The NFL season is almost upon us. I’m sure all off you are playing Madden non-stop while boozing or indulging in other vice activities. I stumbled upon some interesting over/under team win props to consider before the season kicks off. Below are some of the props that stuck out to me.
1.) Detroit Lions – Over/Under 7.5 wins – Over (-190) - I am high on the Lions this year. I believe they’ll have a top 5 offense provided that Matthew Stafford avoids injury. With Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best and Brandon Pettigrew, this team will put up points. I’ll also be curious to see how WR Titus Young from Boise State has an impact on this team. The next DeSean Jackson anyone? Although the preseason doesn’t mean squat, the Lions are the 1st ranked overall offense and passing offense. I can almost guarantee that the Lions will not finish the season with a losing record this year. Their defense will also be legit this year too. In the top 50% of NFL defenses for sure. They drafted DT Fairley to help out Suh on the line, added DE Vanden Bosch last year, and then his teammate LB Tulloch from that tough Titans D. Some people are even predicting that they’ll win the NFC and stamp their tickets to the Super Bowl.
The Schedule: The Lions schedule does not look too bad. Assuming the Lions split games with the Bears, Vikings, and maybe Packers, we’re looking at about a 3-3 conference record. They may even sweep the Vikings and Bears. You can then count on wins against Carolina, Oakland, San Francisco, and Denver. Now that we’re at 7 wins, the Lions should be able to pull one or two off against Tampa Bay, Kansas City (at home), Dallas, or San Diego (at home). I think you’re looking at a 10-6 team in the Lions. Out of all the team props, this is my favorite.
The Play: Lions Over 7.5 Wins (-190) Confidence 4/5
2.) Arizona Cardinals – Over/Under 6.5 wins – Over (-200) – With Fitzgerald getting a new contract and having Kevin Kolb throwing to him (rather than the awful QB carousel the Cardinals had last year), I think the Cardinals offense should rebound a bit from theie 2010 woes. I also expect WR Early Doucet to blossom in his 4th year similar to Sidney Rice blossoming in his 3rd year. I am not expecting the Cardinals to make the playoffs, but an 7-9 or 8-8 season seems quite likely, especially since they’re in the easiest division in the NFL. The Rams are getting stronger though and will make a push to win the division this season.
The Schedule: The Cards have an easy schedule. They should have two wins over Seahawks, one or two wins against the 49ers and Rams, wins over the Browns at home, at Bengals, and Panthers at home in week 1. Other sources for wins can include games against the Redskins and Vikings, but those games will be on the road. I think you see the Cardinals finish the season 7-9, but a 6-10 season is certainly within the realm of possibilities.
The Play: Cardinals Over 6.5 Wins (-200) Confidence 3/5
3.) St. Louis Rams – Over/Under 7.5 wins – Over (-110) – Speaking of the Rams, I’m expecting an awesome sophomore year for Sam Bradford. The Rams have added WR Mike Sims-Walker from the Jaguars and drafted a slew of wide receivers to be future contributors for their young franchice QB. With Sims-Walker as the deep threat, look for Danny Amendola to be this team’s Wes Welker, while Steven Jackson pounds it out on the ground and also contributes in the passing game. Cadillac Williams will also be Jackson’s backup, which was a nice pickup. Although WR Austin Pettis and WR Greg Sallas may not contribute much this year, in two to three years, this Rams passing attack could be very dangerous if those young wide outs develop. I was very high on Greg Sallas in the 2011 draft, who is similar to T.J. Houshmanzadeh, and would definitely want him on my team. He could be one of top slot receivers in this league for years to come. He was a great 4th-round steal for the Rams.
The Schedule: The Rams are in for a rough start to the season facing Philadelphia, New York Giants, Baltimore, before the Redskins. Then they come out of their bye week at Green Bay, at Dallas, and then New Orleans. That looks like 5-6 losses to me. However, the second half of their schedule will be a breeze with their only tough opponent being the Steelers. If the Rams could sweep the NFC West or at least get 5 wins, wins over the Bengals, Browns, and Redskins will get them to the magic number of 8 wins. It’ll be a tough start and a rocky road to finish .500 for the Rams. Seeing how their schedule lines up, I’m expecting 2-6 start and a 6-2 finish. I would pass on this play due to the tough schedule.
The Play: Rams Over 7.5 Wins (-110) Confidence 2/5
4.) Miami Dolphins – Over/Under 7.5 wins – Under (-150) – Last year the Dolphins finished 7-9, which is surprising. They’re questioning whether Henne is their guy. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are gone, being replaced by Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas, who could be a real steal in this year’s fantasy drafts. However, with two games against the Patriots and two games against the Jets, they’ll be extremely lucky to win 1 of those, so you can chalk up 4 losses right there.
The Schedule: Miami’s schedule starts off with New England, Houston, Cleveland, and San Diego. Expect a 1-3 record out of the gate leading into the bye week. Tough non-conference road games include Kansas City, New York Giants, and Dallas, while tough non-conference home games include San Diego, Houston, and Philadephia. I see at least 9 losses on this schedule putting their record at 7-9. The Dolphins could stand to top the Bills twice, Browns, Raiders, Broncos, and Redskins, but I don’t see them getting 8 wins.
The Play: Dolphins Under 7.5 Wins (-150) Confidence 3/5
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