Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL Over/Unders (Season)

Just in case you have not heard, the NFL begins tomorrow night with the Dallas Cowboys facing off against the World Champion New York Giants.  This means that fantasy football is set to begin and, just as important, betting season is set to begin.  To get the latter started off, I have compiled my NFL team prop bets and confidence behind each pick, based on the website formerly known as BoDog's lines.  Enjoy!

Team (Total wins - 2012) Over/Under: reason: Confidence (out of 5)

Arizona Cardinals (7) Under: The Cardinals are really regretting the Kevin Kolb trade/contract.  Because of a lack of quality/stability at the QB position and a schedule that features (outside of division) the NFC North and South and the AFC East, I predict that the Cardinals will go, at best, 5-11.  Confidence: 4

Atlanta Falcons (9) Over:
This pick all hinges on whether the Falcons can improve their record on the road (4-4 last year).  Particularly, the week 16 showdown at the Detroit Lions will determine whether this pick will hit.  Overall, 9-7 is the most probable outcome for the Falcons, but if Matt Ryan can take full advantage of one of the best one-two combos at wide receiver (Julio Jones and Roddy White), then they could push their record to 10-6 or 11-5.  Confidence: 3

Baltimore Ravens (10) Over: The Ravens don't have the easiest schedule in the world having to face the NFC East, but the AFC West balances that out nicely.  Like the Falcons, the Ravens desperately need their QB to mature.  Joe Flacco has arguably the most talented all-around running back in Ray Rice and has an emerging receiving talent in Torrey Smith.  If he puts it all together, the Ravens should shatter the over/under of 10, but my lack of confidence in Flacco leads me to believe that the best record they Ravens could have is 11-5.  Confidence: 3

Buffalo Bills (8) Over:
I have been a long-time critic of the Bills and have ragged on Bills fans repeatedly, but this should be the year that the Bills return to the above .500 mark.  The Jets are going to take a significant step back, and Miami is not close to challenging anyone.  Plus, they get the benefit of playing against the NFC West and AFC South, which only have one good team each.  Do not be surprised if Buffalo goes 10-6 with an improved defense and a solid one-two punch in the backfield (Fred Jackson-C.J. Spiller).  Confidence: 4

Carolina Panthers (7.5) Under: I was dead wrong about Cam Newton last year.  However, Lets not go crazy and think that the Panthers did enough to win eight games this season.  Playing the Falcons and Saints four times should result in three losses (at least) and throw in four games against the NFC East (another three losses).  Top all of that off with an away game at Chicago and that's already seven losses.  That would mean that they would have to sweep through the AFC West, which I would not bet on happening.  Confidence: 4

Chicago Bears (9.5) Over: The NFC North should get three teams in the playoffs, and the Bears are that third team.  Brandon Marshall makes that team infinitely better.

Cincinnati Bengals (8) Under: In any other division, this would be a slam dunk 'over' pick, but it's not another division.  Playing four games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore should result in three losses and throw in the NFC East and this season could easily get away from the temperamental Bengals.  Andy Dalton in year two could easily fall into a sophomore slump despite having one of the best young receivers in AJ Green and a solid defense.  Confidence: 2

Cleveland Browns (5) Under: Is there anything more insulting to Browns fans than being owned by a Steelers fan?  This joke of a franchise keeps us laughing this year with Brandon Weeden being named the starter with NO ONE to throw to.  Trent Richardson's knees have already had two operations, so I'll go with 2-14 for the Browns.  Confidence: 5

Dallas Cowboys (8.5) Under: The Cowboys look like they are going to be the most disappointing team in the NFL this year.  A weak pass defense coupled with an inconsistent offense will not be enough when facing off against the AFC North, NFC South and six brutal division games.  This all spells a 6-10 season.  You read that correctly.  Six...and....ten.  Confidence: 4

Denver Broncos (9) Under: The Broncos, talent-wise, are easily the best team in the AFC West, but they're cursed by the schedule.  Here are their first eight games (keep in mind these are the games where Peyton Manning has to gel with his new players): vs. Pittsburgh, @ Atlanta, vs. Houston, vs. Oakland, @ New England, @ San Diego, bye, @ New Orleans, @ Cincinnati.  #RecipeForDisaster.  Confidence: 3

Detroit Lions (9) Over: A lot of people expect the Lions to take a step back this year.  This will all depend on the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford.  If he can stay healthy again for all 16 games this season, he should easily throw for close to 5,000 yards again and lead his team to at least 10 victories.  Confidence: 3

