and you’re in business.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+115)

Raheem Morris has shown fire in the preseason, which is nice to see from a young coach trying to make his mark. Unfortunately, that style wears thin when a team doesn’t succeed and there are already rumblings of unrest in Tampa.  


San Francisco 49ers: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-145)

Mike Singletary wants winners and the 49ers are finally on their way to becoming one. The division is theirs to win as long as they rely on the old-fashioned method of defense and ball-control offense.  

Arizona Cardinals: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+115)

The wheels look likely to fall off the Arizona offense with Derek Anderson at the helm. Boldin, Rolle, and Dansby won’t be so easily replaced, and Max Hall will be lining up behind center by the second half of the season.    

Seattle Seahawks: 7 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-145)

For some reason Seattle has continued to move forward with Matt Hasselbeck despite his age and inability to stay healthy for the last two seasons. Everyone else around the country is wondering if Pete Carroll can be successful after a hiatus from the pro game and I’m with the masses on this one.  

St. Louis Rams: 4.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+115)

It’s never a good sign when the franchise left tackle taken #2 overall is failing miserably in his second training camp. Rookie quarterbacks generally don’t win many games in their first season if the talent around them is sub-par.    

NFC Best Bets: Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, New Orleans, and Seattle

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