Green Bay Packers (12) Under: The 'over' bet is +145 (begging to be taken), but I'm not biting.  It's not that the Packers aren't good.  They are.  But anticipating any team going 13-3 is flat out unreasonable.  Plus, four games against the Bears and Lions should account for at least 1 and probably 2 losses.  Confidence: 4

Houston Texans (10) Over: This mark is pretty on the money, but I'm going to give Houston's defense the benefit of the doubt carrying this AFC South juggernaut to an 11-5 season.  Matt Schaub is back...for now.  Same with Andre Johnson.  If both stay healthy, they shatter the 10-win mark.  Confidence: 2

Indianapolis Colts (5.5) Under: The Colts are in great shape for the future after drafting Andrew Luck who, barring injury, looks like the real deal.  However, that does not help this year.  Maximum of four wins this season.  And hey, Peyton Manning was 3-13 in his first season.  Confidence: 4

Jacksonville Jaguars (5.5) Under: There is not a less talented team in the league, particularly at QB.  I'm not a believer in Blaine Gabbert or Justin Blackmon (unless it's a drinking contest).  Confidence: 5

Kansas City Chiefs (8) Under: Not a believer in Matt Cassell, but he has a ton of help coming back from IR in Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, which makes this pick incredibly difficult.  Confidence: 1

Miami Dolphins (6.5) Under: Another team, another bad QB situation.  What makes it even worse is that they have zero wide receivers to throw to.  if TO signed for the Dolphins, he'd immediately be #1 on the depth chart.  Confience: 4

Minnesota Vikings (6) Under:
For all of you fantasy football nerds, Percy Harvin had 100 targets after Christian Ponder became the starting QB.  The second-most in that time?  Wes Welker...with 74.  Unfortunately, the good news ends there.  A bad defense in the same division as Detroit, Green Bay and the improved Chicago offenses spells disaster for the Vikings.  Confidence: 5

New England Patriots (12) Over: The AFC East is a lot like the AFC West in that most of the teams are mediocre.  However, New England is the one exception.  The Patriots have improved their team (which was the favorite in the super bowl) by signing Brandon Lloyd on the offensive side of the ball and drafting all of those defensive players, including Chandler Jones.  Confidence: 3

New Orleans Saints (10) Over: Ten is the perfect over/under, but I will give Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, and and Marques Colston the benefit of the doubt.  Confidence: 2

New York Giants (9) Under: The world champs were an amazing story last year, but that was last year, and this is this year.  This is one of the most brutal schedules in the NFL this year.  Sorry Giants fans, I have them one off the pace from last season at 8-8.  Confidence: 2

New York Jets (8.5) Under: The Jets do not have a decent WR, RB, TE, OL, pass rush, or special teams.  But they have Tebow!  How long until he starts?  Confidence: 5

Oakland Raiders (8) Over: This hurts so much as a Chargers fan, but the Raiders somehow seem to get better every year, and now Carson Palmer has a full offseason with this offense, which should compliment it's physical defense much better this year.  Confidence: 3

Philadelphia Eagles (10) Under: If Mike Vick plays all 16 games, I will most likely be very wrong.  But who honestly thinks he's going to play all 16 games?  Confidence: 3

Pittsburgh Steelers (10) Under: Big Ben loves to complain that he's playing injured, Rashard Mendenhall is injured, and James Harrison keeps illegally injuring others.  Confidence: 4

San Diego Chargers (9) Under: The Bolts will finally spiral the drain enough times to show how inept Norv Turner is as a head coach: Confidence: 4

San Francisco 49ers (10) Over: Six comfortable wins in division leads to an easy coasting to at least an 11-5 season for the team by the bay.  Confidence: 5

Seattle Seahawks (7.5) Under: Rookie Quarterback, injured "star" running back, overrated wide receivers, and even more overrated head coach = disappointment for some of the best sports fans in this country.  5-12th man.  Confidence: 5

St. Louis Rams (6) Over: Jeff Fisher is a really good coach.  Sam Bradford has the skills to be a really good QB.  Chris Long and Robert Quinn are really good pass rushers.  They won't be playoff contenders, but better than 6-10.  Confidence: 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6) Over: How can you not love what they did in the draft (Mark Barron, Doug Martin, and LaVonte David) and free agency (Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright)?  Josh Freeman will be comeback player of the year.  Confidence: 3

Tennessee Titans (7) Over: The age of Jake Locker has begun in Tennessee with a decent supporting staff (Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, Jaret Cook).  Confience: 3

Washington Redskins (6.5) Under: Robert Griffin III is going to be a good QB, but like Cam Newton last year, it will not lead to a bunch of wins this season for a Redskins team that plays in a tough division and conference.  Confidence: 4

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